I'm putting it out there before anyone else does it for me: A certain milestone birthday is approaching all too fast.
Having witnessed many of my peer group endure/enjoy (delete as appropriate) the occasion of their 40th birthday, I have come to the conclusion that there are several ways in which to mark this occasion:
1. The big bash
For party-lovers, this is the obvious way to celebrate. Hire the local hall, invite as many friends and family as possible, supply a substantial buffet and Bob's your uncle. This is the ultimate people-pleaser as it avoids leaving anyone out. I have thoroughly enjoyed attending - and indeed organising - many such occasions for others. Sadly, throwing one of my own is out of the question: The thought of the obligatory speech is just too much.
2. The girly getaway
I'm thinking spa break/vintage teas/cocktails and clubbing or perhaps a combination of all of the above. This usually involves piling on a train to an accessible city where lots of other new forties (or indeed hen parties) are pursuing similar activities. Great fun but one should proceed with caution: By the time you've prepped your face, body and wardrobe for this trip - and indulged in some retail therapy while you're there - it may cost more than your annual family holiday.
3. The great escape
Those who have an a) romantic and b) generous partner may find themselves whisked off to some luxurious location where they can gently ease themselves into their next major life stage. This type of celebration has almost universal appeal, however there are several drawbacks: a) you have to have a partner b) they have to be romantic and c) they must not be permanently skint.
I'll cross my fingers and avoid looking at the joint account, shall I?