Peter Fitzsimons.

"I'm over 50, and I'm just past caring": Peter FitzSimons. Photo: Ryan Osland

Yes, yes, yes, I know.

You think middle-aged men wearing bandannas is just PATHETIC.

Thanks for sharing. I got your email, your letter and your tweet, sweet, so you can be assured that your message got through.

Not that I give a flying feather. But as you so constantly demand an explanation for this lunacy, this outrage, this assault on common decency, I'll give you one - just to pass the time. Let me go back to nigh on three decades ago. In the mid-1980s when I was in my mid-20s I was living and playing rugby on a four-year stint right in the dead-centre of France. (Seriously, if you put the compass point in a map of L'Hexagone so it balances, it would go right down the chimney of my farmhouse, just on the fringes of the glorious village of Donzenac.)

And there was this guy, see, not my coach, but the coach of our great rivals, Toulon, a bloke by the name of Daniel Herrero. And he wasn't like the other French coaches, with their regulation clothes and their standard-brand haircuts. He didn't wear suits and ties, or even tracksuits - he wore jeans, held up by flaming red braces. He didn't have short hair with a neatly trimmed moustache. He had a big bushy beard, long flowing hair, and a red hairband around the lot to keep it roughly neat – an older extra from Jesus Christ Superstar, maybe.

For you see, he obviously just didn't give a rat's what other people thought, because he wasn't trying to fit in with them. It was about what he wanted to do, and he was old enough not to care.

By the by, he took the same approach to rugby. He never talked about what the other coaches talked about: the scrums, the lineouts, the angles of attack of the backline and all that boring stuff. He talked philosophy, and passion, and spirit, "et l'amour de rugby," "et le devoir d'un rugbyman," et "C'est le coeur qui compte!"

And I didn't even know him that well, apart from regularly getting into brawls with his players. One of them – let's just call him Eric Champ – jabbed his thumb so deeply into my eye I could see my own brain. It was big.

But I digress . . .

Looking back, I guess Daniel planted a seed in my melon that was a long time in blooming.

For the years passed in a flash, the way they do when you pursue your passions, and the next thing I know, I'm rising 50, in Havana, on a family holiday.

At a bizaare bazaar by Havana harbour, my eldest son sees a red bandanna for sale.

"Dad," he says, "you'd look great in that."

I try it on – he teaches me how to tie it – and I look at myself in the mirror.

"You know, Jake," I say, "I reckon I do!"

My second son looks, and agrees.

And so does my daughter: "Daddy, I like it."

And then the hardest marker of all, my wife - the German judge who doesn't mind holding up the odd 2/10 on the scorecard when it comes to my ''fashion choices'' - gives her verdict, as the crowd holds its breath.

She slowly nods her head!

''Darling,'' says she, warmly, ''that's just you.''

A 9.5! In the pike position, with a triple-somersault, she's given it a 9.5! The crowd goes wild.

Sadly, of course - and I really do get this - we are the only five ones that think so. But, so what? I'm over 50, and I'm just past caring.

In the spirit of Daniel Herrero, I don't particularly like wearing suits and ties, with short back and sides, so why should I?

And I know, too, you think it's a mid-life crisis, that I should grow out of it. And maybe you're right.

But here's the thing.

Many other blokes, when they go through their crisis, suddenly decide they're gay, or they want to run off with Cheryl from accounts, or they want to piss all their money up against the wall on a gambling spree, while snorting cocaine.

I've decided I like too much red wine, sneaking packets of salt and vinegar chips, and wearing ludicrous red bandannas in public.

Cheap at the price!

Twitter: @Peter_Fitz