The Big 4-0

The Big 4-0

I turn 40 this year.

Oh yes.

What a complete head wreck that is.

How did this happen to me? I am sure that the last time I looked, I was 28, living in Maida Vale and still shaving my legs every day.

I worked for an advertising agency, straightened my hair and wore heels.  Not just when I got to the office either – I actually wore them for the whole commute DOOR.TO.DOOR.

Yes, I was hardcore like that.

I went out drinking in Soho 3 or 4 nights a week.  I travelled everywhere by black cab.  I functioned brilliantly on 5 hours sleep a night.

But that was when my hangovers only lasted half a day, not half a week.

Life was bloody fabulous.  I thought that I was pretty fabulous back then too, but I was also pretty drunk for most of it…

I talk about it like it was yesterday but that is only because it still feels like it was.

But the cold, hard truth of it is that come end of August this year, I will be closer to 50 than I will be to 30.

I will be closer to 60 than I will be to 20.


Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about my lot in life.

I am married to the most wonderful man, who makes me very happy.  We have the most wonderful son, who makes us both even happier.  I can not think of any other way I would rather have spent my 30’s.  That side of my life is lovely and I would not change one single moment of it.

But, 40.  FORTY.

It sounds so… old.

Zachy will turn 4 the day before I turn 4-0.  He is due to start school in September.  Quite a milestone year for us both.

I decided that I would probably not throw a big enormous party to celebrate.  Too many people on holiday, not enough confidence in my own crowd pulling power, and no where near enough staying power past 9pm.

However, when I mentioned this to a few of my very favourite people, they told me in no uncertain terms that this was simply not acceptable.

Then today I received an email from a local venue, confirming that my deposit had been paid for a joint 4th/40th birthday celebration in August.


Courtesy of the Greek God(zilla) of course.  Who knows me well enough to know how much I would have regretted a small intimate soiree with just us three.

My fabulous side may have been well hidden for a while, but my husband obviously still sees a glimmer of it in me somewhere.

So, I have decided that I am going to turn 40 in style.  I am going to shave my legs, pluck my face and smooth the GHDs through my hair.  I am going to have a party!  Albeit a joint one with a 4-year old, but that’s as rock and roll as we get these days.

In the last decade, I met the man who would become my husband, we got engaged in sunny Barbados, had a beautiful baby boy together and on the 4th anniversary of our first date, we had our perfect wedding.

I started a job that I still like and write a blog that I love.

I have made some incredible new friends *waves hello*.

We have a roof over our heads and a subscription to The Wine Society.

I am going to be 40!


You can also find me on Facebook , follow me on Twitter @smudgerella
and on Pinterest as Grenglish


    • Grenglish
      January 21, 2013 / 12:06 PM

      Of course! Top of the list x

  1. katie
    January 21, 2013 / 8:08 AM

    I’d say you look nowhere near 40….you truly are as old as you feel xx

    • Grenglish
      January 21, 2013 / 12:07 PM

      Well thank you my dear, that is very kind of you to say x

  2. January 21, 2013 / 10:11 AM

    Well you are scrubbing up well my dear. I turned 42 in November – and I have to say your 40’s are quite a revelation – 40, believe it or not – rocks! Loving your hand stand, and that you are subscribed to the Wine Society – you’ve arrived! You make me larf!

    • Grenglish
      January 21, 2013 / 12:15 PM

      Many people have said that to me so I will take your word for it. I remember feeling nervous in the run-up to my 30th but on the actual day, it was such a relief and I loved my 30’s.
      You look bloody fabulous for 42 – I think I remember telling you at BritMums that you look early 30s xx

  3. January 21, 2013 / 10:26 AM

    Good for you! I was pregnant with the Bug when I turned 40 so we didn’t have a party. Instead we’re having a 13th wedding anniversary party this year. Trouble is, when reflecting on those 13 years I realise that when another 13 years have passed, I will be 60…

    • Grenglish
      January 21, 2013 / 12:14 PM

      I just had to count back on my fingers! It is scary how it just creeps up on you isn’t it.
      When is your anniversary party? Just want to make sure we don’t clash dates 🙂

  4. Emma
    January 21, 2013 / 2:22 PM

    I had an Alice in Wonderland party for mine! Was great fun and brilliat seeing friends and family all making the effort to dress up and celebrate. Now I guess I should grow up – still dont have the Wine Society membership 🙂 Enjoy darling – its only a number. Emxx

    • Grenglish
      January 23, 2013 / 9:31 AM

      That sounds like lots of fun, and you are right about it being just a number… hence why I am rebranding it as thirty-ten on Gill’s advice (see below!) xx

  5. January 21, 2013 / 4:58 PM

    *waves hello* Pluck your face? You’re definitely nearly 40! I’m sure it’ll be glorious. You’ll be glorious. You are glorious. 40 is the new 30 anyhow X

    • Grenglish
      January 23, 2013 / 9:29 AM

      that’s what I keep hearing! xx

  6. Julie
    January 21, 2013 / 5:33 PM

    1973 is a FABULOUS vintage. Yours, a fellow “Oh my God I’m going to be 40 this year”er… 😉

    • Grenglish
      January 23, 2013 / 9:28 AM

      I am coming round to the idea a bit more now… are you planning to do anything for your big 4-0?

  7. January 22, 2013 / 8:43 AM

    Wow that is going to be one amazing party and this post was utterly gorgeous! You seriously look 28. I still feel 16 (sadly don’t still look it) x

    • Grenglish
      January 23, 2013 / 9:25 AM

      I hope you will come along!
      You don’t look much past 16… I would hate to still look 16 – all that big hair… shudder!

  8. Gill
    January 22, 2013 / 9:10 AM

    I’ve re-branded 40 sweetie, it’s now known as thirty-ten. Much easier to make the transition.

    • Grenglish
      January 23, 2013 / 9:23 AM

      Oooooh I like that a lot, thirty-ten… can I use it?

      • Gill
        January 23, 2013 / 1:14 PM

        Absolutely! The night before my birthday Angelo asked Gareth how old mummy was going to be, to which Gareth said “what number comes after 39?” “Thirty ten” says Angelo. I can live with that!!!

  9. January 22, 2013 / 12:09 PM

    Brilliant! Never pass up the chance to have party and your 40th is a great one. I think there’s something glamorous about a girl’s 40th 🙂

    • Grenglish
      January 23, 2013 / 9:23 AM

      I do to! I am actually quite looking forward to it 🙂

  10. The40yearold
    January 22, 2013 / 9:16 PM

    Great attitude. I’ve spent a year being 40, and it’s been alright. New chapter and all that. 🙂

    • Grenglish
      January 23, 2013 / 9:22 AM

      I am actually looking forward to it a little bit 🙂

  11. January 25, 2013 / 11:07 PM

    You are fabulous at any age and you will be especially fabulous at 40, am glad you are planning on embracing it with a big shindig, you deserve it! love your birthday buddy 🙂 xxx

    • Grenglish
      January 30, 2013 / 3:58 PM

      I hope you and Richmond Family will be able to make it 🙂

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