DUNCAN BARKES Help! I’m falling into the pitfalls of the ageing process moans

Last weekend I celebrated a birthday.

Which number is irrelevant, but for the first time I have started noticing the advancing years, and not just because there are more candles on my cake.

The ageing process is seeing me transform into a fully-paid-up member of the Grumpy Old Gits.

I find the noise from the television too much these days.

Whether it is the technicians purposely making the adverts louder in between the programmes I don’t know, but the first thing I do on entering a room is locate the remote control and turn the blasted racket down.

Then there is the borderline obsessive craving to buy an old motor.

Not a classic car, but a slightly battered Mercedes that has an air of faded elegance. Or maybe a Landrover?

Not one of those new versions that wannabe gangsters drive, but a small Landy that will get me up the hill at Goodwood and almost certainly into bother with the Green lobby.

I also like the idea of a dog for the back of the Merc (or to sit alongside me in the Landrover); a lovable hound who won’t mind me ranting about the state of the nation and who will give me a reason to drag my ageing carcass for some much-needed exercise.

Hair growth in the wrong places is of mounting concern.

The amount starting to appear up my nose is alarming, as are the tufts lurking around my earlobes.

Time was when I had to ask my barber to trim my eyebrows in order to stop me turning into Denis Healey.

Now I have to ask him to tame my fluffy lobes to stop me looking as if I’m wearing grey candyfloss as earrings as well.

Finding something decent to watch on the telly is a regular challenge.

But never did I imagine there would come a day when I would look forward to watching ‘Coast,’ becoming utterly engrossed in the stories of our shores.

I have an irrepressible urge to shout at people who have their mobile phone attached to their ears, and who then have the nerve to glare when they narrowly miss colliding with me because they were not paying attention to where they were going.


Putting on another year means I’m suddenly angry that the word ‘innit’ is going into the Scrabble dictionary.

It also takes longer to recover from hangovers.

Oh, and I find myself getting excited when I spot a good deal on a set of new kitchen knives.

But for all the oddities and irritations that are the handmaiden of ageing, I also find myself worrying far less about what others think of me. Every cloud...