The timely onset of winter, however, has this year heralded something new in my life. 'Is it a baby?' I hear you ask with the breathy enthusiasm of a 1980s soap opera bimbo. Well, no. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, and it serves you right for being such a smart-ass. It IS, in fact, a genuine surprise.
Today, I had reason to give a ride to my almost entirely dormant artistic fifteen year old. I don't usually give him a ride to school; frankly the kids need as much exercise as they can get in a world geared towards the automobile and very distinctly - even aggressively against the bicycle, and even the pedestrian. This morning, the weather was appalling, however - we could barely see the opposite side of the street for the rain and hail doing its best to push the ground a little lower.
Out of the door he dashed towards the truck, and grimly I followed into the hail. What happened next signalled a landmark in my life. Teeth gritted against the cold and the onslaught from above, I became aware, during those few seconds which seemed to pass like hours, of a light but definite drumming on the top of my head...not painful but also not entertainingly rhythmic enough for me to enjoy it. What was happening? I'll tell you - my teeth are still clenched by the way - I was for the very first time experiencing the pitter-patter of hail on my bald spot.
Yes, it has come to this. My hair has now reached the "may as well not be here" stage of thinning. Bollocks.