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"Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?"

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Landor Road barber-shop saga pt 3: Great news - Andy's back! Not such great news - it's only for three months…he says

So, cycling down Landor Road on the way to Brixton, going that way round specifically to see what the latest developments are with my one and only favourite barbers, Andy's, I get a pleasant surprise.

Sure enough, the old shop is now completely transformed. It's called Sapphires, and it's going to be a beauty parlour, basically -  facials, wakings, nails, massage, etc, etc. They've built a counter facing the door, and there are marble look tiles all over the walls and smart new smoked-glass mirrors.

All of which I hardly notice as the guy sitting on the chair nearest the window is none other than Andy.

I cycle past, then do a double take. A u-turn to double-check. It is Andy, he's on the phone. I assume he's there just to give some advice or whatever to the new tenants. I decide to stick my head round the door to wish him well.

I do this and he says, "Hi, come on in. I can do you now!"

Before I know it I'm in the chair and the clippers are buzzing through my six-week haystack of greying hair.

So, he's back from a cruise around the Med. He's got an arrangement with the girls running the new nail bar-cum massage parlour. He can keep on barbering here until he really, finally retires - in January. Well we've heard that one before, but something tells me this time he's really serious.  He's booking a container to take furniture and the Merc back to Cyprus.

Clumps of my hair fall onto the grey marble look tiles. Andy's kit of clippers, scissors, etc is perched rather precariously on a small washbasin. There are massive mirrors. It's all a bit surreal. But he works away, I feel that huge sense of liberation I get every time I have a good haircut.

After a while another of his old customers looks in. Word is getting round, after all the confusion, Andy's note on the window about being back in September turns out to have been true. A bit later than advertised.

We can all breathe again, just for a while. Andy says he hopes that they'll bring in another barber to continue the service even after he's gone.

Well, all we can do is wait, and see.

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