Though I continue to have my reservations about the whole episode, it seems that my beard is going down quite well with the general public. This evening after work I met a friend who I hadn't seen in the flesh for well over a year, and his first words to me post handshake were words of a beard-related nature. Indeed words of a complimentary beard-related nature at that. Anyway, as is my wont, I questioned their sincerity and whether it was really okay. He assured me that it was a beard, said that it made me look like a "proper academic" (I am not an academic) and we left it at that.
On a side note, I trimmed the moustache element of the beard with scissors over the weekend. What a revelation! I feel like a new man. I wonder what else this hair on my face has in store for me.
(More beard stuff soon)