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Ashburton hair stylist Marc Auwerda in his home salon.

Ashburton hair stylist Marc Auwerda has adapted his routine and quite enjoyed his forced lockdown, but he loves his job and is ready to get back to work.

The “compulsory” holiday has given him time to reflect on life, meant more time with his partner Anne and included a regime of daily walks around his neighbourhood.

There’s also been countless games of the card game Five Crowns, indoor golf, plenty of book reading and other activities.

A self-confessed workaholic, the Dutch born hairdresser has owned and operated his salon Mac & Maggies in Ashburton for many years.

Late last year he made the decision to scale down the business and is now a sole operator, working from a dedicated, customised space at this Allenton home.

“I’ve actually been enjoying my totally new experience for me because I’ve never taken that long off work before.

“It’s been strange not getting out of bed in the morning and into the salon to cut hair and see clients.”

Mr Auwerda said he was ready to start up again once restrictions were lifted and he had spoken to clients and had a full appointment book.

At his former salon at the Countdown complex he had employed staff and had more foot traffic, but he now worked from home, and was fortunate that he did not have to pay the commercial rent that many business owners had to pay.

“I’m looking forward to catching up with clients again, hearing about their lives and, of course, styling their hair.”

“I’ve known some clients for 30 years and they are like extended family.”

Mr Auwerda said he believed the Government had managed the Covid-19 pandemic well.

He had been pleased that the response had been about “people rather than politics” and he supported the decision that considered hairdressing not to be an essential service, unlike the call made by the Australian Government.

“Your hair grows around 1cm each month, so I don’t see how hairdressing can be considered an essential service.

“Many of my clients are on five week cycles, so I expect to be very busy when things return to normal, which hopefully is very soon.”

Mr Auwerda said he is much happier being in New Zealand than in his former homeland during the pandemic.

Holland is the size of Canterbury, has a population of 18 million, and is the most densely populated country in Europe.

He kept in very close touch with family there, including his father who was over 90, but a planned trip in June had now been cancelled, and rescheduling it “might not happen for quite a while”.

Mr Auwerda said he was looking forward to seeing more of New Zealand on future holidays, including a return to his favourite spot of the Marlborough Sounds.

He was also anticipating more road trips in his weekend car, a red Mazda MX5, as well as catching up with family and friends and the freedom to walk Canterbury’s hiking trails.