I suppose it is symptomatic of retirement that the only hairy moments in our lives are those that sprout from our noses, ears, toes, no toes are good, apparently it shows that the circulation is still functioning, a problem with diabetics whose feet can be susceptible to gangrene and amputation. But I digress. I’m writing this blog to talk about my efforts to support Movember. For the uninformed – grow a moustache in support of your chosen charity – in my case prostate cancer. If I manage to attach a photo to this blog you will have the pleasure of seeing my moustache in its very early days.

I have previous, quite a lot of previous in fact, in the area of facial hair. As I began to lose hair off the top of my head I guess I compensated, as so many of us do, by increasing the amount on the lower half. In the end, if I remember correctly, I did the decent thing and shaved the top of my head but kept the beard in some form. Sometimes ZZ Top, sometimes goatee, different versions – short but there, a mere hint of hair including that silly version of a little v shape underneath the lower lip, sometimes longer (but my friend, who I shall return to in a moment, said this version made me look like Paul Gadd (Gary Glitter as was – not a good image for a psychologist working in schools). Other times I had bald head and full beard but I couldn’t block out the words of grandad in Fools and Horses, he complained that some kid had shouted at him, “hey mister, you’ve got your head on upside down.” Those words haunted me, so in the end I lost the fairly bushy beard.

At other times I had only the moustache, haven’t had one for a long time so this month will be a homecoming. I enjoyed letting it grow into a big fuck-off handle bar (along with Fu Manchu and handlebar, the least likely moustache to make a comeback, it is said,  but then they said that with flares and now they’re all over the fucking place, except on me) version but people told me I looked like I was lost from Village People. Nothing wrong with that except that my golfing chums would hum YMCA during my swing – my swing couldn’t stand any further disadvantage. This was in the days of my sporting triumphs (turning up each week and being crap was my triumph,) so chaps (and I guess women chaps) being what they are, there was plenty of room for piss-taking. It’s what we who weren’t that talented at the actually sport excelled at. My pal with the Paul Gadd and Village People feedback was one of the best. God rest his soul.

Last year we took a tour of Fenway Park home of baseball team the Boston Red Sox. I have a predilection for empty sports stadia. Unfortunately we didn’t see any players and if we had it would have been before the days of their bearded players. The Red Sox had their worst season in 50 years last season then they all (nearly all) grew beards and everything was great. An article on the back page of this weekend’s Observer reckoned that it was believed that the facial hair had imbued the players with Samsonian power and as a bonus, author of article, Tim Lewis writes ‘the Red Sox’s bushy beards have cast them as outlaws and renegades’. Wow, can’t wait, when you’re 65 you have to take outlawism and renegadeism where you can get it.

So that’s what I’m going to do this month, I’m going to grow my moustache for charity. As I said, for prostate cancer charities, which is fitting because my friend, to whom I referred earlier, died of prostate cancer fairly recently. He was one of the best piss takers I’ve ever played cricket with. He had ‘previous’ with hair but in his case it was the hair on the top of his head. His hair would come and go with his alopecia depending on the state of his marriage. More interestingly, at the time of a football World Cup, quite a few years ago now, one team, Romania or somebody east European, dyed their hair blond – all of them. My friend decided we should do the same. So in the tea interval at one (friendly) away game the whole of our team dyed their hair (the ladies doing a great job under pressure, tea intervals are not all that long) and out we all walked. To say the opposition were impressed would be an understatement and a lie. We thought we were hilarious. My friend liked his new look so much that he kept his hair (when he had it) blond until the day he died. We never got another fixture at this club after our display of originality but we didn’t care.

And so here I am, growing a moustache for a good cause and no going back now I’ve told you all that, is there? Brave of me to publish this photo, I’m much better looking in real life even if I am retired.

wish I’d plucked my nose hair


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