I travel to an Important Meeting.

Particularly good timing, I curse, as I wait on the platform for my underground train on the hottest day in the world, ever. It takes five minutes to arrive!!! Reeling from my tube hell misery, I step out into the streets of the big city.

As I have some extra time, I decide to have my hair cut. I have lived in Norfolk for some years now, and still have not quite managed to appoint a local barber with whom (grammar) I am comfortable. Instead, I tend to wait until I visit the big city, and then I go to the place to which I have always been, where the people do not scare me. This is not an ideal arrangement for one who wishes to remain at the cutting edge of style.

I wander down the road, a haystack perched atop my head.

I do not think that women realise how traumatic it is for a man to change barbers. Whilst women tend to choose a hairdresser for facile reasons (quality of hairdressing skills, mutual chemistry etc.), for a bloke the important factor is that they will not laugh at you when you walk in, will not suggest any other possible form of haircut than the one you have already and certainly – certainly – will not attempt any form of conversation whatsoever.

Plus mine employs girls with sort of jiggly breasts, which is also good, although not a factor in my continued enthusiasm in travelling over a hundred miles in order to get a simple wash and trim.

I sit and reflect, as her smooth and dextrous Slovakian fingers softly massage shampoo into my compliant scalp.

The situation is not sustainable, and I know it. I need to bite the bullet. Of strolling in through a shop door to find that the average age of the other customers is double mine. Of realising three minutes into a cut that I will be walking out of there with a basin cut and being able to do nothing about it. Of the conversation about holidays.

Of the conversation about holidays.

This troubles me for the rest of the day. I drop in to stay with my mum and dad on the way home. Being old people, they have the central heating on.