As undertaken around a month ago, I’m contemplating ridding myself of facial hair. This a consequence of my visage fluff starting to itch like hell. Not to mention my wife recently liken me to Catweazle’s scruffier brother……. And that was before I’d even grown this full beard!

Pretentiously, I see my increased facial hirsuteness as a maverick move mirroring the fashion of many who for generations have shared my creative ilk. A strategy displaying to peers non-conformity to the ideology of the masses….. Well, apart from watching Corrie, or any TV show with Alex Polizzi in; which is apparently allowed under bohemian law.

I like to think the beard is a natural bedfellow to a newer dissenting side of me. One I foolishly concealed for decades through an amalgam of low self-esteem and idiotic acquiescence. Now I righty or wrongly deem my visage decoration exhibits an enigmatic disposition that cocks a snub at this cruel world – Not to mention saving me a chuffing fortune in razors.

In his book ‘Beards Are Great’, Andorran shepherd Kurt Gandias treats readers to several ‘interesting’ anecdotes about facial hair. Included amongst these idiosyncratic stories a yarn about losing a ewe within his unruly visage fluff. Along with an equally ‘gripping’ tale about how beard trimmers got their name.

My adult son Jonny often decries the fact he’s inherited my overactive hirsuteness gene. As does his fragrant fiancée Jenny who gets the thrice monthly ‘pleasure’ of shaving his back and teeth.

My wife traditionally shaves my back before holidays and visits to swimming baths. It’s not one of her favourite family traditions, but it usurps the six monthly nasal hair cull, along with the three monthly toenail cutting ceremony requiring the use of a farrier’s rasp and angle grinder.

During the aforementioned toenail cutting event I sit in a Strachan clan kilt whilst my spouse strives manfully to rasp down my foot claws. In the background a sense of the formal is added via the accompaniment of a bagpiper’s lament.

She’s not overly enamoured with this centuries old family legacy. However, since I agreed to wear boxer shorts under my kilt she admits it’s a slightly more bearable chore. To be honest, I’m also more contented I don shorts during this procedure – After all, going commando in a kilt when there’s clipped toenails flying around can be a reckless pastime!

When shaving my back, Karen recycles the discarded hair by giving it to a local taxidermist for use as a stuffing material. So fertile are my back follicles the last back shave, performed earlier this year, provided him with enough hair to preserve a giraffe and two hippos. 

Mind you, being very hairy does have some advantages. It allows you to…… errr…….. lets you….. erm…….. Actually, skip that, being overly hirsute doesn’t have any real tangible benefits at all!

Anyhow, while I’ve been penning this inanity, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to keep the beard after all.

Bohemians in 19th century Paris didn’t let their missus’ tell them if they could wear a beard or not. No, they’d stand up to such controlling tactics; instead refusing to be side tracked from their self-indulgent unconventional lifestyles…… Being French, though, if their paramour withheld their ‘husbandly rights’ they generally did as they were bloody told!