Whilst I've never felt particularly bothered by waking up on my birthday one year older, and indeed have enjoyed (having looked younger than I am all my life through some genetic quirk) passing milestones, two days before my 50th birthday I feel a certain weirdness. I can't explain precisely but I keep dreaming that my friends clubbed together and bought me a balloon ride, a gift which would terrify me beyond all measure.
Heights make me feel, sick and dizzy which, rather than constituting a challenge to be endured is God's way of suggesting politely that staying back from the edge is a good thing to do. I gladly comply.
I think I am subconsciously frightened of discovering that after 50 years nobody knows me that well. See, one of the secrets of staying young is a failure to let go of the childish desire to be liked by everyone - wanting to be the centre of attention whilst believing that people shouldn't make a fuss.
There is nothing strange about being 50 and I am looking forward to it. 49 and 51 are mathematically more interesting numbers (I'm told; I really don't care that much). I'll let you know how I'm feeling at regular intervals.
Having my birthday on a Friday of the Bank Holiday weekend is perfect. Four day party with a small break to do everything at an all-age service on Sunday. If you're in the area and can get to Cafe Create at St Paul's Church Lounge, Leicester Street this Friday night then it promises to be fun - comedy, poetry, music (band and soloists), food and a Gospel choir. 7.30 - midnight.