Sunday, 17 March 2013

Ageless Body, Timeless Mind

“We are always the same age inside”

Gertrude Stein

I turned 30-something-ish or other this year. I went to bed one age and woke up another….as if the magic age fairies came during the night taking my younger self and replacing it with a much more mature and wiser being. Well, for sure, they left the same disgruntled self with a few more laughter lines and greys that all the hair colourants in Tesco aren’t going to cover. What is in a hair colour anway?

Alpaca, like humans, grow hair rather than fur or fleece. Just like human’s, alpacas also suffer the same plights of ageing and beauty. Some are born with beautiful locks of auburn, black or blonde hair, perfect features and with an elegant gait. Others are just plain ‘ugly/cute’. As part of this project, I have been hanging out with alpaca farmers, visiting alpaca shows and generally, have been wearing my wellies a lot more. Alpaca ‘fleece’ varies in softness and quality and has more than 22 natural shades. Last year, while helping on a farm during the shearing season, I had the enviable job of sorting through the freshly shorn hair. I prefer not to wear gloves during this process, it is the best to get a good feel for the various ‘fleece’. Despite looking like Worzel Gummage at the end of each working day, I loved the experience. There is nothing quite like experiencing a new beginning. The alpaca get to grow, fresh, new hair and I get a whole bunch of fleece ready for milling. Even a ball of yarn has a circle of life. A story. 

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