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The Family Way Part 5

Maison Roberta

By

Sabrina S and Sean O’Hare

 

She looked up proudly at the gilt letters over the front of the large, elegant shop-front which proclaimed the establishment as 'Maison Roberta' to the residents of Harrogate. Affectionately, it was know to the locals as 'Bob's House' and, as well as recognising the widely accepted diminutive name of the manageress it also reflected the regular activity that went on inside. Much bobbing of hair had taken place over the last couple of years.

She still remembered vividly the day after the wonderful honeymoon they had shared. During the period leading up to the wedding she had been fully occupied with the arrangements for that occasion while George had spent much of his time away in Harrogate renting the premises for the new business and organising the fitting out of the salon.

"Oh, George, I canna believe 'tis true," she had said taking in the name he had bestowed upon their business , choking on her strong love towards this wonderful man. "But 'tis OUR business mah darling, not just mine."

"Aye lass, 'tis true. But t'folk of Harrogate will come flocking to see thee. Tha reputation has already spread wider than Glumsby. Our wedding is even featured in Harrogate Herald tha knows." He had held out a page torn from the latest edition of the local paper showing a broadly smiling George with a new radiant, Eton cropped bride on his arm.

As she went through the door there was much shuffling about within and, by the time the door was closed, her staff were lined up for inspection as usual. The number had grown since they opened. Initially there was just George and one young girl to assist him. Now there were six fully qualified female hairdressers plus two assistants. And of course Roberta herself who had been trained by George personally.

She didn't have a great deal of time for working in the salon due to her management commitments but she still greatly enjoyed the thrill of transforming the dowdy clients who entered her establishment into glorious butterflies ready to take on the upcoming 1930s.

 

* * *

George guided her step-by-step during her training. Initially she just trimmed the immaculate styles George had previously fashioned. Later he allowed her to use the silver hand-operated clippers to reduce a growing out nape back to its pristine velvet state. But she always remembered the day when George called her over to his chair where a young woman sat, a cape already enveloping her, and with her straight black hair flowing down the back of the chair.

"Well lass, Ah reckon thy's ready to do tha first proper haircut," announced George. "Young Dorothy here's agreed to be tha first client."

"Nay, our George I canna do that. Ah'm not ready," replied Bob with uncharacteristic nervousness. "Besides Ah'm sure Dorothy doesna wnat me cutting all her lovely hair."

"Ah'd be honoured Miss Roberta," Dorothy said quietly. "Ah've heard so much about you. All us young girls have. It would be a raht priviledge to have you cut my hair," she added a little nervously.

George handed Roberta his best scissors and a comb, then smiled broadly. "Tha'll be fine Bob. Lass only wanted a trim but when I said you would cut it for her she changed her mind. Tha's raht famous round these parts."

Roberta took the comb and began to run it through the immaculate waterfall of hair. She looked in the mirror and could see that Dorothy looking back at her nervously - she wanted Bob to cut her hair, but had clearly not been mentally prepared to lose it all today. But perhaps this would be her only chance.

She took the scissors from George and slid them into Dorothy's hair at chin level. She took a deep breath and slowly closed the blades. SCHNICK! With unexpected ease the first tendrils separated and began to flow down the cape, swiftly followed by a great deal more as she continued to apply pressure to the blades. Despite her love of short hair, Roberta was finding it difficult to accept that she was the instrument of this young woman's emotional separation from her lifetime of long hair. Well, she was until the second snip of the hair and Dorothy's white neck started to become visible.

Roberta's initial nervousness swiftly dissipated. She began to smile and, with an undisguised relish began chomping into the next clump of long hair. "Aye, tha's going to look right champion lass, once Ah've rid you of all this hair. Ah'll have you looking like Louise Brookes," she added, alluding to her heoine of the silver screen.

Dorothy's increased nervousness went unheeded by Roberta as she eagerly separated her from her hair. She held tendrils taut before cutting them, and then tossed the cut lengths to the floor with glee

Now feeling fully in control she recognised her enthusiasm was not in keeping with her role of a professional stylist ... not with clients in the salon anyway, she thought slyly. She ignored Dorothy's expression that resembled a sheep that had been unexpectedly shorn.

Roberta smiled lovingly towards George in recognition of him giving her this opportunity. He winked back at her, and then watched admiringly as his wife began to expertly and nimbly graduate the roughly cut bob into sleek perfection.

