I can't quite remember the first time I met Con.
Would have been around mid-late 2000's, when I would drop in to 6 Chairs - a barber shop in Freo and get my haircut by my friend Tan. If Tania wasn't there my other mate Kristie would do it. We would have long hilarious, gossip sessions, and I became aware of a 3rd boss girl who worked there too, very loud, very funny. I remember thinking who's that? She's so cool, I think she's from Melbourne, all the coolest people are from Melbourne. She won't want to talk to me, I'm just a Freo hippy, she's edgy, loud and says whatever the fuck she wants. #girlcrush
One warm summer's day in South Freo, Kristie and I joined Con under a tree by the beach, breast feeding her baby Billy-Violet. I still didn't really know her well yet, I was aware she'd been in Big Brother and was a bit famous and I remember thinking how absolutely stunning she was with her thick jet-black hair that fell down her bare shoulders, loads of ink like a rockstar, breast feeding her tiny human. It was the first time I really observed my new sister to be.
I do, however, vividly remember the day I fell in love with my new friend.
I had a shop called Violet Pilot in North Freo, and I was behind the counter. In strutted the magnificent Constance wielding a credit card looking slightly dangerous. She started grabbing dresses off the racks, trying on the most expensive boots, pulling out special jewels, and an expensive royal blue cape that had just landed. I had my eye on that cape. She promptly bought it. Turns out we had the same taste. 'What's happening my girl?' I said as I welcomed her and her credit card!
'Ive had a very rough week, the kids have been going crazy, my house is a mess, the dog shat everywhere, I'm ready to kill somebody and I can't drown my sorrows because of the baby, so retail therapy it is' she said as she waved her magic card at me. And right there was my love moment ❤
We laughed, bitched about our husbands as she spent up and before we knew it Con had decided to open a salon upstairs in a room above my shop and call it Velvet Helmet. We became the Violet Pilot and Velvet Helmet girls. Con moved fast, and painted day of the dead sculls on the wall,and decorated the salon with colour. Turns out we both shared a deep love for colour too. Suddenly we had the hottest guys in Freo all traipsing up our staircase to get their hair cut by Con, all completely besotted with her, she was so good at her job, so great at hair and at talking and making everyone feel special and it was lovely hearing the roaring laughter coming from upstairs while I floated around down stairs serving customers. We looked forward to wine o'clock, we did that well, and we had fun doing events together - fashion shows with our clothes and Cons hair styling, Tan on makeup. Con had her first and only solo sellout art exhibition. Con is an amazing painter, I had a feeling she would become very successful and well known for this.
My first marriage fell apart in that time which Con supported me through and within a year I left the business and moved down South with my 2 young sons. My second husband relocated from the UK to be with me, I'd met him in Bali 12 years before. Con and all her tribe came down to stay with us, hang out with our goats, chickens, and pet pig and it wasn't long before they bought a place in Margaret River.
It was a New Years Eve, we all got dressed up and went dancing in town with other close friends, we laughed a lot as usual, drank, danced all night to our favourite local DJ. We came back to mine and laughed some more, fell asleep and Con and her family woke up, packed their car and headed off further south to continue their school holidays camping in Denmark.
I remember the phone call well
'MY BLOG PARENT SEX JUST WENT VIRAL!!! Pack your shit now and get in the car you're coming to Denmark to celebrate!' WTF! Such insanely good news, we were all in shock, we watched as the numbers of shares grew and grew by the minute, from 500 to 30,000 over night, as we excitedly scrambled together our belongings and raced down South in my van to join Con to share in her excitement of becoming mega famous over night. And rightfully so. I read the blog out loud a few times to my hubby on the way down. No wonder it went viral, it was clever, funny and on point. Con's style. Every parent could relate and Con deserved the recognition, she'd been blogging for years leading up to that moment, saying whatever she wanted, telling her life stories warts and all and so relatable!
We shared a bottle of the most expensive champagne we could find, sitting in the back of my van to celebrate. The next day Con was interviewed by the Project. That night we had to beg the disgruntled footy fans in the community room at the campground to let us switch the TV over channel 10 mid game so we could watch our girl, they didn't believe us at first but the surprised looks on their faces when they saw Con standing next to them and on the TV was priceless. Everyone cheered afterwards, the first of many cheers for Queen Con. It was so surreal.
We carried on our friendship as Con took her rise to fame in her stride, it was the most exciting year. I had a Moroccan imports shop called Saharan Daze, Con would bring the kids in, spend up, and her first post she did promoting my business was an insight into the power of social media and how much business she could generate, my pages went off, my sales hit the roof this was the first of many and I'm forever grateful for her generosity and kindness.
