Herb Alpert is a sure sign of middle age

IT suddenly struck me that I have passed serenely into middle age.

There were two big clues, really – I no longer know any of the music in the charts, which I could never have foreseen happening, and the other night I watched Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in concert on TV from the 1960s and really enjoyed it.

In fact, it may be worse – I may have reached that point which comes to us all when we turn into our parents.

I remember a Herb Alpert LP playing around the house when I was a child. I loved Spanish Flea and Tijuana Taxi, though I am still convinced they are the same song, one played slightly faster than the other. Is Herb Albert jazz? I don’t like jazz, but he can’t half blow a good tune on his trumpet.

Recently I also had a hankering to hear Andy Williams. Another throwback to my childhood. He was one of my grandfather’s favourites. Thankfully I managed to resist.

Middle age seems to just sneak up on you.

One minute you are happily in your early 30s with toddlers round your feet and a hallway full of pushchairs, toys and tiny pairs of shoes, and the next you are in your 50th year with two adults bigger than yourself as your children.

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The optician says “it’s your age” when you ask why you need glasses, my hair has gone from dark brown to a speckled grey, and I have learned to conserve my energy when playing sport – no more chasing up court to retrieve drop shots.

A few years back my grandmother said I might start to “fill out” like my father had done in his 40s. Another good reason for walking hundreds of miles every year.

What I am dreading next – when does middle age end and old age begin?

Answers on a postcard . . .