Who knew growing a beard was such hard vwork?
I wrongly assumed it consisted of two steps - 1. Stop shaving. 2. Continue not to shave.
But, oh no.
There’s an entire grooming industry for men who want to avoid the “tramp who has just dropped his chips” look which generally results in people gripping their children that little bit tighter as they pass me in the street.
I haven’t grown a beard for eight years, and that was entirely for medical reasons. A slipped disc made me realise, all too painfully, how the neck bone is connected to the back bone, and when a trapped nerve touches like a cattle prod every time you raise your head to the mirror, suddenly the Catweazel look is a much more sensible option.
Fast forward to last month, and a music festival saw the razor chucked for a few days and, well, it hasn’t been retrieved since.
My other half decided if there was going to be stubble, then it there would also be glitter.
In my defence, we were in the village where they filmed cult TV series The Prisoner and everyone was dressed up like loons, and, if I may say, I kinda rocked the cool dude look for a few days.
Mercifully, the last of the purple and silver beads have just about been hoovered up, and I now have what might, with the right light and correct angle, be deemed a beard.
Others may say it’s just a mess of hair which appears to have been glued randomly to my chin while standing in a wind tunnel. but clearly they are wrong.
That said, I’m far from convinced it’s worth the effort. I’ve seen guys guys grow beards and they look awesome – seriously cool dudes. Look at Shane Owen and Dannick Gauthier of Fife Flyers, true masters of facial hair.
I aspired to the suave sophistication of George Clooney with a hint of a barista for extra coolness. Minus the man bun. So far, I’ve been compared to 80-year old country singer Kenny Rogers and Bagpuss – not quite the level of street cred I was pitching for.
I suspect this is all due, largely, to the fact I have no idea what I am doing.
Every other night, I chip away at it with a trimmer, but balancing left and right side while looking in the mirror is is trickier than it looks.
And then there’s the colour.
I’ve been grey for years and it doesn’t bother me.
My beard is grey with blobs of white, as if I’ve dunked my face in a bottle of Tippex for my own amusement.
True, this does throw up the possibility of a handy wee part-time number as a stand-in for Santa should he fancy a day off at the grotto – I could do with the cash!
The itchiness I can just about cope with, but the constant faffing I really can’t be bothered with.
I’ve avoided all manscaping oils and potions as the whole grooming industry is a) expensive and b) bewildering.
Novices like me clearly need supervision.
I guess I need a trip to Revolution Barbers to get some expert advice ...