I bumped into a friend this morning whilst out on a dog walk. She proclaimed that she didn’t recognise me, due to my “beard” (I’m about 10 days estranged of razors). She later went on to remark that it was a massive beard. Whilst I disagree with the latter sentiment, the former could well be a proclamation of truth. The first utterance of the noun ‘beard’ I’ve had in relation to this facial horticulture.
I’ve grown two proper beards before, and two moustaches. Identification of a proper moustache is easy – according to my Uncle Keith : “You can’t call it a moustache, until you can see it from behind.” Definition of a beard is a little trickier. When does it turn from stubble into a beard? I posed this question on Twitter this morning and got a perfect response, and in the absence of anything better to go on, I’m endorsing this as the leading voice – according to @dave_bullough “It needs to go through that teen phase where it’s irritable & annoying before blooming into a full and handsome adult specimen. “. Well said Dave. Well, my ‘beard’ is probably a late teen, still a bit irritable & annoying, but looks quite like a real beard.
So – I’ve now got the decision of not so much ‘if’, but ‘when’ I’ll shave it off. I’m fairly sure I’ll want to get rid of it soon, certainly before starting my new job (It would be a complete Grizzly Adams if I leave it that long). Another factor is that I’ve also just received a new cake of MITCHELL’S WOOL FAT SHAVING SOAP (Original 1893 formula. Bradford, Yorkshire) that I’m literally itching to use.
On the other hand, I am tempted to go a bit beard for a while though. It changes the way people see you. It has the odd effect of scaring some kids, whilst others (like my Sophie, when I last grew a big ol’ beard) love me even more. They really do feel like some kind of shield at times.
I’ll wrap up the blog not feeling any the wiser over the decision. I’m going to stroke my beard now and close with the following anecdote: The only army occupation that used to allow beards was that of the Fusilier. They were allows beards, so they always had something to wipe the grease off their hands, prior to handling charges. I think it’s moved on a bit since then, bit it goes to show, beards can be a life saver.