Progress Update – Six months to go!
At the time of my last progress update, around my 39th birthday, I had completed 30 of my 40 challenges, so there were 10 left to complete in the final year. I’m pleased to report further good progress over the first half of my 40th year.
Since April I have: hosted a Murder Mystery dinner party, ridden a motorbike, spent a Day at the Races and watched a Japanese tea ceremony. I’ve also technically completed my visits to the English UNESCO World Heritage sites by exploring both Hadrian’s Wall and Durham Cathedral, although whilst Hadrian’s Wall has made it to the blog, I haven’t had the time yet to write about Durham Cathedral. Coming soon, I promise…
My Murder Mystery dinner party was chaotic but fun, riding on a motorbike was both scary and exciting and the Races were an interesting experience but I’m not a natural gambler so I’m not sure it’s an environment I’ll be rushing back to. My holiday in Japan (including of course the traditional Japanese tea ceremony) blew me away. It’s such an interesting and fascinating country with so much to see, learn and taste.
So now, with just under six months to go, it’s 35 down, 5 still to do! The challenges I have left are:
- 48 Recipe Challenge – cook one new recipe every month between now and my 40th
- Eat at a top Michelin starred restaurant
- Help out a stranger with a random act of kindness
- Make and wear an item of clothing (not fancy dress)
- Take a professional make up lesson
I’m up to Recipe 43 of the 48 Recipes Challenge and still learning more and more about cooking and baking as I go along. I’m about to book myself in for a professional make up lesson and pretty soon I’m going to have to start pattern and fabric shopping for the item of clothing I need to make. I’d marked it down as a winter project, and as the nights are drawing in I can’t put it off much longer. Eating at a top Michelin starred restaurant will be part of my 40th celebrations; I’m treating myself to dinner at the Waterside Inn, one of only four 3-star restaurants in the UK.
The challenge I am struggling with the most however, is helping a stranger with a random act of kindness. A friend recently pointed out that I probably do little things fairly frequently which improve a stranger’s day. Thinking about it I do; but I think they’re insignificant things. Things like smiling and saying Good Morning to people I pass on the way to work (it’s amazing how many people look up and smile back), or asking people looking confusedly at a map if they need any help with directions, or picking up a toy that a child has thrown down for a harassed mother who has too much in her hands already. I see all of those things as just generally being polite and helpful and part of my community, although my friend reminded me that in a way it’s these little things which do improve someone else’s day. For this challenge though I had in mind something with a little more impact. I shall keep thinking.