Carol Hunt: Look past the wrinkles and you'll see the gem
It's not just the neck that gives us away. When Nora Ephron wrote her savagely poignant account of ageing -- I Feel Bad about My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman -- she astutely said that "if anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini and don't take it off until you're 34".
Unfortunately I'd passed that milestone -- and years in a sensibly boring one-piece -- before I read Ephron's little gem of wisdom. Now I wish I'd pranced around naked. Because, truly, there is nothing that will make you appreciate what you take for granted more than the losing of it.
Next month sees a birthday looming which puts me on the other side of 40, and it's not just the neck I despair of. My, ahem, finest feature if I may say so, and I do, has always been a well-structured cleavage, which (to para-phrase a comment of Chris Hitchens) was once the toast of two counties.