What ever happened to the old barbers before we started sprucing our salons up in a minimalistic style, so as every word echoes, every turning of a magazine page is amplified. We’ve not only carried this over into our restaurants, our homes but in every conceivable venue in our lives. We’ve lost the charm in most cases so you can imagine how lucky I was when I stumbled across a good old fashioned barbers where I decided to take my (almost) 1 year old for his first haircut. It was in an arcade in Cotton Tree (Maroochydore), nestled between a home/gift store and an apartment entrance, opposite was a cafe with a highly visible sign stating that your kids are welcome to eat here but they must be under control and sitting at the tables at all times. My immediate thought is that the owners don’t have any kids of their own, or else what an obnoxious thing to write for people wanting customers! It was a relief then that the barber had a natural knack with children and made them feel comfortable in what could be an intimidating place with shiny objects and moving chairs. As we entered the smell of lemongrass encased us as did the leather sofa that we sat down on to wait our turn, it was deep seated and tarnished in the right places. Every piece of old world charm from new world America told me we were in the right place to mark (for me) such a momentous occasion. As my boy sat on his boostered swivel chair, also in leather, he became mesmerised by his cape, the spray bottle, the scissors and the beautifully silent clippers. He remained mostly still and when his lovely blonde curls fell to the ground I actually felt proud that they were contributing to a pile that came from other discerning males that had found their way to this own little piece of art in commerce and surely this clump of hair massed in the corner would have experienced good food and wine, good service and other things of taste in their short eight weeks, or whenever it was since their last haircut. The icing on the cake though was the price, it was what I hoped I would pay but thought would never happened. Maybe I was carrying in my own feminine expectations of the cost of hairdressers, which is unfortunately outrageous.
Ah, an old fashioned barber by the sea, it could have been in Italy with the leather strap for sharpening his blade hanging on the wall. Or New Orleans with his collection of musicians in minstrel costume blowing on their trumpets and saxophones. Or goodness knows where with a picture of an old car in fog with actual headlights that worked. I marvelled at the place and it made me quite content for a full 10 minutes until my eldest, who is almost three started again with his whining which made me think again to the sign at the cafe next door.