BUYING quality crockery, learning plant names and booking a cruise are tell-tale signs of middle age, says a study.
Research into what constitutes being middle aged identified the 50 most likely traits — with noticing how much younger work colleagues are and checking for grey hairs and wrinkles featuring high on the list.
Other clues are taking an interest in soft furnishings, spending money on decorating rather than clothes and visiting garden centres for enjoyment.
The point at which we reach middle age is now 47, says the study, and we know we are getting there when we refuse to eat without a matching knife and fork, fill the fridge with healthy food and take up cycling.
The realisation we are getting older can also inspire us to go clubbing before it is too late and drink more — resulting in the hangovers of our younger years.
But the survey of 2,000 adults, for homeware designer Robert Welch, also found 52 per cent of adults think being middle aged just means knowing what you want out of life, being more opinionated and not caring what others think.