What You See Is What You Get. This is a journal blog, an explore-blog, a bit of this and that blog. Sharing where the mood takes me. Perhaps it will take you too.

Menolyrical; Final Friday (non) Fiction

Can you believe we are here already? One down, eleven to go... Final Fridays of each month, air off your old images and make some words around them! 

Yesterday's post told you how I opened up a cardboard folder full of images - some I recalled and some I didn't. 

This one was among them. Yes, that is yours truly... summer of 1980.

Here is the why and when of the image - even if I can't explain having a poster-sized print of it!!!

In April of 1980, I turned 21. Although 18 had officially been the age of majority in the UK for ten years, Scotland tended, socially, to think still in terms of 21 being 'the big birthday.' I'd celebrated my 18th in Nigeria but was settled back in Scotland as guardian to my wee brother, Mac3. I was working full-time at ESCA by this time and able to save quite comfortably. 

Thus it was that I shocked a few who knew this rather shy and quiet one by developing a sense of independence... I booked a solo trip to the isle of St Lucia in the Caribbean! What most of those folk who claimed to know me had failed to understand is that I always tended to the solo way of life. (The one who did spot it early on saw it as a problem... "You'll die a hermit spinster!" yelled mother one frustrating day when I didn't want to join in a party. She is likely to have been correct.) The biggest rebellion regarding independence came with my emigration to OZ... but that tale is told elsewhere here.

I had a fantastic week on that magical little island and have only fond memories from it. I danced reggae and limbo, snorkelled coral coves, sailed and swam with sharks... you can read all about that HERE.

This picture though: taken after a lovely afternoon snorkelling and a successful attempt at para-sailing. Of the group of seven of us who attempted it, I alone had managed to stay aloft for a full five minutes. I still don't know quite how - and I never did it again. But it brought a sense of elation and, I suppose, was another signal of my being perfectly able to live life my own way. 

As was the hairdo. The very first day on the island I was introduced to Belinda and she did this first cornrow design for me. It was a looser style and with thicker pleats. The day before I left, though, I wanted a longer-lasting version and one that could adjust into other shapes or simply tie back in a ponytail. So Belinda spent about four hours creating the much finer design you will see in the story link just given.

That was in the days when my hair was truly thick and lush. The days before the onset of menopolyxinaemia and so much else that happened. Forty-two years have passed. The body has thickened and the hair is thin, thin, thin. These days, I can barely get a slide to stay in place, it is so much less. With each stroke of the brush, a handful comes away. I am thinking of marking my last chapter, a final show of rebellious independence. I am thinking of shaving it all away. 

Just thinking, mind you...


  1. I am glad to read how much fun you have had! Life is grand!

  2. I love your hair.... what a cool idea... I've tried it once maaaany moons ago... and the result was hairy LOL

  3. Love your story and the photo of your wonderful younger days!

  4. Hello to my 21 year old dear friend YAM. Your wonderful smile got brighter and brighter. I love your hands declaring joy and independence. I purrsonally am very happy you spread your wings to soar; otherwise, those of us who have met you would have missed out on so much joy and fun.
    Hugs Cecilia and Bryan

  5. as I read of your adventures I could not help but compare my life with yours. at 21 I had a 12 month old and another one on the way and had jumped from the frying pan of living under male rule into the fire of living under male rule. I wish I had done what you did, but alas, even though I am happy alone, I do not like to GO places alone and could never do what you did. as bad as i wanted to live here in Florida where I am now, i never even considered moving here. i love your smile in the picture at the beginning and looked at the other photos on the link and like the pic of you and Belinda. you have lead an adventurous life and have many happy memories. to me that is what counts.

  6. What a beautiful young woman. That looks like the pure joy of youth. namaste, janice xx

  7. Such a beautiful and happy smile...that sums up the day perfectly!!

  8. What a nice story of your adventure to St Lucia. That picture sure is a happy memory even if you don't know why you have such a large print of it.

  9. Hi Yam - full of the joys of Spring - loved it ... and congratulations - once is brilliant especially when successful - cheers Hilary

  10. What a lovely photo of yourself. You look so happy and carefree.


Inquiry and debate are encouraged.
For personal contact, please use the email box on the Wild YAM/Contact page.