Mr Coffee thought he would cheer me up last night by reading me a sonnet.
"When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery so gazed on now,
Will be a tattered weed of small worth held."
Basically, after 40 winters, you look like a 'tattered weed', according to Mr Shakespeare. But never mind, he goes on, if you have managed to produce children they will be young and pretty so you can look at them instead.
It is not a consolation.
Today is my birthday. I am 39. Since I was born during a winter, this winter must be my 40th. And it is not being kind. Shakespeare is right - I do feel a bit besieged.
Today I caught a glimpse of my face in a train window and was alarmed to discover that someone had drawn lines down the sides of my mouth with a marker pen.
The brutal irony of this is that 25 years ago I appeared in a youth drama club play sporting a similar look. And this - minus the beard, of course - is what I saw in that train window this morning.
I realise that these things are all relative, and I still remember the eve of my 30th birthday, where I laughed hollowly at the memory of my 22-year-old self coming home from a nightclub depressed because I was the oldest one there. (I think this was probably the last time I went in a nightclub. And I have no regrets on that score.)
Still, despite his lousy choice of poetry last night, there are good things to say about Mr Coffee. For where else would I find a man who could guess my delight at stringing a cup and saucer around my neck?