DUNCAN BARKES Now, then chaps, any tips on how to moisturise?

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A few weeks ago in this column I was griping about the alarmingly swift progress the ageing process was making on my fine figure and general appearance.

Nothing, however, was as shocking as the comment from Barkes Junior last week.

Having bounced into the master bedroom like Tigger after too many E numbers last Saturday, she dealt me a killer blow: “Why have you got eyes like Kung Fu Panda, Daddy?” Ouch!

Scuttling to the bathroom I peered anxiously in the mirror.

Talk about out of the mouths of babes!

For there I was confronted with the grim truth. Not so much bags, these were ruddy great suitcases – I did indeed look like Kung Fu Panda. Without the cute factor.

But how come? Back in the day I could go out and get tanked up, party all night, and make it to work the next day looking a tad bleary, but certainly not with the whopping dark circles that stared back at me in the mirror.

Something clearly had to be done.

Grumbling to Mrs B, she immediately suggested cucumber slices or cold tea soaked cotton wool pads applied to my peepers (how do women know this sort of stuff?).

But I thought I’d feel daft lolling on the sofa with salad in my eyes, never mind the possible threat posed by e-coli-ridden cucumbers from the other side of Europe.

I had to go into Boots to get razor blades the day after and took advantage of this genuine mission to have a sneaky look at the chaps grooming section. Blimey!

Being a soap-and-water kind of bloke I had no idea how much stuff there was for us boys.

Finding the huge choice somewhat overwhelming I slunk off home without proper exploration.

Over dinner I broached the ‘product’ issue with Mrs B. Did they actually work, I queried?

I wish I’d never asked. Eight years of marriage and yet I had no idea that she was a walking encyclopaedia on skincare.

Fifteen minutes later she was still yakking about pore minimising and the benefits of exfoliation. But I confess that The Old Dear has aroused my curiosity, so if any chaps reading this column have a recommendation, please do pass it on to this baggy-eyed bloke.

Things you never thought you’d hear yourself say...