Richard Oliff: Movember is growing fast

Movember has taken off in a big way, says Richard
Movember has taken off in a big way, says Richard

Do you say sideburns or sideboards?

At this time of year it becomes an increasingly familiar sight to see a young man walking past sporting Edwardian style whiskers as an indication to the world that he has chosen to refrain from shaving in support of the annual push by the charities which promote awareness of men’s health.

Movember has taken off in a big way and is a cheap and cheerful method of getting a crucial message across to men.

Then, last weekend while out shopping, as one such bearded chap passed us with his partner and children, I wondered if he too was supporting the campaign, or had chosen to naturally wear his whiskers proudly as some of us used to do.

In the late 1970s/early 1980s I wore a moustache. In 1979 I was married wearing my moustache.

To this day I still don’t know why I subjected the world to my hairy under-nose extension, though on reflection, my late first wife did seem to have a penchant for men with facial hair, all the same I’ve yet to meet another.

I think it’s a Marmite kind of a thing: one simply likes or dislikes a hairy chin or upper lip: or both.

My cousin Michael used to wear a very upwardly curling moustache that wouldn’t be amiss in a Victorian photograph.

Nonetheless that seemed too much like hard work to me, as it required a great deal of care and attention, which may also have included waxing.

I’ve yet to meet the man who might confess to wearing a moustache net at bedtime, as was common practice at the turn of the last century.

Mine was a simple affair: straight up and down, with a bit of trimming required from time to time.

I once grew a full beard for a part in a stage production which has to be one of the most uncomfortable and itchy experiences of my life. Beards are not for me.