How Covid led to the World’s Greatest Shave

Just as for everyone else, 2020 was a bizarre year, but for me much (much, much) less difficult than for many people. Sure, our business was disrupted, but only a little and only for a few months. Our team worked from home from early March 2020, and by about June it was almost business as usual. (Our main concern at that time being what we could do to support our many clients who were more severely impacted.) Yes, my personal life was inconvenienced, but only mildly. I couldn’t go to the movies, or on holiday … oh yeah, and I couldn’t go to my local barber.

By May of 2020, when I was starting to look a bit shaggy, I asked my wife to get the clippers out and give me an all over number 2. And I repeated that every month or so throughout 2020 and into early 2021 – even when barbers were allowed to reopen, it didn’t seem to be worth the risk. We kept at it with the trusty clippers – here is an image of me from April this year, a couple of weeks after my most recent haircut.

Rhys Roberts 2021

When we went back into lockdown shortly after that though, I was starting to suffer clipper fatigue. (Is there such as thing? If not, there is now). So I let my hair grow, with no purpose in mind except a certain change in attitude, which I know was manifesting itself in many others. Once again, we were still employed, we still had food on the table, we could still pay our bills – so what I was experiencing was utterly trivial.

But in September 2021 things took a darker (non-Covid-related) turn. I had a conversation with my oldest and closest friend, a guy I met in school in the UK, have shared so much with and have loved for more than 40 years. He told me he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

So even though I am now very much in need of a haircut, I have decided that I am going to let this mane grow till we get to the next round of the World’s Greatest Shave, in March 2022. And then I’m going to shave it off. And I’ll do the job properly – the beard can go too. If by doing so I can raise money for research into cancer cures, that will be a great outcome. So if you’ve read this far, and if you think my ageing 70s rocker look just has to go, please chip in with a contribution.

And finally, looking to the future: with international borders now re-opening, I am looking forward to getting on a plane hopefully at some stage in 2022, flying back to the UK and sitting down for a beer with my friend. I love living in Australia, but it is a long way from many of my oldest friends and my family, all of whom I miss very much. Thanks to everyone who reads this – whether you donate or not please stay safe and hug those you love and tell them how much they mean to you.

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