Being 50 – Presents At Last


The atmosphere in the house on Sunday morning was almost electric.  I entered the kitchen and was handed the essential cup of coffee, however a glass of champagne soon followed accompanied by lots of excited looks from everyone as I was then given clues. The answer to the first clue led me to my wardrobe.  I opened the doors and inside were three presents – yippeeee – at last – presents.  I ripped the packages open to find a lovely dress and two pairs of shoes, Chloe told me to put them on – s0 I did, with everything fitting perfectly. From then on I was guided by clues to over 50 presents hidden around the house.  How exciting – it was like being a child again.

Now I know why Chloe arrived with such a huge suitcase – it was full of the presents she had been given from  my friends and family back in the UK.    With my head giddy from the bubbles and my body alive from the excitement of the day, I didn’t know it, but another surprise was about to happen.

We made our way down into the cocinon where the log fire was roaring away nicely, and where even more presents had been hidden waiting for me to find.  So armed with more champagne and more clues I set off to find them.  It was such fun !

Not long after my last present had been found, opened and savoured, I sat down in a chair, Woody topped up my champagne and with the blink of an eye the room had filled up with all my friends.  This had to be be the years best kept secret as Fran and Jerome, the Spanish 7 and neighbours poured in.   After the squeals of excitement had subsided, I was led into my studio where even MORE PRESENTS had been hidden.  Blindfolded and spun, then disorientated and champagne giddy, I had to find them!  Which I did – of course!

Whilst all this had been going on, Woody had been very quiet.   The reason – he had been very busy in the kitchen, preparing amazing food for us all to eat.

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It was a fantastic day, in fact a fantastic 4 days.  It was not so bad ‘Being 50’ afterall.

Thanks to everyone who made it so special XXX

Being 50 – Still NO presents !!


It was a sight to be seen.  Candles were alight everywhere and I soon forgot my ski fatigue as I was led into our dining room – at last for my birthday surprise.  I had been told to put on my party dress, was handed a glass of champagne and I walked the candle lit path.

The room looked beautiful, with more candles and a burning log fire.  The table was laid for 5 people, so that was me, Woody, Jamie, Bianca and Chloe, and SEAL was playing in the background.

‘Fran and Jerome were meant to be joining us’ Chloe announced ‘ but she is ill, and said she will phone you in the morning’.

I hid my disappointment with a gulp of champagne, and we all chatted about our very different activities of the day, ate delicious food, a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday to you’ followed by dinner with some yummy cakes.  But still NO presents!!  I was starting to suspect something might happen on Sunday and quite exhausted, fell into bed and wondered if I might get some presents tomorrow!

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Being 50 – on the ski slopes


If you have ever taken a pilates class you will understand how I felt the next morning.  I ached from head to foot and in other places too, and today we were going skiing.  Jamie, Bianca and I set of for the slopes whilst Woody and Chloe stayed at home to babysit Teegan.

It was a beautiful day for skiing and the Sierra Nevada didn’t disappoint bringing out the majority of the locals.   I spent the day in near heaven and my aching seemed to disappear as the day wore on, however there had to come a last ski of the day  after which Bianca and I had a glass of wine and Jamie went off for even one more last ski.

Sitting in the sunshine, we were both exhausted and talked about going home to see Tiggy as Bianca was starting to miss her.  Soon after, Jamie found us, had a quick beer and we picked up our skis and poles and began the walk in the heavy, awkward boots, which throw you into a very unnatural walking position towards the ski hire shop.  We turned the corner to be confronted with the longest queue we had ever seen.  It was not the queue to the shop but the queue to the chairlift which takes you to the shop.  My aged memory could only recollect a very short chairlift journey down and I suggested that we take the stairs instead of waiting.  I’m obviously going senile very early!

We started to climb the very dangerous, narrow, uneven, stone steps, and joined the steady flow of the single file clump clumping of ski boots.   I looked above, I could see the top and thought – ‘yes, I can do this’.  Inspired to see the summit, a new burst of energy hit my legs and with Jamie and Bianca in front encouraging each leg to raise itself I eventually managed to get to where they were waiting for me.  (Being younger and fitter they seemed to find it quite easy, along with everyone else – was I the only person aged 50  years and 2 days on the mountain that day???)

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Looking around enthusiastically for the ski hire shop, I announced ‘Where’s the shop then?’

Jamie pointed skywards ‘Up there’ he said ‘we’ve only got another 5 flights of these stairs to go’.

By this time I had to throw in the ‘Granny card’.  ‘I can’t do that, I’m 50 and 2 days and a Granny’ I shouted.

‘Don’t worry mum, I’ll carry your skis’ he said and off he and Bianca went.  I had no choice – I had to follow, and on arrival at the shop I collapsed with a red face on to the bench to the amusement of all the very young looking skiers around me.

Being 50 – Friday – The events that followed…. still no presents ……


Jamie, Chloe, Bianca and Teegan arrived in the evening.  We hugged and kissed, opened some champagne, talked about lots of stuff – but there were no presents!  I thought to myself that we would probably do the present thing the next day – it was getting late afterall, we all went to bed smiling and happy.

Friday morning Chloe was up early doing ‘stuff’ and announced to Bianca and I that we were going to do Pilates.  Great, so we put our fitness gear on and headed out into the sunshine.  She worked us hard and after an hour of pushing, pulling, stretching and sweating, we took off for a long campo walk.

Still no presents !

When we got back, after about 2 hours, more excitment, Tiggy was happy to see us and we had more champagne.

But still no presents !

After showers we then had a ‘bake-in’.  This involves lots of flour, butter, sugar, eggs, chocolate things, cherries, coconut and other stuff for making yummy cakes.  We also made my favourite vodka-jellies and, of course, drunk some more champagne.

But still no pressies or mention of them!  Do they not love me, I thought !!

The day time turned into the evening and we drunk more champagne, ate lovely food, played some games and went to bed.  Something was definitely going on as there had been lots of whispering and disappearing.  Still I had a nice day to look forward to on Saturday, Chloe and Steve had kindly offered to babysit whilst Jamie, Bianca and I took off to the slopes of the Sierra Nevada.  Still no presents tho !!  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm……….

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Maybe I will have some presents tomorrow, there has to be something good about Being 50 !

Being 50


My body has begun to take a turn for the worse

Wrinkles have started to appear

White lines fight with the blonde (!) of my hair

And yet my mind remains perfectly clear.

 

As my mind travels back over the landscape of my life

And I consider its future direction

There are so many special people I hold within,

There is no need for careful reflection.

 

I look to the future with a positive glow

As I realise I am truly blessed.

Surrounded by all the people I love.

All I can ask is –  ‘what next?’

It all started with a phone call from my brother first thing on February 3rd 2011 – my 50th birthday.  He set me the challenge to swim in the freezing cold water of our pool which is not usually open this time of year, due to the temperature.  Now always one for a challenge I thought about it and as the sun shone, hopefully, I thought the temperature of the water might have increased a degree or two and decided to take the plunge ……………

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It was freezing, but invigorating. I quickly jumped into a warm bath and wondered what might happen next.  My 50th birthday celebrations had been a big secret and with Jamie, Chloe, Bianca and Teegan all arriving later, a big smile and a tingle ran through my body as I decadently sipped my champagne in the bath.