To the Belgian seaside today to help my brother-in-law celebrate his sixtieth birthday. Sixty! There is a telling phrase in Martin Amis’s latest book (I’ll be writing a post about Amis in the new future) about the ‘bullet train of the fifties’, and it is true that these years are whistling past. How well I remember my late mother shaking her head when she reached sixty and saying ‘I cannot believe it, I cannot believe it.’ Coincidentally, today’s Guardian published a series of wonderful poems, commissioned by Carol Ann Duffy, on the theme of ageing. British poetry is, it seems to me, going through a golden age – or has that always been the case? Well, before I masochistically watched the English and the Scots fiercely battling each other to a bloody draw in the Six Nations, we went for a walk along the Yser and in Nieuwport old town we gorged ourselves on sublimely fresh matjes – Flanders’ answer to sashimi!