Thursday 8 January 2015

33 Before 33

33 before 33

Updated (23/3/17) - being pregnant for two thirds of 2015 rather scuppered most of these ideas!
Even so, I still ticked off 6 out of 33 (or 8 if you include the two I did after turning 33).

1. Read 52 Books (Nope - I managed 46)
Last year I set myself a GoodReads challenge of 30 books and managed to read 47. I reckon one book a week should be easy enough don't you think?

2. Read The Mabinogion (Yes! Read the mini review here)
The Mabinogion is the earliest piece of prose writing in Britain, composed by Welsh authors around the 12th and 13th centuries (Cerys Matthews did an excellent summary of it on BBC4's 'The Secret Life of Books'). It contains 11 folk and fairytale stories and despite the fact I have a lot of Welsh family (my dad's from North Wales), I don't think I've ever actually read it.

3. Do 12 outfit posts - one each month (Umm, no)
This is blatantly copied from Jane's '32' list. I always wanted to feature outfit posts on here occasionally but at the same time I feel much more comfortable behind the camera than in front. Janet and Sophie's posts about how they can help you feel better contain lots of excellent advice so if I follow their lead, perhaps I'll be a whizz at outfit posts by this time next year.

4. Do a Gavin and Stacey tour round Barry (Yes, we visited in April 2015 although I still have yet to blog about it)
We've wanted to do this for several years now and still haven't got round to it. I'm not sure sticking it on my list is going to bring it any closer but there you go.

5. Visit Bletchley Park (No)
See above, the same reasons apply.

6. Knit an item of clothing (Yes although it was a baby cardigan)
I've managed to make a scarf and a hat but I think it'd make me feel like a proper knitter if I could knit well enough to make a whole piece of clothing.

7. Learn to count to 10 in Welsh (No)
My dad tells me I used to be able to do this when I was young but can I remember it now? Of course not.

8. Learn how to pronounce the long version of Llanfair PG (Yes! Watch the video here - and apologies to anyone Welsh...)
I've been on holiday to Anglesey every year since 1987 and often pop over to the town; I can do the Llanfairpwllgwyngyll and the Tysiliogogogoch but not the bit in the middle. If I ask my dad to do it, the name just rolls off the tongue. I reckon this is the year to conquer the middle bit (and for bonus points, remember what it all stands for).

9. Bake a rainbow cake (No)
For no reason whatsoever, just for novelty value.

10. Learn to crochet (No)
I do have some crochet hooks (they belonged to Andrew's nan) and tried giving it a go last year when I was off work. It wasn't long after I learned to knit and I got bored of crochet quite quickly, knitting seemed so much faster to do! However, that's not really a reason to give up though so I think I need to give it a proper go.

11. Make it to a Blog Club event (No)
Hayley from over at Bonjour Blogger started Blog Club this time last and lots of people on my Bloglovin feed have said how good it is,. I wasn't free to go early last year and then at the end of the year, I was free but couldn't physically get there. One day though, I will actually make it to Blog Club.

12. Visit Birmingham Library (No)
It's a library. It's new. It's beautiful. Need any more reasons?

13. Get a bra fitting (Yes but only after turning 33 and not in a shop - I'm now a 'Boob or Bust' convert!)
Yup, I'm one of those girls who've never actually had a proper fitting. I've done it myself using online calculators and I daresay I'm one of the millions of women wearing the wrong size. However, all the ones I own are pretty darn comfortable so it'd be interesting to see what a "professional" bra fitter has to offer.

14. Make a vlog (Yes but only after turning 33 - you can watch it here)
I'm sure none of you really want to listen to me witter on or prance around but I would like to have a go a making a short video (nothing that long, I promise), mainly for the reasons that I'd have to teach myself video recording and editing skills. Plus I've been told I do speak rather fast so whilst that'll probably be annoying to anyone watching, it'll also give me something to work on, trying to slow my speech down.

15. Curl my hair (No)
I've never been able to get my hair to hold a curl but I do own rollers, curling tongs, and those foam band thingies. One of them has to work surely!

