Remembrance and Celebration
I’m not sure how to start this blog as SOOOOO much has happened – I’m currently on a flight back from Australia a few days later than expected.
Thank you to all my clients who had to move their appointment. I’m going to start with remembrance and then move on to life itself.
It’s with great great sadness that I have to tell you my Nana passed away on Good Friday. I know we can’t be too sad as she would have been 97 on May 3rd. She was one of those people that had such a love of life and never wanted to miss out! FOMO (fear of missing out) is what I said in the eulogy.
It was my niece’s first experience of death of someone close to them, so that was hard to watch but she was amazing.
Our four year old Opal asked when Nana G was coming back, so my Mum had to explain she wasn’t returning. Opal didn’t understand, however, pointed out that Jesus came back after dying on Good Friday so why can’t Nana? Nana is Jesus now.
You can always count on a 4 year old to put a smile on your face.
I have lost a lot of people really close to me and what I have learned is no matter what the age, it doesn’t make it any easier when it’s someone so special. My first memory was when I was 7 years old, my Uncle Kevin passed. This follow
ed by 3 of my friends passing in high school all in one year, I was 14. It isn’t easy.
My best friend at school lost her Mum when we were just 20 years old and I was so happy to have Karen beside me this week. I know she thinks about losing her Mum at such a young age, yet she had the strength to support me. We recently lost our friend Colin at only 48 years old and Margo who lost her Mum a year later was also there to support, I’m lucky to have such brilliant friends.
I don’t want to dwell and Nana was all about life.
What I have been taught is you need to live well, try new things, do things that scare you, enjoy what you do and have a great time. Life is too short and only you can make it worth every second. So that is just what I do. Not only was my Nana naughty, fun, competitive and loving but she encouraged us to live a great life and even in her passing she gave us all of the above. I am going to come back to this at the end.
So I will pick up from my last blog – finding my outfit for President’s Night!
I bought 2 cool outfits from Rick Owens, so be prepared to see me in the same outfits for a while! I don’t mind at all wearing the same outfit so I tried it on for everyone for a week!! The team at Selfridges are brilliant and the service was exceptional.
Monday 8th April. President’s Night. What do you do to get into the right headspace for this? I don’t know – clear out fishponds and catch fish? I suppose Dad would be happy with that as fishing is his favourite pastime. After a couple of glasses of champagne at 10pm, I was obsessed with making sure we got all the fish out of the pond before the builders arrived the next morning to landscape the garden.
God knows what our neighbours were thinking; I was running around with the net yelling, “I’ve got one”, “I’ve got another”, until all the fish were safe and sound in their make shift pond. It was now time for bed as I had a 6am start – it was the final day as President.
The President’s Night was amazing! During the day I was with the www.fellowshiphair.com ClubStar Art Team, they were taking part in the show and I was mentoring them for the day. What a great team and Simon Tuckwell is doing an amazing job. Their part of the show was spectacular.
The show was fantastic and celebrated the journey of the fellowship and its teams. My friends and work colleagues were there and I think my speech went well. So overall, the whole day was fabulous!
Now you would think things would start to get quieter, but not yet.
I was in work the next day, fully booked with clients as I was flying to Australia on the Thursday for my shoot.
I love the flight out to Oz, 24 hours to relax, watch films and sort any paperwork. I arrived at the airport a little hungover as the night before was the only time I had to catch up with Jackie, so you know how that goes!I was in the lounge and for some reason this man catches my eye. I think it was the massive beard and exuberant presence he had. Not thinking much more about it we got on the plane and I slept all the way to Abu Dhabi. In the lounge for our stop over the man I clocked before we left approaches Errol and I and said you two look like fun. It turns out Tim (that’s his name) is good friends with David Mannha who is the managing director of M division who runs The Journal magazine in Australia and the AHAF awards that we were going to. To make things even weirder he his was sitting on our table there!
So we land in Sydney at 6pm Friday. We meet up with my brother Stephen, Clare and Karen – it was Stephen’s 40th birthday so timing has been everything on this trip. We went to an amazing Japanese restaurant at the rocks called ‘Sake’ – I recommend it to anyone who loves good food! The next day entailed running around for my shoot. I then went with Stephen and Clare on the ferry over to Manly for a bit of Bro time.
I haven’t done this in years so it was really nice. We went for a swim and picked up some more equipment for my shoot. I love it when you can tie work and pleasure in together. Then it was back to the hotel ready for a night at the Sydney observatory; what a let down. Such a shame as I was really looking forward to this.
We did have a fantastic dinner at a little Italian restaurant before walking up to the Observatory and amazingly the massive fruit bats were giving us a flying show. Errol had never seen this before so I suppose it salvaged the evening a little. My cheeky nieces were on form all night, taking the mick out of me! All 6 were trying to walk like they were in heels, wiggling their bum yelling ‘this is Aunty Karine.’
Back to the Observatory, they have a great concept but it was just a bit boring! My sister had brought all the nieces as it was Sienna’s 14th birthday (again timing). Sienna asked why she had to have a science lesson on her birthday and that’s what it felt like! Sydney Observatory could make this more fun and interactive. I also had this feeling the curators didn’t know their subject very well. The one star we did see through the telescope you could see better with the naked eye. Come on Sydney, you could do better than this with something so cool!
Errol, my brother Stephen and sister Linda went to the Opera bar for a night cap.
Sunday was the Hair Awards, what a great night! We met first at the Hyatt Regency, with an amazing view over Darling Harbour. We then met with Lee Cohen and Oscar, 2 great Aussie hairdressers, Margo and Errol before heading over to Lunar Park for a fantastic event, the AHAF Awards. Again, a wonderful night, Sneaky Sound System were the entertainment and I LOVE this band. I last saw them on New Year’s Eve 2007 on Bondi Beach with Colin.
