It’s 1:50am. For the second night I’m burning up. I’m super hot and my skin is feeling mildly sore all over. At 9 o'clock last night I couldn't keep my eyes open and now I can’t sleep. As I lie here I find myself thinking of hair.
In the distant past, when I needed a haircut (we're talking almost 30 years ago) a girl called Angie called on us for a family haircut. That’s me, Mrs B no.2, Vicky and eventually Abbi. Things changed, but Angie kept on cutting my hair. Funny how your hairdresser becomes a constant in your life. Time passed I found myself in a new relationship. The future Mrs B no.3 had a slight, unresolved hairdressing issue so Angie’s magic scissors were again cutting a family. Things chugged along nicely for a while until 1999. In that year Tricia and I became tenant landlord and landlady of the Earl of Chatham in Lostwithiel. It was just too far for Angie to travel so we found ourselves in need of another wielder of magic scissors.
I remembered a previous neighbour was a hairdresser. I gave her a call. We made an arrangement. Once a month, on a Thursday, Helen arrived to cut our hair. This time things escalated. Customers needed haircuts as well. We set a suitable space aside and we had ourselves a saloon salon. Michael became a regular.
Time passed (think of that scene in the old H.G. Wells film, Time Machine) we left the pub in Lostwithiel and moved temporarily into the house we owned in St Austell. We still needed haircuts. Helen kept cutting our hair. Our former customer, now friend, Michael needed haircuts. He came to St Austell each time for his “tidy up".
All our lives changed. Tricia resolved her hairdressing issue and returned to her long term hairdresser, where she still goes. Tricia and I got married, Michael got married and Helen got married (not to each other). Helen still cut our hair. Each January, much to Michael's dismay , Helen and I set our diaries for the year. Every 5 weeks.
A few years ago a seismic shift occurred . Chris needed a haircut. The old saloon salon had become a distant memory. We were now “The Old Boys Haircut Club”. A little bit like “Last of the Summer Wine" meets Toni&Guy.
Lots and lots has happened to all our lives over the intervening 21 years, a phenomenal amount of sometimes profound changes but Helen keeps cutting our hair.
Covid struck, lockdown arrived, our hair grew long. We became shaggy (I started to sing Boombastic). I don’t know about the others, we were in lockdown after all, but I became frightened. I was morphing into my eldest brother. Drastic times require drastic measures. I stood in the shower and took matters into my own hands. Voila, Nicky Clark watch out! There’s a new kid on the block.
Now you may be wondering why, in the middle of the night, have I woken up thinking about hair? Like I said at the beginning my skin is feeling mildly sore including my scalp. Is this a precursor to my hair dropping out? I hope not but it might just be, after all I have been warned, twice.
However it’s not happening yet. I’m just over a third of the way through my course of chemotherapy and my hair's still here. There's never been a better case of “When you've got it, flaunt it”.
Helen, how are you fixed for Monday? Can you come to our “temporary” home in St Austell, It’s the return of the (covid secure)......
“Old Boys Haircut Club”.