This Man's Life: Go gentle into that good night - at 9pm with a bag of Maltesers
The distressing irony of getting to 49 - ie not dying young - is that, living to middle age, you suddenly feel like you earned some monstrous penalty that can now be inexorably exacted upon you.
Take last Saturday night. It had echoes of Sir William Harcourt's dreary maxim that the experiences of a long life have convinced him that nothing ever happens. My wife and I had planned a big night out on the town, because the mother-in-law had taken our baby for a sleepover at her house.
Flags rose. Hymns resounded. Trumpets sounded.