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 !

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?

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

29. Fractured Toe

These 50 new experiences were supposed to be fun and interesting, but I have just broken my first bone, so I suppose that counts!

I stubbed my little toe on my right foot coming out of my craft room on Saturday and I think it must be fractured. After 3 days, the swelling and bruise has gone down, but it still hurts and I can't get most of my shoes on. According to NHS direct, there is nothing you can do apart from rest it and wait for it to heal - not worth going to the doctors or A&E .

I won't bother to put a photo of the toe up, as there is nothing much to see, but I am walking with a bit of a limp!

PS the greyhound came in 4th.

Monday, 4 May 2015

28. Wacky bet online

Whilst I do the national lottery regularly - I am not a  regular gambler and don't think I have every been inside a bookies!

So, I decided to recklessly gamble £10 online and see what happens. I signed up with sky bet because you get a free £20 bet for new customers. I have put £5 on Ipswich to win the playoffs and then looked around what else I could bet on - so I chose Italian volleyball!

£3 has gone on Pomi Casclmaggiore Womens team to win and £2 on Modena mens volleyball - good luck to them both!

Finally I squandered my free £20 bet on a greyhound called Southpaw Outlaw at 4.37pm this afternoon - just because I am left-handed. I have just looked up his form, he has only won three times in his last 30 races, so I don't hold out a lot of hope!

UPDATE ...... The greyhound lost but both the Italian Volleyball bets won and I now have £10.88 - just waiting for ITFC to win the playoffs now!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

27. Visit a Village in Suffolk for the First Time

This was suggested on a girls night out - although I am born and bred in Suffolk and have worked for Suffolk County, Suffolk Coastal, Mid Suffolk and Babergh Councils - there must be a part of Suffolk I have never been to!

Well, there was - Drinkstone, just the other side of Woolpit and this weekend they hosted their annual Sale Trail. 

50p buys you a map of all the houses participating in a table top sale and you can walk (or drive) around the village and pick up a few bargains.
Libby and I spent a lovely morning wandering around and ended up buying 2 books for 20p each, a pencil sharpener shaped like a dog, a jar of home made chutney, several packs of foam pads and double sided tape, a plate of delicious brownies and the blue chair for a fiver!
Everyone was so friendly and chatted to us as we walked around - I was very impressed with the community spirit in Drinkstone!