Not content with a simple bob, Roberta angled the hair up steeply towards the back leaving a large expanse of roughly shorn hair showing at the nape. But not for long. She selected a set of hairclippers from the array on the counter and with a delicate touch proceeded to nibble away the hair at the nape until it met the sharp lines of the bob. As she had been taught by George, she eased them a little under the longer hair so that sleek lines of the bob were enhanced high up the back of her client's neck.

All too soon for Roberta, the haircut was finished. Tentatively she held up a mirror to allow Dorothy to observe the back of her head. Her mouth formed a large 'O' but no sound came out, but her eyes showed pleasure.

"Aye, tha's done a raht champion job there lass. What doesta think Dorothy?" enquired George.

"Aye, 'tis champion and no mistake. Ah canna believe Ah looks so canny," Dorothy squealed. "Ta Miss Roberta. It has been a raht pleasure."

"Aye, and for me too," Roberta said, not wishing to amplify her thoughts on just how pleasurable.

* * *

So, at precisely 8.30am her team of eight women were lined up in the middle of the salon standing smartly to attention.

"Good morning ladies."

"Good morning Miss Roberta," they chorused.

She walked slowly along the line smiling. Their smart uniforms, functional for a stylist but fashioned to resemble the chemise dresses she favoured herself, were all smartly pressed and fitted perfectly. With a motherly eye she nodded at each of her charges, only stopping to adjust the hem of the dress of her youngest stylist, Nancy, who was excellent at her work but tended to be a little scatty at times in her personal behaviour and appearance.

On reaching the end of the line she went behind them and slowly walked along again once more. Her smiling expression suddenly changed as she stood behind Nancy.

"Nancy, were you late arriving this morning by any chance?" she enquired. They were all supposed to arrive by 7.30 to prepare the salon and themselves for the day.

"Um. Er, aye Miss Roberta just a tad," she replied meakly.

"And what didsta tha not do this morning because you were a tad late?"

"Um, Ah didna have my nape clippered Miss Roberta."

All the stylists were permitted to choose their own hairstyles. Roberta wasn't a dictator, other than she insisted that they wore fashionable styles such as the bob, the Eton crop or variations upon them. The only stipulation was that the hair at the nape was exposed ... well, it would be if she also didn't insist that it was neatly clippered every day by one of their colleagues before the salon opened, much as a man shaves his face every day.

"Nay, tha didna have tha nape clippered Nancy!" Roberta stated firmly. "Edith!" she stated simply, addressing her chief stylist. Edith knew the procedure. She almost ran to the counter where all the products and equipment were displayed where she busied herself for a few seconds. All the others remained firmly at attention.

Edith trotted back and proffered the small bowl to Roberta who took the brush that lay in it and proceeded to distribute the rich white foam over Nancy’s reddening nape, all the way up to the sharp line of the angled bob.

She accepted the straight razor that Edith held out and with short sharp strokes proceeded to shave all traces of hair below the line of the bob. Nancy didn't flinch - although her breathing increased perceptibly - but she accepted her punishment with good grace.

Roberta's practiced hand completed the task swiftly and expertly. Edith stepped forward and wiped away the remaining vestiges of the white foam, and she and Roberta were rewarded with the sight of a dazzling white nape with no sign of a hairline.

"Aye, that's better," Roberta said not unkindly. "It might even do you for a couple of days if you're late again tomorrow."

"Thank you Miss Roberta," replied Nancy, hardly disguising her shortness of breath and coy smile.

"Raht lasses, apart from Nancy's little hiccup tha have all done very well. Carry on."

As Roberta walked to her office in the back on the salon she thought that that wasn't a bad start to the day. Indeed she wished one of her stylists could be late every day.

* * *

And when Roberta discovered that she was pregnant – indeed, in the family way by all accounts! – her joy knew no bounds. What a wonderful life – cutting hair into the most fashionable, Tatler-inspired styles, a wonderful supportive husband and now a child to add to the joy.

As she grew bigger she spent less time in Maison Roberta. At first she felt too sick every morning to stagger in at 8.30 for nape inspection, and left it to George and Edith. As time progressed, Bob felt a laziness pervade her, a longing to sit in her lovely town house in Harrogate and watch the world go by for the months before her baby was born and her life would become turmoil. She went into the shop only two or three days a week to check on proceedings and ensure that hairlines were neat and crisp – on both staff AND customers!

