The Times We Lived In: Hair-raising weather

Photograph by Frank Miller, first oublished on February 2nd, 1990


ALL the pictures in this slot are, frankly, worth a thousand words. But sometimes we come across an image that is so eloquent that there isn’t a lot to say about it except: Wow! Look at this, guys!

Such a photograph is today’s bright and breezy study of a moment captured by Frank Miller on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin on the first day of February – technically the first day of spring, though it hardly ever feels like it – in 1990.

We could offer a scientific analysis of the situation along the following lines. Wind: the movement of air caused by pressure differences at the Earth’s surface. Ireland: a rock perched at the north-western corner of Europe, right in the path of Atlantic storms. Result: a more than average number of bad hair days for Irish heads.

As the season of mists and mellow blusteriness blows in once again after one of the sunniest summers for many a year, we’ll all become reacquainted with that storm-tossed feeling.

Despite being wonky with wind, however, the heads in our photo manage to exude an air of youthful energy and enthusiasm.

In fact they give a new meaning altogether to the phrase “a shock of hair” – not to mention the more technical hairdressing term “upstyle”.

There’s an almost musical movement across and down the picture, from the semi-solid shape of the young man’s mane, its asymmetric edges reflected in the angles of his shirt collar, to the wispy strands of the young woman’s locks, mirrored by the misbehaviour of her scarf.

And, incredibly, despite or maybe because of the buffeting, they’re smiling. All together, now: “Always look on the bright side of life . . . dee dum, dee dum dee dum dee dum.”

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