Archive

  • Stories
A conversation with Hair Stylist Karlose James

We are kicking off our first video series with Karlose James owner of Karlose James Salon in Prahran.

Join us to get the latest on people, products, places and design as we chat, take peek and workshop ideas with some of our friends!

Milla Maria x

Bits & Pieces  

She spent my whole life looking after me
I just get glimpses of who she used to be
The woman and all she’s been through
The adventures I wish I knew

Riding her pony across the paddocks to school
Alone not lonely, so much to do
The dogs, and the kittens and the cows,
Those days were blissful, head in the clouds

What a dreadful change the start of boarding school
The silence of the dorms, so many rules
Labelled insolent for a face that would react
But she was clever – they gave her that

She missed the freedom of the farm; she missed her Mum
That gentle lady in pain and housebound so young
She longed to sit with her, massage her aching joints
Just be with her, hear her voice

Thank God for Sunday but not because of God
‘Cause her Dad would saddle up and come to her
Go out for tea and cake and talk about the week
Those Sunday visits were bittersweet

She spent my whole life looking after me
I just get glimpses of who she used to be
The girl and all she’s been through
The thoughts and dreams I wish I knew

When her Mum passed she couldn’t bear to leave her Dad
Stubborn, quiet, stoic she adored
Boots chemist, Gippsland farmer, such a leap
Indian army with the Ghurkhas in between

Her years in Melbourne, getting firsts, living in Halls
Meeting boys, moving out, getting work
Going home to teach and spend time with her Dad
In the town now and finished with the land

Meeting my Dad was a bolt out of the blue
Eight children with no mum, struggling through
That was the biggest decision of her life
No transition from single to wife

How do you bring up another woman’s child?
How on earth do you manage eight at one time?
And then bring your own five into the mix?
There’s no easy answer to this

My whole life she’s been looking after me
I just get glimpses of who she used to be
The mother and all she’s been through
The ups and downs I wish I knew

She’s a scholar, an intellect, a teacher
She’s a writer, an artist, and a poet
In all her gardens, her letters, her books
Her sense of comfort, the way she looks

My whole life she’s been looking after me
I just get glimpses of who she used to be
The friend and all she’s been through
The bit and pieces I wish I knew

A scholar, an intellect, a teacher
A writer, an artist, and a poet
In all her gardens, her letters, her books
Her sense of comfort, the way she looks

My whole life she’s been looking after me
I just get glimpses of who she used to be
The woman and all she’s been through
The lifetime I wish I knew

(Copyright Original lyrics by Elizabeth Hopkin May 2009)
Image from Lace & Lilac

 

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather

 

It terrified her. Tearing down the hallway to escape its long hairy legs and giant blue-green cyclops eye, Lucy woke in tears, screaming. Every time.

Forty years on, fame and fortune as a crime writer, killing characters in all manner of gruesome scenarios, still, nothing was scarier than Lucy’s recurring nightmare.

Hours of sessions with her flamboyant, probing counsellor hadn’t helped. Yes, her big sister Jen bullied her when they were kids. Yes, she’d been furious at times. Yes, she was petrified of spiders. No, she couldn’t watch Arachnophobia. No, she didn’t hate her sister.

Yes, she did hate her sister.

Lucy killed Jen at least once a year. Writing in the early hours, post-nightmare, pyjamas drenched in sweat, fuelled by fear, hating Jen was what added flavour to her plots. Each murder victim shared at least one trait with her sister, making it so much easier to kill them off. If Jen read her books she might have noticed. But she hadn’t. And she didn’t.

This was therapy. Thinking up new ways of topping her sister and getting away with it. That’s how she’d made her mark. She was Queen of the Cliff-hanger.

Clearing out their Mum’s home, together, didn’t feel like a good idea, but she couldn’t say no.

Her novels, all twenty, stood proudly on their Grandpa’s dusty bookshelf.

‘Geez you’ve written a lot of books!’ her sister exclaimed.

‘I never get around to reading,’ she continued, without a hint of guilt.

‘I’m so busy at work, by the time I get to bed I’m too exhausted to pick up a book. Did Mum read them all?’

