DID you stupidly think you’d be happy and sorted by the time you got to middle age? Here are some unpleasant realities you weren’t expecting.

Renting a flat and being single 

A waste of money and a bit lonely. However there might be enough 40-something singleton renters nowadays to force the government to give everyone a free house on their 40th birthday. Naturally you’d also get a decent car, an attractive spouse and some well-behaved kids. It doesn’t matter if they’re actors. Beggars can’t be choosers.

Your metabolism goes wrong 

Leading to inevitable weight gain. You can’t even drown your sorrows about being fat with booze because hangovers are no longer a minor inconvenience on the way to work, but a nightmarish journey into paranoia, physical exhaustion and irrational feelings that you have lost at life because you don’t own an Audi.

You are not as successful as you assumed you would be

Even quite grounded people can’t resist fantasies of running their own successful business or writing the next Trainspotting. Unfortunately this requires talent, an element of luck, and single-minded hard work. The latter isn’t going to happen because let’s face it, you’re already knackered from just getting dressed in the morning.

Birthdays are no longer exciting 

Childhood birthdays were amazing if you got an AT-AT walker, and in your 20s and 30s you were guaranteed a good piss-up. But birthdays in your 40s feel utterly pointless, unless you’re really excited about reaching the age of 43, which makes you a bit weird.

You’re obsessed with celebrities’ ages

A bizarre side-effect of getting older which makes you compare your own age and achievements with celebs who’ve taken an entirely different path in life. It’s still a kick in the teeth to discover you’re older than Danny Dyer, and haven’t even got his incredibly shit filmography.

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