Next month I turn 40.
But, in all honestly I think I have been preparing myself for it since my 39th birthday.
I think I’ve spent my whole 39th year saying “I’m nearly 40” or “I’m turning 40 next year” instead of enjoying the last year of my thirties. And, saying I’m am in fact 39.
Not because I’m dreading it. Having a weird mid-life crisis. Or, worried about ageing. But, because I can’t really believe it. I mean I was 30 like minutes ago, wasn’t I?
In the words of Ferris Bueller:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around for a while, you could miss it”
I guess my last 10 years have been filled with marriage, motherhood and moving (house and jobs) that the years have sped by, I’ve been plodding along and only now can I reflect that I finally get it. It being this funny thing called life. Yes, it can begin at FORTY.
Why? Because it’s just a number.
And, that number doesn’t have to define me. With those advancing numbers I have discovered who I am.What I like and what I don’t like. When to say yes and when to say no. In essence I feel a lot more confident than I ever have. I really wouldn’t go back to my twenties or thirties if you paid me – for real. Why would I when the real fun is only just beginning…
I don’t care what people think of me – mostly What people say to me – within reason. What people do to me – unless it affects my family of course. I am going to live my life the way I want to. I’m a grown-up now. Aren’t I?
This means I will take all the Fabulous at 40, Life begins at 40, 40 is the new 30 quotes and raise you THIS IS 40 and so far it’s looking pretty damn good.
*BORN in 1976*
Look who else is celebrating it’s 40th year in 2016..
The fashion brand founded by Lucille and Richard Lewin has 46 stores across the UK. Whistles has lost its stuffy ‘yummy mummy’ image thanks to former Topshop director Jane Shepherdson who as chief executive has given the brand a sleeker and more modern appeal. The brand and shops were sold last month to South African retail company Foschini.
Kate Spade & Company – or Liz Claiborne Inc. as it was initially known when it launched in 1976 and acquired the Spade brand – is a fashion company for handbags, accessories and fragrances – most notably Kate Spade New York. I am a bit partial to the home wares, books and stationery.
Fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier the original infant terrible of French couture may have been working from around 1970 but his individual named catwalk collection debuted in 1976.
Although, as of 2015 JPG has since closed his ready-to-wear collections to concentrate on Haute Couture. My everlasting memories of JPG is his signature scent which I wore all through college years.
Starting life in London with its first store opening on Duke Street (the road beside Selfridges) offering ‘design for the high street’ Warehouse had an aim to make fashion simple and accessible to everyone. They added to this by launching an online site in 2001.
Inspired by her family Marie-France Cohen (sister of perfumer Annick Goutal) launched Parisian children fashion house Bon Point in 1975 – and although technically a little over 40 they are celebrating 2016 as its 40th year with a special birthday collection. The chic children’s label is known for its timeless type, subtle elegance and iconic cherry logo.
Known for its contemporary, organic and colourful unisex clothing for babies and children Swedish brand Polarn O. Pyret (meaning Buddy and the Little One) – is often referred to as PO.P. Its great quality and comfortable styles are made to be handed down the family and passed on no matter the gender.
The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick opened her first shop in Brighton on 26th March 1976 – and the brand now has over 2,500 stores in 61 countries. Ahead of her time Roddick set the trend for environmental issues, animal testing and fair trade when it came to bath and beauty products.
The Body Shop was one of my favourite haunts when I was at school – White Musk, Dewberry, Banana Shampoo, Cucumber cleanser…. I spent much of my pocket money there (and loved going back for bottle refills).
Initially founded as a beauty boutique Benefit was launched by twin sisters Jane and Jill Ford in San Francisco. The first product they sold was a rose flushed blush and lip tint called ‘Rose Tint’ – now the beloved ‘Benetint‘ with over 10million bottle sold. I love the Dandelion Face Powder, Benebalm (when it was in pots) and Bathina scent.
Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa the small time boxer with big dreams. A chance for a nobody to become a somebody in a fight against heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. It was released December 1976 and won Best Picture in the 1977 Oscars.
