Although there may be signs that I'm becoming more mellow as time takes it's toll, it has never been in my nature to show - or, even, in some cases, experience - emotion or a reaction to what might be considered to be significant events in my life. I don't, for instance, recall being concerned when abandoned (in effect) at boarding school at the age of four and, since then, I've pretty much accepted whatever life has presented me with a pinch of salt; "Qué será, será", as they say.
For some reason or another, however, I've been quite affected by a recent trip down Memory Lane. It all started when, I was asked to put together an account of my own experiences as a golf club steward for a book which is being compiled to celebrate the centenary of The Golf Club Stewards Association. I was sorting out some photographs which were taken the best part of forty years ago; and, for the very first time in my life, I felt a twinge of regret that I wasn't as young as I used to be.
Now, for many, this might not seem such a big deal. For me, however, it's significant because - although I have often shown signs of immaturity - I've always felt a certain degree of contempt for those who cling to their youth (in particular, those who try to conceal the ageing process). So, it came as something of a shock to feel affected in this manner.
What makes it even more difficult to accept is the recognition that, although I might be ruing the passage of time, imagine how much more galling it must be for my wife. To illustrate the point, here is a series of photographs showing us at the start of our life together, framed by how we look now, and (below that) at a time considered to be the prime of our lives - i.e. when we went 'into' golf. (some photos can be enlarged by 'clicking' on the photo).
It isn't too difficult to work out who drew the short straw and easy to understand that, although she's a little more opinionated nowadays, in my eyes, she's hardly changed at all since the day we met.