Update: I wrote this post originally in April 2013, but rather that start from scratch I thought I would just add new things to my list here as I thought of them and cross off the ones I do. This post has new things since you first read it, so best read it again :-)
This week, with my 35th birthday looming, I have taken some important first steps in my 40 things before 40 project.
First off, I bought a new notebook. This is possibly the most important step, and I do sometimes wonder if I may not have just come up with the whole idea purely as an excuse to do this very thing. I do love a bit of cutting and sticking after all. However, despite having purchased said notebook, got it home safely, and stroked it for a little while, the novelty didn’t seem to wear off, so it was time to start writing in it.
Best felt tip pens at the ready.
I am looking for a total of 40 things to do over the next five years, but I figure I don’t have to have them all decided until a year before the deadline, as I am known for being a tiny bit fickle and am sure to come up with new ideas along the way.
Here’s what I’ve got so far then:
- Eat a meal in a Michelin star restaurant – I did this one on my birthday! Read all about it here.
- Got to the opera – Done! I went to see Turandot originally and have seen a few more since. I’m not a fan, although I did like that with Turandot we came out into the restaurant for a different course between each act. That was fun.
- Visit Auschwitz – Done. Read about it here and why I didn’t feel how I expected to feel.
- Visit the Dark Hedges – Done! Read about it here.
- Ride the wooden escalators in Macy’s, New York – done! January 2015.
- Ride on the Orient Express
- Stay in one of the places from the Amazing Spaces programme. – Done! I actually can’t remember where it was, but I remember thinking ‘Oh this means that I can cross this off my list!’ I’m sure it will come back to me.
- Drink a milkshake in an American diner – Done! See the evidence here.
- Grow an avocado plant from a pip. – I’m really trying with this one but the damn things refuse to grow.
- Take a ride in a helicopter – Done!
- Solve a mystery Nancy Drew style (i.e. in matching hat and gloves) – I went to a mystery evening at Belle’s school and bought a Nancy Drew style hate to wear especially, so I think this counts?
- Go to a festival on my own. I’ve thought about this one a lot and decided it’s not that important to me anymore. Although I have been to things like the Bath literary festival so maybe that counts??
- Do a driving experience where you get to go off road and drive through rivers and things like that. (I like driving through puddles at the side of the road when it’s really rainy.) – I’ve done this one – evidence here.
- Visit all the counties in England – Done! We covered the last nine in a Motorhome.
- Hang out in a 19th century Ottoman mansion and take a cruise up the Bosphorus
- Sing in public – did you not see my Mariah Carey at the 2017 taunton freelancers Christmas party??
- Tell a joke at the Edinburgh festival (this one can be just in the street)
- Cook a souffle – I’ve done this!
I made my first ever soufflé! It’s on my list of 40 things to do before I’m 40, and as that is only a year away now I felt I really needed to crack on with it! I feel so proud of myself. I know it’s a very small thing in the grand scheme of life, but it’s nice to have little things to aim for isn’t it? I absolutely nailed it too.
- Visit every house I’ve ever lived in. I’ve decided I’m not that fussed about this one either. I mean, I LIVED in them all, so technically I’ve done it anyway right?
- Swim (or splash a bit at least) outdoors in Iceland (country not shop) – this was a tiny bit late but I did it a couple of months after I turned 40 – the trip was a birthday present from my lovely sister and brother-in-law.
- Learn to take a decent photograph – I think I can say I’ve done this. I did this session and have started editing and everything!
- Fly business class – I’ve done this a few times now, only for work when someone else has been paying. It’s pretty nice being able to lie flat but I’m not sure it’s really worth it, unless you have more money that sense. You all arrive at the same time still.
- Visit Sintra in Portugal. It’s a crazy multi-coloured fairy castle. What’s not to love? – I did this one just a few days before I turned 40!
Image – Mapics/shutterstock
- Take an open top bus tour in ten different cities (I am a sucker for these – all the best bits of sightseeing but sitting down!) – I’ve done London, Barcelona, Cambridge, Liverpool, Stratford, Bristol, Bath, Derry, Paris and Dublin. Hoorah!
- Send a message in a bottle – Done! Here’s the proof.
- Make my own lemon curd – done! Check out the recipe here. I’ve also since then done a homemade passionfruit curd recipe which is just as tasty.
- Own one of those wicker baskets that fits on the stairs. (I know this is ridiculous, I’ve just always wanted one.) – My mum got me one of these for my 39th birthday! And very lovely it is too.
- Sleep on a water bed – Done! It was not much fun, and there was a creepy dog shrine.
- Live in a tree (even if just for a night) – So is this!
- Make fresh pasta from scratch – yep!
- Go to a football match – Big tick here.
- Publish a book – this is happening! This is a weird one as I’d kind of decided it wasn’t something I wanted to do after all, and then TWO DAYS before my 40th birthday a publisher emailed me out of the blue. If that’s not fate then I don’t know what is.
- Have a family portrait done – yep, we did this one! Courtesy of Life is Crawsome
- Get a tattoo – done!
- Go to a make-up counter for a makeover and learn how to actually put on make-up like a grown-up – I’ve done this! Sometimes I even put the make up on…
- Have something custom made – yes! I was a bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding in August 2016 and had my dress made.
- Place a bet in a casino – Done! I even doubled my money.
- Sleep overnight on a train in a proper bunk, Hercule Poirot style.
- Buy a house – Done! Who’d have thought it!
I was tempted to add ‘become debt free’ but I fear it may rather conflict with the other 39. If you’ve counted, you may see that there are only 39 things on the list – I’m leaving one for luck in case anything else amazing occurs to me.
So there we go! Not long left now… If you can help with any of the outstanding ones then please let me know!