My dreams have been peopled with sideshow freaks, circus acts, feats of wild bravery, shrieks and gasps, but right now, the big top has gone and it’s a grey Saturday morning. There are new sounds – distant, homogenised creature noises, and small, purposeful rustlings beside me.
Something is being constructed out of an A4 sheet of paper. Is it a plane, boat, bird – duck or swan? Is it origami practice or a rehearsal for the world napkin-folding championships, (to be held, of course, online)? I can’t guess. Turns out it’s a template for a little piece of lead needed to complete a window repair. This morning’s project, up on scaffolding.
Sweet peas are potted on. The companionless spaniel is cajoled to walk the fields just with us, his brother gone. And another bold act unfolds, live on my phone, as a cousin’s wife in the West Country shaves her head – a glorious red bob – raising money for the NHS. Heroism everywhere.
I’m thinking I’ll be scruffier when this is over. Due to Covid-19, perhaps, the hairdressing salon in the village, (let’s call it ‘Scissors’), is closed. For ever. The cutting is not the issue. My daughter-in-law has said she’ll give me a trim, sort out my fringe before it becomes a health and safety issue – I will trade with her so no problem there. But am I going grey? For ever. Will I let myself? Or will I grasp an alternative out of the bag, a hair dye bunny out of the hat? I’d have to order it online and I’d need an accomplice.
Will I embrace purple, or is that too obvious?
I’m thinking I’ll be scruffier when this is over. There’s a suggestion, more than a suggestion of can’t- be-arsed right now. Why file my nails or pluck my brows? Who’s there to see my efforts? Why bother? I shaved my legs for the first time in weeks and thought – what’s the point? We’re banned from beaches and pools are closed. Short, summery skirts are not practical attire for breezy, brambly smallholdings. I’ll leave my lilywhite limbs unexposed. Thighs can be rediscovered another day. Or not.
I’m thinking I’ll be scruffier, contentedly scruffier, when this is over.