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A cut above the rest - Lockdown log 2020

Updated: Jul 3, 2020

Not since evil Rob Titchener was drummed out of Ambridge has there been such collective and vocal interaction with the radio.

“Yes, yes, YES,” cried the nation, revelling at the time in the ‘good-over-evil storyline’, finally getting their man.

Moving to lockdown 2020 and it’s not to celebrate elimination of a smooth-talking outcast who brazenly charmed his way into an everyday story of country folk, roughing-up, along the way, a local ingenue and raising hackles throughout fictional Borchester.

No, this time it’s a plotline running amok with everyone’s senses and, radio soap fan or not, you’re definitely involved: Wednesday 15th July, hairdressers open for business, H-Day!

No sooner had the words left the First Minister’s mouth than I was onto the appointment hotline, but even with the reflexes of a hunting falcon, I’d been bumped to close of play on the 16th.

Who, who, I wanted to know, had dialled quicker than me?!

Quite a few apparently.

Having your hair ‘done’, it’s pleasant isn’t it? A bit of pampering, a bit of chat, a quick feel-better-fix if you’ve been a bit below par.

Now, now having it cut – even without ‘aerosol baddie’ the dryer – isn’t just a six-week routine. No, no. It’s an absolute necessity, a hitherto denied drug from which we’re all suffering cold turkey. A (probably grey) deep-rooted need to feel just a little bit more ‘normal’.

Sales of scrunchies, Kirby grips and hairbands have rocketed. We’ve all done it, buying headgear to grapple with our unruly tresses. There’s a ‘hair fairy’ at work in our house; you buy a pack of twenty elastic-bands and, by the following day, they’ve all disappeared. Why is that?

Celebrating last week’s Liverpool FCs Premier League victory with his son, I noted one dad sporting a jaunty headband, scooping-back his leonine locks in rather fetching Braveheart fashion. Perhaps he wears it all the time, but I’d put money on not. Good solution though, however temporary.

Lying back, thinking of Scotland, letting another’s hands work on your scalp, is one of life’s great luxuries. Seldom are the calendar points when, like most mum’s, I lie completely still and let someone else do the work. No laughing now.

My locks last came down just as the nation shut-up shop in late March. Even with a heavy dose of Dunkirk Spirit, by the beginning of June the psychological need to attack split-ends was bordering on the obsessional. Something had to be done.

With the aid of an iPad (used to record proceedings); a mobile phone (on photography duty) and the help of a very sharp pair of kitchen scissors, the stage was set.

Now, I’m not going to lie. The outcome certainly wouldn’t have had Vidal Sassoon zipping-off to retrain but, really, it was OK. Short, back, sides, in fact all over reduction. A passable job.

Tah dah.

But then the true enormity of the situation was revealed. With the wizardry of modern technology, an instant ‘rear view’ photo disclosed the true extent of our lopping. Think crenulation - A pattern along the top of a parapet (fortified wall), most often in the form of multiple, regular, rectangular spaces. Substitute ‘hair’ for ‘wall’ and you’re getting the picture.

In all my life, the anticipation of a haircut has never garnered so much excitement. Even intoxicating memories of pre-wedding salon trips and the heady sensation, as you sat on a hot beach sipping Pina Colada while having curls woven skilfully into millions of tiny braids, will be royally eclipsed by the thrill of the first professional snipping after nearly five whole months.

I suspect, like that chap in front of Anfield, if you’d suggested not so long ago that hair discussion would grip our motor neurons so comprehensively and rapidly, I’d have brushed the notion aside.

Right now, not only do medical staff, care-workers and delivery drivers have wings, so do those proficient in the use of a curly brush and sharp pair of scissors. Front line workers all, you bet. That ‘front line’ is the hair line and mine needs emergency treatment pretty damn quick!

Mairi Fraser

27 June 2020

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