Four weeks is the norm. Five, I can manage.  Six weeks, no, that’s a week too far.  Seven weeks, with ten weeks likely, is a nightmare in prospect.  I’m talking haircuts, of course.  I’ve a short style, the key word being style, which grows out, unless it is re-styled.

The dread of meeting up with friends for coffee, going to a party or bumping into colleagues in the supermarket meant I’d adopted the sensible action of booking the next appointment each time as I left the salon, freshly coiffed and ready for anything, and anybody.  I used to be so paranoid of swanning around with hair too short (for about a week after the haircut) or too long (the days just before the booked appointment), I would study my diary for dates of family get-togethers and even my own children’s birthday parties, to plot the ideal date for my haircut.

With the likelihood of my hairdresser salon opening mid-May at the earliest, and then the elderly and vulnerable given priority appointments, my style will be non-existent by the time I get there.  The upside of lockdown is that we won’t, or rather mustn’t, see friends, family and colleagues, so the state of our hair is less important.  Until someone in one of your friendship groups discovers Zoom and offers to host a book club meeting, or a Pilates class or just a catch up.  At least clothes won’t be an issue.  PJs will probably be acceptable but if not, at least only the top half will count.

Anyway, back to hair.  I had been ahead of the game with the appointment.  Check. I understood there’d be a delay.  Check.  I knew I wouldn’t be seeing anyone for a while.  Check.  But I had a plan.  And so began the search for an Alice band.  Just a cheap, thin, plastic band, the sort you can buy at your local chemist, or perhaps your supermarket.  My mission – to queue 2 metres apart from my fellow shoppers and brave the supermarket aisles (where the distancing immediately goes out the window) and search for an Alice band which, for me at least, came under the heading ‘essential shopping’.

On my first supermarket trip, I felt so uncomfortable at the idea of dallying in an aisle in case it was construed as browsing that I just scanned the shelves from the end of the aisle, and moved on.  I could have popped into Poundland up the road but I’d been out for about an hour already, the aisles there are smaller than the supermarket, there was no one-out-one-in protocol…I decided against it. Maybe I’ll go to a local chemist as part of my daily exercise walk…?  I could look through the window, I know where they stock hair clips and the like…no, not today.

Another supermarket, another quick scan as I purposefully progressed around the shop.  No luck.  Had they sold out?  Was everyone thinking the same?  At least I don’t have to worry about my roots.  Grey rules OK!

The third supermarket, and I struck lucky.  Not only did they have some Alice bands, they were on a separate stand on my way to the tills. I swept it off the stand, barely slowing my pace.  A pack of two, covered in ruched satiny material, one pale pink, one cream.    As I queued, I looked them over.  £7!  Normally I’d start justifying the cost to myself.  Today?  I’ve found two Alice bands.  End of.

Now the magic could begin.  Because I wasn’t just looking to solve the outgrowing style issue.  I wanted to do it in style.  MY style.  I had this picture in my head of a band, covered with little bows and symbols of Spring to hold back my flyaway locks.  I imagined butterflies, dragonflies, ladybirds.  Flowers, leaves, maybe a bird?  I found patterns in some of my books and on the internet, and I started with bows.  There are lots of patterns to be found; these were the finishing touches to lavender pouches found in Cute and Easy Little Knits by Nicki Trench.  They are quite small, but could be upscaled.  These first bows became part of hair clips. 

They go well on the hair band too, but some up-scaled ones are in progress, as is a dragonfly and a butterfly.

Watch this space for an update…