My fabulous 50th birthday!

23

Kathy and Bex with cake Some expressions put into words something that is hard to describe – and 'my heart is singing' does it perfectly for how I was feeling this morning.

I was walking through the woods with Barney dog, watching him chase squirrels in the sunshine, and it just felt good to be alive! And this a day after I turned 50 years old – something I thought I might find a bit tough!

Looking forward to the big day

In fact, I'd been looking forward to my big day, but great expectations can often make the reality fall a little flat. Yesterday, though, was all good.

I'd taken the day off work so I could be thoroughly spoiled, but of my three children, only Billy was at home. He presented me with a gorgeous, colourful bouquet of exotic flowers (photo) and a handmade card – the effort he put into making it, especially as he's in his exam week at school, was really touching. A great start!

It wasn't long before Charlie rang from his Geography field trip in North Wales to wish me a Happy Birthday, and then a call from Bex, before she started a busy day of lectures at medical school.

Ducks Walking in the sunshine (while it lasted!)

After opening some lovely cards and presents from friends and family, Olley and I enjoyed a walk along the river with Barney, basking in warm sunshine before it was smothered by advancing clouds.

We had to laugh at the antics of the ducks – I think they must have been suffering from spring fever in preparation for the mating season, and there were many more drakes than females, all competing against each other. Then they all lined up on the edge as though they were about to have a swimming race! (see photo left).

My birthday lunch

As I reached my exact half century, shortly before 2pm, Olley and I were enjoying a delicious meal in a Michelin-starred pub restaurant in Marlow – the Hand and Flowers. It's only just down the road from us, but this was the first time we'd eaten there and I didn't regret choosing it for my special lunch. The food was simple and elegant, posh but not pretentious or too pricey. Perfect, in fact!

Later, Billy helped me choose my present of a push bike – a 'town and trail' model is just what I need to encourage me to get on two wheels rather than four. I'm looking forward to making use of the good summer they seem to be promising us again – let's hope they're right this time!

Birthday surprises

When we arrived home it was to a real surprise – Bex had come home from university and was baking a carrot cake for me! (see photo top left) I really hadn't expected her to be able to get home, so there were lots of hugs and kisses. She said, simply, 'I couldn't miss your 50th, Mum.' That was a real treat, and finished the day perfectly. The whole day was lovely, and it made me realise how lucky I am.

I'll extend the celebrations a little though – when Charlie is home we're all going to see Les Miserables in London's West End -  a musical I've always wanted to see. (Although Ali K tells me I'll cry all the way through it!). So even more to look forward to.

I'm enjoying the summer of my years

I'm sure, when I'm 50 and a bit, I'll have days when I feel old and tired, and that life is rushing past me far too quickly.  For now, though, I'm full of the joys of spring and planning to enjoy the summer of my years!

What have you done for a special birthday?

I'd love to hear about how you celebrated a special birthday – the best ones aren't usually about having lots of money spent on you so much as spending time with the people most important to you. Have you had any lovely surprises?

Finally, thanks to you for all the cards you've sent to wish me Happy Birthday, many of them handmade – I so appreciate your kind good wishes.

Do take care,

Kathy x

23 Comments

  1. Caroline Hodgkinson March 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy,glad you had a lovely birthday.I am a lot like you and enjoy having my children around.Enjoy Les Miserables,i love the music,its very emotional but have never got round to coming to London to see it.Iwould love to know what you think of it.Take care Carolinex

  2. Cheryl March 27, 2010 at 6:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy
    Just wanted to wish you a very happy birthday, you really do look amazing. Love your hair longer and you are looking so lovely when on the morning show, which I really enjoy – always enter the competition – maybe one day I will be picked and will get to speak to you. Hope that you enjoy Les Miserables, my children brought me tickets to see Hairspray for Mother’s Day, went on thursday, absolutely loved it, I am a big Brian Conley fan, was a great evening.
    Wishing you good health and happiness.
    Cherylx

