Bite Size Memoir

Bite Size Memoir: Bad Hair Day

Posted for Lisa’s Bite Size Memoir: Bad Hair Day using the 10 ‘I remember’ statements instead of 150 words.

“Velvet”, 5 blocks of yellow soap in single bar, wrapped in red & blue printed paper… From the Powerhouse Museum Collection, NSW, under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial

I remember when my hair was washed once a week, on Sundays. Mum used yellow Velvet soap as there wasn’t shampoo those days. Velvet (now made by Pental) was sold in Northern Australia as Sunlight soap.  Do you remember how hard soap was, once? Nowadays, I remove the packaging right away, to let it dry  out.

Velvet soap, a later style

I remember my sister usually kept her hair short. One day she told me how she had always felt disgusted, standing behind me on the school bus, looking at the dandruff on the shoulders of my high school blazer.


1969, pigtails

I remember wearing my hair in plaits, a ponytail, or pigtails – kept under control with rubber bands, ribbons, scrunchies, hairclips, or headbands. My aunt fixed it in a bun a few times, and I pestered mum to do it every morning before school until the novelty wore off.

1971, single pigtail

I remember the first time I had my hair styled. It was for my first wedding in 1973. It was lovely and boofy for days.

April Fools Day, 1973

April Fools Day, 1973

I remember how your scalp itches like mad as soon as anyone mentions nits or lice. I don’t recall having them at school, myself, but the pesky little critters swept through my children’s primary school. We took preventative action.

I remember cutting my fringe and trimming my hair for years. I thought I did a pretty good job, too. Nowadays, I still just hack at my fringe when I feel like it. Who takes notice of someone nearly sixty! I intend having a trim for my sixtieth.



I remember putting colour rinses  and permanent colours in my hair, usually chestnut or cherry – never ever blonde. The closest I ever got to blonde was tips in the late 80s. My sister peroxided hers, but the idea just never appealed to me.


1989, with blonde tips

I remember the first time I had a perm, an afro of course, about 1980. The hairdresser commented on how uneven my hair ends were. Not surprising. I began using conditioner for the first time after my perm. I still have my afro comb.

1980, with my Japanese penpal. The afro is half grown out by now.

1980, with my Japanese penpal. The afro is half grown out by now.

In 1990, I remember seeing a barmaid with a glorious head of hair of all shades of brown and grey, and I thought to myself, if I go grey like that, I will be happy. Now, in full sunlight, my hair gleams silver.

2011, with my self inflicted style

2011, with my self inflicted style

I remember my sister’s memorial service, one of my nephews saying: “Oh yes, Christine, of course I recognize you. Still got the mullet, I see.”  I had it cut shortly after that.

2011 - shortest haircut - ever

2011 – a few days later with my shortest haircut – ever

Bite Size Memoir, Other Stuff

Bite Size Memoirs: No 2, 3 and 4.

I’ve joined in Lisa’s Memoir challenge late, but want to catch up with the completed prompts from the past. Lisa is on a break, so that will give me that chance.   Memoir must be no more than 150 words. I could also choose to do 10 x remember statements.

If you would like the see the posts others have posted, just click on the elephant below each post,. It will take you to a compilation.

Bite Size Memoir No.2 “Jinks and Japes”

I’m a spoil sport when it comes to pranks. No doubt, I was mean to my younger sister and four brothers and played tricks on them; as you do.

Mr Ex told me of his favourite prank. He and his friends would place a wallet or handbag on the side of the road, then hide. As a vehicle was pulling up, they’d yank the wallet out of sight using the attached fishing line. Then, they’d stay hidden until the puzzled driver departed.

One day, my flustered daughter came running inside. She owned up that she’d just been caught doing the same thing!

Last year, I saw a wallet upended on the road. I stopped, but not until I’d looked around for the fishing line. There wasn’t enough cover to hide anyone. The wallet belonged to an old bloke nearby, having fallen from the top of a taxi exiting his street.

Bite Size Memoir No.3 “Magic and Fairy Tales”

Mum brought magic alive for us. She encouraged us to believe.

At one home, we had a magic date tree that bore fruit only at night. At another, we would plant a penny in the dirt, marking the spot with a stick. It would turn into two bob overnight. Everyone knew about the tooth-fairy, but this one was our special fairy.

We feared the hobgoblins and hobyahs, and watched out for trolls. Mum fed us ghost stories. When older, we would sit in the dark, around the open fireplace, and scare ourselves silly.

I’ll always remember the time Mum did see a ghost. She came rushing into her bedroom – I was sleeping in the old cot while Dad was away – and told me she’d seen Nana’s feet doing her signature twiddling thing in front of the fire. Nana had given the promised sign. I was sworn to secrecy.

Bite Size Memoir No.4 “Sports Day”

As a child, I wasn’t a very physical person. I struggled with physical education at school. I’d prefer reading a book. The only game I was remotely interested in was softball in third grade. As long as I got to the first base, I did well. I could run, fast.

I reached my peak in Grade 6, at George Street State School, Hamilton. I was taller than almost everyone else so I could run faster, jump higher and longer. I was a star.

I came back to reality in High School when I resumed my place near the back of the pack. Mum would happily write me a note once a month to get out of sport. It didn’t get me out of donning the dreaded bottle green tunic and bloomers. Uggghhhhh! How I hated that sports uniform.

Sport’s days were hot and boring. Swim sports? I won’t go there.



Outside of my 150 words, I want to point out that, as an adult, I did play lawn bowls, basketball and netball – even a game of competition tennis once when the team was desperate!

That was fun! I hope you enjoyed my bite sized memoirs as much as I did writing them.