Progress Update: 6 months in
Wow, these 40 challenges are progressing really well. I was aiming to complete roughly 10 challenges a year but I’ve actually done 10 in the first six months! I’m pretty happy with that. To recap, the ones completed and ticked off the list are:
- Cruise the Norwegian Fjords
- Drive a tank
- Eat Chinese in Soho
- Go Zorbing
- Raise £1000 for charity
- Sing solo at Karaoke
- Try croquet
- Visit Auschwitz
- Go to the Colosseum at Rome
- Walk the Clarendon Way
In doing these challenges, I’ve had a lot of fun, learnt a lot and made some great memories. In becoming a marathoner I’ve already achieved something I never envisioned ever doing in my life. The one I am proudest of at this point in time however, is raising a grand for charity. I’m humbled by the generosity of all of the friends and family who sponsored me to walk the Clarendon Marathon as I never expected to achieve my £1000 target in one go.
Another thing I am really proud of is that I seem to have inspired a number of friends to create their own lists, whether they’re 30 before 30, 40 before 40 or even 60 before 60. As I am reminded too often, life is too short to put things off until a tomorrow that is promised to none of us, so I’m glad to be inspiring people to get out there and follow their dreams or achieve things they’ve been meaning to get round to for ages. Not to mention the fact that some of the ideas they’re coming up with are great and I might borrow some of them! Unfortunately this does mean that I seem to be constructing my 50 before 50 list already… It’s in my head at the moment but it might have to start going down on paper soon. The trouble is, once it’s on paper, I’m committed to it; as one of my friends knows only too well. After I completed my marathon she kindly sent me this coaster, which is SO me:
Progress on the ongoing challenges on my list is also going well. I am slowly making my way through the BBCs Top 100 Books. I’ve read 69 so far, including six since I started this challenge. Anna Karenina was the most difficult of those to wade through and The Count of Monte Cristo is also taking some time but is a far more engaging story. I’m averaging one book a month, which just about gives me time to complete the challenge if I keep it up as I’ve got 31 books left and 37 months to complete it in.
The 48 recipes challenge is also progressing well and I have been producing one new recipe every month as promised. I’ve had some great food during this time and learnt that photographing food is really hard! I’ve now visited nine of the 17 English UNESCO World Heritage sites, including five since April. My favourites so far are Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Park and the stunning Jurassic Coast, although I also very much enjoyed finding out about our industrial heritage at the Derwent Valley Mills.
Plans are coming on well for other challenges. The following are all booked in:
- Ski trip in January – the question is whether I will brave a black run this year or not?! The jury is still very much out on this but I haven’t got enough leave left in the next three years to do a ski trip so it’s pretty much now or never.
- Tea at the Ritz in February
- The time is already booked off work to enable me to attend the Great British Beer Festival next August
- A trip to Mexico in autumn next year to drink tequila but also to explore some Mayan ruins
In 2014 I would also like to complete the SPICE rack (one event with every SPICE group in one calendar year – for the uninitiated, SPICE is an adventure, activity and social club I belong to), create my own perfume, have my colours done and take a professional make up lesson.
I’m very pleased with the progress I’m making on the challenges but I am slightly panicking that I don’t have enough annual leave to accomplish all that I want to do over the next three years. I will just have to make it work somehow!
For now, the impending winter has rather curtailed my weekends away so visits to UNESCO sites are on hold for the moment. I think I shall spend the winter months inside in the warm, focussing on the reading and the cooking. I may find some victims to be part of my Murder Mystery Dinner Party and I will also give myself the project of putting my round the world trip photos into albums. I think this will take something like 40-50 hours to complete as I’ll go back through my guidebooks and journals to label all the photos rather than just randomly sticking them in albums. That should keep me out of mischief for a while!