Can you believe it’s nearly FOUR WHOLE YEARS since I made my list of 40 things I want to do before I’m 40? It’s come around pretty quick hasn’t it? I’m 39 next week, which means I only have a year to finish the list.

If you click on the link you’ll see that I’ve updated the original post, and have so far completed 23 things on the list. Not too bad you might think, but the last 17 are rather on the expensive side – buy a house, get married, ride on the Orient Express, that sort of thing.

All totally doable in a year right?


To make me feel a little bit better about things, I thought I’d tackle one of the items that didn’t involve booking flights and cook a cheese soufflé.

I put ‘cook a soufflé’ on the list because it has always held a certain mystery for me. Soufflés are one of those things that are notoriously difficult to make, and they feel so grown-up. I don’t especially go in for dinner parties or anything, but if I did, I would be the envy of all the other dinner party hosts if I whipped out a soufflé to start.

It turns out though that soufflés are actually pretty easy, unless I just had beginners luck, so why not have a go and become a soufflé master? View Post

4 x 4 driving experience Buyagift berkshire 4 x 4


One more down, only about another 68 to go on my list of 40 things to do before I’m 40! Okay, so it can’t be 68, as there are only 40 on my list, but it feels a bit like it at the moment. I’m 38 next month, which means I’m nearly three years into the project and I’ve not done even half of them. Still, plenty of time, let’s not panic.

So, 4 x 4 driving. It’s all that muddy stuff – up hills, wheels spinning, splashing through puddles. Good, wholesome fun. I had my experience courtesy of Buyagift, who sell all manner of amazing experiences and adventures, so firstly, thank you very much to Buyagift.

Let’s get straight down to it then, no need for false modesty here – I ROCK at 4 x 4 off road driving. Seriously, my throttle control is impeccable. The instructor even said I did ‘remarkably well’, and went to great pains to tell me that I was doing much better than the two men who had gone before me that day, as though I would be surprised by that, dur. View Post

photography tips


I have a list of 40 things to do before I’m 40. You know all about it already right? Come on, of course you do, have you been paying no attention?

On my list is to learn to take a decent photo. I’ve felt for a long time that my photography is the thing that lets down my blog. I can string a sentence together, sure, but so many other blogs I look at have decent sentences and ace photos too. Proper photos, on white backgrounds – collections of beautiful objects, flowers casually placed in jam jars, or breakfasts that look actually like works of art rather than badly lit piles of sick on a plate.

I know how important the visual side of things is online, and I’d just love to know how to do it properly. I bought a half decent camera a couple of years ago – an entry level DSLR, a Nikon D3100 – but I’ve never learnt how to use it properly, and so always end up taking photos on my phone.

To give you a flavour of just how much help I need, here are some examples of my Instagram photography over the years. Bear in mind that these are the photos I have felt are good enough to put on Instagram: View Post

Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?

I’m not going to be doing anything dull like loosing weight or giving up TV – I prefer my resolutions to be a bit more positive, and about trying new things rather than depriving myself of existing ones. My resolution this year is to crack the hell on with my list of 40 things to do before I’m 40.

When I made the list on my 35th birthday, it felt like I had all the time in the world, and yet here I am, turning 38 in a few months, and I have only so far completed 13. In my defence, some of them were big ones, like visiting every county in the UK and drinking a milkshake in an American diner, (actually in America), but I’m still going to have to put some effort in to catch up with myself a bit.

drinking a milkshake in an American diner - 40 things before 40

What’s more pressing though, and what I really need your help with, is finishing the list – at the moment I only have 32 of the 40 items. This was deliberate at first, because I knew that extra ideas would come to me as I went along, but I feel that nearly three years in, I really should have finished compiling the list at least.

So, I’m after some ideas. 

I have some pretty big things left on the list still, so what I’d really like are some smaller, cheaper, more unusual tasks, more along the lines of making my own lemon curd or sending a message in a bottle. I’m thinking new skills, unusual but UK based places to visit, fun challenges – basically things that would make a nice day out, and nothing scary or tough, as it’s meant to be a fun challenge.

Do you have any suggestions?

“A satisfying nibble that offers a little of what you fancy.”

No not that, don’t be rude, I’m talking about cheese.

It’s how The Laughing Cow describe their new Mini Cravings – little cubes of cheese with only 14 calories each. They’re tasty too, coming in a variety of strong flavours including garlic and herb, three cheese, (because one cheese is never enough), and ham and herb. They come in packs of 24, so even if you eat all them at once, (which isn’t really the idea), you can probably still pass it off as a light lunch.

mini cravings laughing cow


Looking at the picture I had a little flashback to soft cheese I used to eat as a child that came in a pack with different flavours – possible triangles in a wheel. Do you remember those, or did I dream them?

Anyway, I was thinking about the whole idea of cravings, (cue seamless link into something else), and that whole idea of ‘a little bit of what you fancy’, and it reinforced for me how important it is to have things in your life that you do for yourself, cravings that you indulge. It could be a cube of ham and herb cheese, or it could be something bigger, like taking a few days away from everything once a year to reflect on your goals, ambitions and achievements.  View Post

Have you ever been camping, and woken up in the middle of the night to find your air bed has sprung a slow puncture and your hip is resting gently on the hard ground?

Have you ever been a passenger in a car, where the driver has put his foot down sharply, leaving you feeling slightly queasy?

Now imagine those sensations blended together. Add in a gentle yet disconcerting sloshing sound, drink a bottle of wine, and there you are, on a water bed.

When I was growing up in the 1980s, water beds were the epitome of cool. They were a proper fad – suddenly everyone who was anyone, (i.e. no one I knew), had one, and I longed for one of my own. I imagined it would be amazing, like sleeping on a little boat, bobbing happily along a calm river.

It was not. View Post