Bearing in mind how huge the internet is and how many people have blogs on Word Press and other sites, it’s incredible that anyone has even found me! But I’m so chuffed to have some followers who patiently let me ramble on about the things I want to do and who read about some pretty amazing experiences. Thank you!
So, 10 months ago, I decided to start a ’50 things to do before I turn 50′ list as I also did one leading up to my 40th birthday which was brilliant fun. However, my current list has expanded into a ’50+ things’ as I’ve already done 36 things and I don’t plan to now slow down. No chance!
You may not have noitced the ‘Sarah’s main bucket list’ page so I thought for those people who’ve started to follow me more recently (and for those who’ve kindly been on this journey over the past few months), I thought I’d summarise what I’ve done so far before telling you what else I’ve got planned! Right, take a deep breath………!!!!!
In October 2017, I rented a beautiful riverside house in Dinan, France all on my own for 7 days and visited a Commonwealth war grave, photographed Mont St Michel and visited the Palace of Versailles amongst many other things. I also realised that I must have scraped a grade C for my GCSE French many years ago as my knowledge of the language was shockingly bad and I ended up relying on sign language, a big smile and hope! I also found that I really can’t cook…..and came back 7lbs lighter!
Just a few weeks ago, I went on the P&O stunning Ventura cruise ship from Southampton to Belgium with a friend and explored Bruges. My next cruise is already planned!
Fun days out and trips in the UK:
Since August, I’ve visited 39 of England’s counties so far (9 more to go) and have explored 10 cities (Wells, Canterbury, Chichester, Winchester, Bath, Exeter, Salisbury, Newcastle, Chester and the City of London). I’ve seen lots of great things too such as the Roman Baths, the Magna Carta in Salisbury, a Banksy work in Dover, Kew Gardens, Avebury, the Hellfire Caves in Buckinghamshire, the viewing deck of The Shard and the stunning Thursford Christmas Spectacular Show in Norfolk that we’ll be returning to later this year. I also watched the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with about 100 other people at the Mercedes World cinema which was really fun!
I did a fabulous road trip in May when I travelled north and ate at THE most amazing treehouse restaurant in Alnwick where I also visited the poison gardens at the castle. I also photographed the Angel of the North, went to the Keswick jazz festival in the Lake District, went on boat trips on several of the Lakes, drank whiskey in Gretna Green in Scotland, ate at the Rollercoaster Restaurant at Alton Towers, fed breakfast to monkeys in Trentham, went to the World of Beatrix Potter, went to Chester Zoo, saw the Royal Shakespeare Company perform Romeo and Juliet in Stratford Upon Avon and did the tour of The Making of Harry Potter in Watford. I also popped into Wales as I was just 20 minutes away and stayed at the beautiful Applegarth Villas where I went into a hot tub for the first time! And this was all in 6 days on my own!
An actioned packed day in London a few months ago included visiting colourful Neal’s Yard, going up to the Sky Garden, seeing the boats at Little Venice, exploring the London Museum, having lunch at the British Library, seeing the 9 3/4 Harry Potter platform sign at Kings Cross Station as well as lots of filming loctions.
Filming locations in London and elsewhere in the UK include: Bridget Jones’s flat by Brough Market, St Bartholomew-the-Great church used in lots of films including Four Weddings and a Funeral, the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in Leadenhall Market, the blue door from Notting Hill and locations for the films Hot Fuzz, Love Actually and the Holiday. However, my favourite place was actually having breakfast at the American diner from Sliding Doors which is in the Docklands in London.
One of the most fun things to do has been to pay for a family’s meal in a restaurant without them knowing who paid! I loved that one. It was the whole anonimity of putting smiles on other people’s faces!
I’ve now had more than 120,000 readers on TripAdvisor and achieved over 50 of its digital badges. I pulled a pint behind the bar, learnt to play the ukulele, joined the National Trust and did a snow angel in my back garden! I also trained at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, and, last weekend, saw a film at a drive-in cinema.
I’m working my way through 50 new foods and have done 41.5 hours of voluntary work towards my target of 50 (which will be achieved by the end of June).
Wow! Writing it like this really illustrates to me how much I’ve packed in! And now, looking forward, these are the remaining things I’d like to do before I turn 50, athough this list is growing all the time! The first 5 are happening in July…..!!!
Things still yet to do:
- Do a ‘Dino Snores for Grown Ups’ sleepover at the Natural History Museum, London
- Photograph the Lordington lavender fields
- Watch a sporting event at the Olympic stadium in London
- Go to God’s Own Junkyard
- Have high tea at ‘Downtown Abbey’ (Highclere Castle)
- Visit Venice in Italy and Little Venice in Colmar, France
- Go through the Eurotunnel
- Learn to read Braille
- Eat at Dans le Noir, London where you eat in the dark!
- Complete a beginner’s course to learn a new language
- Play bingo
- Do a tour around Highgate Cemetery, London
- Sleep in a castle
- Go on the Orient Express
- Have a trial helicopter lesson
- Go by train all the way up to John O’Groats
- Take a photo of the Lands End sign
- Take a photo of St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall
- Watch Liverpool FC play at Anfield
- Photograph the Six Public Clocks at Canary Wharf
- Visit the Crossrail Place Garden Roof
- Stand on the Prime Meridian Line at Greenwich
- Find the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
- Photograph the colour of Carnaby Street
- Visit ’10 Downing Street’
- Visit the Kyoto Gardens in Kensington
- Visit the Hindu Temple in Wembley
- Go to the Lumière festival in London (held each January)
- Go to the famous Lewes bonfire parade in East Sussex
- Go to the Chelsea Flower Show
- Go to Eurovision in 2020
- Visit friends in Texas
- Go to the ballet
- Enter a photography competition
- Be in the TV audience for The Last Leg
- Drive a tank
- Go to the tomato festival in La Tomatina, Spain
- Take part in International Pillow Fight Day
- Go to a ‘Pick Your Own’ and make something from my haul
- Photograph the Coca Cola Christmas truck (as seen in the TV adverts)
- Knit a blanket for charity
- See the Northern Lights
- Have a go at church bell ringing
- Watch a film at the Backyard Cinema in London
- Operate a drone
- Create an object in a blacksmith’s forge
- Have a professional manicure
- Drink at the Churchill Arms, Kensington that spends £25K on flowers, etc. annually!
- Drive up Hardknott Pass in the Lake District
- Have lunch on No Man’s Fort, Portsmouth
- Go glamping
- Visit 10 countries that I’ve never been to before
- Watch a performance at the outdoor Minack Theatre in Cornwall
- Watch England play netball at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022
- Go to a desert or rain forest
- Drive along Route 66
- Get at least grade C for GCSE history
- Serve food to the homeless
- Operate a pneumatic drill
- Fill and bury a time capsule
And, on top of all of this, I’m doing a photography bucket list which has involved many more trips out that lised above. I’m also continuing with the weekly voluntary work (that I’ll continue to do past my 50 hours), running a consultancy firm and, most importantly, being a wife and mum! Whilst it’s important to get the right balance between work-fun-chill, I’m also a believer in living every day like it’s your last!