Real life

Lockdown is making a Lib Dem of me

16 May 2020

9:00 AM

16 May 2020

9:00 AM

If this lockdown doesn’t end soon we are all going to turn into hairy lefties.

I have just cut the builder boyfriend’s barnet, very badly. It is my second attempt, and while the first went rather well, because I approached the enterprise cautiously, this latest one has gone horribly wrong because I got a bit carried away with the clippers.

My mother is a hairdresser so I assumed I might have it in the blood. I helped out a lot in her salon when I was a teenager.
I can shampoo and sweep the floor just fine. But of course the rest of it requires more detailed training, I now realise.

One further complication is that I could not get hold of a set of men’s hair clippers. Boots had sold out and I struggled to find the right ones online, and they were hellish expensive, so I decided to improvise.

The BB screamed at me when I first sat him down and produced the horse clippers. ‘Well, if they’re all right for Darcy,’ I reasoned. And they weren’t the big body clippers, just the smaller ones with which I do minor trimming of the fetlocks.

In any case, he was devilish cross from the start, so I also had to try to use the scissors to reassure him. I shaved up the back and sides, with him screaming and claiming I was jabbing his scalp, then I snipped away at the top, impersonating the way I have watched my mother cut hair for years. When it got tricky, I held sections of hair with a comb and snipped into it, scissors pointing at the hair ends, which is how I trim the thoroughbred’s mane to ensure there are no chunky edges. She won’t let me near her with a mane pulling comb because she is sensitive, so I have perfected a technique producing no sensation whatsoever. You would think what was good enough for a highly strung horse would be good enough for the BB but he made more fuss than Darcy.


However, even he had to admit the result was rather good and he proclaimed himself happy once in front of a mirror. I sent a picture to my mum, and she gave me full marks.

But the cut didn’t last long, as I hadn’t dared take too much off, so he soon started whingeing again that he looked like a hippy.

When I sat him back down in the garden with a towel around his shoulders, he was in an even more foul mood than before and would not sit still for a second. He winced and cried out and complained until I grabbed the horse clippers and pushed them hard all the way down the side of his head leaving a bald stripe.

Whereupon he announced he would tolerate no more of it and I was not allowed to try to even him up.

He is now walking around building sites with a punk rock shaved stripe through his unkempt hair and has gone from resembling Steve McQueen (if you squint) to looking like Johnny Rotten.

Meanwhile, I am going silver on top where my highlights are growing out and that is not the worst of it.

I have been growing vegetables. About a third of the flowerbeds in my garden are now given over to the production of food, in a haphazard impression of The Good Life.

I have beans growing in raised beds made out of breeze blocks and under plastic tops made out of old horse feed sacks.

I have peas on the patio, potatoes and parsnips beneath the rose bushes, tomatoes in the terracotta pots that once held geraniums, carrots in a compost heap along the back wall, onions next to the lavatera (the plant, not the loo), rocket and lettuce in an old water tank we brought down from the loft and butternut squash and sprouts in cardboard boxes — I have no idea where
I am going to plant those. Oh, and radishes. I have so many radishes in pots I am confident we will never be impacted by a European radish shortage.

While growing one’s own veg is not, in itself, a sign of political flakiness, I did look down the other day while tending the seedlings to realise I was walking around the garden in my socks.

I need only put a pair of sandals over the top and my Liberal Democrat membership card will be in the post. That’s if the Lib Dems still exist. I must look that up, one day, when I’m really, really bored. I must confess I lost interest when their leader lost her seat after claiming she was about to become Prime Minister. Go home and prepare for vegetable growing, was what they should have told her.

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