It's happened. How did it happen? One minute I'm celebrating my fortieth birthday and then, what seems like a couple of months later, I'm hitting fifty.
Forties suited me. I enjoyed being forty-something. I can honestly say that some of my happiest years have been in the last decade. My baby-making days were over, I could just enjoy my children.
I experienced the classic mid-life crisis of re-inventing myself. When the kids began school I threw off my leggings and sweats and went shopping for some REAL CLOTHES. I dyed my hair blond. I enjoyed having some time to look after ME again as well as my children. Gone were those all-consuming baby days. I picked up my writing ambitions again, started community theatre again, began to feel much more confident.
Fifty doesn't feel like that. I'm telling myself to be excited by it and embrace it, but I have a feeling I might be just fooling myself.
Ah well, there's nothing I can DO about it, so I'm just going to enjoy celebrating tomorrow with family and friends and smile as I indulge myself by telling you about three people in the public eye that share my birthday. I'm ridiculously chuffed that they celebrate the same birthday as me as they have all influenced me in some way, and I very much admire all three.
Kelsey Grammer who, as Frasier Crane, has kept me laughing for nearly half my life. When Cheers finished it was hard to imagine another sit-com being as enjoyable and enduring, but Frasier came along and I was bowled over by the wonderful scripts and impeccable performances. To have just a drop of that talent ... It fired my enthusiasm and encouraged me to try my hand at script-writing. I may not have an ounce of the talent that obviously filled the Frasier script-writing room, but I've had such fun trying.
Jilly Cooper - I read my first Jilly Cooper back in 1988. It was Riders and the overwhelming feeling I got as I devoured the book was 'what fun Jilly must have had writing this'. I wanted to experience that fun, too. So Jilly is entirely responsible for setting me on the writing path, and although I now realise what incredibly hard work goes into writing a novel, I'm still convinced that Jilly's sense of fun exudes from the pages of her books and in turn has given me enormous fun writing my own stories. I met Jilly at a book signing years ago. After shaking her hand, I went straight home and wrote with my 'Jilly-vibed' hand!