SHE never imagined she’d turn 56 and have the best year of her life.
But according to Alison Henderson, this year has seen all her dreams come true – and never in a million years would she rather be in her 20s, 30s or 40s.
After all, this year alone has seen her land a new job, new house, become an underwear model for an international lingerie brand as well as a band groupie.
In fact, she’s busy re-learning A Level French because she has been invited on tour with her favourite band – something someone half her age could only dream.
She giggles: “I have had the best year of my life.
"It’s so funny I’ve got to this ripe old age now and all my dreams have come true.
"They didn’t even come close to happening 35 years ago. Life is amazing.”
Alison has been selected for the second year as a role model for women over 50 by underwear brand, Playtex, and she wants to shout about how women in Hampshire should love life regardless of how many candles are on their birthday cake.
“There is no age limit on having fun, feeling alive and simply ‘going for it’”
“Playtex has really shown that 50-plus ladies still feel attractive, stylish and positive in their lives,” says Alison who has recently modelled a new bra for the company’s Ageless Generation campaign with the two other ambassadors.
“It’s been a rollercoaster ride of a year.
"Apart from a few creaky joints, I am living life to the full.
“To be singled out as an inspiration for other women in their 50s gave me a whole new lease of life.”
And she isn’t kidding about her new lease of life.
The former chief reporter at Hampshire Chronicle who now works as a PR manager for a bus company said she now has the confidence to follow her dreams.
Alison, who has been a fan of progressive rock since she was 12 and writes for influential music publications, brought music fans from across the world to her hometown when she contacted one of her favourite bands, Big Big Train, to see if their fans would be interested in a tour of the places mentioned in their song Winchester From St Giles’ Hill.
But her highlight was being invited on tour with her favourite band, French group, Lazuli and Swedish group, Moon Safari.
She became friends with the band when the music journalist sparked up conversation over a T-shirt from last year’s fab at 50 photoshoot which had the slogan ‘Je Suis Avec La Bande.’
Alison on last year's shoot with Linda Barker
“I wore the T-shirt to the festival and explained the story behind it, which they loved. They released an album earlier this year and my partner, friend and I are all mentioned in the acknowledgements.
“They sent me a specially signed copy which I shall treasure.”