I recently had the old riah zhooshed and idly inquired whether the cape around my shoulders had been shaken out since the last customer, as there appeared to be more than a few grey hairs down my front. Johann, the surly mitteleuropäisch barber, assured me that no, it was in fact all my own hair, and proceeded to point out exactly what bits of my scalp they came from. I may have made a rather undignified noise. It's now undeniable: I'm going grey at the temples. Now this by itself might not exactly be cause for concern, as I'm relatively certain that the sudden appearance of grey hair is not unconnected to stress. Nevertheless, there are other signa et portenta.
Nasal hair has become an Issue. Hangovers are becoming worse, and lasting a good day or so. My hairline is receding. Oddly, this only appears to be a problem on one side of my head (similarly, the aforementioned nasal hair problem affects only the left nostril. I am ageing lopsidedly.), although this could just be down to how I tend to part my hair. A chance remark by He Whom I Call Beloved, followed by much contortionism and a pair of mirrors, reveals that my hair is beginning to thin on the crown. The hair on my back and shoulders has become pelt-like, and I am forced to either shave my upper arms or refrain from wearing t-shirts. I desperately need to have my prescription updated, as my glasses are no longer helping me to see in the distance, and I suspect that my eyesight is now too poor to drive legally.
I shall refrain from listing the non-physical signs of ageing that I've noticed. Quite frankly, a raging intolerance for youth slang, fashion and music is just a part of the grumpy misanthropy that I have cultivated since I was twenty or so. I do feel old, though, when walking through the centre of town on Friday and Saturday nights. Clubbers are so young these days. And I swear that some bus drivers have obtained employment under false pretences: some of them don't look old enough to be in charge of a tricycle, let alone a sodding double-decker.
I am aware that this post is not without an element of chutzpah. Many (most?) of you dear and loyal readers are richer in years than I. Indeed, my husband, who is six years older than me, as bald as a billiard ball and sports a beard so streaked with grey that he appears to be speaking through a baby badger, has told me to stop being such a bloody drama queen. While tucking a nice tartan blanket around me and passing me my pipe and slippers.