Sunday, April 24, 2005

Frilly Dresses and Hairbrushes

In one of my posts this week I mentioned something about singing into my hairbrush. This reminds me of way back when I was a youngster and what I spent a lot of my time doing with my cousin.

My cousin and I only lived about 100 yards from each other...our birthdays were only 2 months apart...and we were in the same class at school together. We did absolutely everything together. Including riding our bikes around the neighbourhood...trying to get into trouble...but both of us were too sweet and innocent (translates to 'lacking the balls') to be too naughty.

We were forever stealing various foods and cooking utensils out of our parents fridges and cupboards...then hauling said bounty across to the otherside of the riverbank...and making a fire amongst the rocks to cook it all. One such day I recall, was during the height of summer and there was a fire ban in the city. In other words, no barbeques, nothing to do with fires...the flora and fauna being far to dry at that time of could easily be set alight. Anyway, that day, while we were busying ourselves cooking bacon and eggs on a frypan over rocks we heard fire-engine sirens and just about crapped our pants. We were sure we were going to be arrested for breaking the law.

My cousin and I did a fair amount of singing...we sang in talent quests of various the school, at the the local youth group and eventually in the city's town hall. Lots of nervous fun. My mother was forever telling me to remember to smile...she said "just think they're all out there sitting on the toilet....that'll make you relax and you'll be smiling at the same time" *snort* course, it was ok for HER to say...she was never the one up on stage doing the warbling.

My aunt used to be a ballroom dancer and she had the most beautifully elaborate frilly, fluffly dresses that ballroom dancers wore in those days (stay with me now, you'll be pleased to know there's a point to this information). My cousin and I used to get dressed up in my aunt's frou frou dresses (there it is)...put the old vinyl records on the player...grab an extension cord each, and sing to our heart's content into the plug on the end. I will now admit I grew up with ABBA. I loved ABBA! I was in love with the blonde guy in the group (so much so, that I can't even remember his name now)...but to me...ABBA was HOT! My aunt, after many impromptu concerts of watching us dressing up in her gear and being forced to sit and "Bravo" and clap for us, eventually tired of it all and would call the dog in to replace her position on the sofa. (Geez, it's not like we asked her to throw flowers at us or anything.)

My aunt was a woman with fantastic patience, she allowed us to practically take over her home...we often wore her precious dresses to swing outside on the monkey bars and do hand-stands on the front lawn. There were also regular 'thumps' ringing out through the house, of us doing hand-stands against doors...and she gave me my first piano lesson...taught me how to play "Fools Rush In". I learned how to make pancakes in her kitchen...and could spend hours ironing tea towels with enthusiasm. All things these I wasn't allowed to do at aunt's house was a sanctuary to me.

Years later, when my hubby and I took my older sister out one night...we'd all had a fair amount to drink...and after arriving home...we cranked up the Nolan Sisters *wince* on the stereo, my sister and I grabbed a hairbrush each and danced and sang in concert form to my husband. (Poor bastard just wanted to go to sleep at that stage...I had to keep kicking him to wake up..that was the fun part of the evening.) See? I knew there was going to be a hairbrush involved in this story somewhere.
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