It's about attitude and confidence. Too much has been written about how awful middle age is. I love the fact that as I get older my life becomes brighter and more powerful, and that I have a more clearly defined sense of self with age." It is, in Stroud's view, a good moment for a woman to reach middle age. "Just as there's a feeling now that women's 20s and 30s are not defined by motherhood, we're moving away from the idea that women's fertility is central to everything. And I hope we'll see social change.