I returned the love by supporting her through the dark times, as she did me.
I loved her babies like my own as she did mine.
As Cons popularity grew, her writing skills emerged into a best selling book, Like a Queen, coining women around the world that followed her as her Queens. It was time for Con to dress her Queens. We jumped on a plane together to Bali and I introduced her to my suppliers and pointed her in the direction of manufacturing her designs, and there began her very own label - Queen The Label.
One fateful night at the skatepark in Margaret River I introduced her to her next husband to be, his boy and my boy were best mates and skated together. I saw the moment they fell in love, when he pulled a bug from her hair. It was on.
The new romance came at a cost and sacrificed our friendship for a sad and short lived while, as I was also going through my own breakup. We had a bit of time apart to adjust to our new lives. Words were said that caused regret and remorse, words were forgiven. My friend is a very forgiving person, and like me she gets over things quickly.
I moved back to Freo. Con stayed in Margs. It sucked - that distance - but it was all part of the bigger picture, as little did we know then the turn of crazy events that lay ahead of us both, throwing us right back into each other's arms and hearts.
A few months ago I offered to cook for Con's birthday gathering, my way of keeping busy and not drinking, Con was very supportive of this knowing my long struggles with alcohol. I was so happy to give this gift to my friend and be there for her birthday. We had a great night, so lovely seeing all her favourite people wrapped around her.
I had an urge to apologise to Denim the next morning during clean up, for words I'd said in the past and still regretted, but I decided to wait. A momentary decision that had a profound effect. That afternoon Con and I were in her room being girlie, laughing at the world, about to get ready and take all the kids out for dinner, when a man walked through the door bearing the world's worst news and changing lives forever. 'Denim has been in a motor bike accident, he's being airlifted to Perth. He has broken bones and is an induced coma!'
What the fuck! It was a horror scene from a movie, not something that was happening to us surely this couldn't be real. It was like a bad fucking dream. Con was screaming and crying. Only minutes before in her bedroom she had just finished telling me that Denim was the biggest love of her life.
I went into damage control and told her to go, I'd stay and sort the kids all out. She raced up to Perth with Ed, her friend and rock in this hideous time who drove her up and stayed by her side day and night while she tried to make sense of the unbelievable, her heart ripped out.
With the amazing support of friends, family and community we organised the kids, pets, house, and I headed up to Perth, being told only that Denim was probably going to be completely brain damaged or physically incapacitated, if he even woke up.
12 days in a coma, Con not leaving his side, talking to him, massaging him, coercing him to stay with her. At times she declared to me in despair that she didn't think she would be able to live without him.
Her babies came and went from my place and her Mum's. Denim's son Zeke and my son Jasper stuck together like glue, an incredible experience for young men to be, Jasper being there to support his friend in his darkest hours, Zekey had already lost his Mumma years before. It was almost too much to bare.
Miracles do happen, they really do, and Denim woke up, with little to no brain damage, but alot of physical recovery ahead. The man has a fighting spirit and before long he was walking again, straight back into the love of his life's arms. And all the kids who's lives had turned upside down.
I was honoured that I could be there and support my friend - the crazy timing of this has blown my mind. Our friendship concreted once again, watching Denim's incredible recovery, being able to be there for those kids I love so much.
They came and stayed with me during recovery, but another strange turn of events and more crazy timing happened during this time. I was going through some very challenging personal stuff. My relationship with my live in partner came to an abrupt end. Con and Denim were with me the night it happened, and rushed to my side the next day, and continued to support me through my own grief. Again, impeccable timing. I was a mess and they pulled me through that mess.
No more apologies for the past necessary. Just love and living in the now.
2 weeks ago I went down South to stay with Con. All the mega dramas blown over. It was so refreshing hanging out, making each other laugh with our shared dark humour. Con and Denim painted her house beautiful colours, yellow and emerald green. I gifted her my most precious and sentimental lantern collected on one of my buying trips in Morocco. It fits perfectly. The kids rambled around at ease with happiness, family.
It felt good to reconnect that way, with everything blown over. Back to our old selves in great stages of our lives. Perhaps the very best!
Just yesterday at the Crown I had the honour of watching my friend talk on stage at the International Women's Day luncheon as she accepted an award - Wonder Woman of the Year. So apt - Con really is a Wonder Woman! Mother of 7 amazing children, creative, business woman, supportive and loving wife, generous kind friend, wonderful daughter, big sister, Ambassador for Rafiki - an organisation that builds homes for abused children in Africa, and mega inspiration to women all around the world, standing up for everything she believes in.
No-one deserves this title more.
Constance Hall - I always have been and always will be proud to call you my friend xx