OK, for some time my friends have called me a cheapskate because I only pay £5 to get my hair cut. I do point out that this is the going rate in small hairdressers in rural Ayrshire, but they are not impressed.
It's actually a ladies' hairdresser, a small, unflashy salon where the owner's dad used to cut the men's hair while she attended to the female clientele. Her dad, who is still with us but in his 80s and well retired, was always good for a conversation about gardening, which is one of his passions. In the gents' area of the premises were some very old adverts for Durex Gossamer, which I suspect you have to be over 50 to remember. Anyway, when the old man retired, his daughter took over and kept on doing men and boys hair as well as her ladies.
Obviously, it's closed now. When she used to cut my hair, we would chat about the joys of self-employment and also about her dad as she still looks after him. With the coronavirus crisis causing thousands of people like her, and those who depend on them, to lose their livelihoods, we do need to see some government action now. It's clear that this is going to be a (hopefully) short-lived depression, not a recession, and I suspect that she's going to need help fairly soon. Yes, this being rural Ayrshire, people will help, but there's a limit to what they can do, certainly when it comes to money. As my friends know, I am a benevolent and liberal reactionary, but the plight of self-employed people like the wee hairdresser in Darvel requires action this day. That's a phrase that should resound with the man who heads up this country.