The Farmer & His Wife
John Taylor has some cutting words to say about a trip to St Andrews.
DID I want it styled?’” I was recounting to Anne my visit to the barber’s, my first for some time. I hadn’t heard Anne laugh so much for ages. “Did you say yes?” “Does it look like it?” We were sitting at the kitchen table with coffee.
She said she knew as soon as I drove into the yard that something was wrong. I slammed the buggie door shut, entered the kitchen and slammed that door shut, too!
It was her fault, anyway. As I left for the auction in Cupar my last instructions were not to come home without having a haircut. We were going out on Friday night and I had to look tidy, she said.
I looked in one barber’s shop in St Andrews, but there was one man in the chair and four waiting, so I searched and found another with one in the chair and only two waiting. I took off my bonnet and sat down.
I waited. He took 20 minutes for each haircut, so it was nearly an hour before I got into the chair.
Then I saw the price list over the mirror facing me.
If I had noticed sooner I would have walked out and braved Anne’s wrath.
“What do you think it cost me to have a haircut?” I asked her.
I’ve been spoiled as far as haircuts are concerned. When I was a boy my father did the necessary with scissors.
In more recent years I had it done by a neighbour, Jim.
Jim and Vera had a small farm and must have made a bare living but they never grumbled.
Anne and I used to visit them once every three months for my trim.
It was an outing we both enjoyed. Jim and I would inspect his stock and Anne nattered with Vera.
Then I’d get my trim as Jim and I put the farming world to rights.
The price? Jim would have been offended if I’d even offered to pay. He and Vera enjoyed our visit.
A haircut from Jim was one of those simple pleasures which we both enjoyed and which no money could buy.
Jim and Vera have retired, hence me having to go into town for my haircut and paying through the nose!
What would it have cost if I’d agreed to have it styled? I shudder to think! ■