HOW do you know when you’re entering a new phase of your life?
For some it is the realisation they will never make it as a Premier League footballer and simply watch the game from an armchair.
For others, it is discovering the love of a good woman and the mature sensibility to leave their tap room mates behind, well midweek anyway.
And then there are those men, alright, just me then, who rather than get excited about Glastonbury, take great delight in ordering a 2in1 MIRACLE cooking sheet for the bottom of their oven.
And not just one either – two. Come on, at £2.50 a pop they were a bargain, right girls?
I must stress now the capital letters attached to the word MIRACLE are the idea of the manufacturer, presumably in an effort to shout even louder about the protective qualities of this wonder sheet, which means I will never again get oily drips on the bottom of my oven.
Can you see where I’m going with this? Yes, it’s time for my bi-monthly whinge about the rigours of age. And this time it’s kitchen products.
Is it right for a man of 39 to be genuinely impressed by stainless steel kitchen gadgets? I mean that’s not natural, is it?
All right, I pride myself on being able to whip up a mean red wine jus, but Jamie Oliver I ain’t. Just ask the Put Upon Wife about my infamous tuna chilli that time when the shops were shut and I wanted to whip up something spicy.
But surely there is something wrong with a man who flicks through the pages of a catalogue and is more impressed by an Anysharp Knife Sharpener and avocado slicer than the 50in plasma TV which is 3D ready and comes with free Sky Sports?
I don’t even like avocado.
Don’t get me wrong, I still like beer, football and loud music, but I feel the change is upon me.
Next stop elasticated trousers and a subscription to Readers Digest. By the way, do they still do that caption competition?
I was joking with my dad last weekend about how I was turning into him, after I heard myself answering my son’s question of “is it Saturday today, daddy?” with the telling reply “all day son, all day.”
Not that Rhodes Senior would splash the cash on either a Boomerang Wok or Citrus Zester, even though, unlike me, he has the disposable income only a final salary pension will get you.
So £5 for two 2in1 MIRACLE cooking sheets is probably no big deal, although it has raised a few eyebrows at work, given I do like to play the hard-nosed angry hack role beyond its elasticated limit.
Another reason for investing in some of those comfy trousers.
There I go again, so I will just stop, and that is not just because I have an oven to prepare for a new lining.