Sunday, 28 March 2010

follower of fashion

Just a quickie before I get cracking, calculator at the ready, can't wait.

Walking Sheppie in our little park I was amazed at the amount of lighters I saw lying about, always are - lighters and ballpoints, never need to buy one.
Must be the things that easily fall out of pockets, but how about some cash then?

Anyway, that took me back to when Mieke, the sister closest to me in age, and I were teenagers.
At that time school days still included Saturday mornings. Those were the longest hours, leading up to an afternoon of 'dweilen' or hanging about Purmerend, the little village we lived in.
You could say we were a modern version of the Bronte sisters, there was really nothing exciting going on there and besides, our very strict upbringing meant we were not allowed to do anything exciting anyway.
So we made up our own adventures. On the pretext of needing female hygiene stuff, note books, the library, anything our parents wouldn't object to, we would gulp down our lunch, do the inevitable chores quick as we could and try leaving the house without our parents noticing we were wearing make-up. Soon as we were round the corner of the street, we'd hoist up our skirts - we were going to see boys!!
And so, one fine Saturday, great expectations, arms linked, we walked up to a little bustle, a festive opening of a new tobacconist and they were handing out free cigarettes. As a special attraction they had installed a shiny copper bowl on a stand, burning what seemed to me, the eternal flame.
People standing around it, casually lighting their cigarettes, chatting, laughing, as if it wasn't the most outlandish thing to do.
Smoking was, of course, strictly forbidden, a mortal sin in fact. Something we had never even contemplated but now the fags were practically thrown at us, it didn't take long to succumb.

The thing was not to slip up here, there was a lot at stake. First of all, was there anyone in sight who would tell our parents, and next, how to light up as cool as possible, so the boys would be impressed by our worldliness.
On second thought, that was most important.

I went first. I always went first, even though Mieke was older.
Praying this wouldn't be the moment my 'mini-skirt' would let me down, I leaned towards the flame, sophisticatedly placing the cigarette between my pink lip-sticked lips - and my hair catches fire!

Not just singeing it, no, the crackling and the smell of burnt hair told me I was seriously alight.

Try explaining that to your parents. As for the boys.............sigh.

But on the bright side, I must have been the first in our provincial town with an a-symmetric hairstyle.
All the rage in London then. Mary Quant and the likes:

                                       Mary Quant and her mod-bob

A little daring, but then I never could resist a dare.

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