I had hoped to get more work on the show done this afternoon, but as always underestimated the draining effect of the double podcast record. I was actually about to go out for a run when my body said it was time to lie down and I fell asleep for two and a half hours.
I tweeted about my nap commenting on my own middle age. Someone tweeted back to say "Middle aged? And the rest. How many 90 year olds do you know?"
I think that's saying something when being 45 (OK, only just) is considered beyond middle age. I commented "Wow, someone claiming 45 is too old to be middle aged! Presumably a time traveller from medieval times." It takes someone from the Middle Ages to say that 45 is not middle-aged.
I did like the idea that "middle age" has to refer to the specific year that would turn out in retrospect to be the middle year of your life. So you are young, then have one year of being middle-aged and then are old. And you'll only be able to actually work that out once you die. At the moment as a (practically) 46 year old, I know that my own middle age can not be any earlier than 23. But who knows how high that figure will go. Maybe I should have a party every two years to celebrate the fact that my middle age has got higher.
I did a quick calculation and realised that the average death age of my grandparents was over 90, so even by this tweeter's strange notion of middle age, I was still exactly middle aged.
Middle age is not the halfway point of your life - it's the bit in the middle of your life between being young and being old-aged. It's not possible to ascertain that by maths, but nor does it divide neatly into three equal segments. It's not called "Middle Third Age" and the middle of something can be any size. But even if life did divide into three equal bits and I live to 90 then I am still in the middle of the middle age bit which would run from 30-59.
But I would estimate that middle age runs basically from 40-70, but some younger people are middle aged and some older people (see Mick Jagger) hardly look elderly. It doesn't matter if you die at 71 and only have one year of old age. No one said the ages were of equal lengths. I tried to explain this to the tweeter, but he wasn't really getting it.
Others thought I was trying to deny the fact that I was middle age, despite the fact that I had clearly stated that in the original tweet and was doing all I could to prove that I WAS middle-aged. I was trying to demonstrate that I wasn't beyond middle age. I think I am pretty near the start of this middle period and I hope I get to live through it all. I am middle aged and I am glad about that (almost entirely) and I'm middle class too and don't think that's a bad thing to be either (even though it's largely used as a pejorative term).
I'd go on about this a bit more, but I need to have a nap before Countdown's on.