Enlightenment through a haircut

It’s crazy, I don’t really care what I look like. Growing up with short hair due to swimming, being constantly mistaken for a boy because I was taller than all the other girls, had short hair and was whippet thin, due to swimming, I was never a girly girl. I can still count the amount of manicures I’ve had in my life on both hands. But still, I love my hair being cut well.

Never mind there are days when I will shove it behind my ears, or in a baseball cap, being able to get up and just wash it, blow-dry it and shoot out the door with it in a manageable state is heaven. I put a lot of faith in my hairdressers, I pay them a lot of money, so when I find a good one; I hang onto them. I tip them well, and ask them questions about their lives, investing time in building a relationship.

Ange who has cut my hair, all bar twice, since my arrival in Australia (although both other times were still at her salons) tidied me up this morning. I showed her pictures of my niece, she filled me in on the never-ending renovations of her house. Her husband Sam brings me black coffee without sugar, without asking, he knows how I like it, and the three of us gossip away my appointment time. This morning he had his hair washed next to me and carefully blow-dried it himself. Complaining that as he only has 7 hairs, only he knows where to put them. He calls me slapper, I call him tart, she giggles at both of us as she cuts my hair and I leave the salon walking on air, with a hug from both of them.

I don’t know their surnames, but I know the names of their 3 children. I don’t know where they live, but have seen and heard descriptions of the chaos they’ve lived in while the bathrooms, kitchen, family room and dining room have been renovated. Ange cut my hair for my wedding, has advised me on products, but never pushed them at me, had me in gales of laughter, and offered very good advice, which I’ve taken and used gratefully.

The majority of my friends are in the UK, this blog, email, text and phone calls keep me in touch with them. But getting to sit down and have a long, in-depth conversation with someone who knows me, knows my morning routine, knows that I am not the most patient person in the world, so helps me by making my morning routine easier – is lovely. It doesn’t happen often enough, I know I need to get out more, but seeing her every 8-10 weeks keeps me ticking over.

Happy Diwali everyone, looking it up after seeing the huge festiva in Sydney on SBS; the most significant spiritual meaning is “the awareness of the inner light”. Something we could all do with a little bit more of in this world. Sitting down with Ange while she put a treatment on my hair and massaged it in, my mind was clear, my breathing deep, and while an unorthodox meditation, feeling the peace of my inner light at any time is a welcome relief at the moment.

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