For a while, when I was practising in London, I had to put up with the bit of teasing from my professional colleagues on the Peter Pan front. I looked far too young, they said.
The criticism was unfair, I thought. The thing was, I really was far too young: it was no illusion. I started my law firm when I had only just turned 28 years old, and before very long, I and that law firm was doing some serious business. In those days, I was, generally speaking, much younger than my peers.
At no very obvious moment, all this changed. I am now much older than my peers in the law. I know this because I’ve started to feel a real sense of gratification about eating vegetables that I have grown myself in my vegetable garden. This must be a sign of age, even if my head of hair is not yet entirely grey. I have never remotely tried to retard this greying process; on the contrary, it is been many years since I speculated that grey hair might be worth quite a few guineas onto my hourly rate. Furthermore, I have noticed that I have started to involuntarily groan when I reach down to pick up and replenish the animal’s food bowls. And I quite like mowing the lawn, given a ride-on mower. Is that just a stepping stone to a mobility scooter?
As against all of this, I had to go and see my orthodontist this week. Some time ago, he had screwed a post into my jaw ready to receive a crown, and he needed to perform a torque test to make sure that the bone had grown around the screw. I got the tick; he told me that I had exceptional powers of healing. Which is nice.
Anyway, the bizarre thing is that, in the round, I don’t, in my heart, feel old at all. Go figure.