There are some smells from childhood that stay with you throughout your life. Though I’m not sure why I’ve always been attracted to the “chemical smells”. Things like petrol, adhesive, kerosene etc. But if I had to identify one of the most lingering childhood smells, it would be the smell of Carol Beddoes Hairdresser, at the bottom of Casino Street, South Lismore.
About once a month, or thereabouts, mum and granny would visit Carol’s “hole in the wall” hairdresser and have a “permanent rinse”. For mum, it was always a brown rinse, and for granny it was a blue rinse, to reflect their respective ages. If you’re not sure about what a blue rinse is, think Dame Edna.
I’m not a hairdresser, and I found the online information about rinses and perms confusing. Maybe you can make some sense of it for me? I do know, however, that it was pretty common for women in country towns in Australia back in the 1950s/1960s to have them. And they had a unique smell – like nothing else I’ve ever smelled in my life – which I can still vividly remember fifty years later.
Of course, mum, granny, and Carol Beddoes passed away many years ago. But it’s encouraging to see the hole-in-the-wall hairdresser salon still lives on in the same premises, albeit with a new hairdresser. I should also mention Carol Beddoes was always referred to by her full name. She was never Carol or Mrs Beddoes. She was always “Carol Beddoes” in our house.
Since being home I’ve become reacquainted with some of the many shops of South Lismore. Even if the content of the shops within them has changed, the buildings have remained very much the same. As I’ve taken a walk to the local chemist, the local pub, or the local coffee shop, its been wonderful to take a walk down memory lane.
The “Duck Pond Espresso Cafe” is the main reason I go for a walk most days of the week. Though there are places in Lismore where I can get better takeaway coffee, it’s only 500metres from home, and I love the “Nan” and “Grandson” (I assume) who run the cafe. Most days there’s a good crowd of people lining up for a takeaway coffee, or enjoying something in-store. I love looking around at the others, and to make some generalisations (in my mind) about the changing face of South Lismore.