Edel Coffey: The comfort of strangers

Listening in to other people’s conversations, especially when we don’t know them, is one of life’s great guilty pleasures, but then why are we so willing to reveal our personal details to strangers?

Hair salons are the perfect place to do a bit of earwigging. Picture: Getty

One of my favourite pastimes is earwigging. I know it’s not polite, but I consider that an occupational hazard.

There is a hierarchy of locations for earwigging. Trains and buses are good, since two commuters will often talk freely about their lives just inches away from your twitching ears. Coffee shops are decent too, or used to be before two-metre distancing. But the apex of earwigging venues is definitely a female beauty emporium, with hairdressers ...