Fanfares for Forty

I make no excuses for this shameless ‘me’ post. Well, I kind of do. I am actually so very talented that it would just hurt your eyes and offend you if I told you exactly what I’d been doing all my life. So I’ve saved it for one post. Plus, when I was 30, I booed my eyes out for three days about how little I’d accomplished in my life.

So… without further ado…

My forty greatest accomplishments

  • Telling author Philip Pullman that teaching is like sex… If he’s not enjoying it, he’s not doing it right.
  • Patting Patrick Stewart’s head and telling him he didn’t need a wig in Antony And Cleopatra.
  • Telling renowned Irish poet Seamus Heaney that I was his girl groupie.
  • Asking Jussi Jaaskelainin of Bolton Wanderers if they were a Sunday League team.
  • Having ‘learn to be more humble’ written on a performance review.
  • Doing a marathon… having done so many that I have a box-full of medals.
  • Then doing a triathlon… they make marathons like a walk in the park.
  • Being able to benchpress twice my body weight.
  • Having done training regimes that would make grown men cry.
  • Having written books – actual published books no less.
  • Having written ebooks that make more money for me than the robbing publishers give me.
  • Having an actual regular column in an actual regular magazine. It’s not Sex in the City, more Words in the Wilderness, but it’s still an actual column.
  • Learning Japanese.
  • Having been to meetings as a Government advisor.
  • Having been paid to stay in an £800 a night hotel in Kensington.
  • Having been invited to lead training sessions at the Emirates Stadium.
  • Never having ever had to depend on anyone except my parents.
  • Having taken this photograph in Brazil and then hand-processed it old-school in the darkroom. Pre-photoshop. This what you got:


  • Having done this drawing. I love pastels


  • Having made this cardigan


  • Having learned to write


  • Being able to get up on a kitchen stool all by myself.
  • Being able to make a pavlova that rivals my Nana’s.
  • Singing Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You by Glenn Medeiros to 400 people AND to a girl on stage. I was Prince Charming!
  • Being able to give Sue Sylvester a run for her money in terrorising naughty boys and making them quake in their boots.
  • Having a voice that can be heard above 20000 crazy ice hockey fans.
  • Having trained my dog (the greedy one) to give me a paw.
  • Having trained my dog (the clever one) to show me his wiener.
  • Being able to sew a straight seam.
  • Having been able to do 100 squat thrusts without vomiting.
  • Being able to sleep for 15 hours solid on an international flight.
  • Knowing all the words to The Lost Boys movie.
  • Having a freezer-full of cake.
  • Having the recipe for carrot cake in my head, no cheats.
  • Knowing camera geek-speak, using only manual focus and aperture priority on an SLR and being an all-out chemical darkroom genius.
  • I make a kick-ass fire.
  • I can unblock a toilet.
  • I do such a good Liverpool accent that it freaks me out.
  • Being able to dance Gangnam style.
  • Having seen Grease approximately 2,475,125 times
  • I can make a chocolate fudge sauce that will both send you to a veritable heaven and give you diabetes at the same time.

There you are. I feel a lot better now. I’ve obviously achieved a lot in the last decade! Anyway, it is but two nights’ sleep until my big day. I feel about five million times more wonderful at 40 than I did at 30. I’m all for embracing the day!

11 thoughts on “Fanfares for Forty

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