It’s Week 60 and I’m ridiculously excited about the reopening of hairdressers and beauty salons and am hoping that they can magic away all evidence of this past lockdown
• AND so after four and a bit long months of trying to do as little damage as possible with our meagre skills (blunt kitchen scissors and home wax kits), it’s time to beg forgiveness of our hairdressers and beauty therapists and let them do their thing (maybe bring them a take-out coffee to break the ice). I wouldn’t ever describe myself as vain – in fact I’m the opposite and probably think I look a bit better than I actually do – but even by my very relaxed standards there’s been a few too many dodgy photos lately to ignore, so I’m ready to hand myself over to the professionals and make May all about … me!
• I actually adore everything about the hairdressers and if I could afford it I’d have a professional blow-dry every other day. When I worked in the city centre I’d regularly nip in for a quick lunch time pick-me-up and if there was even a murmuring of a night out or an event, I’d have the appointment made. Poker straight, bouncy, curly (always stressful until they fell out as it looked like you were about to enter a Feis), I loved all the styles over the years. Also, who remembers the 12-week blow dry? I had that too, but felt that it promised more than it delivered, considering you had to spend around 12 hours in the salon to get it done. Anyway, I haven’t decided what I’ll get done on my first visit, besides banishing the grey and the split ends. Pretty much anything will be an improvement.
• I’m just as excited about beauty salons reopening. I don’t mean to gross anyone out, but it occurred to me that it’s been nearly two years since I’ve had a professional pedicure. That probably explains the five-year-old’s reaction to my feet when they come within a foot of her. Absolute horror. What was it that she asked me the other night: ‘Will my feet look like that when I’m old?’ I didn’t have the heart to tell her that would be the least of her worries. Not by the hair on my chinny, chin chin, I told her (another job I’m looking forward to outsourcing to a professional). Suffice to say that I’ll be very open (an easy sell) for any treatment that will help to ‘un-lockdown’ me. I’m smiling as I remember 20-something-year-old me saying she’d never consider anything too invasive and would grow old gracefully. Hah! That was obviously said with the comfort of a face full of collagen.
• Next on my list of things to get done is a full-body spray tan. It’s surely the fastest way to lose half a stone and is only vaguely mortifying to get done (left leg back, right hand to the side, swivel hips slightly and head back, while standing in a tent in your knickers – no reason to be embarrassed, right?). Thankfully, it’s now a super sophisticated treatment, and doesn’t scream ‘I’ve been tangoed’ like it used to before. I’ve had more than my share of bad spray tans over the years. A stand-out memory was one I had for a really good friend’s wedding. If she wasn’t such a good friend, I actually wouldn’t have gone at all, it was that bad (whoever said lemon juice removes tan was just lying). She said all her nerves disappeared when she spotted me as she walked up the aisle and it took all her control not to burst out laughing. Think mahogany, and go a few shades darker again, with very patchy ankles and wrists. That bad. I considered suing the salon for trauma but I felt a bit better after the drinks reception, and I avoided the mirror when I went to the loo. My pal is 14 years married and it is still spoken about. I can laugh about it now. Kind of. But it’s made me a nightmare customer who wriggles around the tanning tent saying ‘just a very light spray, a mist, a spritz, that’s enough. Enough. Stopppppppppp!’ as I grab my clothes and try to bolt. Must have a touch of PTSD.
• So with the hair, nails and tan done, I’ll be all set for a holiday, except I’m probably the only person in Ireland not to have one booked. That’s down to a combination of things – I was reluctant to commit to anything until I knew how things would play out, a sentiment not shared by too many as there’s very little choice left now. Also I already live in a very nice part of the world, so where would I go? I think it will be day trips with the flask and portable BBQ – ah well, more money for my beauty treatments!
• Oh yes, I knew I had something useful to share. I’ve cracked the problem of a smoking fire pit thanks to my new pal Dermot Bannon (see interview on page 19). For those who didn’t know, the trick is to use very, very dry wood. That reduces eye-watering smoke, stops your house and clothes from stinking like a bonfire and creates a really, long-lasting heat. You’re welcome. Just don’t be tempted to hold a ceremonial burning of all your hairbands and turbans once you get the gruaig sorted.
• I know it’s old news now, but wasn’t Line of Duty a bit of a let down? Most underwhelming after all that hype. I’m now invested in Mare of Easttown starring Kate Winslet. She’s playing a middle-aged American detective and looks … very middle-aged, ie wrecked and a bit hassled. It’s quite brave of her considering there’s not too many accurate portrayals of what middle-age really looks like on our screens. That was something I pointed out to my husband as we were watching it the other night, as if to justify the wreck I’ve become these past few months. But I’m still totally going to get the hair, tan, nails and whatever else is available. I can’t be dining out on past glories any more, not like Line of Duty.