I was scratching the head of my beloved Doberman, Shadow, and I suddenly noticed my hand.

Of course, I’d seen my hand many times, but this time I noticed it. I genuinely looked at it. It was old. The nails were thick and ridged. The skin was thin and crinkled and knuckles had wrinkles that opened and closed like tiny concertinas when I bent and straightened my fingers.

My hands have done thousands of things: built things, caressed women and pets, drawn a thousand drawings, carved a hundred sticks, cooked a thousand meals. They still work, thankfully, but they’re old, like my face, my legs. my eyes. They all still work, just more slowly and less accurately.