LOCKDOWN week eight. Humanity is being ravaged by the worst pandemic in living memory. We’re staying apart – maybe even alert – to stop the spread of coronavirus. Health and care workers strive tirelessly to help those in need. Weans haven’t hugged their grannies and grampas for what must seem to them like forever. We remain socially distant and cover our faces if we venture out for essential provisions. Many have lost loved ones.

This is serious stuff.

So what was on the lips of some elements of the Unionist media last week? Who’s been cutting Nicola’s hair?

This is a Barnett inconsequential if ever there was one.

I reckon the First Minister has had other things on her mind without fretting about her fringe.

As comedian Janey Godley pointed out in one of her hilarious voiceovers of the FM’s daily briefings, any woman with a pair of sharp scissors is a hairdresser.

Apologies, as usual, if this column comes across as frivolous or flippant, given the difficult times which we face. But it’s my remit here to bring some light relief and levity, so please bear with me.

Fair play to Sturgeon if she’s been having a wee snip from day to day to stay presentable for the public.

Some of us haven’t been keeping up our standards quite to the same degree, I’m ashamed to admit.

I count myself lucky that I can work from home. But for a Zoom meeting, a wee spritz of dry shampoo can go a long way in convincing your colleagues you haven’t turned into a lockdown slob. I hope.

In my defence this has only happened once, and was as a result of over-welcoming my stay when we were out for a walk. Shower, fresh air? Fresh air, shower? I’m afraid the walk won.

But I can sense a slippery slope. I confess my home office footwear of choice is my baffies, although I wasn’t exactly one for killer heels when I was out in the real world of work anyway.

But how easy would it be to spend all day in your jammies, with just a vaguely clean cardi buttoned over the top? Who’s going to ask to see below your desk?

As for my increasingly straggling hair … well, maybe my scissors aren’t as sharp as Nicola’s, but I’m sure I would do more harm than good.

I’m also getting flashbacks. Was I the only child of the 70s whose mother insisted on tidying up your fringe, except not so well that it didn’t take several attempts to get it straight? This usually meant your fringe ended up six inches above your eyebrows, all the better for seeing out.

There was also that fateful, hot summer holiday when I’d failed to secure a haircut before heading off.

In the balmy wilds of Ardnamurchan with few folk around to behold the outcome, it seemed fine for my husband to shear my locks with clippers.

I wasn’t prepared for the consternation when I returned to work two weeks later. Had I been ill/in prison/joined the Marines?

I can confirm there is no truth in the claim that there’s only a fortnight between a good haircut and a bad one.