Sixteen and Ninety

There are several things happening in this picture.  I’m sixteen.  Wearing my favourite black top and black jeans.  In a time where only the goths wore black, I thought I was really chic, although I had no idea what that meant at all.  Also, I look like a gleeful dog strangler, but I really did love that dog.  I’m barefoot, I think because I couldn’t find any shoes that I felt matched my fancy pants outfit.

And now for the best part, my hairstyle is compliments of a picture of Oprah that I took to the hairdresser as reference.  Oh how she must have laughed with her hairdresser friends afterwards. Laughed and laughed.

Returning to your family home is always such a strange daydream.  Mine is filled with photographs.  In frames, on the fridge, in albums.  Little rectangles of times before now.  Last year, twenty five years ago.  Sometimes I want to step into these pictures like a character from Harry Potter.  Mostly to give this Oprah haircut sporting girl a massive hug and tell her, well first, not to eat all the pies, because let me tell you she was about to, and then, that it’s okay to make mistakes, to be unsure.  That it’s okay to be unafraid.  Bad things don’t always happen because you are bold, Young Oprah Camilla, I promise.

Yesterday I met a woman who is turning ninety in October.  Her hair was in milk maid braids, plaited with a scarf.  She was wearing black converse sneakers, bell bottom jeans and a yellow floral sundress.  And I swear, if I had had one percent more courage, I would have asked her if I could take her picture.

I told her that I loved her hair and she said, ‘I’ve worn it like this for fifty years!’.  And then she said, ‘Camilla, you have your whole life ahead of you.  Your whole life.  I only have this much.’  As she said ‘this much’ she put her pointy finger and thumb together, leaving a little gap.  A little later, out of the corner of my eye, I saw her dragging a table across the room so she could sit and draw in a sunny spot.  Ninety, dragging a table, wearing milk maid braids and converse.  My kinda lady.


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  1. London Kurt says:

    Great photo Camilla, you look radiant!

  2. Shmyril says:

    Go find that 90-year-old lady and take the darn picture Lovie! We’re dying for it…

  3. AntK says:

    great post ! … I love the idea of long hair at 90 … and you look so happy in this pic ..
    P.S. love the collar … you had great style even at the tender age of 16 !

  4. lucille davie says:

    Yes, it’s okay to make mistakes and be unsure, Camilla. Ant L

  5. CousinRobyn says:


  6. Tshepo says:

    Aah I wish I’d seen her. So awesome!!

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