For Roberta, life in the late 1920s was heaven. Both she and George had learned to drive and possessed a smart Austin. Her clothes were no longer made by village dressmakers but were tailored smartly and elegantly by the finest seamstresses. She even bought ready made clothes from Paris, clothes which featured tiny elements that made them just different to local clothing, just a tinier bit chicer. Until her pregnancy was showing too much, she was the nearest thing Harrogate had seen to a Bright Young Thing, playing jazz on her gramophone and, with her handsome husband on her arm, dancing the night away at whatever jazz and night clubs she could find. She had a housekeeper and maids, and would soon be hiring a nanny for her baby.

So when her baby was born in 1929, she was too racked with labour pains to read the newspapers and discover that the stock market in America had crashed and taken the money of the western world with it. She was far too busy, giving birth to Etonia (who had, naturally, been named after hers and George’s favourite haircut).

Suddenly she was at home with her baby and money was hard to come by. She had to sack one of the maids and the part time gardener, to her great distress, as she hated to see them out of work but couldn’t afford to employ them.

For women, those canny Yorkshire lasses keen to save every ha’penny, just weren’t getting their hair cut any more.

"Why?" Roberta groaned to George, pushing her hair behind her ears. She had currently let it grow into the shortest of sleek bobs, her nape clipped to a shiny, sleek stubble.

"Ah think it’s money," George said glumly. "Ah mean, look at our bookings. They regular shampoo and set ladies, they’re now coomin’ in every ten days rather than every week. Costs ‘em less."

"But they be the rich ones!" Roberta protested.

"Aye, and they rightly intend to stay that way, it seems," George said.

"We have to persuade them to stay fashionable," Roberta stated, cuddling Etonia closely as the baby struggled to get to the floor and practice her latest trick, pulling herself to unsteady feet using the nearest stable object as a prop. "That short hair is fashionable and long will never be in again."

But times were changing, even Roberta, clinging to her 1920s with adoration, wearing beautifully tailored trousers with a swagger, could see it. Chemise dresses were giving way to a more flowing style, and hair was beginning to flow with them, curling onto the collar in careful waves. Napes all over the world were being covered up. Heaven forbid, even chignons, pinned carefully low on the neck, were appearing again.

Roberta blamed the movies, Hollywood in the US in particular. Movie stars were to be copied faithfully, and if one of them decided to let her bob grow longer, the world seemed to follow suit. Despite the Depression people still flocked to the cinemas – spending their haircut money on cheering themselves up, Roberta thought with disgust. Why, a raht good haircut would cheer ‘em up something champion, in a much more lasting way, rather than the passing pleasure of sitting in the dark watching a flickering screen!

And, even more sinister, Roberta began to see the evidence of home haircutting more and more in the suddenly subdued streets of Harrogate. The humble pudding bowl was being put to more use than mere puddings! Little girls sported badly cut pudding bowl bobs – when their hair hadn’t been allowed grow long enough to wear in two braids, that is. She noticed less and less mothers bringing their daughters for salon visits and educating them to good style and hair care.

"We have to think of SOMETHING!" she muttered, striding around her elegant, peach and cream drawing room.

Etonia obligingly said, "Wheee!" and triumphantly stood up next to the sofa before taking a series of tottering steps and clutching her mother’s leg.

Patting Etonia’s baby curls absently (and wondering whether they were long enough yet to be clipped into a smart bob), she pondered. How often did women wash their hair? Maybe once a week, especially those who still came in for a shampoo and set. She saw lots of greasy heads in her travels. Hats added to the grease – even though for the most part they hid the dirty hair!

What if…. What if she marketed short hair with a different tactic? Wear your hair short. You’ll be able to use less shampoo, and if you want, wash it twice as often so it stays fresh and clean and smart. Inspired, she penned a letter to the Womens’ Page editor of the Harrogate Herald with the suggestion.

She was duly interviewed by the Herald. The Womens’ Page Editor, a dowdy be-bunned female called Gladys Percy, wandered into the salon with a notebook and pencil.

"So explain this theory of yours to me some more," Gladys said, plonking her long, sporty frame into the nearest chair.

Roberta itched to remove her hat, her hairpins and most of her hair. It was gathered in an untidy bun that, from the wisps sticking out of it, indicated that several months before it had probably been a smart bob.

"Well, if tha has tha hair cut nice and short, tha can wash it more often and keep it fresh and nice, but tha’ll use less shampoo than if tha grew tha hair."

"Ah use soap maself," stated Gladys.

