So I’m 30… 30 things before 30

I had my 30th birthday in May, so it’s time to see how I got on with my 30 things before 30 list. Mine was never as ‘exciting’ as other people’s travel and adventure plans, but I wrote it after I had to stop working due to illness and needed something fun to focus on. I haven’t managed to complete all of it, mostly because of illness, but I think I’ve given it a good go!

1. Ride a horse. This isn’t physically possible for me to do anymore. However, a friend came to me in a dream and said that I should ride a carousel horse instead. So the next time I see a carousel, I shall ride a horse!

2. Go on a spa day. Again, not possible for me to do anymore. But a friend came over and did my nails for me (thank you!) which was pretty close and a nice treat! 🙂

img_1457.jpg
3. Make a wearable piece of clothing. I have made headbands and worn them out in public.


4. Volunteer for a charity. I’ve done a lot of this in the past year, reindeer post for Post Pals, volunteering at the endocrine conference for Addison’s UK and setting up my own charity-based venture on my Out With Animals blog.


5. Go to a Christmas Market that isn’t just the one in Birmingham. I didn’t get out of the Midlands to a Christmas market, but I went to ones in Coventry, Solihull and Blenheim Palace as well as the one in Birmingham.


6. Sell at a craft fayre. Logistically, this wasn’t possible. However, I send the animals I make to people and have had a few requests for specific animals or gifts from friends. So I’m going to say I’ve completed it.

7. Go see a musical and stay the night in London. I’ve been to two concerts in the Royal Albert Hall but we didn’t stay over (too complicated). We had a lovely time!


8. Be a tourist in London. We were kind of touristy around the Albert Hall, but that was as much of a tourist as I got! Maybe sometime in the future I’ll manage this, but I’m not well enough right now.

9. Go for a picnic in a park or forest. We’ve done this a few times, although only got as far as eating ice cream in a forest! There’s something nice about picnics in the park.


10. Go punting. A friend offered to take me, but we couldn’t find a date that suited. It would be cool though!

11. Do yoga outside. I regularly do my physio outside. It’s not much and not a full yoga class but it’s a lovely way to start the day.

12. Make brioche. I’m now on a low carb diet, which means eating brioche isn’t the best idea. A friend and I were going to make it but it requires setting aside a few days for proofing and takes more effort than chucking ingredients in a bowl and mixing them, which I struggle to manage as it is!

13. Sleep in a yurt. This nearly happened for a friend’s hen party, but I wasn’t well enough to go.

14. Learn to play Sonata Pathetique mvt II all the way through. I can do this! (Kind of!)


15. Make my own fruit juice for breakfast. Mango and peach- it was good!

16. Practise Spanish in a real situation. I’ve chatted briefly in Spanish, taken part in Instagram photo challenges and done a tiny amount of reading. Plus I’ve watched a few tv programmes with Spanish in!

img_9100

17. Go/watch ice skating. This is another ‘not possible’ ones.

18. Read the Harry Potter books in order. 


19. Make mojito ice lollies. I can’t tolerate alcohol right now so another one I couldn’t do.

20. Learn how to crochet. This was something I was certain I couldn’t do. But now I love it! I mainly make animals for my Out with Animals blog or blankets.


21. Re read a book in French. Reading is hard for me at the moment. But I did read half of Twilight in French and I’m most of the way through a satire book a friend bought me for my birthday. So two halves makes a whole book right?

22. Host a raclette party. We hosted lots of them!


23. Listen to BBC proms concerts. I really enjoyed doing that last summer so plan to do the same again this year 🙂

24. Record a song on GarageBand/logic. I purposefully haven’t done this. I know how to do it, I used to teach it. I can play many pop songs on many instruments to record it in. But I think it would make me feel sad that I’m not a teacher or a musician anymore and I don’t feel like I need to prove my ability to do it that much.

25. Play Pokemon Go. I’m not good at it but I’ve played!

26. Eat Tapas. I’ve done this a few times now. And my brother now owns and cooks in a Tapas bar! 


27. Visit a castle. We visited a lot in Wales. This one is my favourite.


28. Go to the seaside/beach and paddle. We nearly did this, but the weather was tornado like so we cancelled. I’m going to Devon in the summer though so hopefully will manage a paddle then!

