I am stalking a lady with auburn hair. Not literally. I’m not prowling around her garden or trailing her around the supermarket. I’m not that weird. I’m simply stalking her in my head because she is fabulous and I want to be her. Or marry her. Or insist she be my best friend so a bit of her fabulousity could rub off on me.
I fell in love with her house first. A huge Victorian villa on a road lined with them. Most elegant and lovely but none with a bright pink caravan in the front garden. For she of the auburn pin curls has a pink caravan in the garden, presided over by a hairdresser’s mannequin that sits rather splendidly in the window, casting a beady eye over passers by and no doubt declared mawkish by those who do not appreciate the derring do of the blissfully eccentric.
The house sits across the road from Ste’s place of work and each time I picked him up, I muttered my appreciation of the pink caravan, and the rather wild fake plants stood about in matching pink pots and watched as the people of the house transformed it with a stern grey paint that offset the pink delightfully and wondered frequently who could possibly be so deliciously madcap and then one day I rocked up in the middle of the day and there she was: the woman I do believe the universe intended me to be. A woman of a certain age, wearing a dramatic black kimono, with bare legs, a headful of pin-curls and jewellery dripping off her. A woman who had dragged her maiden into the front.garden and was busy draping it in vintage linens.
In her dressing gown. Drying the loveliest laundry in the whole wide world in the front garden. With fabulous hair and a pink caravan.
It was love at first sight.
I love her. I told Ste.
Why? She looks a bit mad. What do you love about her? he replied.
But oh, how to explain? That she was so extravagantly, deliciously herself? That she didn’t care about causing a pin-curled stare, by conducting her domestic business on the glorious steps of her glorious house? Caring not a jot about blending in, but busy being so authentically her that her life had become a work of joyfully pink art?
I have seen her many times since then. Once in a silly, happy, tattoo revealing, sundress with a head full of bouncy auburn curls artfully arranged and once in a floaty, floor trailing tropical print, her pin-curls and a simply enormous pair of earrings. Always fabulous. Even when she is rearranging the plant-pots, or raking the white gravel her caravan sits on.
And each time I see her, I want to jump out of my sensible white car, in my sensible uniform of head to toe black and ask her to show me how to be my own version of who she is: my own version of living out loud authenticity. How to find the energy? How to give no hoots? How to un-tether the aura of dullness I do believe I have recently draped myself in?
I want to say “Were you always like this, or did something set you free?”
Yes, yes, yes!!! I thought I was the only one who like to breakout of my boring, everyday self. If I only knew what that would be. Thank you so much for this post!
I love this so much!!!
You need to get out of the car and go talk to her!
Go say hi!!!! Casually walk by and tell her you love her caravan. Stick out your hand to shake hers and say “Hi, my name is Alison…” Maybe she is your friend in waiting. Maybe she’d love to meet you. And… isn’t it fascinating to think the impact that any one of us could be making in the world just by our presence without realizing it? Who could be stalking any one of us right now? But the connections are never made because we all live in our bubble of what’s considered socially acceptable ways of interacting.
Oh, to be the deliciously authentic mystery woman…I think we all possess some version of her within us…but we’re just waiting to get the nerve to set her free.
I wonder…if she is a Brocante reader!
Oh Alison, lovey – go and ring her doorbell and simply look at her and say “help me be free” and I guarantee she will do!
Meanwhile, paint your toenails metallic beetle-wing-green. It’s a start…
Tell her you’d like to interview her for your blog. I’d like to meet her, too.
She makes me think of Tasha Tudor – an artist who left the world behind to follow her heart…living on a farm, gardening, painting, and all the while dressed in dresses from another era, including bonnets and aprons. She inspires!
When I retired I said I’d never put on another pair of pantyhose, wear long skirts and flip flops. Ive done it. (tried to put on a pair of pantyhose recently, but couldn’t manage it – I’m too stiff!) LOL – Oh well.
Oh, I quit shaving my legs, too. Yeaaah – I feel so FREE!
Yes, say hello! I love the idea of asking to interview her for your blog; as Gigi said, I’d love to meet her, too.
I’m thirding the suggestion from Gigi of going and ringing the doorbell or simply talking to her over the garden wall, asking if you can interview her for your blog!
Go on – it’s the perfect excuse! We really DO all want to meet her too!
Oh how fun! ? Maybe we can let the wild lady out just a bit at a time? ? Maybe no one will notice until it’s too late! ?