Hair today - and to stay?

Stuart Barber.
Stuart Barber.

When I’m away from the office the thing I tend to make sure I’m furthest away from is my electric razor (and my mobile phone, but that’s another story).

The daily chore of shaving the modest layer of stubble which has accumulated on my top lip and chin overnight is one task I can well do without at the best of times. So when I’m going to be ‘out of the loop’ for a week or two I indulge myself and happily join the ranks of the unshaven.

This has been my ‘thing’ all my working life, despite the fact it never comes without a price.

For a start after a couple of days the growth really starts to itch and in my view you have to be mentally tough to put the irritation to the back of your mind and stick with it. Then there is the issue of being reminded you are married to a woman with pogonophobia - someone with an irrational fear of beards - who berates me for adopting such a scruffy look and threatens not to take me shopping or a restaurant or the pictures or generally anywhere the public will see us together because of the bristles cultivating on my face. Even the chaps down the pub seem to have an issue when I’m on a no-shaving crusade and over a pint and some pork scratchings ape scratchy monkey-like movements in some sort of bizarre effort to encourage me to tidy up.

I am always resolute however and it is generally only 24 hours or so before I am due to rejoin the ‘booted, suited and clean shaven brigade’ that I comply. However having read Newsnight interrogator Jeremy Paxman’s position on this issue I’m posting fair notice now that may change.