An old man looks out of the window of a Glasgow train on a rainy day.
To balance the bleakness of this image and the novel from which I've given it its title, here's a more contented view of old age from the fifth century Chinese poet Wang Chi:
'Tell me now, what should a man want
But to sit alone, sipping his cup of wine?'
I should like to have visitors come and discuss philosophy
And not to have the tax-collector coming to collect taxes;
My three sons married into good families
And my five daughters wedded to steady husbands.
Then I could jog through a happy five-score years
And, at the end, need no Paradise.'