I grow a beard.

I have normally quite fresh faced good looks, and the addition of a beard adds a bit more Hollywood ruggedness I feel. As if I have been stuck on a desert island for ages, but with a camera crew.

“You look like a fucking hobo,” remonstrates the LTLP. She pretends not to like my new rough and tough image. She will not be complaining tonight when I drag her to bed by her hair.

“It is a kind of protest,” I confide to Eddie, as we sit later on at the bar in the Village Pub.

“Against what?”

I stroke my beard thoughtfully. “I have pledged not to shave until I have a bathroom environment suitable to do so. You know – with a proper mirror, and a floor, and space to lay out your stuff. The idea is that every day the builders will see me with my beard, and be reminded guiltily of the fact that I have no proper bathroom.”

He nods, appreciatively.

“It is a bit like setting myself on fire,” I continue. “But without the hurty burny bit.”

“Have they noticed yet then?”

“Not yet.”

The Foxy Barlady sidles up and asks if I am coming to the next quiz night. My combination of rough edges and the spiritual, almost Buddhist, protesting dimension to my beard is clearly a winner. She has become my bitch (although I do not say that as it would be rude).