I HAVE drinks planned in the middle of May with friends, in real life. In person drinks in a public place with more than one other human at once.

It sounds marvellous until I remember I've forgotten how to socialise.

It's become apparent, recently, that small talk is a bit of a chore. WhatsApp messages arrive from friends that I forget to reply to because it's quite hard to keep these chats going when there's nothing new to say.

There's good reason to be concerned about a return to public life. The first interview I conducted in person last year was after three solid months of working in my living room and doing everything over Zoom. It was in Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the nurses and ICU consultant made a socially distanced circle for introductions.

As I sat down on my seat it very quickly became apparent I would not be successfully completing this manoeuvre.

Ah, I thought to myself, you've failed here. My behind slid off the end of the chair. "Can you salvage this?" my brain asked as I head earthwards. Nope, you're falling. You're definitely falling.

Ooft. And there you are, lying on the ground.

It was a useful illustration of how life had changed. In normal times, one of the nurses said, they would all have rushed forward to help me up but in Covid-19 times the best they could do was ask if I could get myself up.

I could get myself up, but that was very different from wanting to. If I could have simply crawled away and out the door, that would have been ideal.

Between stilted small talk and an inability to work seats, imagine my reluctance to return to the hairdresser.

According to the calendar, my last visit to my hairdresser was March 21 last year. A full 13 months between cut and colour. It's about 20 years since I last saw my natural hair colour and what a surprise that's turned out to be.

Thinking back, I can't come up with any sensible reason why we all started colouring our hair. It what just what everyone did if you were 15 and a bit mousy. Off to Ferguson's Academy Salon in Coatbridge where they did a beautiful job but only after you'd been tortured meantime with a plastic cap and metal hook.

Once started, the highlight obsession is difficult to stop and so here we are, two decades later and still booking in to have roots touched up.

I briefly thought of totting up how much I've spent on highlights over the years but it's probably best not to. Things are hard enough.

My justification for frittering hard earned cash away on vanity has always been two fold: firstly, I barely spend any money on clothes and a haircut works out cheap, really, because you wear your hair every day.

Secondly, I have alopecia and live with the quiet worry that one day it will all just fall out, so may as well make the most of it.

Lockdown hair has been one of the very few entertaining elements of the past few months. Brave are those who have turned to box dyes and undertaken hair surgery while the professionals are shut.

Braver still are those who have allowed a return to their natural states. Some of my male colleagues have hair that seems to grow upwards, each week a little higher like the constructions of a 1920s skyscraper. Some are so bouffant now you can no longer see the tops during video calls - the ends are somewhere off camera.

Some folk were queued up from 6am on the morning hairdressers reopened. I've put it off. After 12 months of not caring, it's become very hard to start up again because not giving two hoots about appearance has become freeing.

Women set such store by our hair. As Fleabag put it, "Hair is everything". It makes us feel good when life is bad. It's a semaphore of personality, of persuasion.

I thought I'd be racing back for a new do yet no. Hair is a statement, but I suddenly find I have no idea what I want to say.