29. Play in a band rehearsal. I very briefly played the triangle at a band reunion event, but that’s as far as I got. I did send Elgar the Elephant to help out on my behalf though…


30. Go to a carol service. I went to one in symphony hall. It was lovely!

Like I said in my previous updates, I’ve given myself a purple rating for ones which I now can’t do. A bit like what I used to give gcse kids if they weren’t meeting their target for reasons outside of their control. So with everything considered, I think I’ve done pretty well!

The final tally stands at: 5 not completed, 1 part completed, 21 completed and 3 purple/not able to complete. 

I really enjoyed doing the challenge, and part of me wants to make another list to complete in the year coming. Obviously I won’t be 30 again, but it was a great way of thinking of some fun things I wanted to do or achieve and making sure that they actually happen. I’ll have a think about what can go on my next list!

Advertisements

Harry Potter in Concert

The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra is currently touring the UK performing the Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone film score live at the same time as the film is played. I’m a massive Harry Potter fan and particularly love the Harry Potter film music, so I loved it! 


We went to see it in the Albert Hall. There were performances closer to us, but I incorporated it into part of my 30 things list and I thought the atmosphere would be amazing. And it was. It was a great mix of people- film lovers, orchestra fans, Harry Potter geeks dressed in robes, children… it was really good fun. And audience participation was encouraged! 

I studied conducting at university, but never did any film or screen conducting. I found it interesting to watch it being performed live with the film, because it obviously has to be really precise, but usually when the film score is recorded, it’s done with cues and times. This conductor must have really internalised his score and the film to be able to get it so spot on in front of a live audience. Incredible. And the musicians were amazing too. An entire film score, especially the length of a Harry Potter one, is a lot of playing to do in one concert! 


There was also a choir with wordless parts throughout. You know their bits exist when watching the film, but because it was live their parts added more depth to the soundtrack. In fact, in general there was more depth to the music, especially in the lower brass. I guess it’s partly because I haven’t watched the first HP film on a large screen since it originally was released and the sound gets compressed a lot when it gets turned into a DVD. I also noticed a lot more of the musical devices used and our perception of some of the characters was different, which was interesting! All because the music was played live and more of a focus rather than in the background. 

I think my favourite bit was actually the credits because they played them in their entirety and people stayed in their seats and listened unlike at the cinema. The orchestra played all of the themes we’d listened to for the last few hours and it just rounded it off nicely. And also got a really loud round of applause. 

It was a great day out. We managed to get street parking right outside the Albert Hall (£14 ish for 4 hours), and the congestion charge doesn’t apply on weekends. Because I’m not up to walking far, we decided to have lunch in the Italian restaurant at the Albert Hall, which was a bit of a gamble because we hadn’t reserved and it could have been ridiculously expensive, but it turned out to be really reasonably priced and a nice meal. Plus we didn’t have to rush because we were already at the venue. I’ve only been to the Albert Hall once before so I loved being in such a historic venue. The same orchestra are performing the Chamber of Secrets next year so I’m tempted to see that too! 

Banner photo: taken from the Albert Hall box office 

30 Before 30: Spring Update

I’ve got about 2 months left to complete the things on my 30 before 30 list, which I started in the Summer last year. Here’s how I’m doing so far in my Spring update:

  1. Ride a Horse. This is now pretty much a ‘bad idea’ for me to do health wise. So I might have to get creative as to how I achieve this! I have, however, watched 7 seasons of Heartland, which is a programme about cowboys/cowgirls on a ranch in Canada. Which means I know a lot of equine terms!
  2. Go on a Spa Day. Again, potentially a bad idea health wise…
  3. Make a wearable piece of clothing. I’m going to say I’ve done this one. I doubt I will ever finish the skirt I started, but I have worn the headbands I made a few times and they haven’t fallen apart!

img_9013

4. Volunteer for a charity. I have done this a lot! I volunteered for Reindeer Post at Christmas, and then I started my Out with Animals Blog to post animals to sick children through Post Pals. Then I made a link with another charity, Help for Dominica, and have posted some animals there. And I also volunteered at the Endocrine Clinical Update for Addison’s UK. Most definitely achieved!

