Yesterday was our last day in Sydney and on an impulse, the young bride decided that she needed her hair trimmed, so I chimed in with "I do too". Number two son, who works in Sydney CBD, duly came up with a hairdresser he knew and who would be able to fit us both in that very morning
I was given 45 minutes to idle away whilst the bride was washed and cut. I ambled down to the harbour to watch the world go by in the glorious Sydney sunshine. Then it was my turn and the young bride took her leave with the final admonition of "Not too short dear", then she left.
That's when it became apparent that I may not know myself as well as I thought!
It all began quite innocuously when Eli - he with the scissors and shears - benignly asked which side do I part my hair on. "From left to right" I replied thinking that it must be bleedingly obvious.
I was quite taken aback when he then asked "Are you sure"?
Looking back I suspect that there might have been a touch of smugness in my reply "Well I've been doing that way for over 5 decades ...." But Eli was not one to be put off by such trifling logic.
"Mind if I just study your hair lines" he said. For a few silent moments he scrutinised my scalp intensely before pronouncing "I think it falls much more naturally the other way."Then, hey presto, waving his comb through my tresses all became calm on serene on my cranium.
A big grin appeared on my face for a number of reason but the big one was that I now saw 2016 opening up with a whole new way of seeing me in the world. No longer would I accept things on face value: from now on I will question the status quo and ask can it be done better: can I do it better?
The other reason for the grin was that Eli obviously had a deep passion for his electric shears and was by now focusing hard on liberating my ears from decades of thatch. All I could think of was the young bride returning and seeing this new apparition of alien ears and an elongated neck. And I was not disappointed! When she came back (fortunately accompanied by number two son) she couldn't stop herself from a small scream of shock.
But the best was yet to come!
Today, after flying home to Perth, she was behind me in the kitchen when she said "Did that man damage your neck? You've got a big red mark there!"
The indicated area had no pain and wasn't itchy so I deduced no trauma and no allergy. So what was it? With the aid of a mirror and an iPhone camera the two of us discovered a ........................
Birthmark which I vaguely recalled from eons past but which had lain concealed for decades under my previously unruly tresses. "It's like a map of the world" the young bride said.
I grinned and replied, "You should see what's inside my head."
"Ha" was the short response "I've been doing that for years" and she gave me a quick kiss on the cheek before leaving.