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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  < ongoing (now parkrun Run Director too) Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at


Fame.  The reputation that I had recently acquired was a force to be reckoned with.  I had officially gone public to dispel the rumours but now so many people were determined to make a few quid from their brief acquaintance with me.  If the truth be told, I was sure I didn't know all of them but they were convinced they knew me.  Stories about places I'd never been and events that had never happened, but the media lapped it up and printed it anyway.  It created column inches and sold papers.

I wasn't sure that my notoriety was interesting.  I do know that I was being used - the tables had been turned.  It made me see red!  That wasn't right.  I was supposed to be the one to call the shots.

I abhorred the feelings that were dredged from the depths of my past.  I was supposed to be incredible; wired and full of assuredness but I could feel myself becoming uncoloured and heading towards redemption just for a bit of peace and quiet again.  But that was what they wanted.  Someone was determined to expose me as a fake when all I wanted to do was to slink into the shadows again and continue with my work undercover.

I wasn't a predator - give me a break!  It was all about balance: black and white, heaven and hell, good and evil.  I had been accredited with darkness and malevolence however no-one really knew the truth.  The truth had been lost and censored in a whirl of PR and marketing.  It was incredible how easily the public believed what they were fed.  I was used to being undesired and censored but had been looking forward to a bit of cultured living for a change.

I have made my decision.  I shall announce that I have retired from the public eye and alter my appearance so that I am unrecognisable.  I shall not be prominent but I'll always be watching you and you may see me if you look hard enough.  A flash of a red shoe, a hint of red nail varnish, a slash of red lipstick.  Red has always been the colour of the Devil, after all.

* * *

I had no idea where this was leading but tried to keep it short and interesting in a flash fiction type of way.   I also had this mad idea to find all the "red" in the piece.  I'm not sure if that works but I've left it in anyway.