Here it comes!!


< drum roll please>

The year Imogen Clark turns FIFTY. I know. Fifty. How did that happen? And far more amusingly, how can all my lovely friends be turning 50? After all, I know I’m really only 32. Something has gone wrong somewhere!

Joking aside, it’s all true. In a little over nine months I will celebrate my 50th…but how?

This thought has been rolling round my head since my last birthday because you’re supposed to do something mega for your 50th aren’t you? Trek across the Andes backwards or jump out of a plane in tandem with your entire family whilst singing Gloria Gaynor or visiting every venue that Frank Sinatra ever performed in. Ok. Maybe they are ridiculous examples but you get the idea.

Every time I mention it, people ask me what I’m going to do. The pressure of expectation is starting to build quite alarmingly. It’s silly really. It’s just a birthday. I don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary but it will feel like a lost opportunity if I don’t use it as an excuse for something special.

So I thought about how my perfect day would shape up, you know, if I could choose to do exactly as I pleased. It would probably involve a walk somewhere beautiful, maybe a swim, lots of reading, my family and all in a place with big skies and oodles of warm sunshine. Sadly my birthday falls on a Wednesday in term time and whilst there is an outside chance that it’ll be a glorious day in September, I can’t pin all my hopes on the British weather playing ball.

Once I decided that I couldn’t actually achieve my ultimate day, I’ve found that barriers keep coming up for all the other things I could do. Anything that involves being away from Ilkley is either too complicated or too expensive or no one else wants to do it. Anything that involves being outside is being coloured in my head by the weather of the last couple of months. The kids want me to have a party. They go on and on about it. And I want one too….occasionally and then I change my mind about that too!

But if I’m not careful nothing special will happen…..and so the pressure builds again. Honestly, it was easier working a case in the House of Lords than deciding how to spend my ‘big’ birthday.

So, in the meantime I have decided to focus on filling 2016 with lots of the little things that I want to do. I have a few in the diary already so you can expect to hear all about them in due course. And when the big day comes ( and depending on the weather forecast) I shall try to do something that comes as close to my dream as I can achieve within the confines of practicality because that’s me down to a tee – practical and realistic!

In the meantime, all suggestions of fabulous celebration ideas gratefully received.