16. Watch all the Tim Burton/Danny Elfman films (No)
When me and Andrew went to the Royal Albert Hall to watch Danny Elfman, it was an absolutely amazing show but also highlighted just how many of their films we haven't seen. I'd like to say I was a fan but out of the 16 films they've directed and scored together, I know I've only seen 9 of them. 2015 needs to be the year we rectify that definitely.

17. Make a really cool 1950's style Christmas dress (No)
One from last year's list, I have the fabric and a pattern, just need to get round to actually making a start.

18. Swim in the Tunnels Beaches, Ilfracombe (No)
Another one from last year's list and on the list for the same reasons as 4 and 5.

19. Visit Arnos Vale Cemetery (No)
This is sort-of on the list for the same reasons as well, although we did go there Gromit-hunting back in 2013. We only did a brief flying visit that day and kept saying we'd return for a proper nosy around but needless to say...

20. Carry on with my 2002 Golden Jubilee sampler (No)
I'm going to write a proper blog post about this in a few weeks but really, it's obscene the length of time it's taken me to do this cross stitch sampler.

21. Watch the Back to the Future trilogy (No)
It's 2015. Has to be done really.

22. Read one book a month for my Read Around the UK challenge (No)
I still think this challenge is a great idea and have actually read a couple of books towards it, just haven't got round to writing the mini reviews yet.

23. Grow some vegetables (No)
When we moved into our house, for the first couple of years we grew all sorts of things, stuff like potatoes, spring onions, beans, strawberries, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and courgettes. The last few years we've changed the garden round a bit and only managed to grow strawberries last year. We've got plans to overhaul our vegetable patch though, we just need to buy the railway sleepers and (like so many things) just do it.

24. Learn enough Makaton to sign a whole nursery rhyme or kids song (No)
My brother was taught Makaton when he was at school and the rest of the family were encouraged to learn signs to help him. He's got lazy and forgotten most of it and I can only remember a few signs myself. It's easier to learn than British Sign Language so I'd love to have a go at learning enough signs to do a whole rhyme or song - then I'd be able to join in with Mr Tumble on Something Special!

25. Go and watch a TV show being filmed (No)
Both me and Andrew love watching pretty much all comedy panel shows and quiz shows and although we've been in the audience for a radio show (BBC R4's Any Questions last year), we've never applied to sit in on a TV show. I'm imagining this is one step down from Jane's task of applying to actually be on a gameshow.

26. Have a holiday or weekend break staying somewhere unusual (No)
A yurt, teepee, treehouse. shepherd's hut, showman's wagon, any of those would fit the bill nicely.

27. Take up an exercise class that'll help my ankle (Yes kind of - it was exercise but for not my ankle - instead I did pregnancy yoga!)
When I'm nearing the end of my physiotherapy, I'm going to ask what sort of exercise would be good to do for my ankle. I wondered whether something like Pilates would work and I like swimming anyway so that might do too. I'll wait until later in the year and see what they say.

28. Reply to comments on my blog weekly (No)
I would dearly love to do this. I have every good intention to do it but life gets in the way (as I'm sure you're all aware). I do stick by my promise that every comment will be replied to, even if the reply is several months late.

29. Get into listening to podcasts (Yes, and I found a few that were very good but I still prefer listening to music, sorry!)
I feel as if this is something I should be doing; I've listened to a few TED talks and I'm planning on signing up to the The High Tea Cast's ones. My problem is that I can pretty much multi-task in every other area of my life except listening to people talk. For example, on a long car journey Andrew will be listening to something controversial on Radio 4, I'll be staring out the window and he'll ask me "did you hear that?" and I'll reply "hear what?" I can't get into audiobooks for the same reason, I can't listen to them and do something else as the same time (and if I have to stop to listen to them, I may as well read the physical book). I do think there's a lot of things I'm missing out on though and I wonder if I practise enough, maybe I'll eventually be able to multi-task with listening.

30. Make some unusual Christmas decorations (No)
Katie had some awesome (roarsome?) dinosaur decorations on her tree the other year and I'd quite like to see our Christmas tree decorated with unusual little trinkets. Mini lorry and steam engine decorations hung from the branches, that sort of thing (I'm well aware this is something I'll probably have to make myself, it is a rather niche market, I'll admit).

