Tag Archives: 25 new things

A new set of challenges

Hello from a very soggy Sunday morning in Leeds. We are in the middle of “Storm Brian,” which is pretty full on. I’ve been awake since 5am (great Sunday lie in) after waking up from a horrible zombie nightmare. Maybe I need to stop watching The Walking Dead right before  we go to sleep…

Parker is delighted that I’m up so early and has pushed my laptop off me and has started giving me a slightly scratchy massage.

Anyway.

When I first started my blog in 2015, I gave myself something fun to do, and also to write about by setting myself 25 challenges to complete before I was 25. I didn’t really complete them all, but it was good fun. You can click the links to read about when I tried lobster, caviar, and meditated for ten days.

Now I’m picking up my blog again, I’ve decided to give myself a new set of challenges. (With no more fishy business – now I’m a veggie)

Although I’ve just turned 27, I’m sticking with 25 challenges (seems like a more manageable number haha)

Here we go, here are my challenges for the year!

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1- Visit India

2 – Hike one of the three Yorkshire Peaks

3 – Read “Shantaram”

4 – See live comedy

5 – Watch “Gone With The Wind”

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6 – Get a tarot card reading

7 –  Take a language class

8 – Donate 200 things to charity

9 – Spend no money for one week

10 – Go to a pilates class

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11 – Learn to salsa dance

12 – Play piccolo in an orchestra

13 – Learn to sew and make something wearable

14 – Host a dinner party for my friends

15 – Go plastic free for a week

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16 – Try making my own cosmetics

17 – Go Christmas shopping in York

18- Go to Ireland

19- Go to a concert of music from another culture

20- Go vegan for a week

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21- Read sixty books in a year

22- Volunteer to help out with a charitable cause

23- Start drawing again

24- Have a car-free week

25- Do yoga every day for thirty days

So there we have it! I’m excited to get going. How nice to have a list of stuff to fall back on when I’m bored.

I’ll keep you posted with how I get on.

P.S. apologies for the photo overload! These are all photos I took on our visit to Harewood House yesterday where I had my mind blown by the dahlias. I am no longer using instagram, so you can expect a lot of photos making there way on here.

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25 things I know to be true

Well  hey there,

I turned 25 in September which is a bit weird. Weird because I’m officially “mid-twenties” which feels like I should be a more responsible adult than I am. I feel about six years old, not a quarter-century old! Half way to fifty. (I know it’s not old really)

Also, lots of travellers that I’ve met go “really?!” When I tell them how old I am. I’m hoping this is because most backpackers are younger, or that I look younger, but it’s the first time in my life that people have been surprised by how old I am.

Anyway, I thought I’d use the opportunity to compile a list of 25 things that I’ve learnt so far in my 25 years. Here goes!

 

1) No one really has a clue what they’re doing. Everyone is just pretending that they do and acting confidently. Join them, it’s hilarious.
2) Never trust someone who hasn’t brought a book with them. (Thanks Lemony Snicket)
3) If you’re tall you can tell people what to do and pretend to be authoritative and it (usually) works.
4) Every day is better if you wake up and decide you’re in a good mood.
5) Exercise is essential for keeping your body healthy, but more importantly, it keeps your mind healthy too.
6) If you want to wear something outrageous, you must do so with conviction and you’ll get away with it.
7) You are insanely lucky to have spare change, a roof over your head and access to food and water. Never take it for granted.
8) If everything is getting a bit much, take a step outside and look at the sky, contemplate the cosmos. Imagine being a spaceman looking at the planet. You are  so insignificant. Your life is one tiny blip on the timeline of the Earth. Chill the hell out. Also, if the thing you’re worried about wont matter in five years time then forget it!
9) The most important thing to be is kind. It doesn’t matter if you’re thick or you have a horrifically ridiculous laugh, just try really hard to be kind and compassionate.
10) Your gut instinct is about 99% right. If you don’t like somebody when you first meet them, or a place or situation gives you a sinking feeling in your tummy, trust it.
11) Laugh every day.
12) Listen to your body. If you feel shit every morning because you eat chocolate before bed, stop it. Don’t go drinking two nights in a row because you’ll get tonsillitis.
13) Understand that everybody has got their own problems and worries, and most of the time they aren’t thinking about you.
14) Make your passion your job and you’ll never dread going to work. You may feel differently about piano practice following hours of teaching piano however!
15) Ideas become things. Decide what you want and follow your dream. Only you can make it come true. Namaste!
16) If you’re having a migraine you should go to sleep. If you’re at work go to sleep in your car. Don’t try to woman up and power through because you will be sick everywhere.
17) There will be one day each month where you want to stab everyone you come in contact with and then will probably cry over a broken biscuit. It’s normal but you will only realise that in hindsight.
18) Smiling makes people warm to you but it also attracts the nutter on the bus, and makes everyone ask for directions.
19) Blusher has the magical power to make you look human on even the most shittest of mornings.
20) You can figure out which colours suit you by stopping wearing the ones that make people question if you’re ill.
21) The secret of life is chai tea. And good books.
22) Music is magic. Spend your life chasing it.
23) The way people act towards you is a reflection of them, not you. If someone is being an arsehole it’s because they’ve got something else going on that you can’t see. This is true for 99.9% of the population. The remaining 0.01% are psychopaths and should be avoided at all costs!
24) Spend money on experiences not things.
25) Surround yourself with the things that make you happy. 🙂

 

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New things 7) Try caviar

Before I turn 25 I’ve given myself 25 challenges.

