DUNCAN BARKES No solution yet in my fruitless quest for that real close shave

Many men prefer it wet, others believe they can achieve satisfaction with the help of an electrical device. However you shave, nothing ruins your morning more than a less than perfect job; one that leaves you facing the day feeling unprepared and scruffy.

A decent shave matters to a chap, but I’m struggling to achieve de-bristling perfection.

I find electric shavers pretty pointless. The one I have has two bladed discs that are supposed to give you a shave on par with a wet one. This of course is complete rubbish. The reality is you are left with a face that looks, alarmingly, like the scorched grass left behind after session with a disposable barbecue.

My electric shaver is a last resort and even when a passable shave is managed, it still leaves you with the problem of those tiny hairs that litter your collar like iron filings.

Much time and money is spent on advertising wet razors. If the ads are to be believed, razors are capable of making you an awesome sportsman, a great father and, of course, totally irresistible to women.

Bah! As if. But it does not stop the razor companies flogging their wares (and gullible men buying them) for big money. Have you seen the cost of razor blades recently? They could become their own black market currency. It’s no wonder that they are security tagged.

Wet razors are marketed with names like ‘Turbo’ and ‘Mach 3’ and these days one razor can contain to up to five blades. I have tried these creations and I remain to be convinced they are any better than a simple one-blade job.

I have tried using new blades each time, shaving in the bath once my pores have opened up in the heat, and all variety of creams and gels. The results are passable, but nothing more.

One of the best shaves I have ever had was at a Turkish barbers in the small town of Kalkan. As well as a perfect shave, my ear and nasal hair was also removed with a lit taper. A birthday treat from Mrs B, GEO F TRUMPER in London was another superb scrape. But my bank balance cannot withstand repeated trips to Turkey or Mayfair.

In both of these instances a switchblade razor was used. This is something I have toyed with, but simply do not trust myself to wield one without mishap, especially after a particularly heavy night on the sauce.

So in my quest of that elusive ten-out-of-ten shave I welcome any tips Observer readers can pass on. In the meantime I will persevere with my tub of soap, a badger-hair shaving brush and more blades than Croydon nightclub.

** You too could be a winner at the fair

The recession hasn’t caused local traders to stint on their support for local schools. The Parklands Primary School summer fair raffle has oodles of top prizes to be won at their fair on Saturday, May 26, 1pm-4pm, all kindly donated by local businesses.

Too many to list, but I assure you it’s well worth going along and buying a ticket. There will be heaps of fun and games for all too, including a Best of British hat parade and a Pimm’s and beer tent. Top hole!

Email Barkes at duncanbarkes@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter: @DuncanBarkes