There are many ways by which men mark the march of time. There is the obvious one of choosing cars. The youthful sporty hatchback is changed for a people carrier as children appear.
There is the greying hair around the temples and the expanding waist line. There is the realisation that watching sport from the sofa is actually better than playing sport.
After all, you have ‘injuries', ie, you got kicked the last time you played five-a-side and it has left you with a nasty bruise.
Better not risk another bruise. Indeed, you reason — showing another sign of ageing — football is such a dangerous game to play for someone of your age. (Your age? When did ‘your age' mean your da's age?)
Then there are actual sports which you watch from the comfort of the sofa. (Aren't sofas marvellous? Really must think about getting a new sofa.)
Motor sport is just too noisy, all those whiny cars and motorcycles are far too much for your ears to bear. Now golf, there's a sport. No loud noises to frighten you, a nice quiet ball, hush on the fairway. And the clothes are really quite cool.
Oh, what a horrible term ‘cool' is, you think, that is the sort of thing young people say.
What you meant to say was that golfing clothes are ‘class' or ‘sound' or ‘beezer' but you did not say that because no one would know what you meant. But you do like the idea of those comfortable golfing sweaters.
Finally, there is the ultimate surrender, the moment of total and unconditional capitulation to the passing years when men of a certain age suddenly discover, after a lifetime of ignoring them in the newspaper, that they really, really love doing the crossword. Obviously, I would like to write more on this — just as soon as I crack 12 down.