Where a decade ago, just one in nine women remained childless at 45 and were considered rather peculiar at that, now that figure is closer to one in four. For women with a university education, like me, that figure rises to 43 per cent - an extraordinary figure which signifies a seismic social change.
Why does this trend exist? Kate Spicer suggests that there are women who focus their efforts on career and who just assume that family will happen along the way. She herself also seems to fall into the category of women who leave things to their 30s but who can't break out of the pattern of dating unsuitable men:
from the age of 35 my relationships became even more unsuitable: a married man, a boyish party animal, a confirmed bachelor.
She ends her piece by talking about how special the parent/child relationship is. We live in a culture that is focused on the unrelated other and this blinds us perhaps to the significance of the bonds that are closest to us:
I sometimes lie awake full of dread about the time approaching when my parents are no longer around. To give or to receive unconditional love is a deeply rare thing.
As a rule, flawed as all parties may be, the parent-child bond is the commonest and most reliable form of that love. Sitting writing this at my mother's desk, surrounded by my grandmother and great-grandmother's things, I feel acute awareness that as my life enters its final half, it is with a diminishing circle of love.