"Er….yes, Ah can see that. Tha’s lacking shine, Gladys. Here tha be, a fancy newspaper editor, a famous person in Harrogate, and tha’s setting such a bad example to tha female readers. Can they take tha seriously in print when they see tha in the flesh?" Roberta knew she was probably overstepping the mark, but her bright, white, smart salon and uniformed stylists gave her confidence. "Why, Gladys, look at tha! Nice an’ tall, and that looks like tha plays golf."

"Aye, Ah do at that," Gladys said proudly. "Womens’ champion at mah club this year."

"Why, congratulations! Well, if tha’s busy hitting golf balls tha doesn’t want wisps of hair in tha face for starters. Ah see you in brighter clothes, none of that brown like tha’s wearing now. And wi’ a smart haircut, even a rinse through it. Tha’s showing a little grey, tha knows, and the readers don’t want to know that. They want someone they can look up to, someone to admire and copy. Tha has a lot of power in Harrogate, Gladys," said Roberta, who also had a lot of power in Harrogate. Or had, before the Depression.

A steely glint came into Gladys’ eyes. Was she picturing herself a leader of women? Of Harrogate housewives worshipping her? To Roberta’s joy, she said, "Aye, lass mebbe you’re right. Ah’ve been getting’ mah hair styled by mah sister all mah life. Time to set a good example, like tha says. Cut it off, then, lass. Let’s set some style!"

Roberta mentally rubbed her hands in glee. Meanwhile her nimble fingers pulled out all the hairpins and assessed the state of her client’s head. Oh yes! A rinse, certainly, and probably a touch of henna in it. Gladys HAD to stand out. Her naturally wavy hair could be pinched into short waves and bobbed up the back of her head, shingled all through the nape. Roberta set to work, getting Nancy to put a rinse in Gladys’ hair. When Gladys, sporting newly-russet locks, was back sitting in front of the mirror, Roberta picked up her scissors.

Before Gladys could change her mind, Roberta quickly snipped off her hair under her ears; automatically it curled under becomingly. She swiftly worked her way around her client’s head, angling the bob up severely at the back as she loved to do. Gladys wordlessly bowed her head as the shoulder length untidy mess was severely shortened.

Roberta contemplated the messy nape awaiting her attention. Long strands still spilled over her collar. But not for long. Picking up her comb and her favourite pair of hand clippers, she set to work, beginning at the hairline and snipping the hair to a red stubble. Deciding to be kind, as Gladys probably hadn’t had such a haircut in years, if ever, she cut it longer and longer until it met the sharp lines of the bob. Well, longer for Roberta anyway. About 3/8 of an inch!

When Gladys finally muttered something about not having any hair left, Roberta assured her she had plenty and began to pinch the little waves all over her head into shape. Gladys looked in the mirror and saw herself become years younger as the elegant style framed her face in a way the dowdy bun never could.

And, the following week in the Herald, Roberta was delighted to find a special article on the talents of Maison Roberta, and the theory of cutting hair short to save shampoo in these hard times.

* * *

Back in Glumsby, things had gone down hill much quicker with the closure of the mill and many of the men and women in the town were now out of work. Serena and Seamus had built up a steady clientele, both within the old shop and the new salon they had opened nearby. Seamus had become fascinated by a new invention that had originated in Paris - permanent waving. It was not a trend that Serena approved of and initially led to some disagreement with bher husband. But she recognised that a great deal of profit could be made from the more well off gentry of Glumsby due to the time it took to undertake the transformation. Initially Seamus used a bizarre electrical apparatus which baked the hair. Later he employed evil smelling chemicals which hung in the air and required the net curtains to be washed almost every day.

At first it was a disaster, at least for Seamus as he slowly came to terms with the new technology. He advertised in the local paper for women from the town to be guinea-pigs for his experiments. There was no shortage of volunteers as young woman were queuing up to emulate the curls of the emerging stars from Hollywood. Inevitably, during the experimental phase, things went wrong and hair was damaged. In time he perfected the technique and, while the number of clients diminished, he was a unique position in Glumsby and even further afield to make a small fortune from each one.

It was less of a disaster for Serena as, being the only other hairdresser in town, each of the failed experiments eventually turned up at her door ... once the tears had stopped. She saw some quite literally shocking sights from the electrical machine, turning hair in to a frazzled mass of dry straw. The chemical waving was often worse with great clumps of hair often breaking off at the roots.

