The Secret History – Donna Tartt. Page-turning, atmospheric, like an episode of Columbo in that you know whodunnit at the start and the story is about the why and the how. It does drag a bit in the middle when everyone just takes drugs and argues for about 100 pages.
When I was 26 I decided to make myself a list of 30 things I wanted to do before I was 30. Not that I think I’m going to turn into a pumpkin on my 30th birthday and never do anything fun again, but you’ve got to have a deadline haven’t you otherwise you’d never get anything done. I’ve just had my 28th birthday so I’m halfway through and I’m going to have a review of where I am and how I’m getting on.
To date I have completed 16 out of the 30 things. Plus I am chugging along through my 100 books and films, so I now only have 37 books and 23 films left to go. I have allocated points to each task to help keep track of my progress (as obviously some things are a lot easier than others, e.g. going to a gig does not count for as many points as running a marathon). And on that system I’ve done 50.12% so only marginally ahead of target.
So far my favourite things that I have done have been Glastonbury (ticked it off in 2009, but liked it so much that am going back again this year), breaking (I set myself a target of 20 lessons but have kept it up even after meeting this) and circus skills was also awesome and I still want to go back to acrobatics when I can and learn to do a backflip (maybe that can be something for my 40 things to do before I’m 40 list – I’m already planning, oh yes).
So that leaves 12 things remaining, and there’s some biggies on there that are going to take a lot of time. Here’s my plan of action:
1. Marathon / Triathlon – I’m going to try to do the marathon since I don’t have a bike and even if I got one I am scared of riding in traffic. Although I always said that a sprint triathlon over a very short distance would be my get out of jail free card on this one! I wanted to do London because it starts 5 minutes from my house. I’m in the ballot again this year so fingers crossed, but I have also registered for the Brighton Marathon in 2011. More importantly, I need to actually be physically able to run the marathon. I want to do a half marathon in October, so I will have to start increasing my distances soon for that. At the moment I run to work (7k) a couple of times a week and also do a 5k run most saturdays. So obviously a big step up even to half marathon distance (21k).
2. Do the splits – Haven’t been stretching and I haven’t gone to taekwondo in about 3 months so I’m going backwards. Going to start stretching as of this weekend. If I don’t blog my progress on here – nag me!
3. Go to Edinburgh Festival – I plan to go this August for a long weekend, after which I can go and….
4. Climb a munro – I’ll find a nice beginner-friendly one. There aren’t any actually near Edinburgh so I’ll have to go and stay in a nice b&b somewhere else in Scotland.
5. Go paintballing – This should be easy enough to tick off. I think I’ve been putting it off because I know I will be rubbish.
6. Canoeing / kayaking / white water rafting – Plan to squeeze this into my summer hols this year, as well as…
7. Paragliding – eep! But my only other options if I want to tick this off are bungee jumping and parachuting, so I think paragliding is the lesser of three evils.
8. Learn a musical instrument – I have found a likely looking teacher who lives a mile away so I’ll try him out. I have decided on a target of 20 lessons. I just want to learn happy birthday really – that’s the only time I can imagine ever playing in public.
9. Scuba diving – I’m waiting until I’ve got a holiday planned before I do this. I’m happy to learn in a swimming pool in the UK, or on Brighton beach or whatever, but it seems a bit pointless if I’m not actually going to go diving somewhere exotic.
10. Unicycling – I have a unicycle, it’s in my mum and dad’s loft. I thought that it would be a case of just finding somewhere with a suitable wall to balance on and learning by trial and error. But, the circus space offers unicycling lessons – Hooray! But they’re only for under 25s – Boo! Probably means I’m too old for it and might break my hip. I’m waiting to see whether unicycling for golden oldies like myself makes it on the the timetable next year, as I think classes will mean a lot better progress than trial and error by myself.
11. Roller blading – all good intentions of dusting the blades off and getting some practice in this summer, but on my first excursion my blades broke (they were cheap and rubbish). Mr Beet has promised to get me some new ones for my birthday though – yay!
12. Paint a picture – I’m too scared to pick up a paintbrush until I’ve done more sketching. Right – must do at least a sketch a week for the next 4 weeks and then bite the bullet. Remind me to post my sketches so I don’t cheat!