Happy birthday to me!

Debbie cakeLet me introduce myself.

My name’s Debbie. I have written for a living all my life from being a ‘cub’ reporter at the Birmingham Evening Mail to running my own business writing everything and anything from blogs to marketing copy. But I have only ever written for other people, never myself. OK so I have had one or two failed attempts at writing a novel, but that requires dedication, persistence and talent, attributes which are sadly lacking.

So as a countdown to my 50th birthday, a blog it is and I will write what I want when I want. ‘Will it be like a diary?’ Sue, one of my friends asked over dinner as we celebrated another friend’s 49th. ‘God, no,’ I said. ‘Diaries are so boring; most of us live pretty mundane lives.’

This will be observations on whatever takes my fancy. Warning: people of a sensitive nature could be offended. I am annoyingly PC and an outright dictator. I think most people are dimwits and the best phrase I have ever come across is JFDI. I don’t do crying, sugary sentimentality or any bullshit of any kind, but oddly I give people the benefit of the doubt more often than not. I am a mass of contradictions and I think that’s normal.

A bit more about me. Married, divorced and now living with a new man, although not so new as I met Des at a school reunion in 2009. I have known him since we were five although there was a 30-odd year gap between leaving junior school and the reunion. We now have a mortgage together and my three kids live with us. Des is funny, kind, dependable, laid back, introspective, cautious, non-committal and fucking annoying. He is 50 in July and a bunch of us, mostly from school and mostly reunited as a result of the same reunion, are off to Amsterdam, which I am organising and is a bloody nightmare.

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This is them a few years ago in Norway, looking particularly fetching

In my 50th countdown year, my three children are Jasmine (Jaz), who is in her first year of vet school at the University of Liverpool; Milly who is in her GCSE year at one of Bucks’ grammar schools; and Hal who attends a Catholic non-selective school despite declaring himself an atheist at the school’s retreat in year 7! The girls skate and compete at around three competitions a year in a synchronised team. I used to skate with the adult synchro team but got too old and too fat. I am the secretary of their synchro club and I can tell you, there’s never a dull moment!

Hal sails and the commodore at his club thinks he is good enough to compete, but frustratingly, he is not interested. As it’s a members’ run club, we all undertake duties and playing to our strengths, Des and I run one of the bar teams and can often be seen pulling pints for sailors who predictably drink a lot. Des also runs one of the bars at our local football club Wycombe Wanderers, it’s his hobby, which is also quite useful as the eldest is now in her second season (when home) and the middle one was put to work a week after turning 16, pretty impressive, eh?

Hal’s first love is kickboxing and he is a brown belt, in 2014, he was the league champion but last year he moved into the advanced category and took a bit of a kicking (it’s character building). This year, we hope he will be back with a vengeance, although he is currently nursing a broken finger back to full functionality following an accident at his club which required surgery just before Christmas.

So that’s us. And just for the record, I expect pretty amazing things from my kids, after all, if you don’t believe in them, how the hell do you expect them to believe in themselves?

I hope some of you out there enjoy a read as much as I intend to enjoy writing it and if you like what you see or even if it riles you, please follow, I would greatly appreciate it, even if we may have to beg to differ on some issues.

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