Monday, 21 January 2019

50 Things to do before I'm 60 - 2018 Update

Hi there everyone 😀

We are coming towards the end of a January where we have taken it very slow and used the time to recover from the busy end of 2018 and start to build up our energy to have a good old go at 2019. We've had very little on the social calendar and even less on the list of 'things we want to get done' so I thought it might be a good time to have a look back at how I did over the last year with the '50 things' I want to do before I'm 60.

This November I will be 55 and will have reached the halfway point so, theoretically, if I've hit 25 of my goals by the end of this year I should be just about on track.

My last update was back in August last year where I shared that I had fully completed 19 of the 30 goals that I had shared so far ...


1 - Hand make Christmas and birthday gifts
2 - Make bramble jelly jam
3 - Have a posh afternoon tea
4 - Visit Balmoral castle

7 - Holiday on the Suffolk coast
8 - Christmas in a holiday cottage

10 - Upcycle my old placemats
11 - Go camping again, or get rid of the camping gear
12 - Have a cottage holiday on one of the
       Channel Islands
13 - Run my own business

15 - Visit Rosslin Chapel
16 - Visit The Kelpies

18 - Become an auntie again
19 - Holiday in The New Forest

21 - Replace old wonky and tatty patio in the garden
22 - Decorate all of downstairs
23 - Visit Warner Bros Studios - Harry Potter Tour
24 - Visit Castle Howard

26 - Visit all of the Shakespeare properties in Stratford-upon-Avon

I am pleased to be able to let you know that I have managed to add a few more to the list ...

5 - Make something in Mosaic
This was one of the very first goals that I shared when I started posting about my '50 things' back in February 2015. Even earlier than that, in November 2014, I shared how I'd come back from our holiday on Dartmoor in the October, all fired up for having a real go at making something in mosaic. I had lots of ideas and just needed to wait until I pulled together all of the equipment I needed to get started.

I'd been inspired by our visit to Bovey Tracey, where we had seen lots of really beautiful mosaics displayed around the village, including these below ...

I then received everything I needed as birthday and Christmas gifts ... tools, tiles, something to mosaic on, I just needed to get cracking.

I am so pleased to be able to share with you that ... just the four years later ... I have finally had a go. 

I have my monthly craft group to thank for this really. One of the ladies said she fancied having a go at mosaics at our next January get together and that was all I needed to get all of my stuff out and to start thinking about what I wanted to try first.

I decided to start small, with an MDF heart template that a friend had bought me from a craft show a fair few years ago and had a play with some random tiles to try and see what kind of design I would like ...

At the craft morning I stuck with my original design and managed to actually finish all of the tiling. I was really pleased with the result so far ...

Back home a few days later I built up the courage to have a go at grouting. I just bought some simple white bathroom grout and coloured it with some grey acrylic paint ...

It took a couple of coats of grout as the gaps between the tiles are quite large in places, but overall it turned out ok.

The last thing to do was polish up and add a hanging ribbon ...

Overall I am really pleased with it and I really enjoyed the process. I already have my next project in mind, which will be a bit trickier and will involve some tile cutting, but this will definitely not be my last piece of mosaic craft.

It's currently hanging in the dining room window where the sparkles in the glass tiles really catch the light ...
I was beginning to think that this goal would never actually happen but I am pleased I didn't write it off and am really chuffed that I can finally tick it off the list.

27 - Buy no clothes, shoes or bags for a year
Back in 2017 I started to clear the clutter from our home the Marie Kendo way. Even now, I am still working through the house, it’s definitely a long term project rather than a quick fix.

I don't know if you will remember but I started with my clothes and counted up 93 tops!! I did manage to slim them down a bit, but still had 59 ... so I definitely didn’t need any more tops. The rest of my clothes, shoes and bags weren’t quite so excessive but it did make me think that I didn’t really NEED any more.

At the beginning of the year I just decided that I wouldn’t buy any more clothes shoes or bags and I am so pleased to be able to say that I did go the full year without buying a single thing and still haven't bought anything so far this year.

I don't think I will be able to go another year ... there are already things that I feel that I actually need ... some new slippers, a new hoodie and some new black ankle boots. I can't see myself going back to shopping how I was though. I am definitely looking at things in a very different way. Do I really need it? Do I have an alternative? Will it stand the test of time?

Over the course of 2018 I have started a series of posts about 'My Journey to Less Waste' and I am sure I will let you know how I get on with my clothes, handbag and shoe shopping over there throughout the year.

28 - Use less plastic
Part way through last year I was really inspired by a number of programmes that I'd seen about the impact of plastic on our planet and decided that I really wanted to try and use less.

Whilst I can safely say that 'YES' I have used less plastic, this is definitely an ongoing journey and I will continue to share my progress with you.

The goal has also morphed into creating less waste in totality ... not just plastic.

Our journey started with me having a real good look at the wast that we produce on a couple of normal days. You can remind yourself of what this looked like here and here.

This led to a real feeling of being overwhelmed, like what I was trying to do was just not going to be possible and I shared how I was feeling here.

However, I didn't give up and actually managed to come up with a whole host of small things that I could do ... and keep doing ... that would make a difference, be it a small one.

I started by switching to paperless banking, re-subscribing to the mailing preference service and unsubscribing from unwanted magazines and catalogues. I stopped using clingfilm, plastic bags and cotton wool cleansing pads, replacing with home made beeswax wraps and reusable face cleansing pads.

I've drastically reduced our use of kitchen roll and managed to rehome a fair few bits and pieces that we no longer needed and I've found out so much more about what can be recycled and where ... and we've got a wormery!

As I said this is a goal that will always be able to be improved upon and it will be interesting to see whether we can sustain the changes that we have made and whether or not we are committed enough to make even more.

30 - Embroider something to display in an embroidery hoop
Back in the Autumn of 2017 I was struck with inspiration to complete something that could be displayed in an embroidery hoop and downloaded a free pattern for a Spring themed design that I wanted to complete to display on my mantel.

I dashed out and bought everything I needed to get started. Sadly, it just sat in the bottom of my sewing basket and didn't make it for display in Spring 2018.
Well, I was so pleased to feel in the right kind of frame to have a go at this in that period just before Christmas, when everything else was done and we were just spending a bit of time chilling out before the big day.

I still have to finish off backing it, but I am so pleased to have finished the actual embroidery ...

It will definitely be making an appearance on the mantel in Spring 2019.

So, by my reckoning that brings my up to 23 of my 30 goals so far pretty much fully completed ...

Of the others published so far there are four that still need more work ...

6 - Complete my on line photography course
9 - Holiday in all of the national parks of Great Britain
14 - Finish off the Explorer 232 series
25 - Finish telling Will Sidney's story and decide what to do with his memorabilia

The only one of these that has progressed over the last year is 25. I have got to the end of Will's war years and just have a couple more posts to write, to cover his life after the war, so I am hoping that this year will see this goal completed.

That just leaves three that I haven't really got started on ...

17 - Lose weight - go down four dress sizes
20 - Go up Snowdon on the railway
29 - Visit Portmeirion

I'm saying nothing about number 17, but we do have a holiday booked to North Wales in May this year and the plan is that we will definitely go up Snowdon on the railway, come hell or high water, and a visit to Portmeirion is also on the cards.

By my reckoning that should all add up to 30 ...
  • 23 completed
  • 4 in progress
  • 3 still to begin
I'm sure I will be back soon to share my next five goals with you but it's looking promising for having completed 25 by the end of this year ... the halfway mark 😀

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