According to this very newspaper, a recent survey found that “investing in decent cutlery and enjoying a garden centre” are definite signs that you’re officially middle aged.

Well I’m not going to disagree. Personally I think life’s too short to put the wrong shaped spoon in your mouth and don’t get me started on badly weighted table knives that drop off the plate and clatter around on your quarry tiles, giving you tinnitus and splattering gravy everywhere. Whoever designed those should be put against the wall and shot.

While we’re on the subject, I’m also a bit fussy about drinking wine out of a mug – especially if it’s got a thick rim and a slogan on it. As for a cereal bowl with a chip, that’s going in the bin mate and no, before you ask, I don’t mind getting things like dishes and glasses for Christmas, because considering that my front bottom reacts violently to every bath oil under the sun, and I can no longer wear eye make up for other allergy reasons, my house is the last thing left to pamper. In fact my favourite gift last year was a set of multi-coloured linen table napkins. These are unused obviously. I might be middle aged but I’m not sure I’ll ever be grown up/mad enough to iron napkins. Anyway it doesn’t matter, I don’t need to use them. Just seeing them all folded up neatly in my specially designated napkin drawer is enough to give me the horn.

As for finding fun in a garden centre, apart from an afternoon in a haberdashery department, I don’t know where else you would go for fun? Did I hear someone say clubbing? Ergh, I can’t think of anything worse. Seriously what’s the point in paying to be out after dark and fighting to get served at the bar, when you can experience the afternoon joys (with optional flapjack) of the garden centre and still be home in time for Strictly. Ha, don’t tell me I’m not a girl who knows how to enjoy herself, cos I’ve got the slippers to prove it.

In fact reading through the list, I ticked every box, plus a few more that no-one thought to ask. For example: soaking cereal overnight so that its easier on your teeth first thing in the morning and laughing in the face of green health drinks that look like swamp water and cost £4.50! Jog on love. There are many things that unite the middle aged and not all of them involve varifocals. For example, there’s marching. Now this is something that I’ve taken up in my middle years. After all what’s not to like? It gets you out of the house and into the fresh air without being too far away from the shops, if say for example a button comes off your windcheater and you need to pop into John Lewis for a needle and thread. Plus it’s as good for your waistline as climbing Ben Nevis, unless you slope off half way through for afternoon tea at The Ritz.

Some people join a gym or instal a cross trainer in the spare bedroom, some of us like to get really furious and join half a million other like minded folk for an afternoon ramble in central London.

Judging by my train carriage into Victoria on Saturday for the People’s Vote march, protesting might be the most popular hobby for people over 50 in the country today. I’ve never seen so many grey heads outside of an AGM of the WI. And may I just compliment us on our organisational skills. We all had bottles of water and many of us were armed with homemade sandwiches packed in tin foil. “Cheese and pickle or egg mayo Lorraine?” I overheard one woman say to her friend. Forget about advertising trainers for running or jogging. Shoe manufacturers, if you fancy a slice of the middle-aged market then what we’re really after is a special ultra-padded marching trainer, which will double up as a Christmas shopping trainer in December. Because I have to admit my feet were killing me as we rounded Park Lane into Piccadilly and I started to slightly hallucinate about getting them in a bucket of Epsom salts. Of course when I got home, I realised it wasn’t actually the trainer’s fault, it was mine. I’d forgotten to cut my toe nails. Anyway, that’s beside the point.

Contrary to popular opinion that all old codgers are pro-Brexit (apart from Michael Caine of course) the over fifties, sixties and seventies were out in force on Saturday and had anyone been pedantic enough to do another poll, I reckon the sheer number of those deemed middle aged and beyond may have surprised quite a lot of people.

So don’t write us off kids. There might be more of us on your side than you imagine and a lot of us think your future is worth sacrificing an afternoon at the garden centre for.



The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.

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