  3. Magda Chetty March 27, 2010 at 10:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy
    Happy 50th Birthday. Great to read your blog, what a great family you have, and the great way they showed you how much they love you. Your lunch sounded fab, Iam going to be visiting a friend near Marlow we might give it a try.
    You”ll enjoy Les Miserables, I went to see it about 10 years ago, and loved it so much, that I went again and I cried both times.
    My best birthday surprise was on my 50th birthday 4 years ago, as I moved to Mallorca to Live in the year 2000, and left some great friends back in London, on my 50th they all came over to Mallorca to see me, my husband arranged a party for me and called them without telling me. I was so happy to see them, but I could not stop crying. One of them played the song It Is my party and I cry if I want to, and after that it was all lough, that I”ll never forget, as you said it is not about money to spend on you, this was something money can”t buy.
    Enjoy the rest of your celebration. All the best.
    Magda.

  4. Heather March 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy congratulations on your wonderful 50th Birthday. And it was so lovely to hear that your beautiful daughter had made the effort to surprise you as well as the rest of the family.I had a beautiful surprise 50th and 30th Wedding Anniversary combined. This had all been arranged by our three beautiful children and was just wonderful with family and friends. And I recieved beautiful birthday presents and then Eric and i were given a holiday all inclusive as our wedding anniversary present.To me to have all our family and great friends makes us all feel that we are blessed and thats what life should be about.Take Care.x

  5. Mary March 29, 2010 at 9:24 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, a belated Happy 50th Birthday and I hope I look as good as you when I reached the magic half century. It was my 44th birthday on Friday 26th March and was memorable for all the wrong reasons I am afraid. My dare devil skier of son had an accident on a friends trampoline on Tuesday ( they were off school due to a training day) and ended up in hospital having fractured the T7 vertebrae of his back. He was on total bedrest and not even allowed to walk to the loo which made things very difficult especially on Friday when he caught a sick and poo bug. Needless to say I spent most of the day and the night mopping up from both ends! He is home now and only able to lie, sit and walk to the loo only for the next three weeks until we see the orthopod. He is not allowed any sport at all for 8 weeks so he will miss the end of the rugby and indoor cricket season. Hopefully he will join the outdoor cricket season some time in June. He has been extremely lucky but the novelty of doing nothing has quickly worn off! Off work today to look after him so I am watching The Morning Show and have bought the Susan Graver TSV in blue! Lotsa love Mary

  6. sylvia March 29, 2010 at 12:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy
    I would like to say “Happy Birthday” to you for your 50th.I will be 50 in May next year,so I dont quite feel so bad now as its seems to be not so bad after all.Im so glad you had a great time.I think it goes to show you are a great mum when your children as so nice and kind as yours seem to be.Take Care Kathy x

  7. Jill Wheeler March 29, 2010 at 3:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy. A belated Happy Birthday to you! You are a fantastic advert for us ladies of an age! I too am 50 in July-been dreading it;not sure why really-it’s only a number! Will try to take a leaf out of your book, and be more positive, and up-beat. How come you are always so happy?!!! You are looking fantastic lately;love your hair a bit longer,it really suits you. Take care, love Jill,in Purley

  8. Kathy Tayler March 30, 2010 at 9:59 am -  Reply

    Hi Caroline.
    Thanks for your comments – i will definitely let you know how we get on with Les Miserables. I love musicals and the children have enjoyed the ones we’ve taken them to so far (Billy Elliot, Blood Brothers, Lion King, Grease, Joseph and his Dreamcoat (with Lee Mead – Bex loved it!!) and We will Rock You) so I’m hoping this weekend will be a success. We’re seeing the Saturday matinee and then eating together in Covent Garden. The only problem with going to the theatre is the cost of paying for 5 tickets, we usually only go once a year. But this time we managed to get a good discount which is why we can eat as well!
    I’ll let you know what we think, and how much I cry!
    take care
    Kathy x

  9. Kathy Tayler March 30, 2010 at 10:05 am -  Reply

    Hi Cheryl
    Thanks for the compliments – I never thought I’d ever have long hair but now I’ve managed it I quite like it! And keep going with the morning show competition – one of these days I’m sure we’ll pick your number to call.
    I haven’t seen Hairspray – I would have liked to see Michael Ball in it, and I’m sure Brian Conley is brilliant – he’s such an all round showman. maybe that will be my next one. And I’m looking forward to the days when my children can buy me tickets, rather than the other way around – let’s hope they do!! What a lovely Mother’s Day present yours gave you.
    Best wishes
    Kathy x

