I’ve always admired the kind of man who can find himself a hairstyle and just stick to it. I hope that’s what I’ve done. But I can never match the expression with which I came into the world, although I feel it on the inside most days.
I was born at eleven o’clock, fifty years to the minute after the guns fell silent in France, to find everyone silent, solemn and blackarmbanded. There were over a million alive then who fought: now there are three.
My own family were just girls in 1914-18, but I had two grandfathers at El Alamein and a third invalided out of the RAF. I’ve grown up in peace. Clive James compared that feat, in a century like the twentieth and now the twenty-first, to the old silent movie trick of standing in front of a house’s falling frontage and being saved by an open window. That rings true for me.
(Insert age-related reflections of your choice: I think it’s time for a pint)..