Wthin the space of a week I've received three invitations to attend the ballet from ladies of my acquaintance.

My wife doesn't seem to mind.

Ladies love a ballet dancer and I should have taken it up years ago. I discussed my passion with a senior international airline pilot yesterday.

He understood perfectly and told me that at every opportunity he replaces his peak cap and flight uniform with a headband and leather jerkin over a bare chest to beat heavy metal drums in a band. His flights are organised to take him to the best rock concerts around the globe.

He then slumped a little.

"I knew what I really wanted to do with my life but still chose flying. I just love the money too much".

Finding ballet late in life, with my career already made, I never had that dilemma. I hate to think I would have taken the money but I probably would have done.

I couldn't blame him.