Single, solvent and secretly pining for a baby? Don't let the small matter of not being in a relationship stand in your way. When, in my mid-30s, my maternal instinct finally kicked in - I'd never wanted children before then - I wasn't worried I hadn't met Mr Right.
Spurred on by the profound regret of an older friend who'd searched high and low for the perfect father only to run out of time, I decided to take control of my own fate. Not for me waiting for a knight in shining armour, while my eggs, already in short supply, dwindled.
At first I considered a sperm donor clinic, but then a serendipitous meeting presented a different route to my dream of single parenthood. When a strapping young man of 21 happened to cross my path and give me a second look, I had a lightbulb moment.
What if, in the heat of the moment and emboldened by alcohol, we found ourselves having unprotected sex? What if I didn't spell out the risks of pregnancy? And what if he said he didn't want anything to do with the resulting child? Then all the better.
I really wasn't interested in a long-term relationship, and as an independent woman with a career in the financial sector, I felt I would do a far superior job of raising a baby on my own, thank you.
Now 42, I have a beautiful four-year-old daughter, Hannah, and am happier than I could ever have imagined. There are no regrets.
Some will criticise my single-mindedness or say I've deprived my child of a loving father. But what of the one in three marriages that end in divorce? At least Hannah is spared the painful decline of her parents' relationship.
Neither am I an embittered, put-upon single mother: I went into lone parenthood through choice, and I love every minute.
I'm sure the fact that I enjoyed a traditional upbringing with married parents and an older brother will raise eyebrows - why would I knowingly deny my daughter the secure, happy home from which I benefited?
But as I see it, the nuclear family is in sharp decline: we have gay couples having babies, transgender parents, 'blended' families with biological and stepchildren. The new generation is much more open-minded.
Others might accuse me of tricking Hannah's dad into fatherhood before he was ready and call me some sort of 'sperm stealer', but it wasn't as premeditated as that. We'd been seeing each other for seven weeks before that reckless night.
I didn't really plan it - well not methodically, anyway - but I wasn't about to complain when one thing led to another and we took a risk. In all honesty, I never imagined it would work first time.
I bet I'm not the only woman to have exploited a man's gung-ho attitude to contraception in the hope of falling pregnant. It's up to men to be more careful if they're worried. Well above the age of consent and fully versed in the birds and the bees, they're hardly helpless victims.
I've always been an independent soul: throughout my 20s, I travelled widely - from Australia to Thailand to South America. As for relationships, I never managed more than a couple of years.
I have a strong personality and not many men can handle that. I can't stand shrinking violets; they need to have backbone.
Even when I settled in London at 31, starting a family couldn't have been further from my thoughts. It wasn't until I was 35 that I changed my mind.
My friend, Beatrice, then in her late- 40s, came over for a drink one night and poured her heart out about her childlessness. She blamed the fact she'd spent her life looking for Mr Right, ignoring opportunities to become a single parent.
'Don't end up like me,' she said.
Her pain really struck me. For the first time, I realised I did want a baby. Yes, I would have loved to have been happily married, but I could see time wasn't on my side. Even if I suddenly met the man of my dreams, it would be imprudent to rush into having children.
I would need at least a couple of years to get to know him before making that kind of commitment.
At 35, I didn't think I could wait that long. It was too much of a risk to hang on in the hope that Mr Right would eventually come along and that Mother Nature would oblige when we were both good and ready.
So I decided to go it alone. It was not a decision I made lightly, and I spent a long time weighing up the options.
First, could I afford to raise a child on my own? I couldn't countenance the idea of relying on state handouts, but having worked hard for 20 years, with no dependents, I'd managed to save a cash cushion to fall back on and had bought my own flat in London.
Plus, my job offered a generous maternity package. I did the sums and worked out I could afford it. All I needed was that vital ingredient: sperm.
I was at the point of selecting a reputable fertility clinic (at £3,000 a go, I could afford at least three attempts) when fate intervened.