Ireland unlocks: ‘The layers of anxiety fell away with every snip’
Irish Times readers share their experiences of haircuts and dining out as phase three begins
Denise Robinson, who went to the Haddington House Hotel, in Dublin, on Monday evening
On Monday, as Ireland entered phase three of the easing of lockdown, many businesses, from restaurants and cinemas to hairdressers and driving schools, reopened. Places of worship, galleries and museums also opened their doors for the first time since March, and people are now free to travel anywhere in Ireland without restriction.
We asked Irish Times readers to share their experiences of getting their first haircut in months, eating a meal out or taking their children back to creche. Here’s a selection of the responses.
Paraic Elliott: ‘There were 10 people ahead of me in the queue at midnight’
I have had a bout of insomnia recently for the first time in years. So when my local barber, in Meath, announced midnight haircuts on June 29th I thought, Why not? It was cold and windy and gently drizzling when I parked my car, and I questioned the sanity of queuing for probably at least an hour, in light rain, for a haircut.
There were 10 people ahead of me in the queue at midnight as cars drove by and passengers presented us with wide grins, amused at the sight of us queuing in the dark. Someone walking a dog decided to film us; even the dog seemed unsure what to make of this raggedy bunch lined up for a trim.
Eventually I made my way indoors and was offered a soft drink while I shuffled along empty seats, in a manner that will no doubt become the norm for the near future. It seemed perfectly ordinary to have my hair cut by a barber wearing a face mask.
Was it worth it? Possibly not, but it did feel strangely liberating to rid myself of my untidy lockdown mop.
Gerry Gilligan: ‘Excellent pint of the black as a starter’
Had a lovely lunch in my local, the Carpenter, in Castleknock in Dublin, on Monday with my wife to celebrate her having her hair done at long last. Excellent pint of the black as a starter, beef-and-Guinness pie for main course, and another pint of black for dessert. Excellent management of the venue, with prompt table service. Almost like normal life again.
Have you been to a hairdresser, restaurant, crèche, museum? Tell us about it
Orla Purcell: ‘There was a big jump in price – €237 instead of €130 – but it was worth it’
It was a real delight to get my highlights done on Monday morning in Peter Mark in the Merrion Centre in Dublin. There was a big jump in price – €237 instead of the usual €130 – but it was worth it. Staff were in great form to be back, social distancing made for a more spacious salon and a very comfortable experience.
Diana Majcher: ‘It was a bit emotional for both of us’
My child started his creche again on Monday in Galway. It was a bit of an emotional time for both of us. There’s only one thing I don’t like about it. I can’t enter the building to take off his clothes and bring him to his room. At home time we need to call a landline phone and let them know we are waiting outside. I don’t understand why there are so many restrictions for creches but in public playgrounds there’s no one to clean equipment after each child.
Nora Ffrench: ‘I felt very safe. I would have no problem going back in’
I got my very first hair appointment on Monday in Keville Hair, in Wexford. I was greeted by Kiera, who asked did I want gloves or sanitiser (I chose the latter). She gave me a mask and put a gown on me before I entered the hairdressing area. Kiera was also wearing a mask and glasses and gloves, as were all the rest of hairdressers. I was then assigned a seat, and my colour was done. Kiera washed and cut my hair too, using disposable towels at all times. There was no coffee, tea or magazines, but I felt very safe. I would have no problem going back in, as I got the excellent service I’ve always had.
Jaqui Dingemans: ‘The layers of anxiety fell away with every snip’
I had a haircut on Monday. It felt like the layers of anxiety fell away with every snip. Liberating.
My son Darach, who is five, having his first haircut since March 13th.
Denise Robinson: ‘The cheeky whiskey sour went down well!’
We had a great evening at our local, the Haddington House Hotel, in Dublin. We have missed it so much over the past three months. Our last night out was here before lockdown. Exceptional service, all guidelines adhered to; we felt safe and taken care of. Great to see people out supporting local businesses. The cheeky whiskey sour went down well!
Chrisy Byrne: ‘It was like it never closed’
Great to see the Cookbook Cafe, in my local Glasthule village, in Dublin, open again. I missed the smiles and banter over my breakfast, an amuse-bouche for the rest of the day. It was like it never closed; it feels like a sense of normality has been restored to routine events. Keeping things local will pay off.