On a tranquil hilltop, a lovely flavour of familiarity. Seven friends, five days of October holiday and 29 years of teasing behind us. Faces starting to weather like old buildings and hair as grey as a winter morning. As time passes we are more tightly tied by love and yet unyielding in our preferences. Nothing - a movie, a meal, the direction of a walk - was decided without prolonged and unruly debate. Here was middle age in all its subversive beauty.
In our youth, we - almost all of us are journalists - set out on assignments armed with nothing but a pad and a pen. Curiosity was our drug. Now we're armed with pillboxes. Pool together our capsules and my friends - ages 53 to 63 - could stock a pharmacy with remedies for cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure and prostate. There is, alas, no known medication for our humour.