Don’t you hate it when someone younger than you tells you that?

Of course age is just a number, but it’s also an indication of wear and tear, capacity to do work, and recuperative ability. You can’t escape its inexorable march. You can stay in shape and retard the ravages of time, but you ain’t gonna stop the bus.

The other day I was at the gym, participating in a 6-week program to inject some variety into my regime. One of the routines was a lung-bursting blast for 3 agonising minutes. ‘Do you know how old I am?’ I said to the instructor. With a full head’s height advantage, and probably two decades of credit on me, he looked down and smiled, ‘Age is just a number Paul.’

‘True,’ I offered, ‘but in my case it’s a bloody big number.’

He remained unmoved, and we did the drill.

That’s the trouble with youth. Wasted on the young.