A cult classic – Carrie tells the story of shy 17-year old Carrie White who after being sheltered by her religious mother discovers telekinetic powers after the school prom from hell. Forget the re-make this vintage movie starring Sissy Spacek, Amy Irving and John Travolta cannot be matched.
One of my favourite movies growing up. Freaky Friday (again avoid the remake staring Lindsay Lohan) stars a young Jodie Foster who swaps ‘bodies’ with her mother as they each experience the others life for one long day. An insight in 1970’s schooling with the typewriters is the best scene.
A giant Gorilla. New York backdrop. A young Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange. The making of a classic right there. King Kong lives on.
Winning 4 Oscars Network shows the inner working of a TV network and using the media for its own profit. Maybe a little dated now but it remains a true classic and an insight in the 1970’s ‘journalism’.
You talking’ to me? Ex-marine Travis Bickle spends his nights as a Taxi Driver – driving a yellow cab in New York City trying to make the world a better place..in his opinion. Robert De Niro at his very best.
My mum and dad played Motown over and over when I was growing up – maybe this explains my love for it too. Love Hangover was the 4th number 1 single for Motown singer Diana Ross released in March 1976.
Abba Formed in Sweden in 1972 and won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974. The rest is history. Fernando (There Was Something In The Air That Night) sold over 10 million copies, went to number 1 in 13 countries including the UK in which it was at the top spot on my birth-day!
Brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice set up the Bee Gees in 1958 – but had exceptional success in the 1970’s and it was No.1 hit You Should Be Dancing that launched them into the disco era. Do I admit I had a slight crush on Barry for many years….
Considered one of the most famous recording by a band Hotel California by The Eagles which they described as their ‘interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles.’ Is still as relevant today – it was used as the opening theme tune for one of my favourite shows American Horror Story: Hotel.
One of the best selling bands of all time Fleetwood Mac. Go Your Own Way was the first single released in 1976 from their hugely successful album Rumours. I cannot play Fleetwood Mac now without thinking about my dad who played this album over and over.
Irish rock band U2 formed in 1976 when many of the band mates met at school. Today they are one of the best-selling music artists of all time ranked at No 22 by Rolling Stone magazine as ‘100 Greatest artists of all Time’ as well as active campaigners for human rights.
Forty years since the release and impact of The Sex Pistols single Anarchy – and saw the birth of Punk. The punk movement influenced design, fashion, film, photography and of course, music. This year there’s a whole host of exhibitions and events to celebrate Punk London.
TV & THEATRE
‘Once upon a time there were three little girls who went to the police academy…’ Charlie’s Angels was an American crime drama series that lasted for 5 seasons and made stars of Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith and of course Farrah Fawcett-Majors. I remember watching this with my mum – and actually re-watched all 110-episodes when it was re-shown a few years back – and OK not the best show ever but the clothes, hairstyles and glamorous plot lines were enough for me.
The Muppet Show and its catchy theme tune were first aired in ’76. Hosted by Kermit the frog from The Muppet Theatre it had guest stars, slapstick and of course all those infamous Jim Henson puppets we know and love. I have had a renewed love of the Muppets as Miss Marnie has been hooked on the movies since she watched them at my mums house.
The Laurence Olivier Awards – or now known as The Olivier Awards are an annual awards ceremony to honour the professional actors and actresses of the London stage.The very first awards was held in December ’76 at The Cafe Royal in London.
Founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in Cupertino, California – Apple Inc. needs no introduction. I mean I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this without it…
A charity founded by Charles, Prince of Wales – The Prince’s Trust is one of the UK’s most successful funding organisations helping nearly a million often disadvantaged young people with training programmes, mentoring and financial grants.
Cadbury Caramel may have had a name change in 2003 but the original seventies name and later the Caramel Bunny adverts where she suggested you ‘take it easy’ are my memories. I think they tasted better then – and remember the vintage paper wrapping? Also, can you believe Cadbury actually opened in 1824?
The supermini car manufactured by Ford since ’76 is the Ford Fiesta and to date has sold over 16 million units. One of Ford’s bestsellers behind the Escort and F-series cars.
HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY TO YOU ALL … and me of course!