I finally got around to screwing the shaving mirror into the wall the other day and it's changed my life.
We'd had the mirror for ages, one of those ones on a concertina-like attachment that comes out of the wall and sits about two centimetres in front of your face.
The other night, rather than move it to another cupboard I decided to push the DIY envelope a little and attach it to the bathroom wall. Half an hour of swearing and step ladders and power tool mayhem later and it was up. And it's like a whole new world. You might not think that being able to see a magnified version of my old man's visage, all the pores and wrinkles, would be in any way fascinating - but I'm hooked.
Maybe it's my ever-fading eyesight or the fact that the light switch has gone in the bathroom but shaving had degenerated into various random swipes at my soaped-up chin. It was a bit hit-and-miss, a bit of a guessing game but it's now a whole new pleasure.
The whiskers on the soft bit of neck around the adam's apple - gone! Those annoying tufts around the lips - gone! I can see! I can see!
They're funny things, mirrors. We all know that it's not the real you. It is, of course, a mirror image. And the more asymmetrical your face, the more distanced the you you've come to know is from the you the rest of the world sees. By now it's become "you" so that when you see yourself as others see you - on camera for instance - it comes as a bit of a shock.
I'm going to be on telly sometime soon. A national show. I can't say too much. Only that the other week I attended "a confidential TV recording".
It was fun. The green room was relaxed and the producers succeeded in making me and my fellows so relaxed that I for one didn't feel that nervous, no voice in my head screaming "You're on telly, you're on telly". And hair and makeup was a hoot. No chair and bright lights. Just the arm of a couch and a nice lady with some foundation (I think) and hairspray. She even had to come back on set when they realised my hair was too sticky-uppy for the lights behind me.
We smiled and spoke for the cameras and did what was expected of us, but here's the thing. At no time did any of us see what we looked like. I don't know if it was expediency or intent but we didn't get to see our faces. Didn't get to see us as all the viewers out there in TV land will. Soon.
With the cameras pointed my way I was calm as can be but now I'm dreading it. Not my performance - I don't think I made too much of an arse of myself - but my appearance.
The problem is that I don't recognise that me as me. I can look closely, very closely, at the man in the mirror, but the thought of seeing me as I really am has me scared.
I'm starting a broadcasting course this week. I think I've got a face for radio.
What does your shaving regimen involve?