Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Haircuts of today, number one

It’s a job that needs doing. So, even though the pay’s not great, I’ve hired myself to do it. As of today, therefore, I am the Premier League Haircut (and Hair Extensions) Correspondent.

My credentials? Hours spent at Arsenal. No more than that really. Historically, Arsenal players have been well-known for their timidity when it comes to hairdressing. Presented with the choice between a barbers or boozer (or bookies), they would choose the latter for their haircut.

Tony Adams etc would, I think, only have gone near a hairdressing salon if they wanted to borrow some money from the wife. Okay, David Seaman was an exception, with that ponytail of his. I saw him (and his ponytail) close-up once. He was driving to the match, in his Aston Martin. And I must say he looked fine. I did, though, see him on TV last night. He was being a complete pundit. And the ponytail has gone. I said a prayer of remembrance.

These days, though, Arsenal players have taken to setting the pace in the hairdressing area. For a long time, my favourite has been Bacary Sagna’s. On the menu — ha, ha — of greasy spoons, there used to be a dish — ha, ha, again — called The Lot. It may still be there for all I know. Now I guess it’s called the Full English — or, as I saw in an upmarket(ish) Newlyn cafe, The Very Hungry Man’s Cornish Breakfast.

And I think that’s how Sagna got his do done. Asked what he wanted, by his barber (or hairdressing consultant, perhaps) what he wanted in the way of hair modification, he replied: ‘The lot.’

And so he got cornrows, plaits, extensions and colour — plus, most likely some other stuff you can’t see unless you’re really close. The lot. I found myself wondering where he has it done, how long it takes — and how much he pays. But I couldn’t find out, despite trawling the internet for, oh, seconds.

So now you know what to ask for next time you’re having your hair done. The lot. Or not.

Next up Emmanuel Frimpong’s hair: some history and an opinion

Next week I become Official Haircut Correspondent for the EU

Monday, 31 October 2011

Wonders of the modern world, number eleven, Bushey Park

Actually, the reality is more striking — by far — than this rather bad picture. It was a mid-late autumn afternoon in Bushey Park. I'd never been there before. Apart from anything else, I always thought Bushey Park was in Bushey — Watford-way, that is. But I found myself round Bushey Park way the other day and decided to walk to Teddington Station via the park — which seems to be vast.

There was a warning on the gate about how I couldn't go in there because there would be live guns firing. Then I realised that only applied to the weekend nights. Then I remembered something about there being too many deer in the park and how they needed to cull them. (And I, being me, wondered what their meat would taste like. And where you could buy it.)

But nothing prepared me for this. A stag with a full set of antlers, having an afternoon nap less than ten metres from the path. When I raised the camera to take the shot, it was even better, in fact. There was a bird wandering about all over the stag. I thought the deer was a corpse, in fact, till an ear twitched and the bird flew off.

I'm sure Bushey Park regulars are surprised at my surprise but, well, you don't expect to see this kind of thing in a London park. All kinds of other things, yes. Things which are illegal in many parts of the world, including inner London, yes. But a fully antlered stag, no.

For once, I feel innocent.