Fiona has had long hair for as long as she has had hair. But recently she decided that she wanted to break with the past and make a radical change. This weekend, she went to the hairdresser and got it cut short. (We accompanied her for moral support, and to take pictures of the momentous event.)
Fiona wants to donate the old hair to a charity that makes wigs for sick kids. Right now the two braids are sitting on our dining room table, and they look really strange. They’re very recognisably still Fiona’s hair — thick and fluffy — and it’s like there’s a piece of her head on display right next to the vase of flowers.
Alan introduced me to Dar Williams a few years ago. (Not personally — we went to see her play the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh a few years ago.) She was back on this side of the Atlantic in December, playing a few small venues including the Tuinzaal (Garden room) at Tolhuistuin. I’ve been to gigs at the Tolhuistuin before, but never in the Tuinzaal. It’s an intimate space with big windows, big enough to hold maybe 100 people seated, small enough not to need much in the way of amplification. Nice for an author reading, or a singer-songwriter with a guitar. It was a late afternoon gig, but at that time of year it was mostly dark outside already.
She played songs, she told anecdotes, and talked a little about her book What I Found In A Thousand Towns. I find her songs very affecting, and when she played “When I Was A Boy” at the end I couldn’t hold back my tears. As a parent of a couple of teens, the theme of growing up and innocence lost kicked me right in the feels.