Middleagedmum.com: a weekend away with the girls

Dancers at the gardens of the Tour Eiffel Paris, on Sunday last

Last weekend I went away to Paris with my group of treasured girlfriends, all 50 plus. We’ve known each other since we were 18 and the secret of our long lasting adoration of each other is that we know, deep down we are STILL 18. We went to Paris because one of us lives there, but really we could have gone to Pizza Express, as all we need is a constant supply of food, some craft fags and alcohol and we are happy.

Here’s our top ten discussion topics for the weekend, do they sound familiar?

1) Decluttering. We are all starting to rid ourselves of unwanted ‘stuff’. Do you think as a generation of super-consumers we have more stuff than our parents? Whatever, we have all realised we have WAY too much of everything and are busy getting rid of it. Jane has employed a decluttering expert (she’s promised to write us a blog post on it) and Katrina throws one thing away a day.

2) We’re off cooking. We’re all fed up to the back teeth with cooking meals for everyone. Cooking is losing its appeal after a couple of decades of family feeding. We’re not even that fussy about what we are eating any more, Everyone is happy with a bowl of home made soup and now her kids have gone to Uni, Clare is happy to eat the same casserole three nights in a row.

3) Menopausal pink. Some of us are attracted to pink in a way we have not ever been before. Apparently this is common hence the menopausal pink tag, who knew?

4) Dream houses are not for life. Most of us are in our ‘dream homes’ or near-abouts. Bedrooms for all the kids, gardens, space to breath, nice neighbours and a few years ago we said stuff like ” you’ll have to take me out of here in a box’. Now, we’ve all realised when the kids leave, we want to move to funky, modern apartments in the centre of town.

5) Hot flushes. We’re all getting them, but there is no rhyme or reason to how they appear and then disappear. Layering appears to be key, sartorially speaking, Elaine swears by her pashmina, which she throws on and off throughout the day. Standing in the fridge is a popular cure.

6) Yeasty issues. Half of us have stopped drinking wine because it gives us massive headaches and generally makes us feel as if we’ve been poisoned. This is heartbreaking, but we have drunk a good deal of it in our time. Jane’s doctor has told her that her recent cystitis issues (mine too) might also be linked to an excess of yeast from wine and bread. We have swapped to a nice gin (Sipsmith or Hendricks) & tonic.

7) None of us wants our parents’ junk. Apart from the odd, unintentionally retro-cool piece of furniture, they can chuck it all. This is cruel but we all seem to be appalling snobs about the quality of their belongings.

8)  Oestro-fat is a fact. See Monday’s post.

9) Planning for the kids leaving. We are all aware that our children leaving home will make a big difference to the way we view our lives. We are all up for doing something really interesting, involving travel to foreign climes, finding new careers, learning new stuff and getting busy in stress free ways. We’ve not necessarily figured out how to fund this exciting adventure yet….

10) Dogs. Well above husbands, just above our children, everyone loves their dogs unconditionally.

What  subjects are you talking about with your girlfriends?


  • gillian taylor says:

    I just love this post and see my thoughts as a 50 something reflected exactly!! Oh how I agree about our junk and as someone who is trying to sort out my mother’s house as looking after her in a mice infested,junk riddled house is more than a little soul destroying! I keep nothing! If it doesn’t fit or you have gone off it – chuck it and never ever ever keep anything thinking your children might like it when they get married have a house or children! They won’t – just like we don’t want our parents’ junk!! I mourn the loss of a few glasses of vino but like you it is literally poison to my body and for some reason especially Rose – how upsetting is that!! But I must warn you not to worry yourselves too much about the kids leaving home – how the heck will they ever be able to afford it? I too have a group of friends that I have known since we stared Wimbledon High at the tender age of 5 – so it is our 50 year anniversary this year – how brilliant is that!!

  • Jane says:


    Wonderful stuff. Absolutely spot on. I know that if we ever meet, we won’t be stuck for topics of conversation! (So glad no. 6 is not just me.)


  • Amanda says:

    Gillian, Wimbledon High! I have a few friends whose girls went to Wimbledon High….it’s just down the road. And I know what you mean about the kids never leaving, having houses in London, Jane and I reckon ours will keeping coming back to us, as you say, how will they ever afford to leave.
    And Jane, I’m sure we’d have loads to talk about! Yeasty issues and all! Ax

  • Georgina says:

    I think I must have been to your school and just forgotten that I did!!!

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