A Close Shave

images-2Beards are back. Have you noticed ? Maybe it started with David Beckham who grew a rather snazzy, pointy beard to go with his thick, short-at-the-side-and-piled-up-on-top hair style. In fact beards have been back for eighteen months or so, and according to the pundits, we have passed the Point of Peak-Beard and are returning to the Fields of Stubble or the Smooth-as-a- peach style.

I mention beards because, for the first time since I was fourteen (and that’s a very long time ago) I have trouble shaving. When I was fourteen the problem was finding enough beard to shave- it was a pathetic growth- a few whispy streaks of peach down. Now I have a face covered in sandpaper. It hurts when I rub the back of my hand against my face. And it’s spreading too. For years I shaved my chin, round the mouth and under the nose. Nowadays I have to go down the neck ( have you ever tried shaving your Adam’s Apple ? It’s like steering a lawnmower over a boulder) and up the sides to- right up to my ears.

I am turning into Sandpaper Man, and they will make horror films about me when I am dead.

I digress. Young men are stating their masculinity. That’s what it’s all about. The fashion is to grow a full set- cheeks, round the nose and mouth- even a daring plunge down the neck. Everything is neat and tailored. They look like Victorian statesmen or explorers. They look like proper men.I think they look great.

But growing a beard is not for old men. If your hair is silver ( mine is white ! White !) then a beard puts twenty years on your age; if you are bald and grow a beard, you look as though your head is on upside down. Don’t do it – ok ? Leave it to the handsome lads. Let them have their time in the sun.

And give a cheer for David Beckham- underpant model, human palimpsest, and style icon.

Nice one, Dave !


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