20/05/2005-21/05/2005 @03:00:35 ^04:04:28

Anakin bites off Obi-Wan's lightsaber and falls into Mount Doom

But who the fuck is General Grievous? Do I have to watch the whole of Clone Wars to get this shit

This update is about MY HAIR

It wasn't ever meant to get this long. I wanted it to be, you know, long enough so that it would hang over my face like curtains and flop about. No, don't ask me why. I must have seen someone else's hair doing this and, my susceptiblility to influences being proportional to how stupid the influences are, decided to copy it. Plus, subconsciously I could hide behind it.

But that obviously got a bit out of hand!

It was 10 years ago, the 20th of May 1995, that I tried to tie it back. It was a day or two after GCSE exam leave started. Five days previously, the school had had its entire photo taken; hundreds of uniformed teenagers piled perilously on a rickety construction of chairs and benches from the gym. Sorted by height, so I was right in the middle, making a spirited attempt to ruin the photo by scowling with my hair over my face. Yeah, yeah, there's always one.

It was a life choice. I could either tie it back, or not. I was experimenting with an ancient tie I had found somewhere. This guy I knew came to my house and I answered the door with it tied back. Having been seen forced the choice. Yeah, yeah, haha, I know, I didn't actually make a choice.

When it was first tied back, it was too short. I had this stumpy tail and most of the curtains were still there. And that's how I did my GCSEs, with this stump on the back of my head. Questioned, and made fun of, I just repeatedly employed a stance based on "it's just to keep it out my eyes!" or something equally dumb that didn't make sense.

Then I had the whole of summer. Tied back, it wasn't so much of a nuisance, and I'd already had the argument with my father about why my hair was like it was and when was I going to get it cut. It got longer and longer, and by the following September when I went back to school, in a suit, to do A-levels, it was all neatly tied back in a tail.

I think this timing and coincidence of the messy stage with an unusually long summer away from school, was critical. There was always the risk that in doing this I would contravene the part of the uniform regulations about bizarre hairstyles. Not that there weren't a few incidents: a couple of people reported certain members of staff giving the back of my head very dark looks, once one of my teachers said I had been "discussed" in a staff meeting, and most worryingly, the deputy head came up to me in front of a bunch of my peers and intoned "Robert, one day we must have a little chat about your hair!"

I squeaked a response along the lines of "Uhokaylookingforwardtoit!" Well, what was I supposed to say? But nothing came of it. Days and weeks went past but nothing happened. I think I managed to relax after about six months. I even became a little smug after the following summer, when I went into the upper sixth and this guy in the year below me whose hair had been getting really long all year came back into the lower sixth with it tied back.

As the years went by I let it grow, firstly because it was easier and cheaper to do so than go and get it cut, and also because of my need to accumulate superlatives. And that brings us to the present day, where at just over three feet long it doesn't seem to want to get any longer. Every time I wash it I wish I could cut it all off but I don't have the courage; I think I look awful with short hair, and if I cut it off I can't put it back again if it is a disaster. Also it annoys certain people that I have longer hair than they do, so that's reason enough to keep it.

In closing I am reminded of the dream I had before School Sports Day, 1994, in which I saw myself at a sports day, not in the horrible uniform of the school, but having long hair tied back in a neat tail and dressed casually in black trousers and t-shirt. The thing was, at the Sports Day in 1996, this vision came to pass.


It's just a shame the other part, about turning up on a flying motorcycle armed with plasma cannons, didn't...