Not back to black (hair)

I have plans for two fantastic daily projects starting in May and lasting the whole month. I am so excited about starting them, I could almost wish away the coming week. I’ll reveal more information about them nearer the time.

I have had black for nearly ten years now. This is what I looked like when I first had it dyed.

And it has grown with me as I have recovered from illnesses and become the person I am today.

But this year I am going to be twenty five and I want a change. Not a change of lifestyle, heck no. I am perfectly happy with 99.9% of my wardrobe being black, listening to black metal, writing and travelling, but I feel like I want to experiment a bit with my hair. (Plus, having it mega long while living in a tent in Iceland and working outside all day will be a bit of a pain in the arse.) Some people would think of this as being something not worth writing about, but believe me, in my world it is. My hair is me, and I am sure many people would be able to relate to that. It was an extremely hard decision to make, one I have been toying with for a number of years and have always backed out of, preferring to go back to the safety of my black hair dye. But today, I bought to packets of hair colour removal, the strongest type there is. I used both packets, but nothing really happened. Yes, my roots became lighter, and so did the hair on my head, but below that stayed black with flecks of red (from the henna I used back in the day when I was barely double figures). I honestly thought I could remove 120 dye jobs with two boxes. Silly girl. Tomorrow, I am getting it cut and am going blonde. Now, I know this is going to be a gigantic change, but I’m also safe in the knowledge that I can go back to black whenever I like and my hair can grow back…and it does so fast, lucky for me. What is life if you can’t experiment and try new things? I have been staying ‘safe’ for too long. These ladies look fantastic blonde.

I finished Arctic by Bruce Parry this morning, a BBC book.

(I have read Parry’s work before, his book Tribe, which I remember getting quite angry at. I decided to give this one a go because I am obsessed with the Arctic, basically, and the programme was very good.) At £20 I couldn’t afford to buy it, and having come to the end I am quite relieved that I didn’t. Bruce Parry is very good at what he does – presenting on the telly – but I am sorry, he really can’t write. The book is beautifully put together, but one of my main issues is that about 98% of  text featured in the programme. So you are basically reading the programme. We want more than that! You buy/borrow the book of the programme in the hope that it will contain lots and lots of material that they couldn’t fit in their tight TV slot. Parry goes on and on and on about keeping his diary, but it doesn’t seem that he really wrote that much.

The lucky bastard went to Norway, Alaska, Siberia, Canada and Greenland, staying with the people of the Arctic and exploring the opportunities and challenges that exist for these people and us. He stays with Inuits, Alaskan whalers, Canadian oil-men, scientists and reindeer herders. He witnesses some remarkable spectacles and devastating sites, but he is unable to conjure up any aspect of creativity to describe these experiences to us. He constantly goes on about how he agrees with indigenous people and feels the same as they do, but after a while, this becomes tedious. It’s obvious that he is unable to explain how it made him feel in his own words. Yes, the subjects he covers are extremely important and yes, I do have some respect for Parry in doing this, but I can’t help but wish that someone else had written the book. Someone else who could relate back to us, who aren’t able (yet) to travel to Svalbard or Canada and see for ourselves the extreme beauty or disasters occurring within these places. Parry just isn’t the man to do that.

There is another writer whose name doesn’t appear on the cover, Huw Lewis-Jones and I think that he writes the two page spreads that crop up every now and then about The Northern Lights for example or the Bowhead Whale. These little injections of in depth writing are excellent, and I wish there was more of them throughout. Or maybe, Lewis-Jones should have just written the whole book. For example, I learnt that in Greenland, the aurora was believed to be the souls of babies who had been lost in childbirth, looking down on  a world they never knew, offering love and hope to their parents. Or that the Bowhead Whale did not fight when harpooned. I believe that Parry did try to investigate the indigenous perception  of the landscape and the connection with the natural world, I believe he did try and explore the ways in which the Arctic has warmed at more than twice the rate as the rest of the world, and I applaud him for that, I really do. But I don’t think books are his forte.  I had to photograph the pictures in the book because the ones online are nearly all of Parry.