It is an acceptable question for a man of my vintage should we attempt anything that deviates even slightly from the norm: "Are you having a mid-life crisis?" Inevitably I must concede that yes, quite possibly I am, and have been for nigh on a decade now.

And so, I deemed it prudent to investigate to see if indeed I was in an elongated ‘crisis’ and turned my intention to the interweb to furnish me with some knowledge.

We have apathy (check) and dread getting out of bed (double check) - although ‘dread’ is too strong a word. Aren’t both of those just fallouts from age? When you have done the same thing, time and again, as apathy is bred as you relive your professional Groundhog Day.

One interesting descriptor as to the crisis is a lack of personal hygiene. That said, I must therefore be the outlier as I am the cleanest person I know, although to be fair I have not undertaken a study. I shower and bath twice a day during weekdays yet fulfil the criteria of the great unwashed come the weekend. As I do not have work and am undertaking some DIY bodge job, this cleanliness limits itself to a once-a-day evening cleanse which is always regrettable when I bump into Missus Puddleton in the local Co-op. Her in her Sunday best on the way to church, and me in a hoody covered in cement dust and the remnants of a can of ‘Big Soup’. Thankfully this weekly twice-a-day cleaning regime will now have to go as water and electric have become middle-aged crack, albeit more expensive.

Impulsiveness and boredom are not bedfellows, but both also signify a crisis. This weekend, despite lots to do, I couldn’t help but feel in a late 40s rut when all I craved was a little adventure. I was then offered the opportunity to go with my brother and a few of his fellow gang of goons at 4am to walk a mountain, in the freezing cold back of beyond in Wales.

The activity would have ticked the boxes and relieved boredom and given the adventure I craved, but I declined. A few fence posts came down you see, and I felt the need to dig holes, before filling the car up, and ironing my shirts for the week ahead. Then the truth dawned that maybe the crisis that I am suffering with is not only being embraced but revered, as it gives me something else to moan about, as responsibility and domesticity take precedence over doing anything mildly edgy.

And so, subconsciously I have found that I have succumbed to the one true sign of middle-aged crisis, of which I wasn’t aware, and no, it's not having had a affair (strangely for guys my age I’m still very keen on my wife and she would give me a Bobbitt if I deviated), but the ‘dramatic’ change of appearance.

It started a month or so ago when my ten-year-old, Millie, casually said ‘I wonder what you’d look like with a beard dad?’. Having previously been critical of unkempt growths which do little but harbour legions of bacteria, I stopped shaving. A couple of weeks later, realising I looked like a member of the Kings of Leon minus the musical skill, I trimmed a little and now have a fully-fledged goatee, and finally it made sense.

Being invisible at my age is a given. Yet, with my newfound facial muff, half of those I encounter, friend and foe alike, comment on it and feed me the one thing those of my vintage have been missing: a little attention.

Yes, I have been compared to Breaking Bad's Walter White and the Yorkshire Ripper and told it adds 10 years to my age, but equally many have said how it suits me and commented on my appearance, which is a thing that has been amiss for many a year.

That’s enough though, isn’t it? A little attention whether negative or otherwise, to pass the time until we sit moaning about old age and how stairs are too much nowadays, whilst we enjoy our new zip up boots and wished we had gone on that trip to scale Snowden a few years back, when we had the opportunity, the gumption and the goatee….

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher