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Are you (a) female, and (b) somewhat middle-aged (i.e. aged between your forties and your sixties)? If so, please continue!

Middle-age can be a very interesting (if not downright challenging!) period of our lives. This survey is designed to explore what middle-age means to different women, and the ways in which we negotiate those years and move forward. The results will be used to inform a non-fiction project (tentatively titled The Invisible Woman, and other remarkable phenomena of middle-age!). The survey is totally anonymous and absolutely voluntary. Further information is available on request from the author Ilsa Evans (ilsa@ilsaevans.com)

* 1. Just a few personal questions - for statistical purposes only!

* 2. Looking over your life, what would you say was your favourite decade?

* 3. Just some short, sharp (seemingly random) questions!

* 4. The term 'cougar' has recently leapt into modern usage, describing a woman who seeks/dates younger men. How do you find this term? (pick as many options as you like)

* 5. If money were no object, would you undergo plastic surgery? If so, what type?

* 6. This is an exercise in perception. Select a word (or two!) that you feel best describes you:

* 7. Which of the following best describes what the phrase 'empty nest' means to you?

* 8. Of the following well-known middle-aged women, select the three (or less!) who you most admire:

* 9. The writer Susan Reimer once said that 'as women age, we begin to fade from view, moving from vibrant to translucent to invisible.' Do you agree? Has this happened to you?

* 10. How would you rate your contentment with the following areas of your life?

  Great Okay Not so good I plan on making significant changes!
Sex life (optional!)
Social Life