That has been the question of the last few weeks. I seem to have been given heaps of advice on my facial fuzz, so while I am loathe to tap out yet another self indulgent blog (They’re all self indulgent to a degree though aren’t they?) the beard has dominated much of the recent correspondence you, dear reader, have sent me.

Before*:

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During:

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After:

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It’s gone. Seven weeks worth of growth. Well, it seemed only fair to let the rest of my face get something of a (wind) tan before I return to Blighty. That and I don’t think Grandma would talk to me if I came back with it attached to my face. And I can’t have that.

A few things to note here. Forget what you saw in The Fugitive, beards do not come off that quickly. Then again I’m not Harrison Ford. Sadly.

Also, according to Bill Bryson’s scientific masterpiece (and I’m hugely grateful to Kevin for lending it to me) A Short History Of Nearly Everything, the pace a man’s beard grows at is down to how much he thinks about sex. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions there but it does lead me on to my last beard related story.

J.B. Oliver, a good man, headmaster of my Upper School** back in the day, stood proudly bearded moments before his shave for charity in front of a full assembly hall of expectant teenagers. As the barber’s chair awaited alongside the collection buckets, moments before settling down, Mr Oliver proclaimed loudly; “I haven’t had it off for years.”

“The beard, the beard”, he hurriedly shouted as the audience collapsed in sniggering adolescent laughter.

I think I know how the poor chap felt.

*Thank you to Keith ‘Casper’ Coatsworth for the photo. Memories of a great pub, The Albar in Dunedin. Proper hand pulled ale, Beatles, Stranglers or Paul Weller on the jukebox, a fireside seat and Douglas Bader’s autobiography on the bookshelf. No wonder I look so content.

**A big hello to anyone reading from The Class of (’96 and) ’98! Oh what fun we had, did it really turn out bad?

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