50 – grenades and glitter


“Well, can I just say, you don’t look 49” she said.

“Why thank you very much” I replied, whilst standing in front of her, completely naked from the waist up.

(Fear not gentle reader, you HAVE clicked on the right blog and not something…well…*coughs*…a little bit fruity!).

Btw, I don’t make it a habit of having casual chats with people whilst exhibiting my bare hooters; it’s not exactly de rigueur, is it? So I guess I’d better explain, hadn’t I?…

You see, I’d just had my annual mammogram (if you need one, I’m urging you to go.  I’ve had them for several years now.  It’s just a quick squish, don’t be scared) and was beginning the process of tucking everything back in its rightful place whilst agreeing that, no matter what the results, it could wait until after my 50th birthday – which is in a few days’ time.

Yes, my people, 50!



Ten x five = fifty

Five decades.

Half a century.


So, I’m now of the age where I’ll get targeted for all kinds of stuff:  coach holidays to the seaside, funeral plans, stair lifts, burgundy sheepskin slippers with Velcro flaps, great big thermal knickers that go right up to your armpits.

…Actually, the slippers and big knickers do sound rather appealing!

Even a few years ago I recognised that I’d reached that time in my life where many professionals I came across looked like they were on their weeks work experience from school and still got pocket money from their parents (perhaps they do!)

…or that I am, actually, of the age where I could be their mum! *rolls eyes*

…or, made huge gaffs by assuming people were the same age as me or older, when they were actually younger…whoopsy!

But still, people continue to comment that I don’t look my age.

Which is sort of nice.

But what does 49 or 50 look like, really?

Kylie Minogue…she’s just turned 50.  So’s her Neighbours on screen husband, Jason.  Celine Dion, Daniel Craig (ding-a-ling!), Naomi Watts (who my mate, Ian, says I’m the spits of…can’t see it myself, but hey, always happy to receive a compliment), my bestest pal Christine and my relative Jacqueline.  All 50.  All unique.  All lucky to be on the planet for this long.  Many people don’t get that opportunity.  My daddy was only 4 years older than me now, when he died.  So you won’t find me crying in a corner and rocking just because I’m 50!

Throughout my life I’ve struggled very much with ‘me’ (both aesthetically and internally), but since Hannah’s birth, these last nine years have shaped me to be who I am today – reasonably comfortable in my own skin; self-confident enough now to discard anything and anyone that drains me; no longer scared of complimenting myself; completely apathetic to those who dislike me (their circus, their monkeys); motivated; still quirky (apparently, thankfully) and much, much more.

…including (the most important one) being a damn good mummy.

Life has undoubtedly been a challenge.  One big, humongous challenge…which over recent years has made me sit back and evaluate how I’m living my life and I.  It’s thrown some blinding curve balls our way; bereavement and loss and pain and trauma and beauty and gloriousness in completely unpredictable peaks and troughs.

Almost a decade of grenades and glitter!

..but I’m a survivor!

And let’s face it, many of us don’t travel along this thing called life without a few bumps and bruises, do we?

So, I’m rambling again (apologies), for the purposes of this post – seeing as I’ve neglected the blog for a long, long time and have a few minutes to rattle something off – for what it’s worth, here’s my ten (very tongue in cheek) top tips for that youthful look of mine:

(bearing in mind that I am the parent of a child with significant disabilities!)




You ought to be…



Ensure sleep deprivation as regularly as possible. Sleep is overrated.   The beauty mags will tell you that 8 hours beauty sleep is required to maintain optimum health and a youthful look.  Ha ha ha ha ha…ha! *clutches tummy*



Moisturise…erm…*scratches head to recollect*…once a month…or…when you can remember…or when it’s sunny and you have leg dandruff.



And you can forget that costly wrinkle cream too.  They won’t shift those deep scowl lines and frowns caused by years of having to deal with really silly people, their agendas and the absurd things they say and do (or don’t do!)



Shower…quickly.  Very quickly.  There’s absolutely no time to languish in a bath!



Get your hair cut properly, say, twice a year.



And whilst we’re on the subject of hair, let’s talk mono-brows.  Just pluck at your face when you’ve had your fringe cut.  That’ll do.



…And beards.  Oh Lord, the beard!  Why did no-one tell me about ‘the beard’?  I know beards have been ‘on trend’ for several years now (time for a change boys), but that’s for the fellas!  You need to pluck that…or join a circus.  In fact, my friend Kevin has always maintained that I was stolen from the circus…he may have a point!



Forget manicures. WHO has time for THOSE!? Anyway, you’ll only chip those expensive talons lumping a wheelchair or piece of equipment around…and you need short nails for all those delightful nappy changes…hygiene and all that.  Get the clippers out, then file those babies down so they’re not sharp.  That’s enough.



Eat.  When you can remember to prioritise yourself.



Exercise…ha ha ha ha…ha!  No, don’t bother.  You’ve totally no time for that.  You get enough work outs as it is – lifting, carrying, running around.  That’s sufficient.


Hopefully you realise that, from the above, I have no magical remedy to looking younger than your chronological age.  And really, in the grand scheme of things, does it REALLY matter?

All I’d say is…

Be you.  Be comfy in your own skin.  Love your bumps and scars and wobbly bits all the other bits that we’re told we should cover up, shave off, plump up, cut off, pull out or whatever.  And try to love WHO you are, not what you look like and most definitely don’t make the massive gaff like I used to do of basing your perception of you on what others think. You are you.  Unique.  Lovely.

Try and like yourself…both inside and out.

…and if you can love yourself too, then you’re onto a winner!

Women, especially, use the “she loves herself” quip as some kind of catty, derogatory remark.  But actually, I think we’d all probably be better people if we lifted each other up and loved ourselves a bit more…and equally, were a little bit more childlike – accepting of everyone, funny, silly, perceiving life as one great big adventure.

…because none of us are getting out of here alive!


Btw, just to be clear, I’m not 50 in this photo! 

So, that’s all my people.  I’m off to celebrate life.

Happy Birthday Me…you quintastic woman, you.  You are TOTALLY splendid and you’ve worked hard to get where you are, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! ❤

Until next time

Annie xoxo


This post is dedicated to me…obviously!    


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12 Responses to 50 – grenades and glitter

  1. Joanne Brown says:

    I hereby vow to continue to stick to each and every one of your tips! Happy Birthday x

  2. Ian Marshall says:

    She’s not 50 in that pic … but she IS a right little madam … and one that I love, very much ❤

  3. Andrea Baker says:

    Oooohhhh happy birthday for yesterday!
    I love the tips, luckily I’m following most of them lol.
    Hope you had a wonderful day.

  4. Hi Annie, happy Birthday love. Do somethings fun for yourself. And encourage hubby to celebrate you too, if he needs a hint. He shouldn’t – you are a true beauty, inside and out. You look truly PHENOMENAL for fifty – I’ve seen your picture- I think you are having us on. Love from across the pond, Barbara

  5. MS says:

    Gorgeous post. A very very happy bday to you xx

  6. Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

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