Why I’m Taking A Leaf Out Of Geri Halliwell’s Book


On Christmas Eve, I was sitting in a restaurant with the family, having an early tea (with the addition of a couple of glasses of prosecco) and I started pondering my birthday, which was happening the following day. OK, I admit it, for a good few minutes, I couldn’t actually remember how old I was going to be.

What is it about getting older that makes you forget?

But I counted on my fingers – I’m not even joking – and worked out that if I was born in 1978, I was about to turn 36.Β Oh God. 36. That’s on the downward slope to 40. Which is old. You might be 40 and reading this now, and be feeling a bit offended that I just said that, but honestly? To a 36 year old, 40 is OLD. Just like, when I was 26, the thought of turning 30 made me want to sob into my Bacardi Breezer a little, and pick up myΒ Nokia 3210 and play Snakes to numb the pain.

The thing is, I don’t FEEL like a 36-year-old. I laugh at smutty jokes, I sing Frozen songs with my daughter at top volume in the kitchen while we skid around the floor in our socks pretending we’re on ice skates, I get excited about watching the new Hunger Games movie, I wear neon pink and orange Nikes to the gym.

Aren’t 36-year-olds meant to be responsible? We’re supposed to wear nice dresses with sensible shoes (me = silly bobble hats), read intelligent books (me = chick lit) and keep up to date with current affairs (does the Daily Mail sidebar of shame count?)

We’re rewriting what it means to be in our thirties or forties all the time. When my parents were 36, they didn’t go to festivals, or shop in Topshop, or palm me and my brother off on our grandparents for the night so that they could have a boozy night out at their favourite pub. They were proper grown ups at my age. Not like us. We don’t even have an EXTENDABLE DINING TABLE ferchrissakes, we just have a tiny dining table we bought from Ikea, ten years ago.

So I’m guessing that by the time I hit 40 (sob) it will absolutely, definitely be the new 30. Which is the new 21. We’re all basically refusing to grow up and in fifty years time, there will be a whole generation of 86-year-olds doing the Gangnam Style dance in mini skirts and doing shots of tequila as they go. Actually, who am I kidding, I bet if you search for that on YouTube, you’d find at least one video.

But on Christmas Eve, I made a decision. I’m going to take a leaf out of Geri Halliwell’s book. The Spice Girl famously knocked a few *cough* years off her age when the band hit the big time in 1996, and I think she had the right idea. Thinking about it, I quite liked being 32. I had recovered from the shock of turning 30, and had realised that (sssshh I’m whispering this in case any twenty somethings are reading this) your thirties are actually loads better than your 20s.

32. It’s a nice age, isn’t it?

So if anyone asks, from now on, I’m 32. I reckon I could get away with being 32 for at least another four years, by which time, I’ll be 40 and won’t mind admitting it because there will be a huge party in it for me. Here goes a little practice…. “Hi, I’m Alison. I’m 32” YES, that feels good.

So, this is just between me, you and Geri Halliwell OK? Don’t tell anyone…




  1. December 27, 2014 / 8:10 am

    Heehee, this has made me chuckle. I turned 35 last month and am still a bit traumatised that I’m now closer to 40 than I am to 30. I’ll be even worse turning 36!
    You’re right, 32 was a great age, I may join you in pretending I’m still in my early 30’s!
    Oh, and I lost hours of my life playing bloody Snake!

    • Alison Perry
      December 28, 2014 / 6:32 pm

      Join me! All are welcome in this act of denial.

  2. December 27, 2014 / 8:44 am

    Happy 32nd birthday! You don’t look a day over 23. xxx

    • Alison Perry
      December 28, 2014 / 6:32 pm

      Thanks πŸ˜‰

  3. December 27, 2014 / 8:47 am

    I feel your pain Alison – I turned 36 last month, and like you I still feel (and act as silly) as an 18 year old! I refuse to grow up. I made myself a bit of a bucket list of all the things I’d like to do (not necessarily before the big 4-0) to cheer myself up and have already ticked a couple off. But anyway Happy Birthday – and here’s to feeling young at heart, after all, that’s what really counts. LOVE you blog πŸ˜‰ x

    • Alison Perry
      December 28, 2014 / 6:33 pm

      I like the idea of a list of things to do and achieve by the time I hit 40 πŸ™‚

  4. December 27, 2014 / 12:57 pm

    It’s all in the mind, isn’t it. I still feel 26, for example. Strangely that was with when I had my first child. Could it just be pure coincidence?

    • Alison Perry
      December 28, 2014 / 6:34 pm

      They say having kids ages you but I think it keeps you young.

  5. December 27, 2014 / 4:52 pm

    Heheh, honestly you’ll hate 40 but you’ll love 41. My brother is 10 years older than me, and I remember him telling me that 40’s were better than 30’s and that cheered me up no end. And it turned out he was right. I’ve loved my 40’s, I’m way less stressy than I used to be and now I’m nearing 50 I’ve finally got to the point where I don’t care what anyone else thinks. Then again, maybe that’s not a good thing…
    You’ll be fine x

    • Alison Perry
      December 28, 2014 / 6:35 pm

      I can believe that your 40s are better than your 30s. I’m not keen to test it out yet though πŸ˜‰

  6. December 29, 2014 / 8:36 pm

    Well that suits me just fine as that means I am 33 then. And that sounds a nice number to me! x

  7. December 30, 2014 / 11:02 am

    I loved this post Ali- funnily enough I was saying to Mr E on our drive back from Manchester how funny it is that we are complete weirdos around our children- my parents weren’t sensible by any means but they were more sensible than me, and I just find it funny the way we act around our girls. I certainly don’t feel my age, I act like I am in my early 20’s- just with two small people! I read this post aloud to Mr E in the car cause it summed up what we were saying! Happy belated Birthday! x

  8. January 2, 2015 / 7:04 pm

    BRILLIANT! Although you’ve got it all wrong! Better to give your real age, or even older! WAY better for people to say “Wow – she looks amazing for 39” than “32?? Who is SHE kidding”??! Therein lies the fiy in the Halliwell ointment of youth!! πŸ˜‰ x

  9. January 2, 2015 / 7:09 pm

    And I know you won’t believe me (much as the 20 somethings won’t believe you about your 30’s) but thus far my 40’s have been pretty damn amazing! So don’t fear them! πŸ˜‰ x

  10. January 2, 2015 / 8:39 pm

    Ha! Guess what?! I’m not really 29! I’ve been doing this for years!!!!!! Hope you had a lovely 32nd Birthday

  11. January 7, 2015 / 8:26 pm

    These are great blogs thanks for sharing site.

  12. January 12, 2015 / 4:41 pm

    I completely empathise with this post. I always seem to have felt a bit of a disconnect with my age and how I feel inside. Maybe it’s because I was the ‘baby’ of 4 kids or am naturally quite childish and irresponsible (likely) but I certainly don’t feel 39. So I am definitely going for the whole 40 is the new 30 thing! πŸ˜‰

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