Posted by: writingwitch2013 | March 3, 2013

Windmills of your mind.


I was recently asked to think of my most memorable song, one that meant something to me, that was easy… It had to be Noel Harrison’s Windmills of your mind’  …..a song that earned me a few prizes in my younger days. I liked it instantly. It seemed to describe my tangled thoughts and what went on in my head at the time. It seemed fitting to learn the words and sing it at party’s that required you to join in a talent competition and it was the background music for my gymnastic floor piece that earned me third place at school sports.

Is it still relevant to me today? You bet it is! I have included it on a list of songs to be played at my funeral and it plays in the background as I work on a few of my writing projects.

Still Talking heads………

As I was struggling to blow wave my hair into its newly cut style this morning it reminded me of the question my hairdresser asked me in the salon. She wanted to know how I felt when I went completely bald with the chemo, 4 years ago.

At the time of her asking I thought about it and felt I should say how devastated I was that I had lost my crowning glory, how as a woman a part of me was lost for the next nine months, how it would be losing a part of my femininity and the dread of facing the public.
I hadn’t expected to say,”We’ll actually it was quite liberating.”
She looked astonished.
So I went on to explain how it has been a constant battle since my early years to persuade my hair into anything faintly resembling the style it was meant to be in. How, when bald, I could just run a flannel over my head at 5.30am in the morning when I got up to drive to work, instead of  getting up earlier to wash and dry it. How, I grinned, it saved me money going to the hairdressers and I didn’t have to worry about trying to find a parking spec, then wonder if I could get away with paying for just one hour in the pay and display, or whether I would have to feed two hours worth of money into the machine incase she was running late.
What I did object to,was the assumption that I would wear a wig. I hated the damn thing. It slipped back off my head when the weather was windy and I had to jam a cap on top of it to keep it in place. As I was wearing a cap anyway, when out and about with my bald head, I viewed the wig as an interloper.
I loved being able to wear a variety of novel head gear without feeling daft, I knew I had an excuse to wear them, even if other people found me weird or  quirky.
 A friend made me a fabric velvet rose, and sent it through the post. I was touched by her kindness, that she cared enough to take the time to make the rose and send it to me with an arty card and a simple message wishing me well. That gesture is still amongst the memorable, pleasurable moments that came out of my whole cancer experience. I pinned that rose on my cap and it has remained there ever since, reminding me that the simplest of gestures can be the best. ( at this point I should add that I hardly see this girl, she is my friends sister and lives in London. I can count on two hands the amount of times I have met up with her over the last 15 years, and friends, who live only 500 yards away disappeared into thin air when I mentioned the ‘c’ word.)
What appalled me was the insistence on the managers in my temporary job that I wore my wig for work in case my baldness offended the customer. The wig was itchy and uncomfortable and I had no qualms about taking regular wig removing, head scratching breaks in the stock room in works time.
 So back to struggling with trying to blow wave my new hairstyle. Lexi had laughingly guaranteed that I wouldn’t be able to copy how she had blow waved it, but just to straighten the front a little and let the back curl naturally. It sounded ideal, but the glamorous  look she styled for me gave me a confidence I have been lacking of late. Why was I bothering about what it looked like, at least I had hair, right?
It’s all about other people. What people think. How I feel around other people. How I want to portray myself to other people. Like Dumbo and the feather, I just wanted to emulate that style and gain that extra ounce of confidence for one more week, or at least until I felt well enough to get out there on my own without props.
In my current WIP the main character has the same breast cancer experience as myself, but she is struggling with more than loss of hair. Like me, she lost her job because she needed time off for operation and first dose of chemo. Unlike me though, she is separated from her husband, living on her own somewhere new and doesn’t have the support of her family and old friends. She does however find new friends and new experiences.
Excerpt from the current WIP…
Not just Chocolate and Sprouts.
 She heard her mobile ring, by the time she found it they had rung off. She popped it in her pocket.
Moments later she felt it vibrating in her pocket, so she took it out and glanced at the screen. No name, just a number she didn’t recognise. She presumed it was Bruce and waited until it had finished ringing before checking the number against the number he had dialled from previously. It was identical. She pressed ‘options’ then ‘save’ and saved his number to her contacts and then finally typed in ‘Do Not Answer’ as the contact name.
 She wished now she hadn’t agreed to go to the meal. She could have snuggled up in bed with her current good read and a cup of tea. They were her only bed partners since her split with Tim.
 Bruce had unsettled her. He had mentioned seeing Tim. The mention of Tim had brought down a huge black heavy cloud and it was swamping her, she couldn’t move on and away from him yet they couldn’t go back to the way they were. There had been no hope of reconciliation when they parted. As for Bruce, well Bruce was bad news, and the quicker she got rid of him the better. He was a complication she could do without.


  1. Very interesting to hear about your wig experience, how losing your hair was liberating for you, really enjoyed reading about you xxx

    • Thank you xx I had originally decided that this blog would not be about me but about my writing… But lately it has dawned on me that the characters I feel the best about in my WIPs are the ones who have a small bit of me in them. As I am a bit multi personality 😉 I have plenty of traits for plenty of characters 🙂 I love reading your blog too. Xx

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