By the time you read this I will have turned 40. Forty. Up until a few days ago, 40 was just a number, plain and simple — the sort of number that followed 39 and preceded 41; the sort of number that bands from Birmingham placed after the letters ‘UB’ before recording a few reggae-based songs; the sort of number that was occasionally mentioned on the Shipping Forecast, just before Cromarty, just after Viking and Dogger. My friends had emailed or called with concern, never quite broaching the subject directly, always skirting, dancing around the inevitability of my ageing, the ‘night follows day’ reliability of my mutability. I found myself quoting Wilde, when he suggested that youth was wasted on the young.