Forty years a growing
Back in 1971 I had a rather nasty dose of glandular fever.
When I say nasty, I mean nasty. I was bedridden and incapacitated for three weeks or so. As a result of the incapacity, I didn’t shave, so by the time I was back on my feet, I had a reasonably respectable beard. Just for the hell of it, I decided to leave it, and there it has remained ever since.
Actually, that’s not true. When our K8 was a nipper, I shaved it off and just left a moustache, but the result frightened the child so I had to grow it back again.
I like my beard for two reasons.
The first, as I discovered during my clean-shaven experiment is that it keeps me nice and warm. The second is that it is nice not to have to worry about shaving every day. All it takes is a slash with the scissors a few times a year.
Lately, out of pure curiosity I have been tempted to have another blast at being clean shaven, but Herself doesn’t like the idea. I don’t know why, but she can be a little strange at times. So it looks like it shall remain.
Like myself, it has grown old and grey in the past forty years since it first sprouted. It is the greyest part of me now, though the rest of my hair is slowly catching up. And the hat does match the handbag, if you are interested.
I am really quite attached to it now, as anyone who witnesses the grandchildren trying to swing out of it will testify. I think I’ll resign myself to being somewhat hairy for the rest of my days.
It’s a fucking bitch when jam or marmalade gets stuck in it though…..
There are two types of people that go around beardless; boys and women, and I am neither.
Yes, it is a fact that families get as attached to the beard as the person it’s on Grandad. My father was clean shaven until the day he retired from the Army. I was 16 at the time. He grew a beard right away. He tried shaving it off once or twice in the following 35 years, but it never worked out. Everyone and their dog made a raucous about it and he grew it back in short order. Some of his grand kids loved it. (My youngest son belonging in that category). It scared the wits out of a couple of them. The thing was though, there wasn’t much he could do about it. It was as much a part of him as his ears were! (Or his eyes, or his nose, I’m sure you get my drift).
I have a neatly trimmed beard. Had it since 1971 also. I have seen your beard. Got to be rats living in that haystack.
The last time I attempted to grow a beard was when I was a student, (some time ago, now), and the one thing I remember most was that it itched like hell and I could never get used to it, even though I persevered with it for about a year. I had to grow one again some years ago for an acting job in Dublin and was most relieved when after about six weeks the director decided that I shouldn’t have a beard for the part I was playing and could shave it off. I’ve never grown another one.
‘Himself’ has had a beard for 30 years, he used to be lifeboat crew so I suppose it fitted the image. Lately he’s been talking about shaving it off but I won’t let him. He was a slim 39 year old when he grew it and I’m afraid I won’t like or recognise what shaving might reveal!!
I’ve had my face-mop for over 17 years now. The new Herself said, “Cover that ugly puss up!” So I did. I do trim the moustache about every three or four weeks as I can’t stand hair in my mouth. My Herself and I have a signal worked out-if I am growing bored and restless with somebody (usually, I am the first to get bored), I tug on the end of the damn thing-that’s the message that I am ready to go! So, the beard has its uses.
I am a naturally hirsute bastard meself. The Royal Navy (of which I was never a part) says that any sailor who can grow a beard in 21 days can keep it. I can do it in 14. Trouble is, I have never progressed beyond the “itchy stage”. Drives me mental it does. Especially when things start nesting in there. I’ve discovered allsorts: robins, kestrels, kiwis, some small marsupials, and once, spectacularly, a young eland.
Until recently, I had a “soulpatch”. I looked utterly feckless but folk were too polite to say so. I caught meself in the mirror and decided that I looked like a gormless twat and hacked it off. I now have a (decent) moustache. I may, or may not, grow another beard when I am (much) older. It may (or may not) go wit me pipe.
Time will tell.
BTDriver – I hadn’t heard that one before. Mind you, I know one or two women………
Denise – My grandchildren love it. Sir Fartzalott [the youngest] just sits and stares at this unique sight, while the other two just love pulling it. It certainly sets me apart from the rest of the family!
TT – Where did you see it? I did have a family of song-thrushes that lived in it for a while. They used to sing for me each evening at dusk. Lovely.
Barking [or may I call you Spider?] – What is it with people complaining about itches? I have never had any itching problems. In fact I would suffer from ingrown hairs which are nasty little buggers. Never had a problem with them since I grew the hedge.
Meltimian – You sound a bit like Herself [and I hope that’s where the resemblance ends..] She says it has to stay because she’s used to it. I have a feeling though that she is afraid I’d use her razor.
Willie – Nice idea. Next time I want Herself to leave somewhere, I’ll just tug on my beard. It will make a pleasant change from grabbing her by the scruff of the neck and dragging her out. I agree about the hair in the mouth though. Not nice.
Ranty – Another fucking itcher! What is it with you wimps? Stick with it and you may even rediscover the dodo. As for a soulpatch? Fuck!!
Osama Bin-laden also likes the beard he will only shave it off when he goes to Britain for his new council house and benefits.
A photo you posted. Maybe at you blogging award ceremony. A video of an interview you did that you posted.
Yes, of course – you may even call me Spidey, Grandad. 😉
You’re lucky you didn’t have the itch, it’s bloody murder – if it hadn’t been for that bloody itch, I might have persevered a bit more than I did.
Peacock – My only problem is that depending on the state of my beard, I am easily mistaken for Gerry Adams, Harold Shipman or Osama O’Laden. I have to be damned careful about my trimming.
TT – Damnit! That was a mistake.
Spidey [Mr Barking?] The worst effect I suffered was that time I shaved it off. I fucking froze! The slightest breeze on my face sent shivers down my spine. I couldn’t wait to grow it back again.
I’m rather surprised you didn’t include a picture of the thing with your post. It’s a fine beard that one. Goes with the long locks and bushy mustache. If you look real hard you can almost see glimpses of your face here and there.
Kirk M – It didn’t occur to me to include a picture, but it would have been difficult as I don’t have a wide-angle lens. Anyway, you have seen it. What do you want a picture for?
To keep the kids away from the fire ?
A photograph of Herself would be much more effective. Want one?