“Have you noticed” said a notoriously tactless and insensitive male of my acquaintance, “Have you noticed that your hair’s rather curly?” I sighed. I tried to summon a suitably withering are-you-an-alien-from-another-galaxy glare. Deep breath. “Well, there are mirrors in our house and, oddly enough, I do tend to take a glance while I’m brushing my teeth in the morning. Of course I’ve noticed, you ****”.
But I suppose I’m gradually getting used to the wide-eyed stares and take-two looks from those who haven’t seen me for a while. Earlier in the summer we went to big sister’s cottage in Co Donegal for a week’s holiday and all four sisters were there at once, which must be something of a record. They (the other three) took one look at me and fell about laughing. Sisterly love, eh? I’m not sure whether it was the tight curls or the greyness, but I have both on top of my head where neither has been before. Whatever, they dashed to the chemist at the earliest opportunity; Dungloe, once described by my brother-in-law as resembling a Siberian mining town, has chemists to choose from these days. They returned armed with a packet that would surely turn me into a Janet Street-Porter look-alike. Not the teeth, I would like to point out. Or the voice. Anyhow, we followed the instructions on the box meticulously but, sad (or is it glad?) to say, my hair turned the faintest shade of pink. If you knew what you were looking for, that is.
At least I now have hair and for that I am hugely grateful. I appreciate that there are a number of follicly challenged males out there who may not have too much sympathy for me but hey, I’m not a man! It might be a shock, going grey all in one go rather than gracefully and gradually, but I was expecting it. I still don’t quite recognise the granny I see in the mirror but then I never got used to seeing a bald head staring back at me so this is a definite improvement.
I might not be impressed by my new look coiffure but it’s certainly easy to look after; stick a comb through it and ping! it all bounces back into shape. There’s no need for a hair drier; a quick rub with a towel and it’s all organised. And, whilst buzzing around in the boat in Shetland recently, I was reminded of something that perhaps I had missed more than anything. It was that good to be alive feeling of wind in the hair.