I get asked a lot of questions about my beard. It's a pretty easy topic of conversation for people who don't know me very well.
"How long did it take to grow?"
"Couple of months."
"Do you get your dinner stuck in it?"
"Somtimes, but orange juice with bits in it is more of a problem."
...and so it goes on.
The reality is that there is a lot more to me than my beard. I have a blue car and a green front door. I cook pretty well. I have a daughter with a funny middle name. I once saw Dickie Davies write off a Saab on a corporate driving day at Silverstone (I was about 11 years old). In other words, I've got lots of other stuff to say. But most conversations seem to centre on my beard.
So I thought I'd quickly write down some beard thoughts - that way, if you meet me soon, you'll already know all about the beard, and we can talk about some more interesting stuff, like art and music and your new hairdo.
The Beard Files:
1. I have a beard because I am lazy.
2. I've never been a big fan of shaving. I have a couple of big moles on my face which are quite easy to nick with a razor blade. This always put me off a bit.
3. When I clean shave (about twice a year) I marvel at how young I look. It takes about five years off me.
4. My beard doesn't get itchy. I know you think it does, but it doesn't.
5. Another reason I have a beard, apart from being lazy, is that I work in a place where you don't get sacked for having a beard.
6. Maybe sacked is a bit strong - I work in a place where it isn't frowned upon to have a beard.
7.Every couple of months I clip my beard with an electric beard trimmer, which results in an even coverage of stubble approx 2-3mm in length.
8. I do this when I start to look like a tramp. You know that this point has been reached when you can suck the moustache hair into your mouth with your bottom lip.
9. Sorry if that makes you feel ill.
10. I feel the same whether I have a beard or not. The beard does not make me feel more mystical, rural, crotchety, natural, liberal, smelly, artistic or any of the other stuff that beards sometimes take the credit for.
11. Charles Darwin, J Christ, David Bellamy, Ming the Merciless - great guys, great beards.