Well done David and Jamaal Mannha and massive congratulations to all the winners. I want to say a huge congratulations to Nichola and Jonathon Hands from Publik Salon on finalising in the Qld section. It’s always a good night networking and catching up with old friends.
The next day I went to Wollongong, it wasn’t my plan but I’m so glad I did! (Due to timing again).
First thing I did was visit my Nana; Mum said she wasn’t well and her time was coming to an end. In my head this could never happen as Nana was a living legend.
I sat with her, she couldn’t talk, so I said ,“nod your head for yes if you can hear me and shake no if you can’t”. She smiled, I was so happy that her sense of humour was still there. It also made my mum smile which I hadn’t seen since arriving.
We talked for a while and Nana responded to everything with a nod or a shake. A moment I will treasure forever. I know it’s hard and we want to remember people how they were but this memory is still just as special.I spent the rest of the afternoon seeing my family and getting bits and bobs ready for my shoot.The next day we were off to the airport early in the morning. I was taking Tatum as my assistant, who was amazing! Everyone had her running around and she did this with a smile and not one bit of attitude. I felt sorry for her, she felt the pain of standing all day and that evening after dinner with her poor swollen feet she crashed out. I don’t think she moved position until I came in and woke her the next morning. I am so proud of her. Thanks to the team @ozdare, to the amazing photographer Andrew O’Toole, Margo Aston, Karly for styling the clothes, Hart & Co for models, Nichola and Jon Hands for your hard work in helping film and prep and of course Mr Errol Douglas MBE for all your support and advice. The shoot itself was ok; I never know until we put the images out there! All the prep you do and then models getting sick on the day…
This Threw me and my head space went out the window which led to me not having the right equipment in my kit bag – things I knew I should have had but I didn’t. I felt a little unorganised, which I hate. I suppose we are our biggest critics.
You spend so much time thinking about your shoot and then it’s all over and you’re thinking could of, should of, would of!
There are some really cool Sustainable Organic Colour system colours; I look forward to showing them off to all of you.
Before flying back to Sydney we had a great afternoon in Creative Wigs; this is a family business where the owner in his 90s still holds the fort.
Back to Sydney and Mum picked us up. First thing she mentioned was how poorly Nana was. We arrived home about 11:30pm and I said if anything happened in the night wake me up. I heard the phone ring just before 6am and I knew, Nana was at peace.
Good Friday was a blur. The week that followed was filled with joy and sadness, we had a lot to thank Nana for. Saturday I spent the time with Mum helping organise the funeral. We tried to have it planned before I was due to leave but because of the Bank Holidays this was not possible. I had to move my flight to the following Saturday. This was all time treasured and I say this was given to me by my Nana.
Not overly happy with how Etihad handled changing a flight on compassionate terms. I was lucky enough to be able to pay the crazy high fee but what if you couldn’t afford it.
We spent the whole day Sunday clearing out Nana’s apartment. I’m so glad I was there for my Mum at this time as I know how hard it was for her.
On Monday Linda, Clare and I took the kids to the Royal Easter show, I loved it! It was so much fun seeing all the prized animals, the rides, the good food (champagne and oysters), the shows and of course the fire works. It’s the best day out and me being me I had a system so we didn’t have to queue for anything!
Tuesday my Sister and my nephew from Canada arrived, this was under sad circumstance but so happy we were all together.
We spent the next couple of days planning the funeral and hanging out. Thursday was another bank holiday in Oz (ANZAC Day) – my Dad was drafted to Vietnam when he was just 18 so he now marches on the Dawn Parade. I had never been able to do this with him! (thanks Nana). It was amazing, the schools get involved and Clover marched with her school – Dad was so proud we were all there. Dawn was spectacular and Venus was shinning in all its glory near the moon as the white haze of the sun rose over the ocean.
The afternoon was spent playing Two-up: a traditional Australian gambling game, involving a designated “spinner”. It’s traditionally played on Anzac Day in pubs and clubs throughout Australia, to mark a shared experience with Diggers through the ages.
It was great fun and I knew everyone there, old school friends and surf club friends. I felt like I had come home.
The next morning was the funeral, I was doing the eulogy and this was my scariest public speaking ever but I had to get it right for Nana.
I started the morning with a dawn swim with Michelle. I have to say it was the best ocean swim I have ever had. The sun was coming up through the water and the gentle waves were crystal clear, I was in heaven. Fish were jumping out the water, it was incredible. Although, at that point I wondered why the fish were jumping, it’s prime shark feeding time so I best get out!
I went to get my hair blow-dried at a friend’s salon Hair in Balgownie. Thanks Gail and Jess for looking after me.
The funeral was perfect; we all took part and it was a big day for the kids as it was their first funeral. The wake was beautiful as the whole family was there. That evening back at Mums my uncle pulled out the traditional Butterscotch schnapps which Nana was partial to. We all toasted, including Mum. That set the tone for the evening.
I was leaving the next evening with a very sore head! I had to drag myself to the kid’s sports day to support them and they had wonderful big smiles on their faces when we turned up to cheer them on. Four games down; netball, touch football (rugby) Oz tag (like rugby) and basketball. My nieces are amazing athletes and all represented the team so well done!
Then for a quick swim and home to pack. Mum drove me to the airport and it was a very sad departure.
Into the plane bubble – I love flying 24 hours as I get to just sit and watch films, ponder, start my blog and do my accounts.
Back home and straight back into the salon, thanks to my clients that moved their appointment for me, I really appreciate it. After work it was off to a product launch ANTI. It’s important to support our friends in the industry, good luck to Nick Irwin and founder Francesco Ruggerino.
I am up early to finish this blog, thanks for staying and reading!
I now need to prep for today’s salon reviews as they are the big yearly one.