I viewed the age of 30 more like a millstone than a milestone. Old age starts here.
Thousands had flocked to San Francisco wearing flowers in their hair and I had watched the film version of Woodstock wearing beads, long hair and an Afghan coat, an outfit that did not meet with my editor's approval. I was a weekend hippy and saw my youth disappearing fast.
In a final act of rebellion, my wife Maria and I sold the house and bought a battered VW campervan. I resigned my job and we headed into Europe.
This gesture might have worked but for two things. The van was more battered than I thought and we had a nine month old baby called Siobhan. Planning the trip took six months although its actual duration was no more than three weeks.
As they say about life, the enjoyment is in the journey rather than arriving at your destination.
The memories of 40 odd years ago came flooding back this week with the news that production of the VW campervan is coming to an end.
More than 10 million were made since it first appeared 63 years ago. European production ended in 1979 because it no longer met safety requirements but it continued in Brazil. New safety laws there means it will finally bow out at the end of the year.
It eventually became a workhorse in Africa and South America, being used by everyone from taxi drivers to undertakers. But in those swinging days of 1960s and 1970s, it was the motorised symbol of hippiedom.
I paid £195 for a venerable old lady of a van. We filled the underfloor storage area with baby food, planned our route and set off. Our initial destination was Avelino near Naples where Maria's relatives lived. The first summer, we thought, could be spent in their beach house and I would become a writer.
Of course, life doesn't work like that.
The van was a lady of character and wonderfully convenient with cooker and sink and a double bed. We crossed the Channel and our trail meandered through Belgium and France; we were real hippies and we were taking our time.
It was peace and love, man, until we reached Aachen in Germany when Maria declared the trip wasn't working with a nine month old baby who was sleeping in a box covered with her bridal veil as a mosquito net.
Next day I drove non-stop to Ostend. We arrived in Dover in the early hours and parked in a lay-by to sleep. I woke early and set off to beat the London traffic.
Maria and Siobhan remained sleeping in the back. We were in the city and stopped at lights when I noticed the passenger in the bus alongside were staring into the back of the van. The curtains were open and Maria had pushed the double sleeping bag down to her waist and lay as naked as Aphrodite.
“Don't look now but you've got an audience.”
It's very difficult to suddenly cover yourself with decorum in such circumstances especially when you're a hippy. So she didn't. She feigned sleep until we escaped the bus and then got dressed.
The van broke down on the motorway to Manchester. Maybe I had pushed her too hard, too fast and for too long. A mechanic delivered a terminal verdict, filled the engine with the thickest oil known to man and said: “You might make it home if you take it easy.”
We made it home at no more than 20 mph. The old lady's engine then died for good.
But it had been an enjoyable and memorable journey. As far as life is concerned, it still is.
(Do you have VW campervan memories? Send them to the usual address).