IMG_0251

5. Go to a Christmas Market that’s not just the one in Birmingham. I didn’t go very far afield, but I did go to markets in Solihull, Coventry and Blenheim Palace as well as Birmingham.

img_0472

6. Sell at a craft fair. This is tricky for many reasons I won’t get into on here. But I did a lot of Christmas knitting for people, have had a few specific requests for items, and have knitted an army of animals which are being sent to people I’ve never met before, so I’m ticking this one off my list- the idea was I do knitting for people who weren’t family and friends.

IMG_0210.JPG

IMG_9679.JPG

7. Go see a musical and stay the night in London.

8. Be a tourist in London. I’m working on these two. We have plans!

9. Go for a picnic in a park or a forest. Complete! Although I still want to go on a picnic in the forest.

img_6032

10. Go punting.

11. Do yoga outside. I found some seated yoga exercises and did them outside. It was lovely! I only managed a few minutes, but it still counts!

12. Make brioche.

13. Sleep in a yurt. This falls into the ‘bad idea’ category health wise, sadly.

14. Learn to play Mvt II Sonata Pathetique (Beethoven) all the way through. I can play it all the way through now, I just can’t play it fluently. So not sure if I can tick it off yet or not!

15. Make my own fruit juice for breakfast. Complete! I made peach and mango and apricot juice for breakfast.

IMG_6195

16. Practise Spanish in an actual situation. I’ve talked a bit to a Spanish waiter. And I took part in a photo challenge in November where you had to write a sentence to go with a photo every day in a language you’re learning. I quite enjoyed doing that! I’ve also listened to a couple of very easy Spanish beginners podcasts. I’m ticking this off my list, although I will still try and find a Spanish person to practise with!

17. Go/watch ice skating. Ice skating won’t happen. But hopefully watching it could.

18. Read all of the Harry Potter books in order. Complete! And I even read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as well.

IMG_6728

19. Make mojito ice lollies. We tried doing this over Christmas, but we couldn’t find any rum at the time! We’ve since found it, so will try this soon.

20. Learn how to crochet properly (even if it is bad). My husband refused to teach me, so I asked a friend for some very easy to follow videos on youtube. I’m quite proud of myself- I can now crochet a Granny Square! (providing the video is on, and I can pause it!)

IMG_0329.JPG

21. Re-read a book in French. I’ve started re-reading ‘Twilight’ in French. I’m on page 190 out of 500, so progress is slow, but I’m getting there!

img_9099

22. Host a raclette party. Complete! Done this a lot now 🙂

IMG_8924

23. Listen to BBC Proms concerts. I kind of tailed off listening to them as the Summer went on, but I still listened to lots of different performances. Podcasts are now my new favourite thing.

24. Record a song on GarageBand. Or Logic. I can probably do this right now, I’m just lazy!

25. Play Pokemon Go. I’m still playing, but I can tick it off the list.

26. Eat tapas. We had some very good tapas, on 2 occasions, Still open for trying more though!

img_6553-1

27. Visit a castle. We visited a lot when we went on holiday to Wales. This one is my favourite:

img_7063

28. Go to the seaside/beach and paddle. We haven’t been anywhere near the seaside since I started this list!

29. Play in a band rehearsal. I *kind of* did this when I went to my old concert band’s reunion event. As in, I played the triangle and the tambourine for a couple of pieces! But this now also falls into the ‘bad idea’ category.

30. Go to a Carol Service. I went to 2! I went to see the Westminster Abbey Choristers perform at Symphony Hall and also a local church’s one. Both were great fun, but I particularly loved the choristers.

img_8414

In my Winter Update, I had 11 complete, 7 part way complete and 12 not started. Now I have 16 complete, 3 part way complete and 11 not started. That’s still a lot not started, but I’ve managed to finish off some of the ones I started from last time. However, I’m going to add a new category: purple. Basically, when I was assessing for GCSE/A-level, I’d have the red, orange and green colours I have here, but I’d also have purple, which meant ‘has done everything humanly possible but other circumstances mean they’re not achieving their grade.’ I now have a few ‘bad idea for my health’ ones, which means I probably won’t achieve them, including:

 1. Ride a horse
2. Go on a spa day
13. Sleep in a yurt

Taking my new category into account, that would mean 16 complete, 3 part way complete, 8 not started and 3 unlikely to complete. I think that’s reasonable progress 🙂

30 Before 30: Winter Update

I started a 30 things before 30 list in the Summer last year, in preparation for my birthday in May. I did an Autumn update in October, so now it’s time for my Winter update! My birthday seems a lot closer this side of Christmas, but if I don’t manage to complete everything on the list then it’s not the end of the world- I started it as a bit of fun after all!

  1. Ride a Horse. I’ve not even seen a horse since starting my list!
  2. Go on a Spa Day.
  3. Make a wearable piece of clothing. I’ve started this by starting to make a skirt, which I started before my autumn update. It’s still in the same state as it was! However, I did make hairbands this week and have been able to wear them. So a bit more progress has been made!

IMG_9013.JPG

4. Volunteer for a charity. I took part in the Post Pals Reindeer Post Scheme for Christmas which was a lot of fun! I did also try to volunteer for the hospital that I go to a lot, but they wanted more commitment than I could physically manage every week.

img_8686

5. Go to a Christmas Market that’s not just the one in Birmingham. I didn’t go very far afield, but I did go to markets in Solihull, Coventry and Blenheim Palace as well as Birmingham.

img_0472

6. Sell at a craft fair. This is tricky for many reasons I won’t get into on here. But I did make a lot of Christmas presents for people, so did a lot of christmas knitting!

IMG_8865.JPG

and a friend asked me to knit a kangaroo for her nephew:

img_8936

7. Go see a musical and stay the night in London. 

8. Be a tourist in London.

9. Go for a picnic in a park or a forest. Complete! Although I still want to go on a picnic in the forest.

img_6032

10. Go punting.

11. Do yoga outside. I did some physio and Tai Chi outside. Yoga is definitely too ambitious at the moment. And it’s now cold outside!

12. Make brioche.

13. Sleep in a yurt.

14. Learn to play Mvt II Sonata Pathetique (Beethoven) all the way through. I have one more page left to learn. Sadly it’s the hardest page!

IMG_6198

15. Make my own fruit juice for breakfast. Complete! I made peach and mango and apricot juice for breakfast.

IMG_6195

16. Practise Spanish in an actual situation. I’ve talked a bit to a Spanish waiter. And I took part in a photo challenge in November where you had to write a sentence to go with a photo every day in a language you’re learning. I quite enjoyed doing that!

IMG_9100.jpg

17. Go/watch ice skating. Ice skating won’t happen. But hopefully watching it could.

18. Read all of the Harry Potter books in order. Complete! And I even read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as well.

img_7129-1

19. Make mojito ice lollies. We tried doing this over Christmas, but we don’t actually seem to have any rum in the house!

20. Learn how to crochet properly (even if it is bad). I still can’t do it… It’s proving hard.

21. Re-read a book in French. I’ve started re-reading ‘Twilight’ in French. Progress is slow!

IMG_9099.jpg

22. Host a raclette party. Complete! Done this a lot now 🙂

IMG_6655

23. Listen to BBC Proms concerts. I kind of tailed off listening to them as the Summer went on, but I still listened to lots of different performances.

24. Record a song on GarageBand. Or Logic.

25. Play Pokemon Go. I’m still playing, but I can tick it off the list.

26. Eat tapas. We had some very good tapas, on 2 occasions, Still open for trying more though!

IMG_6172

27. Visit a castle. We visited a lot when we went on holiday to Wales. This one is my favourite:

img_7063

28. Go to the seaside/beach and paddle.

29. Play in a band rehearsal. I *kind of* did this when I went to my old concert band’s reunion event. As in, I played the triangle and the tambourine for a couple of pieces! But I’d still like to play more if I can (although looking unlikely)

30. Go to a Carol Service. I went to 2! I went to see the Westminster Abbey Choristers perform at Symphony Hall and also a local church’s one. Both were great fun, but I particularly loved the choristers.

