I have, begrudgingly, been a fan of William Foster for many a year. Also known as ‘D-Fens’, Foster is the character played by Michael Douglas in the film Falling Down. Now firmly up to my neck in middle age and its baggage, I look on grudgingly and wish I had the vavavoom to lose it, as he did in Whammy Burger, when they refused him breakfast. It was 11.31am and Sheila and Rik stonewalled his protestations as it was past time. Similar to Foster, but without the need for an Uzi sub machine gun to get my point across, I often find myself seething over issues that a few years ago would not have bothered me, but now, due to their ludicrousness, stoke the middle-aged fire burning within.

I recently found myself in the Merthyr Tydfil Mackie D’s. It is my thrice yearly treat before a day’s mountain biking, where I look forward to sampling the delectable ‘Big Breakfast’ which belies its reputation by looking somewhat like a dog’s dinner but tasting like the nectar of the morning foodstuff gods. Only this time, it was not the new-fangled touch screen ordering system that irked me, but the absence of the aforementioned breakfast, so I enquired, only to be informed that they have ‘taken it off the menu’. I asked to speak to the manager but soon realised that he was not responsible for the company policy of a global conglomerate so I apologised and ordered a semi-edible sausage and egg McMuffin instead. Although surprisingly palatable, it was but a poor man’s substitute and I vowed not to darken their door again (until my next Welsh foray).

I was once told to ‘take care of the small things and the big things take care of themselves’ and have always held the adage as true. The difference is, as you reach middle age and beyond, the small things that you have always taken as a given are now out of your control.

I serve myself at the supermarket and feel myself exploding with rage when they don’t leave bags out, the machines won't scan, I want a pack of headache tablets and have to wait for a teenager to approve my purchase and am ignored when I complain about these ‘bloody machines’. I got a parking ticket sent to me yesterday from the shopping village in Borehamwood. I was not the driver at the time, as the photo clearly showed someone else with a full head of hair. The private contractor then demanded that, if I was not the driver, I tell them who was. A swift discourteous reply telling them to get knotted soon resulted in the fine being rescinded and a small, hollow victory for yours truly.

Middle age calms down until a small event causes it to rear up its angry head at a moment's notice. I recently attended the Women’s FA Cup final with my daughter for the third year running. It is great for father-daughter bonding and a good afternoon out. Prior to the game I received an email informing me that their new, self-imposed, rules, in force for the game, would not allow bags over the ‘size of a piece of A4’. This set me off. The last time at Wembley I bought 10 sweets from a pick and mix and it cost me £13. This time I planned to take a Dad-nic, ie a sandwich each and drink to enjoy as a pitch side nibble. With the new bag rules, you cannot bring such bounty into the ground…apparently due to ‘security’. However, they will allow bags and items ‘bought on the concourse’ which shows them to be a mercenary band of revenue maximising charlatans.

To keep a check on my heartrate at such middle-aged angst I have bought a Garmin forerunner watch. It is an expensive revelation which is again proving counteractive. Now, if trotting along nicely on the gym cycling machine, I often, inadvisably, check my heartrate. Recently it was 170 so I stopped as I thought it was too high, thus proving unproductive in my ongoing attempts to trim some unwanted timber from the trunk.

All I have learnt in the last few years is that there is no answer to the middle age fury that often overwhelms me. I wondered why older people have always seemed so compliant with change and now I can see why: it is a mechanism for self-preservation and if you can’t change it, don’t stress about it.

I am not sure how long the new chilled out version of me will survive as, if McDonalds drive through run out of the berry burst smoothies next time I visit, I may be forced to show my hand and wonder ‘what would William Foster do…?’