Wednesday 3 November 2010

The Big 50 results

Back in October 2009 I set myself a challenge. To do 50 things that I'd never done before, all before I turned 29. The Big 50 was about taking me out of my comfort zone and forcing me to do things that either scared me or that I'd just never considered doing before (the original list can be found below).

Well, I turn 29 tomorrow so I guess it's time to assess my progress...

Somewhat disappointingly, I only managed to do 22 of the 50. I say disappointingly but the past 12 months have actually been the most incredible year of my entire life. I've emerged stronger, more confident and happier than ever before so I'm calling this little experiment a complete success.

The main things I'm glad I achieved? The most obvious is managing to lose over four stone. My life is immeasurably different because of this. I ran in a 5k race. I visited a new European city and I finally saw a sunrise at Glastonbury. Oh, and I volunteered at a dogs' home, which is something I've always wanted to do.

The things I'm most disappointed that I didn't achieve? Cooking a new dish every month! April 2010 was my nemesis and I didn't manage to cook anything new. What an utter failure! I did cook more than one new thing a few months though so I guess that kind of makes up for it. Also, failing my Flickr 365 was a bit of a disappointment. I got 210 photos in and then I just lost all motivation. Ah well, I'll try again one day. In fact, I'm going to keep everything on the list and try to complete everything before I turn 30.

Oh, and number 42? Well that should be completed in about two weeks.

Bye bye 28, you were my favourite year so far. You were hard, you made me work for what I got, but I bloody loved you. Bring it on, 29!!!


50 things to do before I turn 29...

1) Live in another country, if only for a couple of months

2) Lose 4 stone in weight. (achieved 21/08/10)

3) Buy a DSLR camera AND actually learn how to use it properly

4) Go spinning (completed 27/10/09)

5) Run in a 5km Race for Life. (completed 19/06/10)

6) Eat a portobello mushroom with stilton on it (I hate mushrooms but C always promised to make me one that I'd like, so I figure I'll do it myself)

7) Go on a ghost walk

8) Learn how to make treacle toffee. I tried once when I was about 11. All I'm saying is this... we had to throw the saucepan out. (completed 16/10/10)

9) Go and hear some jazz at Matt & Phred's.

10) Buy myself a name necklace from Tatty Devine. Or, even better, get bought one by someone else. (Ordered a baby blue one on 03/01/10)

11) Go ice skating at an outdoor rink this Winter. (Completed 03/12/09)

12) Go for afternoon tea somewhere fancy.

13) Visit London for a few days, with the sole purpose of having lots of fun. The next four tie in with this one... (Completed 25-27/04/10)

14) Try a macaron from Laduree, to see what all the fuss is about. Verdict: I think I prefer Paul's. Don't tell anyone though.

15) Go to Borough Market (It wasn't open! Next time!)

16) Visit the Wellcome Collection. Verdict: LOVED IT.

17) Buy myself something ludicrous and decadent from Fortnum & Mason. (I bought some very expensive ginger green tea, in a fancy tin)

18) Go back to New York, relive all the wonderful memories and make some new ones.

19) Get a facial (I know, I know. But I've never had one, or done any of the following three)

20) Get a manicure/pedicure (I'm a rubbish girl)

21) Get my eyebrows waxed (No, I really really am)

22) Get a spray tan (Seriously, just change my name to Bob, shave my head and stick me in a pair of dungarees)

23) Learn how to make the perfect lasagne

24) Take a life drawing class

25) Go kickboxing

26) Finally see a sunrise at Glastonbury. I've been five times but never quite managed it, usually passing out about 10 minutes before the sun is due to come up. (completed 24/06/10 but sadly it was a rubbish sunrise!)

27) Visit at least one European country/city that I've never been to before. (Barcelona, April 2010)

28) Take at least one photograph of myself every day and upload it to the 365 project on Flickr. This starts tomorrow, once the last remnants of this disgusting cold have left my ravaged body. (FAILED)

29) Buy one new CD every month, by a band I've never listened to before. I'm too stuck in my ways and listen to the same songs over and over again, never really leaving my comfort zone.
  • November 2009 - Miike Snow by Miike Snow
  • December 2009 - XX by The XX
  • January 2010 - Manners by Passion Pit
  • February 2010 - Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons
  • March 2010 - Lights by Ellie Goulding
  • April 2010 - Darwin Deez by Darwin Deez
  • May 2010 - Colour The Small One by Sia
  • June 2010 - Rules by The Whitest Boy Alive
  • July 2010 - The Boxer by Kele
  • August 2010 - The Flying Club Cup - Beirut
  • September 2010 - Fantasies - Metric
  • October 2010 - Happiness - Hurts
30) Visit the South Lakes Wild Animal Park.

31) Volunteer at Cheshire Dogs Home. Although I fear this will lead to me getting horrendously attached to all the dogs and trying to adopt them all.

32) Visit the Imperial War Museum North. (completed 21/08/10)

33) Watch an opera. Apparently everyone should watch an opera before they die. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

34) Go to Cloud 23 for afternoon drinks.

35) Buy some expensive, frivolous underwear just for me.

36) Go to a yoga or pilates class.

37) Walk up Mount Snowdon.

38) Cook a completely new dish at least once a month.
  • November 2009 - Jamie Oliver's Southern Sausage Stew; cupcakes
  • December 2009 - Lasagne; gingerbread cake; lamb shanks with piperonata; key lime pie
  • January 2010 - Spicy pork meatballs
  • February 2010 - Chicken Tikka Masala (from scratch)
  • March 2010 - Slimming World chips
  • May 2010 - Babybel burger; chocolate chip cookies; king prawn and pea risotto
  • June 2010 - Lamb cochifrito 
  • July 2010 - Raspberry and white chocolate cookies 
  • August 2010 - Jamaican corn soup 
  • September 2010 - Blackberry crumb bars 
  • October 2010 - Treacle toffee; peanut butter & chocolate squares
39) Paint a picture that I'm proud of it, frame it and put it on my wall.

40) Learn to knit.

41) Learn how to make pastry.

42) Move out of my parents' house and into my own place.

43) Finally watch Curb Your Enthusiasm so I can see why everyone loves it so much.

44) Visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

45) Order a cheesecake from the English Cheesecake Company, just because life is wonderful and so is cheesecake. (Ordered a chocolate truffle honeycomb cheesecake for my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. It was incredible)

46) Buy myself something lovely from Emma Bridgewater. I've only been coveting the pottery mugs for about 6 thousand years after all. (Ordered a pink hearts 1/2 pint mug on 08/01/10)

47) Remember each and every one of my friends' birthdays and get them a gift befitting how marvellous they are.

48) Find the beauty in my life at least once a day and cherish it.

49) Go on the Yellow Duckmarine.

50) Go and see a play that I've not seen before. I heart the theatre. (Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, 01/03/10)