  10. Kathy Tayler March 30, 2010 at 10:28 am -  Reply

    Hello Magda.
    Good to hear from you again!
    I hope you have a lovely time when you come to see your friends near Marlow. They’ll know of places to eat, I’m sure, but I can give you a couple of other ideas. My birthday lunch at the Hand and Flowers was perfect, but i’ve also enjoyed meals at the Queen’s Head in Little Marlow (hidden back in the village, not on the main road) OTT (On The Thames) in Bourne End, in the little marina and with stunning views across the river, The Ferry on the bridge between Bourne End and Cookham and the Bar and Brasserie in Marlow High Street. They all serve food that is a bit special without charging the earth for it.
    Your 50th birthday celebrations sound wonderful – I think we spend so much time trying to make other people happy it can be quite overwhelming when others do it for us – it makes you realise that you are as important to your friends and family as they are to you, if you know what I mean? What an emotional day that must have been for you.
    i bet summer is starting for you already in Mallorca – the forecast is snow again in some parts of Britain this week! Still, I have something to look forward to… Olley and I are bringing the Children to Mallorca for some sunshine for a few days in the first week of June, so we may bump into you!
    All the best, Magda.
    Kathy x

  11. Kathy Tayler March 30, 2010 at 10:37 am -  Reply

    Hi Heather
    What fabulous children you have – your combined 50th birthday and 30th anniversary sounds absolutely wonderful! I wonder where you went for the holiday?
    I have another seven years to go before my 30th, but that means our silver anniversary is two years this September. Only Billy will be living at home then, as Charlie and Bex will both be a university, so hopefully we can plan a special holiday for ourselves, even if it’s only a long weekend. You’ve got me thinking, actually! As I’m writing this I’m forming a idea – I fancy a couple of weeks touring Scandinavia – especially the fiords of Norway. I’ve got a while to organise it but that is definitely a plan!! Thanks!
    With best wishes to you.
    Kathy x

  12. Kathy Tayler March 30, 2010 at 11:04 am -  Reply

    Oh Mary, what a terrible time you and your son have had. I belatedly replied to your last message on my blog the day after he had his accident. We have a trampoline in the garden and I have always worried about my children’s friends hurting themselves. The boys love to perform those flips and jumps but my heart is in my mouth when they do them.
    I do hope he is recovering – I suppose you have to be grateful it wasn’t worse, but it sounds bad enough. Your son sounds similar to my Billy – skiing, cricket and rugby – and no fear!
    That dreadful moment when you heard he’d been hurt will stay with you, I’m sure. I’ll never forget my worst moment – Rebecca had knocked herself out when she fell off her horse at a cross country event. The ambulance men were at her head and she was lying motionless as I ran towards her – i really feared the worst for a few seconds. She was unconscious for a couple of minutes but was breathing, thankfully. She was airlifted to hospital in the air ambulance but was allowed to leave soon after and was back on her horse the following day! Kids!
    Your son will be up and about before you know it, I hope, and putting you though all the usual worries again with his dare devil antics. In the meantime, I wish him all the best for a speedy recovery, and you the ingenuity you’ll need to keep a bored and recovering boy as still as possible. Just an idea, but Billy enjoys teaching himself card tricks by watching youtube on his laptop – keeps him quiet for hours! As soon as your son can be propped up a bit, maybe he could try it. Just search on ‘world’s best card trick’ and the like.
    Best of luck!
    Kathy x

  13. Kathy Tayler March 30, 2010 at 11:10 am -  Reply

    Hi Sylvia.
    Honestly, don’t worry – it’s not that bad!! My husband says “Try turning 60 – now that IS bad!” but I don’t think he really means it! I think the trick is to try to be relaxed happy, and rise above the challenges life throws at you, whatever your age.
    Having children who seem to be happy most of the time makes it much easier for me to be content, too.
    Happy birthday in May – enjoy your final ’40s’ year!
    Take care
    Kathy x