One was to try something I’ve always wanted to try: caviar.

So off to Waitrose (of course) I popped, and got all the proper ingredients.

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(mini pancakes)

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(Lumpfish caviar. I’d never heard of lumpfish before, but it was a damn sight cheaper than salmon caviar)

DSC_0319(I read online that soured cream is what should be served with caviar.)

Drrrrumroll pleaaaaase

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I didn’t like it.

What did I learn?

  • Fewer things will make you feel more like a pretentious idiot than buying caviar in Waitrose darling.
  • You shouldn’t let stainless steel touch caviar, i.e. use a wooden or ceramic spoon. (apparently it ruins the taste.)
  • One should keep one’s caviar chilled. It should be served on ice during a dinner party situation.
  • Caviar tastes like fishy fish. Salty and with a small explosion in the mouth. Also it’s quite unsettling when you find a little egg nestling amongst your teeth afterwards. Shudder.
  • It allows you to take incredibly poncy photos like the one below.

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(La dee dah! Love the blue colour of the eggs though, amazing!)

Did I enjoy eating caviar?

Nope

Would I try it again?

Nope.

My other food challenges before I turn 25 are lobster and plantain. I have the feeling I might enjoy those more.

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New thing 5) Take a week off social media

Anyone who knows me will know that I am a complete social media addict. Current addictions include, but are not limited to:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest
  • Youtube
  • Obsessively checking my email.

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As part of my 25 new things before I turn 25, I decided to give up social media for a week.

I began by deleting all the offending apps off my phone and iPad. I also cleared out my email inbox which had over 3,000 unread emails. That little red notification sign was making me feel stressed and I felt much better in having a clear out and unsubscribing from the ridiculous amount of spam I received daily.

Something that surprised me: I felt a lot calmer in my week away from Facebook. Scrolling through Facebook feels like an information overload. In getting rid of it, I actually had a clearer mind and more time to think.

Something gross: When I sat on the loo I found myself reaching for my phone to check Facebook, Tumblr, etc. etc. Yuck! That habit has now been culled. Next time I post a Facebook update I’ll always wonder who is reading it whilst sat on the pooper.!

Spare time: I felt like I had a lot more spare time throughout the week. I channelled this into reading more (surprise surprise) and also working on this blog.

How it changed my concentration: When watching Netflix in the evenings with Tom, I realised I no longer feel so confused and have to ask what’s going on. My concentration had improved because I was no longer constantly checking notifications. I also had better conversations and listened more intently when I wasn’t glued to my phone screen throughout the week.

Moving forward: After the week was up, I reinstalled Facebook on my iPad. I felt glad to be back, but immediately annoyed by the time I wasted on there. I no longer have the urge to transcribe my daily life into status updates. I’ll be keeping my phone social media free!

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New thing 4) go to a yoga class

As part of my 25 new things before I turn 25, I attended a beginner’s yoga class yesterday.

I payed my fee online (12 quid for ninety minutes) and shuffled up the road to Kula Yoga in Chapel Allerton after I’d finished my morning teaching work.

There were twelve attendees in the class, plus our lovely teacher, Claire, who was really helpful.

We began with some breathing and warming up exercises and then went into a few basic postures.

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Something that surprised me: Some of the moves were really hard. The above is ‘downward facing dog’ which made my arms and legs shake with the effort. I woke up the following day with achey muscles in my shoulders and legs.

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Something that made me laugh: At the end we lay on our mats, covered with a blanket with a bean bag over our eyes. We listened to calming music whilst we received a shoulder massage. This was one of those situations where I know it would be really inappropriate to laugh, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Miranda:

Would I do it again? I’m eager to start doing some sun salutations in the morning to wake up my body. But in terms of general exercise, I’m going to stick with my running. There was a bit too much lying about on the floor for my liking!

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New thing 2) Run 10km

In September I noticed I was out of breath when I got to the top of our stairs in our house. Enter running shoes.

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I ran and I ran. I ran until I could do 5km without stopping. Then I did 5km twice a week.

I decided to challenge myself to doing 25 new things before my 25th birthday, and a 10km run was one of them.

Bank holiday Monday, I plug myself into Strava. I ran and ran. I had a clicky hip and a blister on the bottom of my toe. I got lost. I ran for an hour and twenty minutes and I accidentally ran 16km. (whoops!) Direction is not my strongest sense!

Luckily, Tom is so good at navigation that I call him Tomtom. He’ll be in charge of map reading next year!

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