10 more things to do before I turn 40

I recently posted the first part of a list of 40 things to do before I turn 40. Today, I want to show you the next ten items, appropriately 4 months to the day before the end of my 35 before 35 challenge.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

  1. Try 10 foods or dishes that I haven’t had before
  2. Take the funicular up to Rochers-de-Naye (thought to have been the inspiration for Rochers Neiges in Agatha Christie’s “The Labours of Hercules”) – thanks to Chomeuse for this one!
  3. Cook 10 recipes from cookbooks I own – I have loads that I rarely even glance at, so it’s time I made some use of them!
  4. Try an Escape Room
  5. Eat 5 or more portions of different fruits/vegetables every single day for a week (Monday-Sunday)
  6. Take the Glacier Express
  7. Visit a new place in Switzerland for each letter of my first name – thanks to Kezzie for this fabulous suggestion!
  8. Visit Pompei – I have wanted to do this ever since we learned about the volcanic eruption on primary school!
  9. Eat pizza in Naples (this one and the previous one can be combined in the same trip)
  10. See the Rocky Horror Show in the year of its 50th anniversary – I saw the 30th anniversary show when it came to Sunderland, then I went to see the show in German in what I only later realised was its 40th anniversary year. So it only makes sense to see it again in 2023 (since that will be the year I turn 40, if the actual show turns out to be after my birthday I will count this item as completed if I at least have the tickets!)

That’s 25 so far… I will post the remaining 15 within the next few months. Please feel free to give me suggestions in the comments.

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Thinking of 40 things to do before I turn 40

My birthday is creeping ever closer, and even though I’m definitely not going to complete all the items on my 35 before 35 list, I’ve enjoyed it so much that I decided to make a new list, of things to do before I turn 40 – even though the idea that my next milestone is forty makes me feel slightly sick. HOW CAN THAT BE? I am still very far from having 40 things on my list – it took me long enough to think of 35 last time never mind an extra 5! But I thought I would share with you what I have so far.

Toblerone cheesecake
Cake just seemed like an appropriate photo…
  1. Go to the festival of lights in Lyon
  2. Beat Jan at mini golf – he always wins, but just once I would like to beat him
  3. Make flour soup (a staple of Basel Fasnacht)
  4. Watch 10 films in German – I hate watching dubbed English films, so this will probably also mean finding 10 German films!
  5. Read the rest of the books from the BBC Big Read Top 200 – I’m not going to finish this by August, but I do want to read them all so I’m rolling it over to my 40 before 40.
  6. Learn basic Ukrainian – get to at least level 3 on Duolingo
  7. Visit Ukraine – this was on my original list, but I changed it due to safety concerns. I’m hoping in the next 5 years things will calm down a bit…
  8. Go out for afternoon tea
  9. Build a snowman – surely at some point in the next 5 years there will be enough snow for me to do this?
  10. Visit Auschwitz
  11. Look for dwarfs in Wroclaw
  12. See the leaning tower of Pisa – it’s probably not even that impressive, but I just want to see it
  13. Read 25 non-fiction books – apparently 50 was too ambitious last time, but 25 should be doable, right?
  14. Read a book published in each year of my life, so one book each from the years 1983 until 2023 (I don’t have to read them in order!)
  15. Give at least 100 pounds or euros to three separate charities

I do have a couple more, but I think 15 is enough for one post. I don’t havy anywhere near 40 though, so please let me know in the comments if you have any other ideas for things I could do. I will at least consider anything that isn’t bungee jumping!

Thinking of 35 things to do before I turn 35

35 (number)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are lists all over the blogosphere of things people want to do before turning 30 years old – it seems to be the magic (or rather opposite of magic) number that makes people panic and suddenly realise they’re getting old.

Since I’m turning 30 in only a little over 6 months (eeeeek!) and I’m already doing my 30 German towns before 30 challenge, I decided to leap straight onto the 35 before 35 bandwagon. Anything to help me feel like I’ve achieved something in my life!

I haven’t managed to complete my list yet – thinking of 35 things is actually pretty difficult! But here’s what I have so far. You may notice that some of them were taken from my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, which I failed to finish. Hopefully I’ll have better luck with this challenge!

  1. Visit the Ukraine
  2. Eat fondue in Switzerland
  3. Learn Spanish
  4. See another musical (possibly Phantom of the Opera)
  5. Get over my fear of sewing machines and learn to use one
  6. Travel round Britain again

    English: A hot air balloon in flight at the Mi...
    A hot air balloon in flight (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  7. Complete a cross stitch picture for myself
  8. Do 3 OU courses
  9. Make cheesecake
  10. Go whale watching
  11. Spend a night in a 5 star hotel and order room service
  12. Ride in a hot air balloon
  13. Read (or re-read) 50 non-fiction books
  14. Go back to Austria and finally try Marillenknödel
  15. Read 20 books in German
  16. Spend New Year on Madeira and see the fireworks display (it previously held the record for the world’s largest!)
  17. See a Shakespeare play (not performed by Oddsocks)
  18. Bake 10 different kinds of biscuits
  19. Find a recipe for garlic soup and make it
  20. Attend a world cup rugby match

So there you have it. I need 15 more. Ideas anyone? NOT bungee jumping – I will never, ever do that! I’m willing to consider most other things though. Once I have all 35 I’ll make a page where I can cross things off.

