There is a large part of me that knows just how old I am. After all, if you can remember tuppeny bits, black and white TV and whole decades lived without internet and mobile phones then that in itself is a sure sign of getting on. Add to that encounters with history students who blithely tell me they're studying - as historical - events I experienced in the 1980s, when I was in my twenties, plus greying hair and a frozen shoulder, and it's all pretty clear and real.
But there is another part of me that can't quite believe I really and truly am fifty. If I say I don't feel fifty I should add that I'm not sure what fifty is supposed to feel like, physically or emotionally. I can remember what my younger self would have imagined it must be like, but the reality feels nothing like that. I also don't know what age I do feel. Forty? Forty-five? Forty-seven and a half? No, I just feel like me, today, whatever age I am.
But, regardless of my incredulity and what my Olympic summer mug may tell me, I don't want to keep calm - I want to celebrate! I'm reaching half a century in good health (even with my bad back and shoulder), I'm blessed with loving sisters and good friends, live with some lovely people and I'm fulfilled in who I am and what I do. I may well be unregenerating - even degenerating - physically, but creatively and spiritually I'm full of life. That's not to say that everything is or has been a bed of roses, but the blessings and the sense of life and fulfillment feel stronger. And that is pure gold.