It feels like it’s been a long winter but now March has arrived – and with it, the promise of spring, harking to lighter nights and better weather. (Although looking out of the window of late, on the snowy Manchester street below, where the latest winter storm is blowing a gale, I’m sure I’d be forgiven for being a tad skeptical!)

For those of you unaware: Manchester is my home. And, unless you are a hermit with no access to the outside world, you will have heard of the atrocious act of violence which took place within my beloved city on 22 May 2017 – claiming the lives of 22 innocent music lovers and injuring so many more. Many for which it will be a long, slow road to recovery. The vast majority were just children, who had yet to live and experience many of life’s wonders.

As many women age they become wiser, even more beautiful, due to earning their self-confidence aura… …and some don’t! That’s one of the reasons I decided to start this blog. Has age finally caught up with me, I ponder..? Let me explain: I never had  a hangover until I hit 30 – then they came with a vengeance! Now at 45, some may say I am the wrong side of 40 and middle aged. Utter rubbish! I’m in pretty good shape (despite my current dodgy back) and don’t look or feel that the big 5-0 is approaching as fast as a Japanese bullet train. I may have more fine lines than I used to, but boy, the fun I’ve had earning those stripes! It’s been one heck of a ride to get here but I am proud of the woman I have spent my life sculpting and yet I still have…

I recall being very excited on the eve of my 30th birthday when so many of my friends were dreading theirs. The reason? I honestly believed once I hit 30 I would ‘just know it’. All the jumbled up pieces would fall into place. Aging would provide all the answers. I would be welcomed with open-arms into that ‘knowledge-club’ belonging to those confident, self-assured post-20s women, whom I so aspired to be. You know the type – they positively ooze confidence from their very pores!

An older friend scoffed at my naivety, but let me bask in my momentary madness anyway.