Monday 18 January 2021

50 Things before I'm 60 :: 2020 Update

Hello there everyone πŸ˜€

It’s that time of year again ... time to look at what progress I’ve made with my list of 50 things to do before I’m 60.

So far I've shared 47 of the things that I want to achieve including those I shared with you in February of 2020, where there were a fair few things I either already had planned in or wanted to do over the course of the year. As you will probably expect 2020 didn't exactly go to plan but here is how I got on ...

37 - Find a new volunteering opportunity
When I did my February review I'd not long started volunteering at my local foodback, which is literally at the top of the street where I live. At that time I'd only done a couple of shifts but was already enjoying it and starting to learn the ropes.

Well I'm pleased to report that I have carried on with this right through the year and, with lots of volunteers having needed to shield as a result of lockdowns, I've actually done a day pretty much every week throughout the year so have quickly become an 'old hand'. 

I'm still really enjoying and hope to continue for the forseeable future so I think this is one I can now properly tick off the list as achieved πŸ˜€

38 - Visit Chatsworth for Christmas and the Christmas Markets
This was our Christmas excursion treat for 2019. We spent the week in Ashford-in-the-Water and got to visit Chatsworth, whilst the Christmas markets were on. We had a nice lunch, a good wander round the gardens and got to see the house all decked out for Christmas. You can read more about our visit here ...

39 - Have a photo featured in the Isle of Wight top 10 fan photos
This was one that I completed during our late 2019 visit to the very lovely Isle of Wight and to say I was chuffed to bits is an understatement. This is the picture that was featured ... it was the most fabulous view on the most beautiful of days ... the Isle of Wight has definitely become a favourite destination for us ...

40 - Take a break in Windsor and see the sights
This time last year, in an effort to shift the January lethargy, I booked us a last minute short break to Windsor. We had a wonderful time exploring ... it was a really lovely break, so different to what we would normally do. At the time I had no idea that it really would be the last break that we took for a fair old while ...

41 - Re-visit Warner Bros Studios to see Gringotts Bank
This was another trip we took back early in 2020, before life as we know it changed drastically. It was probably the last real trip out that we had with mum and dad and, whilst it was a very long day, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. The bank was amazing ...

42 - Cycle to Elford Hall walled garden
I am sad to say that our bikes have not even made it out of the shed this year, which is a bit rubbish really, considering it's something that we could definitely have done more of with the year we've had. Our plan was to take a pretty long bike ride to the walled garden at Elford, have a picnic and ride back. We worked out the mileage and whilst it was a fair distance it seemed doable ... but not without toilet facilities being available and with lockdown restrictions in place these have been closed all year.

We did get to visit the gardens a couple of times though and they were a real haven ...

This is definitely one to be carried forward.

43 - Visit Glamis Castle
When I shared this goal in February we had a cottage holiday booked in Dunkeld in Scotland and tickets booked to visit Glamis Castle. Sadly this all ended up getting firstly postponed to November and then totally cancelled. we’ve not rebooked anything yet and the beautiful holiday cottage that we’d found is no longer available for rental.

We were really disappointed as we’d been going with good friends and we were all really excited had everything planned and it was a really last minute cancellation as we were due to go just as the March lockdown began.

It’s a goal I will definitely be carrying forward but not sure that we will manage to fit it in in 2021 ... maybe one for 2022.

44 - Visit Clevedon
The tiny village of Clevedon on the Severn Estuary and the National Trust property nearby were on the cards for a day trip in 2020. Sadly, it was another outing that had to be put on the back burner, but definitely still on the cards at some point.

45 - Visit new places in The Peak District ... Padley Gorge, Cheedale Stepping Stones, Three Shires Head, New Mills
Having managed to visit one of the new places that we wanted to see in November of 2019 we did have another holiday there planned for Christmas of 2020 ... it was yet another cancellation but we will definitely be back up that way at some point in 2021 and hopefully will get to explore a few more new places.

The one new place that we did get to visit was Padley Gorge and it didn't disappoint ...

46 - Cycle round Carsington Water
This was one of the things we were hoping to do during our Christmas break and another goal carried over for maybe this year.

47 - Read more
So how have I done on my reading challenge? At the beginning of the year I set out with the aim of reading two books a month, or a total of 24. With the year we've had and the time we've had to spend at home I would have thought it would have been an easy goal ... but not quite so ... though I did just about achieve it.

I actually ended up having read a total of 25 books, two of them cookbooks, so not really sure those count. 12 of the 25 were of Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, he has definitely become a favourite character for me. Having read the books and become acquainted with Jack, I'm not sure I'd be able to watch another film with Tom Cruise playing him though ... that just feels so, so wrong.

There were a few other old favourites in there too .. John Grisham, Wilbur Smith and Clive Cussler for adventure and Milly Johnson and Cecelia Aherne for something a little lighter, with a whole lot of strange thrown in from Phillip Pullman.


I did end up adding another one to the list part way through the year ...

48 - Visit more Cotswold Gardens ... Sezincote, Bourton House, Batsford Arboretum, Cotswold Lavendar and Cerney House
We did manage to get to Sezincote, which was absolutely stunning ...

The plan was to also visit Bourton House, which is just down the road from Sezincote but they had to close because of a Covid outbreak. We did try a drive to the Lavendar Farm, but it was just far too busy to visit safely so I just managed to take a couple of pictures from the car, but that one is definitely for another day ...

So there you have it ... my latest update on the '50 Things I want to do before I'm 60'.

I'll maybe do another post in over the next few weeks with a full list of all of the objectives and see what is on the cards for 2021 πŸ˜€



  1. I've often had things to see lists for ourselves but not fore before I'm any certain age. Chatsworth House has been our to see lists for years and after our trip in 2019 which didn't quite go as planned, we said "next time" and now don't know whether next time will ever happen for us to come to UK again. So much family over there we'd love to see before we all get too old. Oh, just remembered, I did have a very big goal & did achieve it before I was was having one of my quilt patterns published in a magazine. It felt good. Thanks for sharing your goals & look forward to seeing how 2021 pans out. Take care, stay safe & warm & hugs.

    1. Thank you so much. This list was just something I did not long after I retired as I didn’t want time to just drift by without doing the things I really wanted to do ... lots of the goals are about seeing different places and I am adding to the list all of the time as I come across new things I want to do. Well done with your quilt pattern ... that’s brilliant. One of my goals is to do something similar with a photograph ... the closest I’ve got is my picture on the Isle of Wight top 10 fan photos on Facebook. You take care too and keep safe πŸ˜ƒ

  2. I like the idea of this list and may borrow it for my blog, if you didn't mind (although mine might have to be 'before I'm 70'). I love your enthusiasm! Bx

    1. Of course ... it’s nice to have a few regular features isn’t it and so easy to drift along and wonder where the time went but still have lots of things you’d like to do. It’s definitely helped focus my mind and it’s good to look back and see what I actually achieved πŸ˜ƒ


Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.