Explaining he phenomenon of middle age that replaces the excitement of youth, judith warner writes, “There are trade-offs: intensity versus contentment, exaltation versus peace. And perhaps the best exchange of all: you trade in an idea of yourself for a reality that, if nothing else, can make you laugh.” Don’t know whether I should find solace in this or give in to the feeling of utter poignancy it evokes. Desolate seems a good word. Perhaps the fundamental difference is the gradual dawning and acceptance that you are neither the centre of the world, nor are things going to get much better. Life is, it will.