IMG_8414.JPG

So in my Autumn update, I had: 8 complete, 6 part way complete and hadn’t started 16. Now I’ve got 11 complete, 7 part way complete and 12 not started. That’s not bad progress! Some of the red ones I’ve started making plans towards, some might not happen because my health won’t allow it, but I hope to get a few more of the oranges to be green for sure! Let me know if you want to join in or help me out 🙂 

30 Before 30: Autumn Update

I haven’t done an update on my 30 things before 30 list for a while because it got tricky in completing something every week. Plus I’ve had a few health setbacks recently which have made it virtually impossible to do even the ‘easy’ things. I started the list over the Summer, and here’s my Autumn Update! The idea being, I will have hopefully managed most if not all of the things on the list by the time my birthday comes in May. I will definitely need some help with some of these, or if anyone wants to join in let me know 🙂

  1. Ride a Horse. I’ve not even seen a horse since starting my list!

  2. Go on a Spa Day. 

  3. Make a wearable piece of clothing. I’ve started this by starting to make a skirt. But it’s been put on hold while I recover because it takes too much concentration/effort to do.

IMG_66834. Volunteer for a charityI signed up to post cards/letters to a 5 year old child who spends a lot of time in hospital (postpals), one from each of the reindeer throughout the month of December. It’s not practical volunteering, but it’s still doing something for charity. 

5. Go to a Christmas Market that’s not just the one in Birmingham. I’m determined for this to happen!

6. Sell at a craft fair. 

7. Go see a musical and stay the night in London. 

8. Be a tourist in London. 

9. Go for a picnic in a park or a forest. Complete! Although I still want to go on a picnic in the forest.

img_6032

10. Go punting. 

11. Do yoga outside. I did some physio and Tai Chi outside. Yoga is definitely too ambitious at the moment. And it’s now cold outside!

12. Make brioche.

13. Sleep in a yurt. 

14. Learn to play Mvt II Sonata Pathetique (Beethoven) all the way through. I have one more page left to learn. Sadly it’s the hardest page!

IMG_6198

15. Make my own fruit juice for breakfast. Complete! I made peach and mango and apricot juice for breakfast. 

IMG_619516. Practise Spanish in an actual situation. I’ve done this a bit to a spanish waiter, but it would be good to have a conversation where my responses weren’t just ‘yes’ and ‘no’.

17. Go/watch ice skating. Ice skating won’t happen. But hopefully watching it could.

18. Read all of the Harry Potter books in order. Complete! And I even read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as well. I can’t have read the last 2 books as much as the other ones because it took me a lot longer to read as I didn’t already know the story as well and kept forgetting bits and having to flick back. And the films, which I have watched a lot, miss out a lot of storylines I’ve discovered! Thank you to my friend who let me borrow his books 🙂

img_6837-1

19. Make mojito ice lollies. 

20. Learn how to crochet properly (even if it is bad). I still can’t do it… It’s proving hard.

21. Re-read a book in French. 

22. Host a raclette party. Complete! 

IMG_665523. Listen to BBC Proms concerts. I kind of tailed off listening to them as the Summer went on, but I still listened to lots of different performances. 

24. Record a song on GarageBand. Or Logic. 

25. Play Pokemon Go. I’m still playing, but I can tick it off the list.

26. Eat tapas. We had some very good tapas, on 2 occasions, Still open for trying more though!

IMG_6172

27. Visit a castle. We visited a lot when we went on holiday to Wales. This one is my favourite:

img_7063

28. Go to the seaside/beach and paddle. 

29. Play in a band rehearsal. I *kind of* did this when I went to my old concert band’s reunion event. As in, I played the triangle and the tambourine for a couple of pieces! But I’d still like to play more if I can (although looking unlikely)

30. Go to a Carol Service. This will hopefully happen, a friend was talking about this yesterday so fingers crossed!

My list is looking a bit like my RAG spreadsheets for school exam predicted grades (teacher in me), so I feel like I should add them up! I’ve completed 8, made a start towards 6 and haven’t done 16… There’s still a lot to be done!

