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Claire Kenny
Features Writer
@my40pluslife
3:00 AM 7th May 2022
lifestyle

Orange Is The New Black

It’s been a week of celebrations for our 40 plus blogger Claire Kenny.

It’s been a week of celebrations, starting with a party for my wonderful Dad’s 70th birthday. Tasking myself with a speech that had to do the great man justice, I decided to describe something wonderful about my Dad using each of the letters in his name. If you have to write and deliver a speech about someone, this is definitely an approach I’d recommend as each letter serves as a helpful prompt! Speaking in front of 50 guests was a little nerve-wracking, but nowhere near as nerve-wracking as the quiz I once did for 150 engineers at the Royal Armouries when I was so nervous that I lost my grip on the Powerpoint clicker and ended up throwing it into the hysterically laughing audience by accident. Definitely a career low point and I still want to die when I think about it years later.

But I digress.

It was a day full of gorgeous moments. The surprise appearance of my nephew, who my Dad thought had returned to army life in Cyprus two days before, was an emotional highlight, although ensuring my Dad wouldn’t spot him required planning of SAS style proportions on my sister’s part, and he had to be hidden on another floor of the venue. If you’d ever seen my nephew, you’d know he’s not the easiest person to hide.

I was also excited to give my Dad his gift from my daughter and I: a framed, hand drawn cityscape illustration of Headingley Stadium by StavesArt. I’d really recommend Ben’s work if you’re looking for a special gift.

In our post-lockdown world, big get togethers still feel like a huge privilege. What a luxury to have unlimited family members and friends all in the same space to celebrate something after two years of isolation. The pandemic has left much pain and destruction in its wake, but for me, it has also left a real sense of renewal and gratitude, making the simplest of pleasures feel shiny and new.

Claire with her parents Janice and John Kenny.
Claire with her parents Janice and John Kenny.
Bright orange isn’t a colour I’d usually daydream about when visualising an outfit. But as usual, I had something so specific in mind for the party that when I went shopping, it didn’t actually exist. The Kurt Muller outlet at Junction 32 was a lifesaver and as soon as I saw their Eudora zebra dress, I knew it was perfect. My original choice was black and white rather than black and orange, but I absolutely love wearing vivid colours so I switched. I completely own the fact that having fake tanned the night before, my dress wasn’t the only thing that was orange; my face and body was too. But given that with my skin type, ‘tanning’ is basically a pitiful progression from blue to white, it’s my only option if I want a party glow (literally).

All this celebrating has meant that my usual attempts to eat better and move more have taken a bit of a back seat this week so I’m looking forward to getting back into running with my club, including the Park Run tomorrow and my first Jane Tomlinson Canal Run on Tuesday night. I’ve tried to maintain my ‘10,000 steps a day’ habit but being desk bound, I’m finding it so difficult. It feels wrong to trot off for a mega-long walk at lunchtime and when I’ve finished work and housework, I’m knackered and just want to flop onto the sofa. But my ‘official’ marathon training starts in the winter, so I can make it up for it then!

Claire can be found on Instagram and Facebook as my40pluslife.me