40 things before I’m 40

I realise I’m not the first person to do this, and nor will I be the last. But I suppose what’s a bit different is that most of the time these lists start on a 39th birthday. I turn 34 in May.

It’s something I’ve been jotting down for a while now on one of my many notebooks dotted around the house. After a conversation with a friend who’s starting her list on her 39th birthday in few weeks time (her blog coming soon) I thought I’d make my list a bit more official and publish on my blog as there’s things that are going to happen this year that are on my list. (Is that cheating?)

I don’t actually turn 40 until May 2020 and although that sounds ages away I know it’ll be here before I know it. I’m usually someone who leaves things to the very last minute so for once I am going to do this with plenty of time to complete.

So here’s my list so far of my 40 things to do before I’m 40-
(there will be 40 eventually, I’ll add as I think of more!)


1. Take part in The Great North Run
I used to run long distances in my teens and early twenties. I was no superstar but I enjoyed it. During that time I always said one day I would do a marathon but to date that has never happened. A few years back I decided I would attempt the Great North Run to ease myself in. I have gained a place and I am going to be running this in September 2014.
✔️ 7th September 2014 – DONE

2. Visit Dubai
For years Dubai has been top of our “To Visit” list. We have a friend that lives there & we’ve been promising to go visit for a while. We hope it lives up to all our expectations and we aim to find out very soon – DONE!!

3. Study & gain a qualification
I haven’t narrowed down the subject yet. I have two main ones and a couple of others floating around my mind. The main one is Psychology with a view to becoming a counsellor. The other is bookkeeping / accountancy as I thought the job opportunities it could provide me with would be good.

4. Start in employment again – part time
I was made redundant when pregnant with our first child. It was probably a blessing as I’d have probably gone back to work if I hadn’t and missed out on being a stay at home mum. It’s now 4 years and 3 months since I last had paid employment. I have looked into going back to work but by the time I paid a childminder I’d have nothing left. So once the girls are both at school (September 2017) I will seek employment. What depends on number 3. I suppose!

5. Have a weekend away with my husband – child free
I think I’ve only spent 4 nights away from my eldest in her 3 years & 9months of living and no nights from my youngest who is now 14months. Hopefully one day my husband and I can go off somewhere for a couple of nights leaving the girls in Nanny’s care.

6. Take part in a London Marathon
Just the natural step after completing number 1. right?!! I know there are other marathons but London is the most prestigious. – (I got my name in the ballot for 2015. Find out October ’14 if I get a place)

UPDATE – 1st October 2015 – I got my place & will be running on 26th April 2015

✔️ 26th April 2015 – DONE!

7. Have a touristy few days in London seeing all the sights
I have been to London. Many, many times. I’ve even been inside Buckingham Palace but I really want to do it all again – The Palace, Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Harrods, Selfridges, London Eye………….

8. Join the PTA at the girls’ school
Bit of a weird one but those that know me will know that being part of the PTA would suit me down to the ground.

✔️ September 2015 – DONE!

9. Move house
I think this is a bit of an ambitious one if I’m honest. It could happen, but it might not. I’d like to think we’d move one day but whether it’ll happen before 2020 I don’t know, but for now it’s on the list.

10. Have a “make up lesson” and make more of an effort with my appearance
The only time I wear makeup is on special occasions. I don’t need to put any on before leaving the house. I never have really. Think part of it is laziness, but part of it is I don’t really know what suits me. When I say make up lesson I mean one of those counter things in a department store or something similar where I then know what to use (and costs me a fortune!)

11. Do some volunteer work
I don’t know what, or when, but everyone should do a bit in their life shouldn’t they? Mainly inspired by our friend who spends one day of her weekend helping out various causes.

12. Give blood
I’m registered but I’m yet to donate. I used to hate injections and giving blood but by the end of my second pregnancy I’d happily watch them stick the needle in.
✔️ DONE – 14th July 2015

13. Take the girls to watch football with Daddy (at Emirates to see Arsenal)
How dare I say this as a Manchester United fan?! But I know how happy it would make my husband. And Taylor’s first ever match was at Old Trafford, only fair Lauren’s is an Arsenal one.

14. Hold a dinner party with friends
We used to see friends and invite them round a lot but it hasn’t happened for a long time. It’d be fun to have friends round and cook for them.

15. Have a drunken night out with friends
I honestly cannot remember the last time I was drunk. I don’t really drink. I’ll have a glass of fizz at Christmas but for best part of 5 years that’s all I’ve had. When I go out with friends I drive. So a mental night out drinking should be on the cards.

16. Have a family day out at a theme park I don’t know which one because eldest will just be about to turn 10 when I turn 40, but a good family fun day out on rides is what I’d like.

17. See a musical in London
Broadway would be more exciting but there’s no way I’m getting to New York in the next 6 years, so London it will have to be! Can’t decide which one yet

18. Go on a proper shopping trip with my mum with plenty of money to spend!
I do go shopping with mum but we’ve never been on a trip where we just go for nothing in particular but end up with lots, with a nice lunch in the middle. Would have to be a city…..

19. Go ice skating
2001 at an ice skating rink in Dundee I fell and displaced my kneecap. Had it been a time of camera phones I’d no doubt have a photo to insert here, but you’ll just have to imagine being in a toilet cubicle and pulling down your jeans to see that your right kneecap is on the left hand side of your knee, not in the middle where it should be. Safe to say I haven’t skated since……. But I should.

20. Complete a cross stitch
When I visited my aunt in New Zealand in 1998 I bought several cross stitch kits. My aunt is very good at cross stitches and I think I wanted to emulate her skills. I still have those kits unopened. I really should complete one.

21. Read this book list
I’ve compiled a list of 40 books from recommendations of others that I should read. I will blog about The Book List as I read on my side blog which can be found here

22. Visit every house I’ve lived in
I was googling 40 things before 40 and have pinched this idea from Slummy Single Mummy I have only lived in 4 houses in my life; 2 of which are local, the other two; one is in Essex, one in Portsmouth. It’ll be fun going to see them.

23. Grow a plant and not kill it (added 27.2.14)
After sharing my blog post on Twitter, my friend was inspired to write her own list. One of hers is this so I pinched it but we’ve now decided we are going to buy the same plant at same time and see who last longest!

24. Go Nessy hunting
(added 28.3.14)
I’ve always wanted to go to Loch Ness and look for Nessy. Yes, I know, it’s most probably not real and if she really does exist it’s unlikely I will see her but I still want to go.

25. Go to Bingo
(added 30.4.14)
I’ve never been and played proper Bingo in a Bingo Hall. I’ve always thought it’d become quite addictive but I imagine with a group of friends it could be quite fun. So off to Bingo I go!

26. Go sit in the viewing gallery at court for the day
added 11.6.14
Knowing my luck I’d get a load of boring cases but I’d love to see the court at work

27. Go to Ladies Day at the races added 2.7.14
Preferably at Ascot but would settle for one of the others. Would have to be done with group of friends and us all doing it properly with posh dresses & hats!

28. Do a ghost tour / overnight stay added 27.7.14
It would freak me out – and yes they are most probably all just set up for entertainment purposes but I’d still like it!

29. Attend pole dancing classes added 28.7.14
Where I go to my boxercise classes, the instructor also does pole dancing classes. I keep wanting to have a go but am nervous! I will do it soon!
I did a pole dancing session for my hen night and loved it, so should love the classes too

30. Watch 40 films suggested by friends (added 28.7.14)
I asked my friends what the film is that they think everyone should watch and is the one that they say “you’ve never seen that film?”
So my 40 list is here

31-40 to be added

As I aim to blog as I complete tasks and hopefully there’s 40 big ticks on here by the time the next 6 years, 2months and 17 days have passed.




I took this photo whilst we were on our first day of safari in Tsavo Park in Kenya in September 2006.

The lioness was mightily peed off with us at this point as we had interrupted her stalking of a baby elephant.
Who knows what we could’ve seen if we’d have arrived on the scene 5/10minutes later?

This is my link up this week with PODcast

Life without Facebook

It’s been almost a month since I dramatically cut down my Facebook use. It was supposed to be internet use but it seems between here & Twitter I can’t get away.

Facebook was my main problem. I know it shouldn’t have, but it stressed me out. Where it started out as a way of catching up with friends & family I didn’t see regularly it had become something that sucked up my time and gave me mainly bad feelings.

On Facebook I’m friends with my family members and friends I see on a regular basis as well as people I went to school with/worked with that I’ve not seen for years and will probably never see again.

I started to get wound up by seeing things on Facebook that conflicted with things I’d heard & seen in “real life”. The Pretenders.

I hated the fact people took to Facebook to tell the world their arguments with their spouse / child / mother / friend / boss. (Delete as applicable) The Moaners.

There’s the one’s who post a comment or a status which is so ambiguous it means people ask what’s up and aren’t allowed a reply. The Cryptics

I could see through the people who would come online to set a status once every few weeks to say “oh look at my life, it’s soooooo good” The Boasters

There’s the people who slag someone off but then “like” or comment on practically every single thing that person does. The Two-Faced Users

And then there’s the downright liars.

Oh and the share if you like this, comment if you hate that……….

I set up a new account to make sure I could stay in my 12week challenge group without having to get caught up in the rest of the Facebook world.

I have set two statuses on my proper Facebook over the past few weeks, 1 to show off about my challenge once it was confirmed (a boaster!) and 2 to get help with my book list. I’ve logged in purely to set a status and see comments on them, I’ve not browsed to see what people are up to.

I don’t miss it.

I actually talk to people about real things not what I’ve seen on Facebook.
I’m a lot less stressed, not being frustrated by the comments of others. I don’t get caught up in “he said, she said”

And no one seems to miss me. Those closest to me know I’m not using it, but no one has messaged me to say “you’re a bit quiet, are you ok?” so I know who really cares about me from the contact I have.

Life without Facebook…….. Much better!

The Book List – Compiled

I wrote a post the other day asking for suggestions of books that people consider “must reads” I also asked on Twitter and Facebook.

I took the first 40 suggestions and these are listed below. These are books I must read before 2020 as part of my “40 things to do before I’m 40” (that list coming soon)
Where a series has been suggested I have just included this as one entry on the list. I won’t necessarily read them in the order listed.

1. Jane Eyre
2. Gone with the Wind
3. To Kill a Mockingbird
4. 19 minutes – Jodi Picoult
5. Catcher in the Rye
6. Hunger Games Trilogy
7. Memoirs of a Geisha
8. The Book Thief
9. Catch 22
10. One flew over the cuckoo’s best
11. The curious incident of the dog in the night
12. Wuthering Heights
13. Nelson Mandela’s autobiography
14. Danny Champion of the World
15. The TimeWaster letters
16. Pride and prejudice
17. Dracula
18. Rebecca
19. Frankenstein
20. The Rats – James Herbert
21. Bravo Two Zero – Andy McNabb
22. Harry Potter series
23. The Alchemist
24. A thousand splendid Sun’s
25. Midnight’s children
26. Love in time if cholera
27. The Secret Garden
28. Purple Hibiscus
29. Google Whack
30. The Thirteenth Tale
31. How to have a Brilliant Life – Michael Heppell
32. A town like Alice
33. The Railway Man
34. Mr Stink
35. Black Beauty
36. The Wedding Girl
37. The Two of Us: My Life with John Thaw
38. Enid Blyton – Faraway Tree & Wishing Collection
39. Me before you – Jojo Moyes
40. The Bible

I’ve managed to download some of the above on to my Kindle for free, so may start with them first. I’ll be looking at the library to borrow some too rather than buy them all.

I’ve set up a blog here to run along side this one to post as I read each book

If I were……

A month – I’d be May. The time of year everything starts to feel brighter and warmer.

A country I’d be Italy. Strong family values, good cooking and hardworking with pretty aspects.

A time of day – I’d be lunchtime. Halfway through the day with energy levels at a steady pace, motivated for the rest of the day

A sea animal – I’d be a dolphin. Intelligent, playful and stick with their family.

A direction I’d be North. So I’m always facing South.

A liquid – I’d be ice cold Coca Cola in a glass bottle. A refreshing treat.

A gemstone – I’d be Tsavorite. Beautiful, unusual and uncommon.

A tree – I’d be a Monkey Puzzle tree. Intriguing and difficult to conquer.

A game – I’d be Guess Who? Takes lots of questions and answers to discover the true identity.

A famous painting – I’d be the Mona Lisa. Intriguing, unobvious beauty, known by many.

A flower – I’d be a daffodil: Bright and seen as a sign that good things are coming.

A kind of weather – I’d be the mix of sun & rain that combines to make a rainbow

A musical instrument – I’d be a piano. Hard to learn how to play, but can be beautiful in the right hands.

A piece of furniture – I’d be a settee. One size suits all, sees many emotions, comfortable and an important part of the home.

A colour – I’d be Purple.My favourite colour.

A means of transportation – I’d be a plane. Goes long distance, fairly reliable, sky´s the limit.

An emotion – I’d be happiness. Positive and smiling,

A fruit – I’d be an Apple. Juicy, tasty, popular and can be used in many dishes !

A sound – I’d be laughter. Makes everyone smile.

A vehicle – I’d be a taxi. There when you need them (if sometimes a tad late).

A place – I’d be the house my Nan & Grandad had as I grew up. Full of memories, comforting, familiar, full of laughter and family orientated.

A taste – I’d be warm bread & butter. Simple, comforting and tasty

A scent – I’d be that lovely smell you get when it’s been a really warm day & it starts to rain.

An animal – I’d be a lion. Strong, proud, protective of its own.

A random object – I’d be journal / notebook / diary – full of thoughts, emotions and memories.

A body part – I’d be the heart. Integral to living. Full of love. Needed by all.

A song – I’d be Love Machine by Girls Aloud. Catchy, lively, gets into people’s heads.

An item of clothing That big, fluffy jumper that makes you feel warm and comfy.

If you fancy joining in then link up to Amanda at City Girl Gone Coastal

linked up with

Binky Linky

London 2012


This week for my What’s the Story? Link up with PODcast I’ve chosen the above image.

We rushed our application for London 2012 tickets, doing it in the hour before we left for our flight to Florida (the successful trip not the failed one!)
We applied for events where we didn’t have to pay much for our daughter as some of the events, such as the athletics a toddler ticket was same price as an adult one.

One of the events we applied for and were extremely lucky to get was Olympic Tennis which took place at Wimbledon.

Taylor had just turned 2 a couple of months before, and in the photo I am 4 and half months pregnant.
Taylor was as good as gold all the way through that day, particularly enjoying the clapping and cheering.

And the 3 of us (or 4 in a way) can all say we’ve been to an Olympic event and also been to Wimbledon! (where – by the way – Henman Hill is much smaller than you’d imagine!

The Book List…….

I used to love reading. In a two week holiday I would go through countless books and I always would have one on the go in general at home.

Since having children (and since my internet addiction started) my reading habits have dwindled into practically non existence.

I have been jotting bits down as I think of them, to include in the things I want to do before I’m 40, and one thing on there so far is compile then read a book list. I mainly read chick lit with the odd crime novel here and there, so I feel I should broaden my horizons a little when it comes to books

So here is where I need your help. My Kindle is loaded with some credit ready to download ……….

What would be your number 1 book that you’d recommend someone should read in their life?