Next year I will be 50 years old. Half a century. 5 decades. No other way of putting it and no other way of addressing it without being extremely grateful that I’ve survived with my health and nearly all of my teeth.
Source: True Brit Blog
Mentally, obviously, I am about 13 but ignoring the fact that I can still name all the Osmonds and remember how Les McKeown’s trousers in the Bay City Rollers only reached as far down as his ankles, I like to think I have achieved some vague level of maturity – particularly since I have two children, somewhat belatedly, of my own.
I have no idea why I’m using a cricket analogy since my entire experience of cricket has involved sitting in a deckchair with a glass of warm vino clapping in a desultory fashion as one set of white-clad blokes throw balls at another set of white-clad blokes. Sport, I’m afraid, has passed me by. In school, I used to play left back in the hockey team solely because the bib had my then initials, LB, on. Cross country running involved legging it to hide in the girls’ toilets. I still can’t do a forward roll.
What I want, or rather feel like I need to do, is create one of those lists. “50 things to do before you’re 50”. I’ve found plenty of lists for items to achieve before you’re 40 but the 49 year old contingent seem remarkably quiet. Are they secretly drafting lists which comprise of 1) buy Tena Lady, 2) buy health insurance endorsed by Michael Parkinson and get a free Parker Pen, 3) smother yourself liberally in aloe vera (just in case) and 4) put one of those Airwick air fresheners that look like a modern ornament in every room so you never have to put your back out opening a window ever again.
I’d love to know what is on other 49-ers bucket lists. And, leaving aside the obvious goals of raising happy, healthy children and preventing The Husband from running off with Carol Vorderman, here are some of mine.
- Go on the Orient Express to Venice. I’ve been on it from Cardiff to Gloucester for lunch but it really wasn’t a long enough journey for anyone to be murdered and require a major motion picture about the event.
- Be a TV or film extra. I adore the series Poirot. I am completely obsessed and probably near word perfect. Oh to be an extra in one of those fabulous Art Deco sets in a beautiful 1940’s costume. Plus, prior to marrying The Husband, I did harbour a secret crush on Captain Hastings.
- Have tea at Claridges or The Midland Hotel (sorry but this is more of my Art Deco obsession).
- Have a honeymoon. Well, better late than never.
- Go back to Butlins Minehead with the kids. I went in the 1970’s when there were still chalets and announcers of the “hi di hi” variety demanding you got up and went to breakfast. Lie-ins? I think not. I can remember doing the dance to The Gap Band’s “Oops Upside Your Head” in the Gaiety Ballroom. Miley Cyrus – you don’t know you’re born.
- Have a bed and breakfast or hotel. My family members snort with hilarity and pass on all sorts of helpful advice e.g. “you do know you’ll have to get up early and cook breakfast” or ” you do know there’ll be quite a lot of cleaning”. Listen up – I can chuck an egg in a pan and make a bed (hospital corners too) with the best of them. For some reason, my family appear to think I have morphed into Margo of The Good Life.
- Visit Egypt again. Without vomiting.
- Go on a cruise around the Mediterranean. Without vomiting.
- Get back on a horse and managing to gallop (whilst still on the horse). My favourite TV show as a child was “White Horses” and I can still hum the theme tune now. So there.
- Create a fictional detective on par with Poirot / Marple /Morse/ Lewis or writing anything of the calibre of the great P D James.
- Learn to read music. I can play the piano by ear. I can play out of key like Les Dawson (on purpose I might add), but if I could play like the wonderful Jools Holland I’d be in heaven.
- Improve my cooking – well I suppose I had better add it to the list but when I think of cooking it usually involves a three tier cake-stand and cupcakes. Not Mr Kipling. Mr Kipling cakes have shrunk so much I think they’re baked by Oompa Loopas.
- Wear a feather boa. No idea why. It works for Edna Everage.
- Hone a unique fashion style which doesn’t involve leggings, a baggy top or anything thermal. This is, of course, highly unlikely and probably shouldn’t involve the feather boa.
There are many more completely random things I’d like to do but, 49-ers, I’d love to hear some of yours. I need inspiring. Approaching 50 is a bit like being parachuted onto a completely new continent without a map. Or a parachute.