It's Saturday evening. A stunning day of weather, the best of the year so far. Warmth from the sun. A cool, gentle breeze. My perfect weather.
All a perfect antidote to my 'Saturday hangover'. Not drink-related, but the fogginess and heaviness I often feel after a long week. I had these all the time while a CEO and now, as Stepping Out hots up a bit, they're coming back.
'You're not 30 any more', my wife helpfully reminded me this week, as I emerged, punch-drunk from a long evening session on Thursday. She is keen to point out that my powers at nearly 42 are not what they once were, a message I am of course equally keen to avoid.
However, the body at 41 is, in many and subtle ways, different to its 25 year old self. Even if, like me, you try to eat the right stuff, keep fit and go to bed at a decent time. I can't get on the floor these days because my knees bloody kill me. Nor can I really cope with anything more than a glass or two of wine, let alone a bender.
Mentally I feel less creative, slower somehow a lot of time. It can be 10am before I feel properly able to do anything. And this is a bloke who, as I said, looks after himself, keeps the stress to manageable levels and doesn't do late nights. God help me if I wasn't.
Back to today. The garden is, as often happens to people as they get a little older, becoming more absorbing. I have recently become quite fascinated by my new lawnmower. I just can't get enough of it. The stripes it produces bewitch me. Strimming has, in recent years, become a pleasure rather than a duty. I get lost in it, like I sometimes do when reading or writing my blog. Breathing cool, fresh air under a cobalt sky on an English spring day feels like one of life's treats, to me anyway.
The children have been great today. They're at a good age - 3 and 4. So much easier than just a year ago and capable of a lot more. We play hide and seek in the park, they searching for me then me seeker. Hiding is such fun, I find. It takes me back to long evenings as a kid playing an elaborate hiding game called Kick Can, where a team of hiders play a team of seekers.
As an under-10 I was allowed out pretty much all the time. These were the days before parental anxiety. The truth was that a lot more kids in the 70s did die in accidents, murders etc than today. But I wouldn't have swopped my childhood freedoms for al the X boxes in the world. I loved my adventures, still remember then like yesterday.
Will I let my kids roam the same way? I actually hope I do. As long as they keep their mobiles switched on.