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Saturday, 9 April 2016

A-Z: I Remember When.....Hair, , Hobbies, Houses & Halloween

I Remember When.....
Recalling Memories of My Childhood & Beyond

Pigtails to Ponytails characterised my look as a child, complete with kirby grips and ribbons.   On village gala days and on special occasions, my hair was wound into rags overnight  to hopefully create ringlets - which soon fell out.  

By my early teens my hair was long.  It was washed and rinsed in rain water with a final rinse in vinegar to enhance my dark brown locks - my mother's idea of a beauty treatment -  and it took ages to dry in front of the fire.  We did not have a haridryer then.

Around the age of 15,  Mum suggested I get my hair cut professionally   - great - except we were both clueless afterwards how to style it at home,  and here I am being brave in highlighting publicly  this dreadful passport photograph, taken when I was to go on a school trip to Germany. This was the 1960's era of the Cold War and  I look  like the archetypal Russian spy.   

After five years, you could get a passport photograph updated,  and I could not wait to do this -  only to be further mortified when, instead of replacing the photograph,  the new one was just stuck beneath - to more family hilarity and more quizzical looks from passport control. 

By the late 1960's,  I had succumbed to using rollers and was aiming for the "beehive" look - not too successfully. I then moved on to perms for my fine, limp, locks.  Did you ever try home perms?  Th smell was awful and it was a fine judgement as to how long you left the curlers in.

 By the late 1980's grey hairs were beginning to creep in.   I recall one New Year's Day when we were due to go out in the evening.  I used a home colour shampoo to disguise the grey - but left it on too long and the result was rather too much  red.  The shampoo packet said it would run out after 6 washes, so I washed it about 6 times that day - to very little effect

We were now at the time  on TV of Dallas, Dynasty and Charlie's Angels,  with big hair and shoulder pads all the rage - hence this rare look for me taken for a work Annual Report.  Less glamorously, I was also likened to Deidre Barlow of "Coronation Street" soap opera fame.  The big specs did it!   This style involved too much like hard work.

 I am now pleased to see natural styles are back in vogue which suits my age and rural life style!

More H's 
What HOBBIES did you enjoy as a child? 
Music, reading, stamp collecting, postcard collecting, dolls, scrapbooks and crafts were my childhood hobbies and many have continued to give me pleasure all my life. 

What were the HOUSES  like that you lived in?

How did you celebrate HALLOWEEN? 
Halloween was almost a non-event in both my childhood and my daughter’s, as traditions took a long time to cross the Atlantic.  I can remember, though, a popular children's game we played at Guides in autumn  -  "Apple Dookin"  where we had our hands tied behind our back and had to kneel at a tub of water to try and grab an apple with our mouths without getting wet.  Turnips were used to  to create lanterns  as pumpkins were a rarity.   

Keep following  - HOLIDAYS  will come under V for VACATIONS

Onto I for Inspiring Teachers 

In Case You Missed.....
A-Z Challenge 2016 Theme Revealed:   
I Remember......Memories of Childhood

B - + Babies, Books, Birthdays & Brownies 
C - Clothes + Church, Chores, Christmas, Crafts & Cars
D - Dolls + Dogs & Desserts
E - Events + Eating Out & Easter 
F - Food + Fads & Fashion and Freedom 

                             Copyright © 2016 -  Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved


  1. Susan, I can relate very much to your hair tales. My hair has always been very fine and dead straight, impossible to keep a hair clip in place! Later on, perms helped fluff up my hair to an extent but often had to be repeated because one or more sections didn't "take"!

  2. Oh Susan the Russian Spy. Or is it Natasha Donaldson? This post is hilarious and I've enjoyed it immensely. Look for my public humiliation under "L" for "Locks." Yes, we did home perms all the time. When I was really little, I had to sleep in those hard plastic rods because it took so long for the perm to take.
    Visiting from AtoZ
    Wendy at
    Jollett Etc.

  3. This was cute to read! I do remember home perms and the awful smell and sleeping in foam rollers :) I jut keep my hair short and straight these days; easy to take care of :)


  4. I had to laugh at your hair memories as well !

  5. Dear Sue - thank you for being brave. I never did do a home perm. But yes, I've had a series of shall we say "interesting" cuts over the years.

  6. Sue, I empathise but don't understand your hair dilemmas. My hair has always been thick but for a long time it was the pudding bowl look. My wave is natural and my friend says I have "wash and wear" hair. Love the thought of you as a Russian spy ;)

  7. Houses - well, let's see: those that I can remember are a typical 1940s split level in the suburbs; a 1-bdrm apt. in the suburbs; a 3-bdrm ranch on a Forest Service compound in the redwoods; 2 cabins, an old school house, & a small cottage - all in the woods; a 3-bdrm ranch in a small mountain town; another 3-bdrm ranch on a Forest Service compound near Yosemite; a typical 3-bdrm ranch in a gated community situated around a lake; & our current Mediterranean style house on a hill in the mountains! I wouldn't mind if we never had to move again, but I know we'll probably have to move one more time, someday - most likely to senior living quarters somewhere, but I hope that's a bit of a ways off yet!

  8. My mother used to home perm my fine straight hair every year from when I was about 4 so that people would comment on my lovely curly hair. I only stopped having it permed as an older adult and try to wear in in a chin length bob that has a will of its own. Strangely it is still mainly brown with only a few greys (I'm 65). The dilemma of whether to colour it when the time comes has been delayed for the time being.


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