I’m part of a cricket loving family. As a child my Dad watched the sport so I’ve always taken an interest in it. Later I married a man who not only watched it but played it, too. Of course he introduced it to my sons, and now all three play for the same village side. Watching them is a joy, but it can also be a heartache. When they go out to bat you’re just hoping they get off the mark. Then it’s the tense wait for double figures. After that I relax a bit, though they’re not satisfied. The first milestone they celebrate is the fifty. Of course it’s not the big one, bit it’s definitely worth a raised bat and a smile, even to the professionals.
But when I knew my fifty was coming along (sadly in years, not in runs) I wasn’t sure I wanted to celebrate. My husband persuaded me otherwise – we’d spent his trying to climb Scafell Pike in the pouring rain. Needless to say we’d had to abandon the project (we achieved it last Easter, in the sun) but we will always remember the day (and so will the soaked friends who joined us).
(Scafell Pike the second time – it was still misty near the summit!)
Suggestions were thrown at me – run a marathon (seriously? I struggle with 5 miles), climb Ben Nevis (what, in January?!) – but I opted for luxury instead. A weekend in London, in an apartment overlooking Tower Bridge. We live less than an hour from London by train, so have never actually stayed in the city. It always seemed too frivolous. But for a celebration, that’s exactly what you need. What a joy it was to walk through that magical city and know I didn’t have to rush for the train home. And to wake up the following morning to the sight of the sun glinting off the Thames.
I came back invigorated, full of a determination to celebrate every milestone from now on, whether it’s success or simply making it through to another year. On 30th January my third book will be published – Life After. And though I’ve blown the celebration budget for the whole year already, you can bet that I will be opening a bottle of fizz. What’s the point of achievements, if you don’t celebrate them?