CHAMELEON

Once upon a time I was a motel receptionist. We worked back-to-back shifts: 3pm – 11pm followed by 7am – 3pm, and around again starting at 3pm the following day. When I finished at 11pm, I handed over to the night porter. Returning at 7am, he handed back to me. His tales of what had happened overnight were hilarious, and I am furious with myself that I did not keep a diary during that time.

The strange thing though, is that despite it being the hour of my arrival, he never immediately recognised me as I tripped up the stairs for my early morning shift. “You are a chameleon,” he used to say, “you never look the same from one shift to another.”

When many years later I became a corporate executive, I adopted an appropriate look. I told someone that I took pleasure in donning business attire each morning, because dressing that way, “helped me become the person I need to be for today.” I particularly liked red power suits if I had to beg the company board for money. Usually the guys were so stunned by colour that they forgot to ask the probing, uncomfortable questions about why I needed so much. I don’t mean I got the budget straight away. I just mean it rattled them so, that they didn’t say no without thinking it through.

Along the way, I discovered some work colleagues nick-named me Mary Poppins. “Why?” I asked. “Big Hair,” was the answer.

It’s been many years now since I worked in the corporate world. In the last year I have published a book and become a TV host . . . well . . . okay. That’s gilding the lily a little. That second claim to fame is a voluntary position for a niche market – the over 55s – on YouTube. But it still means that you adopt the persona that goes with the role. Plus I get sent to a fabulous beautician who does my hair, nails, and make-up before I face the camera. Then she likes to flash off a series of photographs on her phone, and usually she gets a lucky shot of me looking presentable.

I have had more photographs taken of me in the last year than I had in the first twenty years of my life. In the course of updating my social media head shots, I have taken a look at them, and, at the risk of being labelled conceited, I share them with you here. I don’t have a photo from every episode, which is just as well, because in some of those episodes, the hair was very big indeed.

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If you are a local, you might like to visit Roza at Total Bliss Hair and Body. Find her Facebook Page here. And for fellow blogger Charlotte Hoather, if you are reading this, you might like to check out her photo of “Blonde bombshell Peita” on 7th September. I think that look would go well for one of your performances!

And if any readers are looking for photo needs, may I suggest Az Pictured. Find her Facebook Page here. Using Roza’s photos, she has created updated social media profile head shots for me, and she has done great restoration work for me too. Two of the black and white shots on the header of her Facebook page are of my ancestors.

Of course, getting glammed up for a party or to face the cameras is one thing. Getting in to a studio booth to read and record a book is another thing entirely.

Here I am after four days of recording I Belong to No One. My audio book is published by: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd. ISBN:9781489351982. It is available now on Audible, Amazon, iTunes, Borrowbox, Bolinda and many online retailers as a download, CD or MP3.

 

25 thoughts on “CHAMELEON

  1. Gosh, you are a chameleon. Obviously I did know a few of your looks this year, but I didn’t know there were so many 😀 But as I said before I like that much better than people’s do’s that don’t change for decades. Still the short do with the red glasses is my favourite. Thank you so much for mentioning me here, it’s a pleasure and a privilege working with you and following your journey xx

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  2. You look great, Gwen. I think something about maturity we start to shine through from the inside out as well as fit into our environment. It’s funny, I feel better about how I look now then I did when I was younger. Just more comfortable with myself I suppose. Anyway, would be a real treat to have somebody do my hair and makeup on occasion!

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    • I have never been a woman who “felt comfortable in her own skin”, until recently when I hit sixty. I am finally realising, bit by bit, that I don’t need to be accepted by all. As for shining through from the inside, I think it is also a reflection of good health. Touch wood that it remains. The hair & makeup thing is a complete spoil, I certainly don’t take it for granted, and still wouldn’t do it if I was paying the bill – but I do regret that I go straight home after filming. I feel ready to go party somewhere! On a Monday night though, and with a hubbie who has played golf that afternoon, it is all pretty humdrum once the filming is finished.

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        • All those personalities to deal with. Like a smorgasbord. Never a dull moment. I had one fellow from the sub-continent assure me he was clairvoyant. I knew he wasn’t, because if he sensed what I thought of him, he wouldn’t have stood in front of my reception desk smiling at me like a loon for a full week. Another week, we had Arnold Schwarzenegger while he was still Mr Universe. Every night with a different companion, and each one of them was a clone of his future wife. Funny how the world goes around. On a one person motel reception desk, half of humanity passes your door. The other half don’t have the price of a bed for the night. Sad when you think of it like that. Anyway, good training for a young girl, and the book-keeping held me in particular good stead for my future claw up that corporate ladder.

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    • I got momentarily excited that the May one made me look younger. But when I got up the next day that person had disappeared  I’ll need another haircut in the next couple of weeks, wonder who will come back from that? Good to hear from you! . Xxxx Gwen

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  3. Fabulous, I have been waiting for this info regarding your audiobook. Have listened to the Preview on iTunes (you sound great, better than some professionals I’ve heard) and already put in a request/recommendation to our library for the audiobook. Keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll go for it!!! PS. I like the September make up and hairdo the best.

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