The face is gradually collapsing, the body turning to lumpy jelly, the children aren't cheeky cherubs anymore - just plain cheeky, the husband stressed and grumpy, the ageing parents batty and cantankerous - so, this must be middle-age then. Great. Oh, and a neighbour has objected to the new playhouse so the council have commanded we knock it down or they'll get an injunction and do it for us. Lovely.
On the plus side spring has finally sprung. I know this because the babies have come out. I walked across the common to Nappy Valley and they were everywhere accompanied by their Yummy Mummies marching along, loudly swapping weening tips over the tops of Bugaboos. Very annoying. Was I ever like that? (Don't answer, I know.)
Every so often the flow abated and it really was stunning, one of those early spring days when the world looks completely new - almost over the top with newness. Surely spring has never looked like this before? Sun obscenely bright, birdsong ridiculously shrill, buds so budding they're pornographic, as Eldest would say: special.
And now, for a brief moment, there's peace. Eldest has finally gone out skateboarding, Youngest and Middle are at art club until three, the beds are made, the washing is hung out in the sunshine, I could always iron a few shirts, sweep the kitchen floor and clean the loos, but, sod it, I'm going to read the paper and perhaps even nod off a bit. After all, I am middle-aged there must be an upside and I think this is it.