My barbers isn't like a barbers. I realise it likes to think it is, you can't book appointments for instance, and it's relatively cheap and cheery, but if I'm looking for a paradigm (a word I was always trying to understand as a student, because tutors kept going on about changing paradigms) I would say that today my barbers closest paradigm was 'Crufts'. The level of narcissism you will witness in a barbers in Hackney is as horrifying as it is illuminating. It was hard to dislike so many people at once.
Of course everybody is younger than me, and you could say why go in the first place, but my barber does beards, and he pretty much owns mine. I'm trapped.
So I have to sit there for quite a long time, watching Crufts (with a touch of Jack Daniels distillery about it in terms of time spent). There were horrible children weeping over their iPads, there were gentlemen so prepossessed with their looks you could not even imagine a conversation with them. There were some startling beards.
But I sit it out because I recognise a good barbers when I see one, for barbers at best are pretty OCD. Mine's on plenty of medication I'm sure, he's made a very wise career choice. He snips away with great care and attention all day long, until he gets distracted of course, when you'll be left for dead, but I don't care, I just have to schedule in several hours like ladies do, just for his beard.