  14. kathy tayler March 31, 2010 at 11:48 am -  Reply

    Hi Jill
    Thanks for your kind comments – always appreciated!
    I’m a bit surprised that I haven’t found turning 50 harder, but as you say – it’s only a number. I think it helps that my husband is a good bit older than me – he was 60 last year – so he doesn’t let me moan as he holds the trump card when it comes to complaining about feeling old!! Also, I’m really enjoying our children as they grow up – Bex is at uni but is fabulous at keeping in touch so I don’t feel as though I’m losing her – and the boys are great and getting easier, so I have a little more time for me (and Olley) which is good for my stress levels. So all in all, take it from me…50 is OK!!
    Happy Birthday for July
    Kathy x

  15. babs April 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, A belated Happy Birthday, believe me 5oyrs of age is young. It’s when you get to 65yrs plus that your body slows down. I’ve always admired you, you are always smiling and happy. It is obvious you love your family as i do and i very much admire you for that. I’ve got a holiday book of wales with your photo in it, you still look the same as you did then, young and attractive.lots of love to you and your family. Take care. xxxxx

  16. christine nicol April 4, 2010 at 10:15 am -  Reply

    hi kathy, belated birthday wishes to you, it sounds as if you had a lovely day, my best birthday surprise was when i turned 40, my daughter arranged a party for me as a surprise, she was in the isle of man and not due home until 10 days after it, we had arranged just to go for a drink (husband &myself)but when we walked in the whole family was there and loads of friends, plus my daughter who had come home early, so surprised i was lost for words. so enjoy your 50s i am as i am now 53 this year.
    take care love chris xx

  17. Kathy Tayler April 6, 2010 at 3:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Babs
    I remember writing a couple of pieces for the Welsh Tourist Board – we had a lovely weekend away in Llandudno and also took the children for a break in Aberdovey. I’ll never forget that time because we woke to hear that Princess Diana had been killed. It was shocking news in the middle of a beautiful weekend in a stunning place. We had lovely walks along the beach and found jellyfish as big as umbrellas on the sand!! The children were soo little then – they are lovely memories to keep.
    And if you’ve got to 65 before you notice your body slowing down you’re doing well! We went for a five mile walk on Easter Sunday and I was feeling it in my legs in the evening. Felt good though!
    Take care
    kathy x

  18. Kathy Tayler April 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi chris
    Thanks for telling me your 40th birthday story – our children have the ability to make us very happy, don’t they. How surprised and delighted you must have been to see your daughter!
    I’m enjoying my fifties so far. Glad you are – long may that continue for both of us!
    Best wishes
    Kathy x

  19. deborah April 20, 2010 at 11:19 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy I am glad you enjoyed your 50th it sounds like you had a lovely time with your children, sorry this is a bit late though. I am 50 in July and 10 of my work mates are going to Scotland for the weekend and all hoping to wear something tartan! Take care I enjoy watching your shows on QVC xx Debbie Turner

  20. Hilary August 12, 2010 at 2:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy and belated happy 50th. Really good to hear you had a great time. Les Mis is one of my all time favourites, think I’ve seen it about 7 times now. I had my 50th last November and wasn’t looking forward to it at all but it turned out as a fabulous day as we decided to sneak off and get married – surprising quite a few people, as having been engaged for 2 years I think they’d all given up on us!

  21. Christine Harman March 31, 2011 at 8:19 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy,
    Happy belated 50th.Sounds like you had a lovely day with your family.Your so right Kathy, the best presents, are not the material ones, there the ones that involve the people you love the most being around you on a very special day.I recently celebrated my 60th, and being agoraphobic,I don’t go out much or socialise but I still had a lovely day I had my husband, 2 sons Ross and Lee and another two extra special people in my life my brother and my sister in law, who came down from Scotland. As I am very close to my brother seeing him made my birthday extra special.

  22. gwen September 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy,
    We havnt heard from you for a long time, would love to hear your news x

  23. Gray April 25, 2012 at 10:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, I just wanted to say that I just saw a 1990 TVAM clip of you on a documentary and it just whisked me back into time. I was 16 that year and seeing this clip made it all came back to me, I think you were my first love even though I didnt know you (hold up, I’m not that weird ….. you were stunning). Congratulations on your 50th, you still look absolutley gorgeous.
    Gray.

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