‘I guess so,’ was all Lucy could summon, realising she wasn’t sure.

Her Dad didn’t. Maybe her Mum hadn’t noticed the patchwork of Jen’s flaws stitched seamlessly throughout the series.

The garage was the last place Lucy wanted to be. She knew there were huntsmen lurking, maybe even in the boxes. Boxes full of God knows what.

‘I’ll do the house if you do the garage,’ she suggested, not wanting to remind Jen of her phobia.

‘Deal,’ Jen agreed.

Exhausted, Lucy collapsed on her Mum’s fraying sofa and closed her eyes. She felt a tickle on her cheek and swiped with her fingertips. And again. Then came a familiar chuckle. Lucy turned to see Jen’s wide grin, her hand waving along one-eyed black hairy creature in front of her face. Lucy leapt off the sofa, screaming.

‘Settle down,’ Jen said.

‘It’s only Grandpa’s old peacock feather! I used to tickle you with this—remember?’

‘God,’ Jen said sombrely, ‘reminds me of a case I worked on. Poor woman. There was a spider on her windscreen. She crashed into a tree, now she’s in a wheelchair for life.’

Lucy realised—chastened by her own hypocrisy—that she had no idea what Jen did. She’d never bothered to ask.

‘Did that thing really make me giggle?’ she asked her big sister.

‘Yeah! We laughed till we cried!’

 

 

 

Copyright © Original story by Elizabeth Hopkin – 2,3,4 February 2018

www.nextchapterlifecoaching.com.au  

www.elizabethhopkin.com.au

Image: aquieterstorm.tumblr.com

 

But for now

Maria arrived early to claim the princess room at the health retreat. Only fitting. Elizabeth rocked up even earlier to explore and settle in for the next four days. They loved the peace and quiet, the sleeping, the bush walks, their conversations, and the stunning views of the Yarra Valley. Elizabeth wrote But for Now, in homage to the gum trees, each verse capturing a moment in time from her room with a view. Maria loved the lyrics – they summed up her retreat experience completely.

But For Now

But for now, the trees are silent witness
No wind to tempt their limbs, disturb the peace
Like me they’ll choose this tranquil afternoon
A rustle now and then among the leaves

Now they’re swaying, it’s a gentle soothing breeze
Only the gums, the higher ones, not on their knees
It’s a mesmerising shimmering waltz
The lower quiet fronds beneath the trees 

They’re not sleeping, not quite standing to attention
Watchful, listening to the calls
Their friends are passing through or resting some
Perhaps deciding where to stay, when dark falls

 The sun has joined the dance, and there’s shadows
And diamonds on the lake – glistening jewels
They’ve energised the birds, playful, singing
Soaring, fearless, without rules

Now it’s morning, another night has passed
In my enchanted wood across the way
The sun appeared briefly and might visit us again
But for now, the trees are cloaked in grey

These weary sentries, on constant lookout
Across the hills to their brothers in arms
Valiant friends, they’ve felt the crushing weight
The fallen trunks, the irreparable scars

Will they survive the summer and the season
What lies below, all fodder there in wait
For Mother Nature to mulch and decompose
Or for a blazing terrifying fate

Windy now, a flurry of excitement
Energy, purpose and fun
Wonderful companionable movement
Enticing conversations begun

There’s a twinkling on the water for a moment
A majesty of trees holding court
Then they’re gone, these specks of pure brilliance
While their feathered friends continue their sport

 And for now, they’ve stood the test of time
Magical mystical muse
My soul is nourished and I’m grateful
For the wondrous glorious hues

But for now, the trees are silent witness
Magical mystical muse
My soul is nourished and I’m grateful
For the wondrous glorious views

Copyright © Original lyrics by Elizabeth Hopkin – 4,5 & 6 November 2017
Written at Hazeldene in the Yarra Ranges – looking out my windows, between juices!
@millamaria11
www.nextchapterlifecoaching.com.au
www.elizabethhopkin.com.au

Subscribe error, please review your email address.

Close

You are now subscribed, thank you!

Close

There was a problem with your submission. Please check the field(s) with red label below.

Close

Your message has been sent. We will get back to you soon!

Close