Serena maintained a professional, detached air and neither she nor the client referred to the fact that the perpetrator was in fact her husband. However inside she felt quite different. On one occasion a former client turned up on whose hair she loved to work as it was thick, glossy and dark from which she always carved a perfect style. Well, it was. She removed s scarf and her hair was now sticking out all over head as if she had plugged herself straight in to an electrical socket.

"Oh Queenie - er, Miss Serena, 'tis horrible. What's to do!" she wailed.

Serves you right, Serena thought but she smiled sweetly and directed the woman to her chair and swiftly had a cape around her neck. It was not a comforting smile. "Nay thou fret me lassie," Serena said awkwardly, with her continued attempts to ingratiate herself locally by trying to emulate the accent. And failing.

"Eh?" the client said dumbfounded but, rather than trying to explain, Serena simply pushed her head forward and picked up her clippers.

With practiced ease she slid the blades under the ugly mass at the nape and began to clipper away all the hair up the back of the woman's head. But she didn't stop under the occipital bone as for an angled bob. Or even on it as for an Eton Crop. But continued around the curve of the head on to the crown. Masses of hair fell to the floor and bounced around like steel wool.

Using a comb, she relented a little towards the front and that was not clippered to the bone. Muffled sobs came from the client with Serena simply saying, "this 'tis the only t'way me luv."

And in no time at all she had virtually removed all the hair from the head of her former client. Serves her right she thought, depriving me of such lovely hair to work on.

She held up a mirror so the woman could see the back of her head - quite literally as it was now no longer covered by hair - but she didn't even look. She simply retied the scarf she had come in with, paid and made for the door.

Serena called out after her. "Thou ista come t'back in a t'few months and I'll be doing to you the bob once more, to be sure."

In the doorway the woman turned around, said "Eh?" then left.

Serena remained puzzled why women should want to grow their hair longer and have it permanently waved when she could provide them with a beautiful variety of well cut short styles. Surely this could not be the way ahead for smart net-curtained salons like her own? Yes, it made money but in her view the best thing one could do with 'perms' was to make an early appointment with her clippers.

 

* * *

The Great Depression continued. Hairstyles continued to change too, but for many of the ladies of Harrogate, short bobs and Eton crops still ruled. After all, style queen Gladys Percy had declared the short bob to be appropriate and fashionable, and few people cut a bob or crop better than the staff of Maison Roberta. So while the rest of the world slowly let its hair grow longer, Harrogate stayed short and smart.

By the mid-thirties spending slowly started to increase again and Roberta and George were able to give their salon a new coat of paint. Excitedly, too, they ordered a set of those new electric hairclippers from the USA.

When she heard they were at the Post Office she almost ran to fetch them, dragging poor Etonia - now a young schoolgirl - along behind her.

"There we are Mrs Utterthwaite, tha parcel all t'way from the United States of America," the postmistress announced proudly as if she herself had personally fetched it. "And may I say what a smart young lad tha has there. 'Tis a raht fine gentleman's haircut he has."

"Etonia is mah daughter," Roberta said simply and left clutching the parcel, unwilling to launch into an explanation of why her young daughter had a cropped head that was the equal of any schoolboy at Eton. But the explanation was simple - not only did Roberta and George prefer it that way but Etonia herself was pleased to be different from all the other girls at school with their beribboned plaits. Even at this early age it set her apart and gave her confidence. Something she would rely on in the years to come. But her loving parents gave her a choice however. And her choice simple. At least once a week after school she would stop by the salon and jump merrily into a vacant chair and allow one of the girls to clipper her nape so it shone once more. She didn't mind at all. In fact she rather enjoyed it.

On arriving back home Etonia went to her room and Roberta immediately sought out George. "Eee, our George, just LOOK!" Roberta unpacked the box excitedly, lifting up the heavy, awkward clippers.

Wonderingly George held them in his hands. "Haircutting will change forever, lass, mark mah words! Wi’ these, we can cut hair twice as quickly! Do twice as many clients in a day. Partic’larly men. Mebbe Ah should buy t’shop next door now it’s empty and turn it into a barbershop. Ah’ll be only barber in Harrogate wi’ the smart new clippers. It’ll give us a raht advantage."

"Oh, George! What a great idea!" Roberta hugged him. "But first, can we try these out?"

Etonia slept peacefully while her parents sent the housekeeper out for the night and sat on kitchen chairs with capes around their necks.