31. Enter more competitions (No)
I used to enter lots of competitions when I was a teenager and didn't do too badly at winning things (lots of CD's, toiletries, even a mountain bike once). That was back in the day when you used to send off your hand-written postcard in the hope of someone's hand literally pulling your name from a sack. I used to sit on my bed every Saturday morning and write out hundreds of them before my dad would drop them off at the post office (I even had a subscription to the much-missed magazine, Competitor's World). Nowadays it's all on t'interweb and social media and I don't spend nearly as much time as I should entering draws and promotions. However, I did buy some raffle tickets when we visited the West Somerset Railway back in October and just before Christmas I had a very nice phone call from a very nice man informing me I had won first prize - which turned out to be £700, which will do very nicely indeed, thank you. So yep, inspired by that, I'd like to enter more competitions.

32. Protest more (No)
I've been a fan of Mark Thomas for a while and the last two years, we've been to see his show in Edinburgh ('100 Acts of Minor Dissent' in 2013 and 'Cuckooed' in 2014). He's a political activist, comedian, actor, storyteller and presenter. Every time we leave one of his shows, we walk away saying "yes, we will petition more, protest more and do more". We already do little things, like sending back junk mail in the post, trying to shop more locally and ethically (we already avoid places like Starbucks, Costa, Apple and the like) and always completing surveys and petitions (often with our own answers rather than the tick boxes provided). They're only little things and I think we could do so much more but like most of the population, we're tied into the rat race of work/sleep/mortgage/etc. We possibly do a lot more than some people but also a lot less than others so if there's anything extra we can do (that isn't illegal or will lose us our jobs) then we should probably be doing it.

33. Submit 4 assignments for my degree (Ha, not a chance!)
I'd like to. Not sure if it's going to happen though. If I could submit 4 this year, then I'll only have 2 left to do and one study school to attend before starting the dissertation. I didn't submit anything at all last year because of the IVF treatment and then breaking my ankle so I have a lot of catching up  to do.

Hmm, I have 339 days left. Best get started then.
(and if you've read this far, you really do deserve a medal!)



  1. I did pilates for a couple of years (I hope to get back to it at some point) - it was really similar to physio and helped my dodgy leg a lot. Will be curious to see if that's what they recommend for you and how you like it. :)

  2. My aim for 25 before 25 is to definitely read more books.

    Lizzie Dripping

  3. You'll definitely enjoy the Library of Birmingham, it's amazing!

  4. An interesting list - good luck, I hope you manage to complete it all.

  5. What a list! I'm surprised you could think of 33, I struggled to come up with 26 haha

    good luck with it!

  6. Wow! That is one big list, looks like a hell of a fun year ahead for you. Good luck! ;) x

  7. Ah, I used to live in Bletchley before moving to the Lake District! The Park is great, there's loads to do and so much history there. I second the Burton one too - I've seen quote a fair few but nowhere near as many! - Tasha

  8. You've an interesting and varied list.

    I should probably learn to count to 10 in Welsh, and a whole lot more than that seen as my son will be learning Welsh at school and I am not a native Welsh speaker. Good job we've a few years yet before he starts school...

    Also, I've visited the new and improved Birmingham Library. I'm not too keen on the exterior, I lived in Birmingham during the build and the exterior was a very love-hate thing. It was quite lovely inside though, and the views from the garden are quite impressive.

    Good luck with you're 33 before 33 list!
    Bits & Bobs

  9. Woohoo!! You're doing #4 for your anniversary! I can't wait to see the photos. As for all the reading - I struggle to read a book a month...I feel bad now haaa. I'd also really like to do #31 :)

    Awesome list, I'm sure you'll complete it no problem.


  10. I love your goals, so many good ones! I'm looking forward to seeing your outfit pics and Bletchley Park, I'm dying to visit there :) keep going with the crochet, I love it now I have a vague idea what I'm doing!

  11. That's a whole lot of doing!!
    Your outfits are always lovely to look at and actually I have a gift for you that might help with the crocheting - it was the one I was going to send you around ankle-gate and never got round to because I'm useless. I'll bring it next month :-)
    M x

  12. If you do the hair curling please blog about it - I have tried and failed so many times. One Christmas I though I had nailed it until my Dad asked "why do you look like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards?" ....yep...harshed my hair curling vibe right there!!

  13. A good variety here - good luck with it! x


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