Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Half a century…

kate hardy sept 2015 400pxThis is a very strange month for me, because I’m about to have a Very Significant Birthday.

I don’t think it’s the fact of turning 50 that worries me (though there is a fabulous article on the midlife crisis by Miranda Sawyer which I just read – about five years late!

For me, the sticky bit is the fact that my dad’s birthday is two days before mine. I always used to throw a family party for him; he was the centre of attention, and I was in the kitchen, making sure that everyone had enough to eat and drink. Birthday cake was his, not mine; and I made sure everyone sang to HIM, not to me. Sure, I got cards and birthday hugs, but I didn’t have to deal with the bits that make me uncomfortable.

The last birthday party I held for me was five years ago – six weeks after I buried my dad. I hated it. Everything felt wrong. I said afterwards that I would do parties for everyone else, but I wasn’t doing one for me EVER AGAIN. (And I’ve stuck to that. Out to dinner with DH and the kids and friends, sure. But no party. No cake. No fuss.)

But 50. It’s quite a big deal for me, actually. My mum made it to 41; my dad’s mum made it to 41; and my mum’s mum made it to 51. I should be celebrating the fact that I’ve got this far – especially as I had that cancer scare last year.

Plus it’ll be the last time my eldest is home for my birthday, because this time next year (grades permitting) he’ll be at uni. So I need to mark the occasion.

I thought about having a big party with a band. But my closest friends sat me down and pointed out that I’d still sneak off to the kitchen and I’d spend the whole evening making sure everyone was having a good time and had enough to eat and drink. Plus I wouldn’t get to spend quality time with everyone, and I wouldn’t be able to hear anyone properly.

So what I’m doing instead is having lots of little celebrations, so I get to spend proper time with people. I’m taking my closest family and best friends out for a posh lunch (and, hey, I’m even wearing a dress). The kids and DH have sorted out a cake (well, I did all the organising but the brief was in a sealed envelope!). And there will be bubbles 🙂 And we’re going to celebrate half a century.

Do any of you find birthdays difficult? What’s your trick to making everything go smoothly?

0116-9780373010820-bigw51S2VAhhBOL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_Kate’s latest releases are a Medical Romance, Her Playboy’s Proposal (definitely one for Poldark fans) and you can get an early copy of her Harlequin Romance/Cherish Billionaire…Boss…Bridegroom! from the Mills & Boon/Harlequin websites. You can find out more on Kate’s website (http://www.katehardy.com/) – or find her on Facebook


13 thoughts on “Half a century…”

  1. Hi Kate, Happy Birthday! Definitely a time to celebrate but do it in your own way and at your own time is my advice. Whatever you end up doing, I hope you have a really great time with the people you love.
    My birthday is new year’s day and I always have a family party. It’s very noisy but it’s great to get everyone together and catch up. I never used to bother having a party but I really enjoy having one these days. Must be an age thing!
    Have fun,

  2. Happy Birthday, Kate! Everyone needs to celebrate the big years, and you have much to celebrate. To be honest, I don’t remember what I did when I turned fifty, but rest assured my husband treated me right, and the kids (still teenager then) got to go along for the ride. I do remember the summer before I turned fifty being in Maine, hiking The Beehive trail (strenuous and steep) with the teens griping all the way, and my husband blazing the trail. Now both kids are avid hikers, so there you go. Anyway, I remember thinking, “Not bad for a lady about to turn fifty.” Hang onto your hat, Kate, after fifty is the time we are truly tested. I know you’re a strong lady so you’ll probably breeze right along!
    Have a great day, I truly want to see the lovely dress you’ve described for your fancy birthday luncheon. Pictures please!!!!

  3. Your plans sound PERFECT! Every birthday of mine that ends in 0 I end up in the kitchen cooking up a storm and then staggering around trying to smile and ignore the backache from standing for hours – and then there’s all the clearing up! So this year, when DH turns 60, we’re taking the family to Centerparcs at Woburn Forest to a luxury lodge for a weekend of fun with the kidlets and serious fun in the evenings with the adults! And I can’t wait. The only cooking I’ll have to do is toast for breakfast and reheating a chilli on one of the three nights. Perfect! And just in case I get a minute, I plan to pack a few books and you’ve just given me a wonderful idea 😉

    Have a fabulous birthday! Can’t wait to hear all about it.

    Caroline xxx

  4. Happy birthday!
    I remember when I turned 30, I had been reading an old-fashioned romance book whereby there was a rule at this hospital that once a nurse turned 30, she was no longer allowed to wear a mini skirt. Now this was 27 years ago when the romance books were really tame. The heroines were usually nurses, a caregiver of some capacity (nanny or looking after someone elderly), or just coming of age. Anyway … I felt like life as I knew it was coming to an end, as I was skinny back then and looked good in a mini skirt. Didn’t like turning 30 at all.
    When I turned 40 and my husband turned 50, we hosted a 90th birthday dance. Everyone dressed in jeans or shorts, and I even wore slippers for dancing. My husband and I rented a hall and paid for a DJ, while our siblings brought snacks for tables and for a light meal later in the evening. I loved turning 40!
    Fifty? Not a big occasion. We went out for supper at a friend’s apartment, then I played badminton in my hometown, where they brought a cake to share. Pretty tame.
    Apparently the answer to your question in MY case is that I must plan my own celebration in order to enjoy it. Go figure.

  5. Hi Kate

    Woohoo I love the sound of you many birthday celebrations when I turned 50 we had a small family BBQ and it was lots of fun at my son’s house so I sat back and enjoyed 🙂

    I try to at least do a BBQ for everyone’s birthday not a lot of fuss some food and cake of course and fun time 🙂

    Have an awesome birthday and I am looking forward to hearing about it

    Have Fun

  6. Oh I’ll have to give you fifty big hugs when I see you in 13 weeks time – or maybe 50 glasses of champers?? 🙂 Can you believe its only 13 weeks??

    My 50th I’m going to be lying on my back in a glass igloo staring up at the Northern Lights in Lapland – can’t wait 🙂

  7. Happy Birthday, Kate! It sounds like the perfect way to celebrate! I’m a hide-in-the-kitchen person myself (I much prefer to play hostess, because then I know my role). Hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends! 🙂

  8. Happy birthday, Kate!! You seem to have it all under control, go at your own pace and do exactly what you want to do! I turned 50 last year and had a ball, still am in fact! It’s an age where you can decide which dramas you will deal with and which ones you won’t, you know who you are and what you want. Enjoy your day, enjoy your year and share your photos please! xxxx

  9. Happy birthday Kate!! Nice to ‘see’ you again! I’ve got a significant birthday too this year but 60 not 50!! I don’t mind getting older, you learn how you want to do things and get more things exactly right. Have a wonderful day won’t you, xxx 🙂

  10. Sorry I’m so late replying to your post Kate! Happy birthday!!!!!! Many congratulations and I think your idea is AMAZING. Big parties? Ptooooey! Loads of little ones? The best idea ever ever ever. Age has become largely irrelevant to me (other than the increasing need to visit my hairdresser and bits of me turning rickety!) – and you are such a young at heart force of nature! Whoop! Have the best time ever xxxxx

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