30 before 30 – the results

8 06 2018

Just after my 29th birthday I wrote a list of 30 things to do before I’m 30. I’m pretty pleased with how I’ve done, I knew it’d never get all done, but it’s really pushed me to do some new things this year! You’ll notice the list below is changed a bit from the original list – I reviewed it a month or two ago to try and make some of them a little more achievable, but it hasn’t helped much.
And yes I’m counting a book I finished this morning because I’m not fully 30 until 4.45pm!

I think it might be interesting to see how many more I can complete before I finish being 30…
Anyway, results below!

  1. Buy my own home. COMPLETED 15th September 2016
  2. Climb a mountain. COMPLETED 26th May 2018
  3. Dye my hair.
  4. Fundraise £300 for a good cause.
  5. Get below 10 stone.
  6. Get my next photobook printed.
  7. Give Blood. COMPLETED 23rd October 2017
  8. Have a go on a cello.
  9. Have a meal at the Hand and Flowers. COMPLETED 21st October 2017
  10. Have a pedicure. COMPLETED 26th August 2017
  11. Learn all the countries of the world and complete the Sporcle quiz.
  12. Learn how to curl my hair.
  13. Re-learn how to do the rubiks cube. COMPLETED 16th July 2017
  14. Re-learn the sign language I learnt 4 years ago and have forgotten.
  15. Try coming off my anti-depressants. – DOSAGE REDUCED
  16. Visit NYC, Disneyland Paris or Iceland. – COMPLETED March 2018
  17. Watch a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre. – COMPLETED 8th May 2018
  18. Watch Friends all the way through.
  19. Learn 3 new pieces on the piano.
  20. Sew 3 items. – TWO DONE
  21. Read 30 books.
    1. Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley COMPLETED 28th June 2017
    2. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld COMPLETED 11th July 2017
    3. The Humans by Matt Haig COMPLETED 23rd July 2017
    4. Spectacles by Sue Perkins COMPLETED 31st July 2017
    5. The Know-It-All by A J Jacobs COMPLETED 28th July 2017
    6. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae COMPLETED 30th August 2017
    7. Salty Sam and the Windy Day by Christina Sinclair COMPLETED 30th August 2017
    8. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler COMPLETED 30th August 2017
    9. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory COMPLETED 6th September 2017
    10. Remember, Remember (the fifth of November) by Judy Parkinson COMPLETED 11th September 2017
    11. The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond COMPLETED 25th September 2017
    12. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis COMPLETED 5th October 2017
    13. Anne of Windy Willows by L M Montgomery COMPLETED 28th October 2017
    14. How to Stop Time by Matt Haig COMPLETED 2nd December 2017
    15. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens COMPLETED 31st December 2017
    16. Some Kind Of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher COMPLETED 6th January 2018
    17. The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year by Sue Townsend COMPLETED 21st January 2018
    18. Brain Freeze by Tom Fletcher COMPLETED 28th February 2018
    19. How Not To Be Wrong – The Hidden Maths Of Everyday Life by Jordan Ellenberg COMPLETED 30th March 2018
    20. Still Me by Jojo Moyes COMPLETED 5th April 2018
    21. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman COMPLETED 19th April 2018
    22. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett ABANDONED 6th May 2018
    23. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood COMPLETED 22nd May 2018
    24. The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer COMPLETED 8th June 2018
    25. Something by Jane Austen
  22. Get meals I’m confident to cook up to 30. (not including things you just put in the oven or microwave….)
    1. Spaghetti Bolognaise
    2. Chilli Con Carne
    3. The Bacon Dinner
    4. Sausage Casserole
    5. Shepherds Pie
    6. Tuna/Vegetable Pasta Bake
    7. Fish Burger
    8. Peach and Chick Pea Curry
    9. Roast Chicken
    10. Toad in the Hole
    11. Lasagne
    12. Risotto
    13. Beef Stroganoff
    14. Chicken Curry
    15. Kedgeree
    16. Fish Pie
  23. Get things I’m confident to bake up to 10.
    1. Victoria Sponge
    2. Chocolate and Banana loaf cake
    3. Cheesecake
    4. Brownie
    5. Blondie
    6. Flapjack
  24. Learn 30 bible verses by heart. 0/30
  25. Write 3 handwritten letters to friends. 1/3
  26. Write 3 letters to MP or organisations about ethical issues. 0/3
  27. Write 3 prayers. 0/3
  28. Get the Eurostar somewhere COMPLETED 9th December 2017
  29. Learn pi to 30 decimal places. 27/30
  30. Go to a Ballet COMPLETED 30th December 2017
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The Shock of the Fall – by Nathan Filer

8 06 2018

Matthew is about 19 when he tells us this story, at least, I think he is, but it jumps around a lot it gets quite hard to follow.
When he was younger, his brother Simon died on a family holiday – we don’t get many details until later in the book, but it’s done real damage to Matthew. He’s gone between living on his own, being in psychiatric wards, other care places, to be honest it’s quite hard to follow. He also still sees Simon around… and avoids taking his medication to keep seeing him.

There’s a computer available to him in one of the places and he’s writing his story, which in places is what we read – I think that’s what the bits in typewriter font are meant to be, but I’m not sure, it’s quite hard to follow. You’ll notice I’m repeating myself, he does that a lot too, so I quite liked the idea of adding it in here!

The book flashes back to his childhood with his brother, to that holiday, to the time after, all through to the present day, but not always in any given order, and he can jump somewhere for a paragraph then jump back to where he was just before. It’s quite hard to follow.

It’s not a bad book, but I don’t know that I’d rave about it. I’d probably put it at the good end of average, or the average end of good.

That said, there was a line I really liked: “Reading is a bit like hallucinating”. I’d never thought of it that was before!

He also talked about the worst thing about his illness was that it made him selfish. I think that’s something true of a lot of people with mental health issues (me included) – I think sometimes you have to be selfish, in order to look after yourself, but actually that can be one of the hardest adjustments!

A decent book, but probably not one I’ll reread….!