Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hair and dog or should that be hair of the dog?

Friday 6th March

Now getting quite dark in the mornings in Sydney, feel more like a coal miner than a boot camper as we all meet up in a pitch black car park at 6 a.m. However stumbling around in the dark does add to the feeling of extreme overall virtue.

If I am not going to boot camp in the morning I take the dog out for a walk. We generally go down to Clifton Gardens, a nearby beach. The road down to the beach is very steep and I get a glorious view of the harbour with the dawn coming in in streaks of blue and pink as I come down the hill. I have to pick my times for visiting the beach quite carefully. On a sunny weekend Clifton Gardens is packed with large family groups having picnics and parties and bitter experience has taught me this is not a good time to visit with Pluto. With what would be a touching innocence if it weren’t so embarrassing, he is convinced he is a welcome guest at any gathering and bounds into the middle of picnic rugs tail wagging ready to play. There is generally, quite rightly, an extreme and noisy reaction to a black bomb arriving next to the rice salad, Lebanese grandmothers clad in black from head to toe scatter like chickens in front of him. Puce in the face, I haul him away, apologising profusely

Early mornings however the beach is almost deserted, the only people around a few fishermen sitting at the end of the jetty, an elderly man who swims every morning whilst his Staffordshire bull terrier guards his clothes, a couple of solitary joggers and me. Pluto gallops up and down the beach chasing seagulls, ever the optimist he is convinced that if he just runs fast enough he’ll catch one. It’s a very relaxing way to start the day, particularly with a stop to pick up a coffee on the way home.

Having waxed lyrical about the joys of the morning beach walk, I have just picked up our local paper and discovered an article about concerns that dogs on the beach, and in particular in the water, could potentially attract sharks. As a result I suspect our early morning walks are going to have to be much tamer for fear of an on the spot fine from a council ranger inspired by zeal into patrolling the park at 6 a.m.

I am off to the hairdressers for the morning for a cut and colour. For once I have been sensible and left myself enough time. In my usual happy fashion I generally don’t allow enough time for the colour to take, as it were, and for my hair to be cut and blow-dried. As I never bother blow-drying my hair myself I always forget that even after a cut, my hair has a yak like thickness to it and drying it takes forever. I sit tensely in the chair, shooting surreptitious glances at my watch and calculating whether a) I’ve got a parking ticket yet and b) at what point the school will ring to ask if I have any intention of picking up my children today. Part of the tension is that I am too much of a wimp to cut the whole beautifying process short. I feel it would be a trifle ungracious to leap to my feet, shrieking, “I’ve got to go, just leave it” whilst rushing, dripping wet out of the saloon. Having had a number of haircuts in my past that made me look like an ageing Rod Stewart, I value my relationship with Roger who works wonders, and I have no wish to upset his artistic tendencies! However I can go into the saloon today feeling smug and bury myself in as many back copies of Hello as I can get my hands on – bliss.

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