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Head-colds

7 July 2005

Interesting sidelights on a cropped head, n° 1:

Iíve been ill all day today. Not like before, just some tedious variant on a head-cold with added sinuses (does one still divide colds into head- and chest-, I wonder? Never heard anyone say it for decades, but itís still in my vocabulary, on account of all those books I read; seems a shame not to use it every now and then). Frankly I blame the weather, northerly winds and incessant rain, rain for days on end; but I woke up freezing at 5am and put a second duvet on the bed, and Iíve spent all day sitting on the sofa reading books (new John Connolly, new Michael Marshall) with the gas fire on. And - here comes the haircut - every time I ran my hand over the velvety-soft & gorgeous stubble that adorns my head (I am, you will gather, very much into my new hair), my fingers just felt icy-cold. And I canít work out whether itís because the fingers were cold or because the head was hot, but either way, itís clearly a phenomenon. And I donít suppose itís unique, itís sure to have happened sometime in my life before, but I have never noticed it; and why not? Because I had hair in the way of experience. Let that be a lesson to you.

Itís a real pain that I lost today, because I was meant to be spending it shopping. Not for pleasure, for once, except in so far as every shopping trip is a pleasure; but Iím cooking Helenís hen-night dinner on Friday, eight courses for eight people, and I wanted to get all the shopping done today, soís I could cook all day tomorrow. Now itíll just be a mad scramble to do both in one day, and I wonít enjoy either half of it, even if Iím in my right mind and the proper body.

Was feeling better by this evening, just enough so to drag myself out to the opera. Ahh, you are thinking, poor boy, how he suffers; but actually, if it had just been the opera, I wouldíve skipped it and stayed home. I really was that ill. But Gail & I were booked in to eat at the restaurant first, and Iím too much of a gentleman to stand her up. So I hauled myself down to the Sage - our brand-new Norman Foster music centre, looks like a woodlouse and the roof leaks; I love it - and we ate food and drank drink and talked talk, as one does. And bumped into friends, of course, including - oh, whoops! - my hairdresser. Perhaps I should say my erstwhile hairdresser. Which is interesting sidelights on a cropped head, n° 2: because I was so very glad that I had my cap on so that he didnít have to point out the obvious, that I have no hair left and he didnít do that. I love the guy, and I have sent many other people to him, at great expense and pleasure to themselves; and Iím really going to miss the irregular sessions, if Iím really not going back any more. But I can do this shaving thing myself, and frankly at the moment I canít afford the alternative. My suspicion is that life twists over at some indefinable point, so that what used to be an accumulation of experience becomes an accumulation of loss. Losing oneís hairdresser is hardly the worst of these, but it does still count.


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© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.