A conversation with the barber about our Gap Year

As part of the planning for a gap year, both Nuala and I have had to do a lot of personal preparatory work. For me that included –eye tests – new glasses – dentist – annual check up with the doctor. Last of all…. a haircut!

Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens

I am going to miss my barber, Mark Stephens in Clontarf, as I have an excellent arrangement with him.

If I am at home, I ring him to see if he has many customers waiting for haircuts. If there is nobody there, I go up to him straightaway. If there is a queue, he rings me back when the barbershop is empty. This saves me having to sit and wait.

This time when I went for a haircut (having rang to make sure there was no queue) he said to me ”you’re going on holiday somewhere?”.  I reminded him that I am going away on a Gap Year and that we that we were taking a year off work and I wanted to travel from Paris to Berlin by boat.

I then told him that I had just booked the truck that day to take the boat from Tarmonbarry to Dover, at a cost of over €5000 and was getting worried about all the cost and asking myself if I was mad to go on this adventure.

Mark Stevens Barbers

Mark Stevens Barbers

He then said “of course you should go when you get a chance- you might be dead soon enough like my friend that died last year at 40. We used to always joke as to who would be the first to die and I never thought one of us would go so soon. Go and enjoy it and don’t be worrying about the money. Also don’t be thinking that in 6 months you will have to find a job. Worry about it when you get back”.

Mark’s words reminded me again one of the reasons I decided to do the Gap Year, which was the sudden death of my good friend Leo Kennedy who died  just over three years ago.

So it is funny how a chance conversation with the barber settled my mind and made me remember one of the reasons I decided I wanted to go on this adventure and journey of discovery with my wife. Thanks Mark !

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