Middle-agers enjoy comforts unimaginable to those who are burdened by youth. You don't have to worry how many friends you have on Facebook because you foster your relationships on sheaves of Basildon Bond. You are the only one not shivering on a wintry station platform because you're sensibly swaddled in thermals. You can dangle from trees because you've stopped caring about street-cred and you know what to do with a Jerusalem artichoke.
Evidently, though, the transition remains mysterious to those who have yet to find the courage to try it, so here are 20 pointers to help you work out whether you qualify for Mid Life.
You know you're middle aged when:
A flannelette sheet tops your birthday wish list
You memorise the going rate for a cauliflower
You host a dinner party in your slippers
You tell your New Year's Eve guests that you need to be in bed by 10.30pm.
You can't do forward rolls any more
You check out the obituaries in the newspaper
You read a newspaper
You talk to vegetables
You leave off shaving your legs
You wear a warm coat when you go out on the town
Except that you don't go out on the town because you're working your way through your box set of Downton Abbey
Your mother gives you his n' hers all-purpose household hygiene wipes for Christmas
You mistake the wire from an iPod stored in a school mother's cleavage for an intravenous drip
You carry a bottle opener in your handbag in case you get taken short
You have opinions on different brands of furniture polish
You have the Boden order line on speed-dial
You have a husband who wears long johns
You once wrote in to Jim'll Fix It
You start to find other people's illnesses interesting
You feel maternal towards policemen
See? Nothing to it! Let me know your score and if you can think of any other enjoyable symptoms that I have overlooked please suggest them below. Happy ageing!