Friday, July 2, 2010

Camellias for all Hairdressers

One of the best things about living in a 100 year old house is the garden which comes with it.

We have 9 camellia trees, of varying sizes and shapes.  They have struggled mightily over the last few years - not enough water, too much sun, a 48 degree day which burnt their leaves off in 2009 and so on. 


But this year they have come good.   And are thriving.

These camellias come from the tree outside our study:



Here is one I cruelly picked before it had a chance to properly open:


When I took botanical illustration classes 5 years ago, camellias were the flower I turned to first:



You may be wondering what any of this has to do with hairdressers.  

Well, a few months ago my hairdresser noticed something not quite right on my scalp.  She scolded me and said I must go to the doctor.  It was a basal cell carcinoma, and a little operation a few weeks ago and 10 staples in my head later, it is all pretty much gone (we hope).   

You may say - of course she should have mentioned that.  But I think that many people wouldn't bother.  And she did and I am grateful.     And it happens that I have a history of skin cancer in my family so I do need to pay attention to such matters.   

I have not actually sunbaked since I was 15.  But these things do keep appearing on my pale surface.    It is a real issue in Australia.   The sun is just so strong, and it penetrates you like the heat from an oven.    And leaving aside the health risk, growing up in Australia in the 1970s with white skin was not that easy.   No one knew of the dangers of the sun.  It was quite normal to spend the day on the beach and burn one's skin to a crisp and watch it then blister and peel.  And there was no proper fake tan (remember Sudden Tan, which came in a foam tin and made your skin go orange) and lots of taunts from school friends newly returned, honey coloured, from Noosa.  Now of course we have Cate Blanchett and others to admire.  Then, one had to really turn the other cheek.   

So, for bothering, Gloria, thank you.   

And I must mention an upside of  my paleness.  Not as many wrinkles as I would otherwise have.   At least that is what I tell myself.   And whilst I don't go as far as Nicole Kidman who apparently 'wears a hat to cross the street'* (oh right so that's why her skin is so perfect), go to Little Augury here to see in art and photos how wonderful a parasol can look. 

Happy winter sunny weekend to you all. 




* this is what Naomi Watts, her friend, once said in an interview.  





17 comments:

The Weekend Island said...

Wow, really lucky you found it when you did... Good work,hairdresser! I hear you on the skin cancer concerns too - I have red hair, white skin and live in Brisbane and I know it's only a matter of time before something happens... Always good to be reminded to keep checking.

Janette said...

Boy, lucky your hairdresser spoke up. I really need to go to the skin cancer clinic and get a check up too as I have very pale skin and fry in an instant. Your Camellias are stunning. Isn't it amazing the perfect forms found in nature? Ah, takes my breath away sometimes.
Thanks for sharing & have a great weekend. Jxx

Jenny Schouten Short said...

Glad you caught it. Take care. I am a blond who has had the same issues with my first basel cell when I was 36. You are right the upside is not having wrinkles and you'll be happy with your pretty skin at age 65 when your friends look like raisins.

Simply Mel said...

A hairdresser who gives good advice and creates great color ~ WOW...what a find! So glad all is well, and I agree...wear hats and use mineral make-up!

brismod said...

Thank goodness for Gloria. It's a good reminder even in the wintry sun to cover up. xx

count it all joy said...

God bless your hairdresser, Jane! Your camellias are just gorgeous. Is the camellia Chanel's signature flower or am I imagining it? Anyhoo, hope you have a lovely weekend {it's freeeeeezing here in Sydney}. Meredy xo.

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Dear Jane, the photographs of the camellias look like prints and the illustration you did is so lovely. I remember the bad old days when we threw the vinegar all over ourselves in the blazing sun to (gulp) burn ourselves so we could be lovely and brown. Hard to believe now! Your Hairdresser sounds a gem.
Enjoy your weekend. xx

Millie said...

I've always put my perfectly gorgeous looks to staying out of the sun too Jane! Our camelias have come good this year too after a couple of dodgy years. I 'encouraged' MOTH to dash around the garden with a bucket of camelia food about a month ago, & I reckon they've returned the favour. Yours are divine.
Millie ^_^

Julie@beingRUBY said...

HI Jane
Well I am so glad your hairdresser did mention it.. and that all is well now... she deserves a big bunch of flowers I think... I'm a fair one too and come from a family of olive skinned tanned people.. and I know exactly what you mean about trying to survive the 70's with fair skin.. the white sheep!!!

Hope you have a lovely weekend.. and love those camellias.. xxx Julie

ps.. thanks for coming over for the last post!!

jules @ The Diversion Project said...

amazing isn't it how a little consideration towards someone can mean such a huge thing to that person's life at the end of the day. has made me really think, thank you.

so glad that things turned out OK, but have to be the bearer of bad news - i have v.fair skin too, and sadly the wrinkles still come!!! : )

too much smiling probably. have a great weekend, jx

Kellie Collis said...

Such darling blooms! Have a gorgeous weekend xx

Paper Tree Design said...

So glad I stumbled across your blog. How fantastic is your hairdresser - you are sooo lucky. Glad you caught it when you did! Love your images and your illustration. I certainly remember the bad old days of baking in the sun. We used to lather ourselves in baby oil to accelerate our tans - how silly that seems now! Look forward to your next post - I'm your newest follower! Michelle

Kathysue said...

Gorgeous camilias and gorgeous artwork. you are very talented, Kathysue

Pinecone Camp said...

You were so lucky! Gloria is observant woman.
Your pics are really pretty, by the way. Have a lovely Sunday.

Amanda said...

I love camellias too, such simple prettily formed blooms. We have a few planted here. Glad to hear your hairdresser was on the ball :)

The Zhush said...

Lucky catch! Thank goodness! Lovely flowers as well! Have a great weekend!

my favorite and my best said...

my graciousness!!!!! glad you got that shit taken care of! my husband has them all over his body. surgeries left and right...anyway...your hairdresser deserves a fantastic gift!

oh...and i miss my camelia trees.
those pale pink ones are my favorite. we had red. not so much my favorite. but the one white one we had brought me much happiness..

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