Last weekend, I turned 40. “Don’t worry, it’s just a number,” my family and friends said when I sank into a deep depression at the thought of this landmark.
On Tuesday evening, the fourth day of my forties (yes I am counting), I went to see Bob Dylan at the Royal Albert Hall. On my way to the concert, I was feeling much cheerier about my age – nothing to make you feel more youthful than watching a sprightly 72-year-old bang out a two-hour set with the same energy he had 50 years ago (OK, so Dylan may have done a bit of leaning and his voice these days is not so much gravelly as the sound of a tractor crunching over a country drive). But sitting down in my seat in the upper circle as the lights dimmed, I had a very ageing experience: I realised I had forgotten my glasses. So I couldn’t really see Dylan very well. But I could hear him. And he was wonderful.
I have thrown myself into the moshpit at a Nirvana gig, tried to get backstage to see countless dodgy indie bands, and once had a lost weekend at Glastonbury. In the end, though, as Dylan can testify, we have to bend a little to age.