Derbyshire in Barbados: Mark Eklid's tour diary
I HAD a walk along the beach yesterday and do you know what happened?
It was an idyllic Caribbean scene, with holidaymakers soaking up the sun, swaying palm trees and crystal-clear waters lapping up on golden sands. It was absolutely gorgeous.
But that was it. And this is the problem.
Usually, no walk along the beach is complete without someone strolling over to say hello. To say hello and to inquire if you would like to take advantage of what could politely be called the "goods and services" he has to offer.
"Hey man, you just arrived?" he asks, before offering you the opportunity to sample herbal substances of an authentic local origin and the chance to meet ladies he represents in a joint business venture, who all sound awfully friendly.
This has happened all three times I have been to Barbados with Derbyshire previously but not this time. It wasn't that the guys were not around – I saw them.
I felt excluded. I have never and never would I take up one of their offers but, like a non-smoker when the fine cigars are being handed around, it's kind of nice to be asked.
Then the thought hit. Maybe they think I'm too old.
I wanted to shout out to them: "I am not past it. I can still bring pleasure to your ladies. I do not shun all intoxications in favour of a nice cup of tea."
Is this a sign of things to come? Am I destined to have people stand to offer me their seat on the bus, be irresistibly drawn to a bit of pottering in the garden and to form an unhealthily strong infatuation for Carol Vordeman?
Will people start approaching me on the beach to see if I am interested in a Downton Abbey box set and a nice pair of slippers?
The passing years can be so cruel.