A moment ago, while making a pot of coffee, I caught sight of a mug that I received as a present for my eighteenth birthday lurking at the back of the kitchen cupboard and came to the worrying realisation that this happened sixteen years ago.
My kitchen is a hotbed for such reminders. My noticeboard has an advert pinned to it that my parents placed in the local paper to mark my 21st birthday, back in 2002. Next to this, a Beatles-themed calendar celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of 'Help!', on which a photo of the band smiles back, none of whom were twenty-five when the album was released. On the adjacent wall, there’s a framed poster for the show in which I made my professional début nearly fourteen years ago. I may as well carry a device that counts down the time to my advancing middle age, reminding me of how close it is at thirty-minute intervals.
I know I’m being melodramatic; I’m not old yet. Plenty of people would scoff as they read this blog and dismiss me as a whipper-snapper; the local paper that ran my parents' advert thirteen years ago said exactly this the other week. While I’m far from applying for an OAP bus pass, it’s alarming to note how quickly time has passed. It’s when I start remarking on how young doctors look that I really have to worry.