Oh, and immediately after starting to make my list, I remembered that the amazing Thoughtsy from Thoughts Appear is doing her very own 35 before 35 challenge (having previously completed 30 before 30 – I told you she was amazing!). I swear, I didn’t steal this idea from you, Thoughtsy 😉

30 German towns before 30

So, in my last post I mentioned that I recently reached the grand old age of 29 (on 13 August in case you’re interested). This means I will be 30 next year… something that I find I am not dreading quite as much as 29. After all, I have a whole year until then. 365 days to come to terms with the fact that I will no longer be a 20-something. Reaching 29, on the other hand, made me realise that the chances of me achieving many of the things I wanted to before I turned 30 have now been reduced to almost zero. But so that I won’t have too many regrets once I do reach the big 3-0, I decided I need to achieve something in the next year. And so I hit upon the idea of visiting 30 German towns before turning 30. Obviously including the ones I’ve already been to – I don’t get that much time off you know! But to make things slightly more difficult, I’m only going to include places that I have actual photographic evidence of and can remember enough about to write a blog post on them. This is mostly because I took a European trip with my grandparents when I was 17, and while it did involve a few days in Germany, I can’t even remember the names of most of the places we visited never mind what there was to see there! This means that so far I’m up to 5 places – that being the number of German towns that have already been included in my blog. (Click on the name of the town below to read my post on it).

  1. Heidelberg
  2. Calw
  3. Würzburg
  4. Ettlingen
  5. Tübingen

More shall be added as a dig out photos from my various trips around Germany and get round to blogging about them and, of course, visit more places. For now though, I need to do some work (overtime… yay) and then start cooking. Ciao for now!

 

This year will be different!

It’s my birthday tomorrow.
While last year I was depressed because I was going to be a whole quarter of a century old and still hadn’t done anything useful with my life, this year I’m bemoaning the fact that I’m officially going to be closer to 30 than I am to 20 and (yes, you’ve guessed it) I still haven’t done anything useful with my life.

It didn’t used to be like this. When I was younger I would look forward to my birthday for weeks beforehand… planning everything down to the last detail, making long lists of everything I wanted, fantasising about cakes galore. These days, while I still enjoy my actual birthday (because how could I not enjoy a day that’s all about me?!) in the days leading up to it I find myself looking back over the year since my last birthday and all the things I haven’t done. It’s never the things I have done, because I never seem to do anything. The video that’s currently playing in my head shows me getting up, going to work, coming home, making dinner, going to bed, getting up…. and so on, in an endlessly repeating loop, at least until I get to March, where there’s a moment of excitement while I move house. Then the old cycle starts again, except now I come home to my very own flat at the end of the day.

But this year is going to be different. Tomorrow is not just my 26th birthday. It’s all the first day of my 101 things in 1001 days mission. This time next year, instead of moaning about all the things I haven‘t done, I will be able to look at all the crossed out items on my list and celebrate everything that I have done since my last birthday.

But that’s all in the future. Right now I have to eat lots of chocolate and enjoy the fact that, right now, I am still 5 years away from my 30th birthday instead of only 4…

Changing plans

It’s nearly my birthday. I’m going to be 25. That’s a quarter of a century!! How did that happen?

For years I thought 25 would be the perfect age to have a baby. Old enough to have finished uni and figured out what to do with my life, but still young enough to have more kids before I got old. Of course, back then I also thought I’d be married before I reached the grand old age of 25. I know, how naive right?

By the time my mum was 25 she already had 2 kids. She got pregnant with me at 19 (not planned) and I was born 18 days after her 20th birthday.
Growing up I loved having young parents. They were much less strict than my friends parents, some of whom were already in their late 30s and early 40s before they had kids. When I was a teenager all my friends wanted to have my dad. I was always the one that was alowed to host parties and whose dad never minded having a horde of 14 year olds in the loft playing computer games. Later I could go out drinking with my parents and have a good time. I still do go out drinking with my parents whenever I’m back in England. It’s brilliant!

So I wanted to be a young mum too. I wanted to be able to connect with my kids, be young enough to actually remember what it was like being a child, not be some old fuddy duddy mother who was old enough to be a Grandma. I also wanted (and still want) my kids to meet their grandparents.
And now I’m almost 25. I’m not married (or even close to being married) and I’m definitely not ready to look after a baby. My new perfect age to have my first child is 28. That way if I leave 2 years between them I still have time to have the second before I’m over 30. And by the time I’m 28 I’m pretty sure I will be ready to look after a baby. So 28 it is. The only problem is that’s in 3 years time. And I want to be married before my first child is born. Oh, and before that I want to be engaged for a while. Yeah, like that’s going to happen. Look out for another similar blog in 3 years time… “I used to think 28 was the perfect age to have my first child, But now I’m actually going to be 28…”

This much is certain. If I don’t have a child by the time I’m 30 I’m not having any. I refuse to be an old mama!