I started the list when I was in a more of a healthy spell, so some of them might not get completed at all now as they’re possibly too ambitious. Others are weather dependent or seasonal. So overall, I’m quite impressed with myself! I think I’m going to focus on the Christmas ones and ones I can do at home, like reading a book in French, crochet and playing the piano. Hopefully I’ll be able to tick those off in my Winter update 🙂

Week 9: 30 before 30

It’s getting more tricky to do an update every week now that I’m getting through my list so I might have to start updating when I achieve something off it! 

10. Go punting 

A friend offered me the chance to do this this week but I’m not well enough to do it 😦 

18. Read the Harry Potter books in order

I’m still on the final book, the deathly hallows 


25. Play Pokemon Go

I’m sill playing Pokemon, and I think it’s safe to say that I can mark this one as ‘done’ unless i play somewhere different or catch something really cool! 

Week 8: 30 before 30

Here’s how I got on in week 8 of my 30 things before 30 list: 

4. Volunteer for a charity. A charity wanted patients to complete a survey so I volunteered. But I’m not ‘the right demographic’ so they didn’t want me! 

18. Read all of the Harry Potter books in order. I’m currently on the final book, the Deathly Hallows. 


23. Listen to proms concerts. This week I watched the Last Night of the Proms. I can still catch up on others on Iplayer, but the proms are now over!

25. Play Pokemon Go. I played in Wokingham this week and apparently managed to catch a ‘less seen’ Pokemon! 


27. Visit a castle. I visited 3 this week! All in Wales- Abergavenny, Usk and Raglan. 



Dreams 

Day 14 of the 30 days of gratitude challenge is dreams. At the moment, I don’t have any dreams. It’s not me being negative, I’ve been told to see still being alive at the end of the day as an achievement. So dreams are on hold.

That’s a bit depressing though, so I decided a couple of months ago to join in with 30 things before 30 lists which seems to be an ‘in’ thing. My list is things I like doing which I can do in my current state of health. So they’re not necessarily new or challenging things like on other people’s lists, but I don’t think that’s important. I wrote it before I knew about this blogging challenge because I felt it important to recognise the things I could do and enjoy, rather than the things I was missing out on. I’ve quite enjoyed doing it so far! 

#30bbdaysofgratitude challenge

Week 7: 30 before 30

I’ve not been overly productive on my list this week but here’s how I got on in week 7: 

18. Read all of the Harry Potter books in order. This week I finished the Half Blood Prince, the sixth of the series. 

25. Play Pokemon Go. I briefly played in Wales today and in Coventry city centre earlier in the week. I’m a bit bored of rats and pigeons now though! 



27. Visit a castle. Today I visited a castle in Abergavenny. A small castle, but still a castle! 

Week 6: 30 Before 30

Slightly more productive on achieving things this week on my 30 before 30 list. Here’s how I got on in week 6:

3. Make a wearable piece of clothing Last week I bought the pattern, this week I cut out the pattern to the right size, and then cut out the fabric pieces. It’s slow progress because I can’t physically do it much in one day (who knew cutting was the same for me as a cardio workout for anyone else?!). I didn’t manage to cut the pieces out myself, my husband had to do it for me. I think it still counts…

IMG_6683.JPG

18. Read all of the Harry Potter Books in Order. I finished off The Order of the Phoenix and started the Half Blood Prince. I’m about half way through this one now.

IMG_6728

22. Host a Raclette Party. We had 3 friends over and had a raclette party this week! I wasn’t able to make everything myself remotely, but a friend came round to help (and did most of it). I sat at the table and chopped things up and she cooked it all. We made chorizo, meat, potatoes, garlic mushrooms and cream of spinach.

IMG_6655

23. Listen to BBC Proms I didn’t do an awful lot of listening this week, but I finished listening to the Jazz proms I started listening to last week.

25. Play Pokemon Go. I played a lot of Pokemon this week. This is mostly helped by the fact that my husband managed to find a cheap wheelchair on Ebay and can now take me to the park in the evenings for some fresh air. Which makes me feel about 90, so I bring my average age down by playing pokemon at the same time! This week I hatched an egg, learnt how to fight in a gym, revived and healed my pokemon and caught some new pokemon which weren’t just the rat and hippo looking one.

img_6527