The only bright lights on the horizon as my 60th birthday approached were going to be, it seemed to me, the prospect of a jolly good party and the opportunity to travel free on local bus services.

Over the second I was doomed to disappointment. A couple of months before the milestone was reached, a fellow sexagenarian-to-be surprised me with the news that we were sentenced to a wait for our bus passes. In line with the changes to pensionable age, I shall now not become an easy rider until January 2013.

That left the party — which I am happy to say went really well. It was last Saturday night at my local pub, The Punter, on Osney Island. Eighty or so of us enjoyed excellent food prepared by chef (and co-owner) Paul Fox — the roast muntjac went down particularly well — and (in my case at least) injudiciously large quantities of wine.

A surprise awaited me on arrival in finding the three bar staff — surely the prettiest bar staff you could hope to see — in T-shirts emblazoned with a photograph of me. This had been taken some 30 years ago for a journalistic assignment — I was modelling ties produced by a local tiemaker — and borrowed from our office library by a colleague. I know that I would not be forgiven if I were to deprive readers of a sight of this triple treat (see above).

One privilege of age, perhaps, is the right to expect more tolerance from others of one’s curmudgeonliness. I do not intend to start insisting on this privilege, but I cannot resist observing that in a week more than usually free of irritation I was very sorry to have heard Lucy Montgomery’s Variety Pack on Radio 4 on Tuesday, with its high level of smut — farting and the activities of Eastern European pole dancers, at 6.30pm! — and lavish quantities of ghastly canned laughter when almost nothing being said was funny.