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My coffee with accompanying friand had just been served by Chloe when Hazel walked into Greenroom. Of course I didn’t know that it was Hazel until 10 minutes later. This local lady wandered in for the first time to admire Wayne’s art, as often happens and we got talking as is the usual.We chatted about art, the problem with spelling and how little the average person knows about farming. Then we talked about dreams.

Hazel wanted to fly airplanes when she was 13. She didn’t want to actually fly them at that age but that was when the idea of becoming a pilot was first let out of the bag. It wasn’t a common idea for girls of any age in the early 50’s, so goes without saying, no luck for Hazel in that department. Her plan B choice of career was becoming a commercial artist. But education was for many a privilege, an unaffordable privilege. It was much more important that Hazel got a job of some kind.

Hazel got a job for a fashion designer in Melbourne. In those days manufacturing was done in Australia, such a wonderful concept. Hazel learned all aspects of creating well made clothes for ladies. Even though Hazel never completed a traineeship and has no diploma or certificate, without a doubt, she became a highly skilled seamstress. Hazel worked for this firm for years. When new owners came in proving less charming than the originals, Hazel resolutely walked across the street to another fashion firm and offered her services.

So Hazel had dreams but they didn’t eventuate. Life had its own demands. According to Hazel it worked out in the end. She got to be creative and acquired skills that have given her joy her whole life. The quality of the craftmanship. the small runs of exclusive materials for only a few dresses, no mass production there. It must have been an exciting time in Australian fashion. Hazel is now retired and is still creative, she not only sews but paints and draws. She has also traveled in airplanes even if she wasn’t at the helm.

Thanks Hazel, for sharing with me.

(I have to admit that in spite of the dresses being very beautiful I prefer comfort)

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