Roberta plugged the clippers into the only electric outlet in the kitchen and turned them on. They made such a growling howl she almost dropped them. It took her a while to get used to their vibrating so eagerly in her hands. "Raht, our George, Ah think Ah’ve got ‘em under control. Now you hold raht still, lad!" She gave an evil grin, so evil George squirmed in the chair and felt just a little bit nervous.

He gasped when he felt the blades on his neck, and knew Roberta would be ecstatic when her turn came.

"Eh oop George luv, they don’t half cut hair quick!" Roberta bit her lip as she surveyed the bald half inch of skin at her husband’s hairline. It was after that she used the comb as she regularly did with the handclippers. Still, George had the shortest short-back-and-sides he’d ever had by the time Roberta had finished playing with her new toy.

"My turn!" she declared, leaping happily into the chair while George rubbed his head and marvelled at how neatly and evenly his hair was shorn.

"What’ll it be?" George tenderly stroked her hair. "Ah think a trim for the bob, but these clippers raht up t’back."

"Oh, aye, Ah think so too." Roberta felt a marvellous tingle inside her as George fixed the cape around her throat and turned the clippers on.

She almost cried out loud when the clippers touched her neck. George placed them down low, where only the most downy, almost invisible, hair grew, and slowly, slowly, drew them up her neck until the blades crunched into her hairline.

"Oh George my love, tha should have warned me!" Roberta said breathlessly. "The vibration, 'Tis like many a sharp little finger nail tapping at my nape. Shear poetry! Each one eager to climb higher and cut each one of my hairs - one at a time. The humming is like the purr of a contented cat our George ..."

"Aye, well 'tis you who is MAH contented cat it seems," he said as he lovingly slid the clippers higher and tiny snippets began to fly in all directions.

"Mmmmm ..."

The clippers almost growled as they began to bite into the heavier, thicker hair of the bob-line at the back and began dispatching that hair with equal efficiency. The growl of the clippers was matched by a deep sigh, almost a roar, from Roberta who was trying hard not squirm in the chair lest George's work be affected.

"Or mebbe tha is mah wild Tiger?" George suggested with a deep warmth to his tone.

"Mmmmm ..." was all Roberta could manage, now lost in a new world but knowing that it was George, her love, who was leading her through that world.

She could feel the clippers climbing higher and higher and saw the tufts of her erstwhile bob sliding down the cape before her. Suddenly there was a loud whining as George pulled the clippers away at their zenith, like the engine of her Austin revving wildly when she forgot to engage the clutch. It vas an exhilarating sound to her ears, as if the clippers were pleased with their work and were eager to return to the nape and start again. Perhaps almost as eager as Roberta was for them to do just that.

So, slowly, George carved out another path at the back of Roberta's head. He was incredibly impressed by the evenness of the little hair that remained. It was quite perfect. Roberta? Well she was just impressed by the tenderness with which George applied what she recognised could be a brutal machine in the wrong hands.

George turned off the clippers and ran a palm down the sheared nape - at his touch Roberta sighed loudly. He then ran his palm up her nape, against the growth of the fine bristles, and she became his Tiger once more with the deepest of growls. And they engaged in a passionate kiss.

Regretfully George broke away, ever the professional, and said, "Now lass, I hasta trim tha bob at the front so that it angles up steeply t'meet the clippered back."

Roberta nodded and, whilst enjoying all attention that George lavished on her hair this was not as exciting as the clippers, so she became a little distracted by the box in which the clippers had been delivered. She noticed other items and instructions inside, things she had ignored in her eagerness to clip her husband to the bone. So, as George snipped away, she read the instructions and noted also some small combs of varying sizes. She looked at the combs, snorted and threw them in the bin.

"Eh lass, what were those?" he asked as he put the finishing touches to her immaculate, steeply angled bob with an almost bare nape.

"Tha does not need to worry my love - 'tis nothing we'll ever be needing," she said with a giggle in her voice. "Now lad, does tha think you may have missed a few hairs down on my nape?"

"Nay lass, 'tis perfect. I ..." he began to say in a rather affronted manner, before noticing the glint in his beloved's eye and the coy smile around her lips. "Aye, does tha know I think mebbe I have."

The clippers purred once more. And so did Roberta.

 

To be continued

 

© Copyright 2001, Sabrina S and Sean O’Hare. Comments welcome to sabrina.s@zdnetonebox.com and psharp55@altavista.com