Not wanting to get stuck in a rut and coast into middle age, I decided to try at least fifty new things in 12 months – it was such good fun that I am going to keep going and say Yes to more new experiences !

Saturday, 27 December 2014

19. Harry Potter Studio Tour

A trip with Jared and Lydia on Christmas Eve to experience the magic of Harry Potter! 

Interesting to find out how the films were made, the props and costumes they used and how the special effects were put together. 

I had to wear my Christmas Witches hat - which was much admired by the staff. 

The model of Hogwards school at the end of the tour, covered in snow was amazing - as were the prices in the gift shop!!!!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

18. Made My Own Christmas Wreath

Yesterday I went to a willow weaving wreath workshop (try saying that in a hurry!). We made the frame and the hanger for the wreath from weaving strips of willow into circles and then wove fresh pieces of foliage and berries into the frame to each make a unique and different wreath.

It took and 45 minutes and this is the finished article

I might add some ribbons and baubles now to match my xmas decorations. The willow frame can be reused in future years with just fresh holly, leaves and berries added each year

The workshop was hosted by Realise Futures - a great organisation that helps people into paid employment and gain new skills. Each Friday they come to the offices of Mid Suffolk District Council at Needham Market and sell their fresh locally grown fruit, vegetables and plants.

ps This week my poppy of experience number 2 arrived safe and sound!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

17. Try out some new Ciders!

Not a hard one for me because I love cider! I spotted these new ciders when shopping and had to try them out. I am a big fan of Aspalls and they describe the Harry Sparrow cyder as 'Medium dry and sessionable with a floral aroma and cedar overtones of apples' .... I describe it as 'very drinkable'!

The Bulmers Indian Summer cider is a lower alcohol version that is "a unique cider with a subtle spice, made with apples and a hint of ginger and cardamom". I enjoyed this one too and would buy both of the ciders again.

Monday, 27 October 2014

16. Decorate a bottle!

No, I have never decorated a bottle before.... so when I spotted an evening workshop to decoupage an empty wine bottle, it sounded something I should give a go!

The workshop was held at Wigglywoo's Craft Emporium in Ipswich - where they also hold sewing, jewellery, Christmas decorations and painting workshops. They also sell a great range of hand crafted items to!

There was a class of 8 of us and we were give a range of ready painted bottles and patterned napkins to choose from. I went for a dark purple and gold pattern for mine. It was very relaxing pasting on parts of torn tissue all over the bottle and finishing off with some embellishments round the neck.

This was my finish article, which can be used as a candle holder and goes well with the decor in the lounge!

Friday, 10 October 2014

15. Help crowdfund a good cause

Its only a small amount but I have made a donation via a crowdfunding site to support a local community group.I choose NF2 -  based in Stowmarket

 NF2 is a rare genetic condition that causes the growth of multiple benign tumours throughout the nervous system, most commonly seen in the brain and spine. NF2 may be passed on from parent to child at the time of conception, or it may start in a family with no previous history of the condition. It occurs in 1 in 35000 of the population, is often life limiting, and currently has no cure.

Can You Hear Us? C.I.C (CYHU) is the first UK organisation to provide informal Social Gatherings that bring people with NF2 together in a carefree, friendly atmosphere. The primary aims of the Gatherings are; to reduce the effects of isolation, increase resilience, improve confidence and self-esteem, and build a supportive community for people affected by NF2 in the UK.

Many people affected by NF2 require psychological support and often carry the burden of multiple disabilities such as hearing loss, visual impairment, facial nerve dysfunction, swallowing complications, chronic pain, balance difficulties, muscle wastage, restricted limb function, and sometimes are reduced to using a wheelchair.

The Social Gatherings give people the chance to try new things in a supportive environment by featuring a variety of fun, and sometimes slightly challenging, activities that help people to build positive attitudes towards their abilities. Contrary to the usual focus on what NF2 patients cannot do, attention is projected onto the things that they can do, which, with occasional support from others, is much more than they think.

There are lots of  crowdfunding sites such as

So if you have a tenner to spare, why not consider giving  it to help some people do something good??

Monday, 29 September 2014

14. Hand Painted Doctor Who Shoes

Aren't these the most coolest of shoes! Hand decorated  with a Tardis, sonic screwdriver and Dalek in shimmery paint!

Almost too nice to wear. These will only be worn on special occasions when there is no chance of them getting wet!!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

13. Having my Name on a Sweet!

After visiting the BT tower we hopped on the tube to Leicester Square and went to find M&M World – we stopped briefly to watch a street magician turn 2p into a live white mouse on the way.  

Down on the lower floor you can pay to have your name or any message printed on some M&M’s.  First you type what you want onto a touch screen – you can have up to 4 different words, so we chose Dawn, Jared, Steven & Libby. Then you pay – ours cost £20. 

The 3rd stage is to choose which colour sweets you want and pour your cup of sweets into a machine, press a big button and it prints your names onto every single sweet. 

The final stage is to eat them!

Monday, 22 September 2014

12. A Ride on the Star Flyer

After we had visited the BT Tower, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square, Jared and I wandered down to the river and walked across the Golden Jubilee bridge to the South Bank. There we spotted the Star Flyer next to the London Eye - the tallest travelling ride in the country at 67 metres high!

It was a bit pricey at £7.50 ,but it was a great opportunity to add another new experience to the list!

Although it was dark, the view of London at night was amazing as we whizzed around - good job Jared and I have a good head for heights.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

11. Afternoon Tea at the Revolving Restaurant in the BT Tower

An experience money can't buy!

Jared won exclusive tickets for us to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the BT Tower in London. 80 couples were able to take afternoon tea 158 m high in the sky. 

The lift tells you how fast it is going and it reached 1400 ft per minute on the trip up to the 34th floor!

We were lucky to get a table right next to the window, so we had panoramic views of London as it spun round, although the weather was cloudy, we could still see the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Hyde Park, the Shard and St Pauls Cathedral.

We were greeted with a glass of wine and had rolls, scones and yummy cakes. 

We also were given a goody bag as we left with a souvenir photo, bar of Chocolate decorate with the tower, cupcakes and a tie pin - a fabulous experience! BT Tower-1.jpg

10. Wandered around Cyberdog

Cyberdog is an amazing shop in a Camden Warehouse full of  cool NEON stuff . It only has a small entrance, but spreads out over 3 floors with loads of clothes including club ware, silly gadgets, thumping music, live dancers and the bottom floor is for adults only!!

I treated myself to this necklace of realistic looking liquorice allsorts, which of course, glow in the dark!

9. Visit Camden Market

Jared had told me all about Camden Market - so it was the place to go on our day trip to London. Well, for those who have never been before, it is full of little stalls selling t-shirts, pictures, jewellery, weird clothes and wacky stuff!

 Plus there are loads of different food stalls to cater for every taste! As it was a Saturday, it was absolutely packed out with people but with a great vibe.

 Jared bought me a proper old fashioned clockwork Pocket Watch and I got a Dr Who T Shirt -  we bought Lydia and Libby some T shirts too and tucked into some Chinese food.

We also found the new Amy Winehouse statue that had only been unveiled last Sunday - behind her was a guy playing live music on a bit of a wobbly wooden stage.

Friday, 19 September 2014

8. Riding the Lifts at the Marriott Hotel

We were waiting in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel near Times Square, as we had some times to kill before going to see Les Miserables. Sharon spotted these high speed open glass elevators - so we decided to have a ride


They whizz up into the most amazingly large atrium, apparently there is a restaurant at the top on floor 45! The view was breath-taking, it was just like a future space age city - we had no idea the hotel was so big from the outside.  We had such a good time that we bought Irene in and had another ride.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

7. Eating a Waldorf Salad at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Drinking a Manhatten Cocktail in Manhatten!

The Waldorf is a stunning hotel with an Art Deco/ Art Nouveau style. We picked up an amazing deal via Expedia to stay there and the rooms were so large and comfortable.

We tried several different cocktails whilst we were there (my favourites were the Aviator and Singapore Sling) plus Sharon got chatted up by the owner of a Radio Station who had flown in for the US tennis championship.  

On the last day we splashed out and had afternoon tea in the Peacock Lounge - the Waldorf Salad was, of course, delicious and the red velvet cup cakes and hand made biscuits (below) were scrummy!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

6. A Horse & Carriage ride around Central Park

Such a lovely way to see this large open space in New York. We went on a Sunday so there were loads of New Yorkers,  just relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. 

I really wanted to see the Bethesta Fountain, Bow Bridge and the rocks that featured in the’ Angels Take Manhatten’ episode of Dr Who.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

5. Watch a show on Broadway

 Well, it was off Broadway in 42nd Street, but we picked up discount theatre tickets a couple of hours before the performance to see Les Miserables. 

I hadn’t seen this show  or even seen the film before ,but was blown away by the songs, voices and story – it was a fabulous performance.

Friday, 5 September 2014

4. Visit New York

What an amazing place, it certainly lives up to its reputation, the grid system makes it easy to get around but the traffic is MAD.


There was a great moment when I spotted a girl wearing a Tardis dress in the Marriott Hotel at Times Square, Sharon couldn't believe there was people like me who want to wear such a dress!

Whilst I was there, I traveled by yellow taxi cab, subway, open topped bus, horse & carriage plus 2 trips in a stretch limo! 
It did feel good alighting from the Limo at Times Square and no-one had to know we had booked it at a really cheap discount price, thanks to Sharon!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

3. An Aqua Massage

I received a voucher for an aqua massage from Angie & Ray as part of my birthday present, so today I went and used it - what an amazing experience!

You lie face down on a massage table and a hood is lowered over you. Inside the hood are jets of warm water that travel up and down your body a bit like a car in a car wash. However you are protected by a thick plastic sheet so don't have to get undressed or get wet!! aquamassagexl250-no-background.jpg

The 10 minute session went so quickly and apparently is equal to a 30 minute hand massage.

I shall definitely be back to Invigr8 in Foxhall Road, Ipswich for another session!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

2. Purchased a Paul Cummins Ceramic Poppy

This is something that I would have probably thought was a good idea but never got round to doing - so I went and bought one as soon as I could!  towermoatpoppy

It is a fabulous idea by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper to remember the 888,246 people who died in World War 1 - and they looked stunning against the Tower of London, there were hundreds of people looking at them when we went to see them in September - and the volunteers will be putting them out until November.

My poppy is number 247,779 and the money raised is going to 6 different charities - the Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO), Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, the Royal British Legion and SSAFA (formerly the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) and could raise up to £15m.

 The poppy will be posted to me in January. You can find out  how to buy one or more information here

Thursday, 14 August 2014

1. Visiting the Island of Crete, Greece

To kick-start my list is the beautiful island of Crete. We stayed in Rethymnon which has a lovely shallow sandy beach, quaint old town, lots of shops, bars and restaurants! 

I had a great time and spent my actual birthday sightseeing in the town of Chania, shopping and drinking champagne cocktails.

I've been to several parts of Greece before but never Crete, but as usual, the Greeks were very friendly and there were also lots of cats around for Libby to fuss over.

Monday, 21 July 2014

It all starts in August 2014

My 50th birthday will be spent on holiday in Crete, so that has to be No1 on the list as I have never been there before. Hopefully I will have some new experiences whilst I am out there to start off the list - I certainly would like to try out a few new cocktails!