After a lengthy hiatus I’m back to using this site. In the short term mainly as a mind-dump, although it would be nice to think I could begin to connect with people again via WordPress, which has always seemed to me a more charming and friendly network than some of the more image-led sites.

A dearth of suitable technology has largely been responsible for my absence, turns out you can’t blog at length easily on a mobile phone, and a 40th birthday ultrabook gift heralds my return.

So I turned 40. Which means a revision of The List is due. It says something about my nature that I’m already thinking of the next to-do collection, especially since many items were left unchecked, but at least some can be rolled over to 50 things to do before I’m 50…..right?

So here are The Good (achieved), the Bad (not achieved/carried forward) and The Ugly (ditched) results.

  1. Reduce to part time working No, I haven’t managed to reduce to part-time working,  given our current circumstances that continues to look unlikely before retirement, but things are altogether more positive since The List was created. One of my biggest gripes at the time was the length of my commute, which added at least 10 hours to my working week. I’ve since switched to a college 20 minutes away (buses permitting). I’m working much more at home, which has allowed me to spend more time with the children as planned.
  2. Go glamping Carried over.
  3. Dance until dawn Not yet, although there are some planned opportunities before I need a zimmer frame.
  4. Learn how to ride a bike I’m ditching this. I’ve clearly had plenty of opportunity, but am now comfortable with my status as one of life’s more stationary people.
  5. Host a swishing event Nope, although I have found one locally that I intend to visit before year end, which will tick this box, kinda.
  6. Watch all of the West Wing Only one season to go!
  7. Host a radio show I forgot this one completely. It does seem to run in the family- radio presenting not forgetting-I have an uncle and a niece who have their own shows, but the fact this wasn’t even on my radar is enough to ditch it.
  8. Have an overseas family holiday Achieved! First one on the list at #8, I did worse that I thought. We had a wonderful week in Guardamar, Spain this July. The children relished flying, even though my poor husband didn’t, meaning I don’t think this will be an annual thing. 13686630_10157212701225134_6871111906277997201_n
  9. Go on a Murder Mystery Weekend My husband took me to The Plough and Harrow for an organised evening. It was fantastic fun, and I spoke with one of the actors afterwards who was trying to convince me to get involved. I was tempted.
  10. Publish a knitting pattern I did actually come up with a very simple pattern, which felt way too simple to publish on Ravelry. I still could though….
  11. Decorate every room in the house A cursory poke at the plaster in my daughter’s room revealed structural problems involving the roof – expense has limited this achievement. Definitely one to carry forward.
  12. Mow a lawn Errr, no. To be fair, my husband’s barely mowed a lawn this year. I don’t know what’s happened to our garden, its a disgrace and we barely use it.
  13. Learn how to play chess Yes! Or at least the very basic basics. Turns out, I’m not well suited to game based on strategy, patience and logic. Who knew?!
  14. Read LOTR I tried. I really tried. The first book was SO turgid. I felt like I needed to be a 1930s schoolchild to get through it. There’s just so many other tempting choices in literature. Ditched!
  15. Sleep under the stars Carried forward. Camping next year, definitely.
  16. Have a boudoir photo shoot I never did lose that two stones.
  17. Win a TV quiz show I went on to appear on another two shows after compiling this list, including a very popular one (Tipping Point), and a primetime one with a prize of 25k (Celebrity Squares). A combination of bad luck and bad performance means I haven’t WON one, but I did come away from Squares with £300, so I’m counting this as achieved. One of my best goals of recent years; something I’ll never forget.12313790_10156296236055134_5081300372296779270_n
  18. See a ballet My beautiful friend bought me tickets for The Tempest for my birthday. It was magical, and I found a new love; Prospero.
  19. Learn how to make a signature cocktail I’ve drank quite a few, but yet to decide. Carried over.
  20. Restore and revive a piece of furniture My lovely desk
  21. Perform on stage again I still feel a long way away from this, and my confidence ebbs with each passing year. I came very close to teaching drama recently, which I hoped might spark something, but it was not to be. Carried over.
  22. Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant I documented our trip to Simpsons. Delicious, but not something I feel I need to make a habit of.
  23. Go bellydancing Not achieved, and I do worry (now I’m 40+) that the image of a fat middle aged woman bellydancing is a little cliche.
  24. Learn to read Tarot I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this, and its been a real revelation. I consider myself a secular reader and have found them a great coaching tool, as well as good fun with friends.
  25. Swim five lengths  I honestly remembered this as two, and was feeling all proud that I’d achieved it. Oh well.
  26. Start a pension plan. Done! And thanks to salary increase, I’m managing to put a reasonable wedge in every month too. Success on this one.
  27. Get a colonic Not been brave enough yet.
  28. Practice basic yoga I did go to class, so this is achieved. However, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact my nose is not compatible with yogic breathing. The search for enlightenment continues.
  29. Cook every recipe from a cookbook I settled in my Gill Holcombe books, and would say I’ve managed this is a less-structured, roundabout way. But its been totally uninspiring.
  30. Go vegetarian for one month September 2015. I managed this fairly easily, and am toying with the idea of pescatarianism.
  31. Have my nails ‘done’ properly Yes, I’ve had a couple of manicures. Next step, shellac.
  32. Play poker My husband taught me. See also ‘chess’.
  33. Drive on a motorway Driving still eludes me. Definitely carrying forward.
  34. Go to high tea in a classy hotel I’ve managed to rack up a few afternoon teas, its been quite trendy over the last couple of years which has made it easier. My favourite has been a trip to Betty’s, with some dear old internet friends. 11659230_10155795968430381_2276365119083963615_n
  35. Read the 32 books that will change your life I think what I never considered was how American this list was, and some titles just didn’t resonate at all. Still, I’ve read a lot of them. I’ve rediscovered a love of reading this year, as well as developed an appreciation for the Goodreads site and a compulsion for watching Booktube.
  36. Plant a wildflower garden I continue to be an indoor girl. Related goals for the new list I think.
  37. Visit Scandinavia DESPERATELY carried over. I just couldn’t budget for it in time. I did go to Bruges for my birthday. Nowhere near Scandinavia, but a stunning European city that I truly loved anyway.
  38. Sew myself a dress I’m ditching this. You can just buy so many lovely ones that are better than anything I could make.
  39. Play with some kittens How has this not happened? Just how?!
  40. See a West End show My auntie took me to see Les Miserables. I loved it just as much this time.

So there we are. 16 successes, 14 carried over into what I hope will be a fabulous decade. 10 ditched forever. What’s clear is that single events are more likely to be achieved, particularly if they involve food. Self-improvement? Not so much. Still I’ll be looking longer term than 18 months away this time, plus there are 10 extra slots. So, some smaller pleasures may be the way forward..