It wasn't until the following day that I realised what Stense was really trying to tell me was that my beard has recently developed quite a few grey flecks. I sent her a text message, pointing out that she had spoken about my salt and pepper beard as if it was a good thing to have. Her reply:
Of course! It's a very distinguished look - well done! Stense xx
Distinguished! I liked that! For about 24 hours, that was. Then it occurred to me that I have only ever heard the adjective distinguished used to describe elderly people. The cheeky cow!
The problem with having my particular salt and pepper beard is that three or four of its grey hairs have chosen to clump together directly under my left nostril. From a distance, when the beard hasn't been trimmed for a couple of weeks, this can look uncannily like a trail of snot.
Which isn't particularly distinguised.