A year ago I blew up half a dozen balloons to celebrate my fiftieth birthday. Five are long gone, but one has somehow managed to survive until today, in a shrivelled but still inflated state. I should now put it out of its misery, and by the end of the day I probably will. But it's nice to have a reminder of my half century, as today I venture into the uncharted waters of "over 50".
If you've not got here yet, rest assured that it's nowhere near as over the hill as you're expecting it to be. And everything's relative, so if you've already passed this particular milestone you might even think of it as distantly nostalgically young. I'm seizing the day and heading abroad, because I can, and because the tickets were very cheap when I grabbed them. Bright pink, wrinkled and deflating remains some time off as yet.
To prove the point, here are ten highlights from my fifty-first year.
Helicopter flight over London
Day trip to Brussels
Viewing the solar eclipse from sunny Birmingham
Being at Theobalds Grove while they were putting the wrong signs up
Long weekend in Berlin
Standing atop Millennium Mills
Keeping my annual rent rise down to a mere 14%
Long weekend in Rome
Losing half a stone in weight
Not receiving a redundancy letter
Day trip to Versailles
I'm not convinced the next twelve months will be able to keep up.