Yes this probably validates my membership of the "miserable old sod club" but I just don't do birthdays. I feel that I have been having so much fun on the other 364 days of my 50 years on the planet that any act of looking back on my life will somehow bring my good run to a halt and thus start a downward spiral.
But how can anyone really escape their birthday in these Social Media driven times? even before breakfast my Facebook account was lit up like a Christmas tree full of genuine best wishes and offers a drink or ten. But I stayed strong and carried on with the days tasks regardless.
Hopefully the current life beginning at 50 doctrine is the new version of the old life beginning at 40 mantra, and as such my years ahead will bring me ever rising opportunity and success, but then again the first 50 haven't been all that bad. After a tough upbringing I was employed even before leaving school, was self employed at the age of 18 began a career in Local Government as a Human Resources officer at 21, been elected 3 times onto Northampton Borough Council, once to Northamptonshire County Council and of course spent 8 years in the Houses of Commons as Member of Parliament for Northampton South. In addition I have blessed with serving 11 years as a director of my beloved Northampton Town FC, 3 years as General Manager, 3 as Chief Executive of our wonderful Football in the Community Charity, and even managed a 4 years stint as a Special Constable with Northamptonshire Police.
I perhaps should also mention my 20 years plus as a member of the Northampton Labour Party (remember them) and my subsequent expulsion, but having been airbrushed from their local history since our well publicised fall out I do not want to upset them by shouting out too loud that I mean them no harm.
So what of life post 50? Well I certainly seem to be kept occupied; I now work part time in our family Construction firm which is based in Sheffield, part time for the Local Government Association as a National Lead Peer advising Councils and I sit on a two local steering Boards one for Youth Work (Community Courtyard) and one looking to set up a new Community Radio station in Northampton, and of course politically I have found many new and very loyal friends within the Local and the National Green Party where I have been recently asked to take on a future role as a national spokesperson on International and Foreign affairs. So plenty in the future to keep me busy! I am blogging, tweeting and ticckling (video tweets) and now to mark the occasion of my half century I am now writing a small weekly column for our Local Herald and Post.
If I have achieved anything in these last 50 years on this planet, it is I hope, to have developed a healthy respect for openness and transparency and a desire to tell the truth, to tell is as it is, (from my mother) coupled with a pen-chance for mischief and mayhem (from my father)