First we thought: “Shall we ask Annie Leibowitz to shoot some photos of fabulous fifties for us, and tour an exhibition round the Tate chain?” But then someone said, “Try Bailey”, someone else preferred Rankin, and another had heard of a fascinating Czech transexual who shoots ‘real people’ with a home-made pinhole camera…
So then we thought, sod that for a lark. We’re not infirm, we can do our own photos. Let’s get together with our friends to take some snaps – on computers, iPhones, whatever – and have our exhibition on-site. We’ll show what sort of shape we’re in and where our lives are at. We’ll ask our members and readers to do the same. And we’ll raise some money for charity while we’re building a virtual home for the millions of people who belong to our community.
Above and below, then, some of us have tried to express how we look and feel through the medium of digital photography (and a right rogues’ gallery it is).
Care to join us on Facebook? Post your pictures to our album, add a caption; and please behave.
If you’re on for it, you might be able to do a bit of good, too. Because for every picture on this page, we’re giving £20 to the International Red Cross. And for the first 50 readers’ photos to be posted, we’ll give another £10 each.
But that’s high50 for you: the site that gives presents on its birthday…
Above, left to right:
Dinah Hall, 57, high50 homes editor: “Jewellery is my hormone replacement therapy – it worked for Elizabeth Taylor – but instead of diamonds I shall be bequeathing my daughters a vast collection of plastic earrings.”
Elaine Lemm, 55, high50 food and drink editor: “The birth of my dream kitchen.”
Wilma Johnson, 52, babe of Biscay: “I spy a 50-foot set coming in… ooh la la!”
Wayne Hemingway, 51, cultural catalyst: “With my wife and our three eldest kids at The Vintage Festival last year. Happy, lovely kids, exciting work, fit and healthy and still dancing. What more could you ask for?”
Julie Burchill, 52, controversialist: “Have a good time, all the time (Spinal Tap).”
Stephen Webster, 52, jeweller: ”On my annual American road trip.”
Simon Hills, 55, journalist: “On my dinghy in the Thames. Living the dream!”
Robert Campbell, 53, high50 co-founder: “My sons Billy Jai and Hendrix, on holiday in Singapore.”
Kathy Lette, 52, novelist: “Me, ordering a toy boy on a bed of lettuce.”
Nancy Dell’Olio, 51, dancer: “Happy birthday to me!” (Photo: Richard Young)
Monty Don, 56, gardener and broadcaster: “Being 50 is no different from being 40 or, I hope, 60… All I really want is the energy and time to plant trees and watch them grow.”
Guy Pratt, 50, musician and humorist: “The view from my desk.”
Linda Franklin, 56, writer: “These cherry trees in Brighton express my fifties because this is the decade when I slowed down and really looked at this amazing planet of ours and what it offers us so freely in the way of beauty. Blossom trees stand for how ephemeral but beautiful life is. Now I enjoy being the gazer, rather than the gazed upon; the enjoyer, rather than the enjoyed. And developing the habit of feeling gratitude.”
Pete Silverton, 59, writer: “My life, my desktop.”
Daniela Soave, 54, high50 deputy editor: “Grow up, don’t grow old.”
Jill Shaw Ruddock, 56, campaigner: “After publishing my first book for women – The Second Half of Your Life – I was asked to speak on the Women and Money Panel, chaired by Jude Kelly, at the Women of the World conference at Southbank. A life-defining sixth decade experience!”
Tim Willis, 54, high50 editor: “The Screen.”
Guy Kennaway, 55, novelist: “Time at last to work.”
Michael Prodger, 50, high50 culture editor: “It has been a 40-year gap between snow angels but some knacks you never lose.”
David Thomas, 53, author: “This picture just seems to me to capture who I feel I am better than any other I can think of.”
Beau de Jour, age immaterial, lover: “Je ne révèle rien.”
Read our other first birthday stories: