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 !

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

My very first Sloegasm!!!!

Oh errr missus  - yes, I've just experienced my first sloegasm - a lovely cocktail of prosecco and home made sloe gin. Apparently you can also make it with Champagne or any type of white fizzy wine.

I'm typing this after 2 glasses and won't tell you how many typing mistakes I have made on this short update!!!!

Friday, 25 December 2015

Even more new things to try!!

Christmas with the Easters
I really enjoyed doing all those 50 new experiences whilst I was 50, in fact I've missed it since August when I finished!

So, I have decided as a New Years Resolution for 2016 to keep this blog going and record any new stuff that comes along.

Again, I have no idea what they might be - we will just have to wait and see!!!!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Follow up to No 11 - Tea at the BT Tower

Last year Jared & I won the chance to have tea at the top of the BT Tower. BT ran another competition for their employees and families to visit the tower to celebrate the official opening of the Post Office Tower 50 years ago, and this time Jared won 4 tickets so that Steven and Libby could come too! 

This time we got a glass of wine - not a meal, but it was still great to view London and all its landmark buildings.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Follow up to No 36

I've just received confirmation that my 3 great great uncles now have  their plaques commemorating their deaths in the First World War in place. The three brothers are side by side at the garden of remembrance at Lochnagar Crater and funding has gone towards the upkeep of this unique piece of  history.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

50. Alum Bay and the Glass Vase

Well, I spent my 51st birthday on the Isle of  Wight and finished off my 50/50  experiences with a a trip to Alum  Bay and a ride on the rickety old chairlift down to the beach.
Steven then treated me to this beautiful iridescent vase from the glass studios there. It is a tall blue glass vase with green/yellow/purple overlay and looks stunning in the light.

I have really enjoyed the last year and ended up doing some fun things - highlights include not 1, but 2 trips to New York, eating at the restaurant at the top of the BT Tower and amazing  WW1 battlefield tour of Flanders.

I was treated to some great experiences by others such as the Harry Potter Studio tour from Jared, the ride round Central Park in a horse drawn buggy by Mum and an Aqua Massage from Angie!

I also enjoyed learning to crochet from Laura, making my own Christmas wreath, having my DNA tested and even cooking my first home made curry!

I tried to do some good along the way and raised £100 for the Blue Cross, bought a Poppy from the Tower of London and Crowdfunded a charity and a book launch

Although the year is over now, I hope to carry on saying YES to things I might not have done - and have started by being involved in a publicity photo shoot for St Elizabeth Hospice and impulse buying a new car! There is still a long list of ideas that I never got round to doing which I will keep and hopefully cross off  as time goes on.

Thanks to everyone involved along the way and my advice to you all is Give It A Go and Have Some Fun!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

49. Visited the Constable Exhibition at Christchurch Mansion

Mum and I visited the free exhibition of John Constable paintings in Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich - which included portraits of his family, many views from his home and of Flatford Mill in Suffolk. They range from small sketches to the huge 6 foot painting of Salisbury Cathedral

Well worth going if you get the chance - exhibited in Ipswich until Jan 2016. I'm nearly at the end of my 50/50 experiences and have enjoyed doing something a bit different over the last year (except breaking my toe!)

Hoping to do the last New Experience on my 51st birthday this Sunday in the Isle of Wight - no idea what it will be at the moment!

Friday, 31 July 2015

48. Fitbit

The proud possessor of a Fitbit Flex and pair of hot pink Skechers Go Walk shoes. Now the only thing to stop me getting fit is my love of chocolate and natural laziness!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

47. Learn to Crochet

Last night I went round Laura's and she taught me to crochet - and believe me, it is a bit harder than it looks!

She made it look so easy as she demonstrated the different stitches - but I struggled a bit. It might be as I'm left handed, but my piece of work looked a bit lumpy by the end!

However, her home made sponge cake was light, fluffy and delicious. I must confess we spent more time chatting and gossiping rather than crocheting, but it was a fun evening.  

I am going to practice and persevere as my aim is to make a crochet ladybird like the one above!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

46. I cooked a curry!

Yes, I have NEVER made a curry before, in fact the only curry I have cooked has been in a frozen meal! So yesterday I cooked a Chicken Korma from scratch. First I had to buy all the ingredients, as I didn't have any of the spices needed.

I used the 'good food' recipe from Tesco online as I don't own any recipe books either. Jared came round to help me and I was pleased with the result - a very mild, but tasty Korma

In fact, it went down so well that Libby (who had declared she didn't like curry and wouldn't eat it) had a whole plateful!

Monday, 13 July 2015

45. All Alone in Reedham, Norfolk

Whilst visiting Pat & Brian in Acle yesterday, we decided to take a trip to Reedham nearby. Pat warned us that it gets very busy there and we may not be able to park.

However when we arrived it was deserted! 

There was no-one in sight, just a few people pottering about in boats on the river. We walked up to the swing bridge ( in the background of the photo) and back and had the place to ourselves. The Lord Nelson Pub is shut for major renovations, the cupcake cafe was closed and the only place open was the Post Office where Brian bought an ice cream. It was like the village had been evacuated and no-one had told us!

Admittedly, there were a few clouds in the sky and it did rain on the way back, but it is hard to believe that no-one else wanted to visit it on a Sunday afternoon in July!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Update on No 28 - Wacky online bet!

A while ago I won £10.88 on betting on Italian Volleyball games and its been sitting in my account with Skybet. 

 I decided to blow it all on another obscure bet - so chose to wager it all on 2 blokes called Inglis and Jennings to score a try in the Queensland v New South Wales rugby match. 

And guess what they did! So I won £59.84 from my original stake of £10. I've now withdrawn my winnings and going to quit while I'm ahead.

For those who are interested Queensland won 52 - 6!

Monday, 6 July 2015

44. Visit to HMS Ganges Burial Ground at Shotley

Mum and I visited the quiet churchyard of St Mary's in Shotley to visit the sailors graves there.

There is a section for the men and boys who died whilst stationed at HMS Ganges and also a special memorial to the early Submariners who died in World War 1

Godfrey Dykes has a fascinating website about the burials which showed that many of them died from illnesses such as pneumonia, TB, whooping cough and measles rather than being  killed in action. Many of the graves are for young boys of only 15, 16 and 17 years old.

We have a link with HMS Ganges - as my great grandfather Edward James Goodall carried out his naval training there in . The HMS Ganges Association has an interesting website on the history of the establishment.

This is the separate memorial to the 52 men who died  from the 8th & 9th submarine flotillas in the First World War. 

There are also the graves of 13 Germans who died when their ship laying mines was sunk near Orford Ness in 1914 - and then the HMS Amphion which had picked them up, hit one of the mines and sunk too! These became one of the first casualties if the war

Saturday, 4 July 2015

43. Pigeon Burger

Oh boy, is it hot today! Just the day to sit in the shade in a garden deep in the Suffolk countryside, chatting with friends, sipping a cold drink and eating pigeon!

Today at Clare and Jonathan's BBQ, I tried their pigeon and bacon burgers - which were tastier than I expected! You may not be able to get pigeon at ASDA or Tesco's, but apparently you can get them at your local butchers, including the one in Needham Market!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

42. Watch The Jersey Boys!

This is something Mum, Sharon and I wanted to do whilst in New York last September, but we couldn't get tickets for the Broadway show.

However, Sharon found a good deal on a theatre break in London, so last weekend we all went to finally see The Jersey Boys. 

What a great show with fascinating story and all the famous hits from Franki Valli & The Four Seasons to sing along too!

Monday, 22 June 2015

41. Visited The Tate Britain

Yes, I confess that I have never visited any of the Tate galleries before, but today Sharon, Mum, Irene and myself went and visited the Tate Britain on Millbank in London. 

The galleries are arranged in decades which gives an interesting perspective on contempory artworks through the ages. I now realise how much I like the Pre-Raphaelite style paintings such as the Lady of Shalott!

A word of warning - don't have the Gooseberry, Elderflower and Lemon smoothie in the cafe, it's far too sharp!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

40. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum

A very sobering but interesting experience. 

It is situated deep underground  with 2 main rooms under the memorial pools. The first is dedicated to all the people who lost their lives - with walls of their photographs and a place where individual names and details are read out on a continous loop. There are a few personal artifacts there, including a wallet from a British man that contained his Sainsbury reward card!

The second room has a timeline of how the attacks unfolded from the first breaking newscast and includes details of the phone calls made by people in the hijacked aircraft. There are also items recovered from the area such as burnt sheets of paper, melted telephones and seat belts from the plane. There is an section on the terrorists and the political situation as well. Not surprisingly, no photos are allowed to be taken in these areas.
However, you could take photos in the surrounding areas - this is the front of a fire engine crushed when the tower came down.

This is the last remaining column that was removed from the site and is covered in badges and details of the Police and Fire agencies involved in the clearance of the rubble.

There are other interesting items too, such as this old motorcycle that was bought by a fireman but who never lived to restore it. Instead it was restored by his colleagues in memory of him and his other officers who died from that station.

A piece of the aerial that was on the top of the towers. We spent over 2 hours there and would recommend it to anyone who gets a chance to visit.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

39. Visit Macy's

 This is something we never got the chance to do last visit, as we ran out of time - so I made sure that a trip to New York's biggest department store was fitted in this time!

Helpfully, any out of state visitors can get a 10% discount card for their purchases, so I picked one up. The shop is huge and we only wandered through the ground floor and didn't get a chance to see the other 10 levels!

I did manage to pick up 2 pairs of earrings which were in the sales and then had the extra 10% knocked off - bargain!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

38. Appeared on a billboard on Times Square

Yes, if you look closely enough, you might be able to spot me on the left hand side of these photos of the large electronic Revlon billboard on Times Square in New York!

And on the photo below Steven and I are both in the top left hand corner of the shot!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

37. The Statue of Liberty

On this trip to New York I braved my fear of boat trips and went on a ferry trip around the Statue of Liberty - and it was well worth it!

Not only do you get close up views of this impressive statue, but you also get some amazing views of the Manhatten skyline too!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

36.A Memorial to my Great Great Uncles

Whilst on our recent tour of the battlefields of the First World War, we visited the Lochnagar Crater - the site of the largest crater ever made by man in anger. It is 300 ft wide and 70 ft deep

When the underground mine exploded on 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the sound could be heard in London!

It was bought by an Englishman to save it being filled in and now can be visited by anyone. Around the edge is a walkway, and to help with its upkeep, you can pay for a plaque to commemorate anyone who fought in the Great War.

Mum and I, thought it would be a great idea to have the names of our 3 great great uncles who died in the Somme commemorated in one place - as 2 are buried in separate cemeteries and the other has no known grave. So we have paid for Walter, Charles and Frederick Hollingsworth to have a plaque like this one, next to each other.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

35. Cable Car over the Thames

Whilst in London we took the opportunity to go on the Emerates Air Line cable car from O2 Greenwich to Victoria Docks. 

The journey gives you great views up and down the river including the Thames Barrier and ExCel Centre.

(No, my eyes weren't shut cos I was scared of heights - just the way the camera caught it!)

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

34. Shaun the Sheep

Whilst in London I wanted to find some of the Shaun in the City Sheep models as they are only around until the end of May. I didn't have time to visit the trail around St Pauls, but did stumble across  3 around  the Carnaby Street area. 

I've only got photos of 2 of them, as the one inside Hamleys came out too fuzzy!

Monday, 25 May 2015

33. Visit ComicCon

This was supposed to have happened last October, but Libby broke her leg and it had to be postponed. Luckily they hold them every 6 months at the huge ExCel Centre in London.

I wore some Doctor Who bits ( including my specially decorated converse boots) and Libby went as Steve from Minecraft

There were so many other people dressed up - many in rather obscure Japanese Cosplay characters. But we did spot Gandalf, Mario Brothers, Disney Princesses, Darth Vader and a few storm troupers!

The highlight for Libby was meeting Five Nights at Freddies characters

We also saw Sylvester MacCoy, Bradley Walsh and Boyce & Marlene (from Only Fools & Horses).

The stalls were amazing with areas selling original artwork, comics, games, steampunk stuff and Japanese items.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

32. Weird & Wonderful Wood

This event is held every year nearby at Haughley Park in Suffolk and I had never been before - so I thought I would give it a go! It is a festival of everything wood related with loads of stalls, workshops and entertainment.

It has a lovely relaxed atmosphere and we really enjoyed looking at the amazing wood carvings, listening to the bands and eating yummy ice cream from Alder Tree - my favourite was the Gooseberry and Limoncello.

Libby made a puppet and you could also have a go at making paper, whittling a spoon, pine cone animals and willow weaving - all for free! Definitely going to go back next year.

31. Open Learning

I have just completed my first Open Learning module at the Open University - Information on the Web. Laura Hack told me about the free short courses offered through the on-line learning route. 

I've just enrolled on my next course 'War Memorials and Commemorations' and I might try Earthquakes or an Introduction to Histopathology next!

Monday, 11 May 2015

30. Folded Book Art

I stumbled upon this the other day - recycling old books by folding the pages to make different shapes. Most people start with something simple like a heart - but I decided to dive right in and make an owl!

You need a large hardback  book of at least 500 pages - I picked up mine for 20p at the Drinkstone table top sale. It didn't look like anyone had ever read The Crown by Candle Light by Rosemary Hawley Jarman from 1978!

I bought the pattern from a seller on Etsy who has loads of other patterns such as rabbits, dogs and elephants as well as words like Love and Bride & Groom. Why not google imagesunder Book Folding Art and see what others are available?