Listening to: Dumb Waiters (Psychedelic Furs)
Weather: The odd wintry shower, mostly very sunny, north wind swinging to the west.
Birds: a fat little sparrow flitting around the hen run, a snipe flying up in front of me as I was stalking rabbits.
I had a shave last night. Nothing remarkable there, except that it was the first for nearly a fortnight. It bloody hurt.
On my way back to Orkney last week I hadn't bothered shaving (nobody to impress) and by the time I got back to Westray there was a fair covering of stubble. Somehow I didn't get around to scraping the face for another couple of days, so was pretty fuzzy by the time we wandered down for our Friday night drinks at the hotel.
By the end of the evening I had decided to grow a beard, which just goes to show you should never make important life decisions while full of Pinot Grigiot, no matter how perky and fruity.
I think what I had in mind was the full ZZ Top, like so. . .
. . . or even something in keeping with my new surroundings. . .
Mrs TPF reminded me that The Boy had, while watching Billy Connolly's British tour on telly a couple of years ago, promised to buy me a trike if I went for the purple goatee, leather bandana and wraparounds look. . .
. . . so that was settled. Mrs TPF was kind enough to add: "It's not like we do much snogging these days."
Except that growing a beard isn't that easy. You look like a tramp, you realise you are going very grey and it itches like hell.
I lasted until yesterday at about 6pm before I cracked, disappearing into the bathroom to use up half a can of foam and two disposable razors (a cut-throat would have been the tool of choice), hacking and swearing at the bristles until most were removed and, once again, I looked like this. . .
. . . well, close enough. . . same species anyway.
I went back into the kitchen and treated the wife to a slow, romantic kind of a kiss on the lips. She looked surprised and, a whole hour later, said: "You've had a shave. I was just thinking today you looked quite nice with a beard."
* I'm sure most of you know about this already, but one of my favourite things about ZZ Top (some smashing, bluesy tracks apart) is that two of them have beards and the one who doesn't is Frank Beard! Fantastic!