This is, of course, a phenomenon which accompanies the ageing process. It’s a bit like falling out of an aeroplane at 20,000ft. For a long time it must seem like you’ll be falling for ever, but over the last few hundred yards the ground must rush at you with alarming rapidity. So it is with life. Fans of Douglas Adams’s infinite improbability drive will no doubt get the title of the post, although I have to say that I mostly feel more like his bowl of petunias.
And talking of aeroplanes, I heard an almighty roar at about 9.45 a few nights ago. I had no doubt that it was a commercial airliner (I’m used to low-flying military jets, and their noise is quite different), outbound from East Midlands Airport about thirty miles away, flying over my house at a frighteningly low altitude. I’ve never heard anything a fraction that loud in the ten years I’ve lived here and I held my breath expecting the sound of an explosion any second. There was none, but I still wondered whether some in-flight problem had been encountered, and whether I’d come close to a sudden, fiery and very loud end. I don’t think I’d like that because, like dear old Arthur Dent, I wouldn’t want to go to heaven with a headache.