The family of hubs is Portuguese. Hubs was born in Mozambique and educated in South Africa, before going to Uni in Scotland and the UK. Whilst he’s lived around the world, his sister has remained in South Africa and his mother lives with her now, although she still maintains an apartment in Portugal.

The area where my sister-in-law lives has a lot of Portuguese living there and there’s a Portuguese cafe called Cafe Bembom close-by. Too close really because we all basically lived in this cafe for three weeks! My sister-in-law goes there regularly for breakfast and I made my way through a variety of cakes, toasted sandwiches and Portuguese dishes.

Also in the area is a Portuguese hairdresser. My sister-in-law goes there every Wednesday and Saturday morning and, one Saturday, I went along with her and my mother-in-law. The hairdresser is located in a large house and there is also a nail and beauty salon attached.

The Portuguese women are a fashionable lot. We went to a few family functions whilst in South Africa and the women were always dressed up, wearing gel nails and sporting big hair. Big hair is what I call that American Texan Dynasty woman look of the 1980s – you know, fluffy, boofy hair usually of a frosted blonde colour. A bit like this:

I realise that big hair like this was a feature of the 1980s and it’s not just Texan women who sported it. But I’ve always associated big hair with American women for some reason. The Portuguese women also sport big hair although it’s always dark chocolate brown often with highlights through it.

So when I went to the Portuguese hairdresser, I knew that I would be in trouble. My hair is super fine and dead straight. It has no volume. I did the poodle perm thing in the 1980s; I’ve tried rollers; volumizing shampoos and mousses; hanging my head upside down whilst I blow dry the hair and so on. Nothing can turn my hair into big hair, until that is I met the Portuguese hairdresser.

She whipped out a massive styling brush and set to work with the hairdryer. At certain stages of the fluffing the hair business, the hairdryer was so hot I thought I was going to get scalp burn. But the really freaky part was the teasing (or backcombing) of the hair. I thought teasing hair was a relic of the 1960s and those beehive hairdos. Not to mention it’s bad for your hair. But she teased my hair to within an inch of its life. I was kind of stuck in the chair, not wanting to offend her by telling her I was beginning to look like one of those primped and styled poodles entered into a dog show.

Everyone at the salon declared my hair to be fantastic but all I wanted to do was wash it all out. I felt like I had this massive halo of hair surrounding my head and it felt really odd. Back home, I flattened it out a bit but couldn’t get it back to what I’m used to. Hubs nearly died on the spot when he saw me looking like a poodle but a few hours later said he liked it. Trouble is, as we girls know, we can never really duplicate what our hairdresser does. So it’s back to flat, straight hair for me.

This was AFTER I'd brushed it out a bit.