At the beginning of the year, rather than commit to new year resolutions, I set myself a challenge to achieve 52 things in 52 weeks.
It was a random list, a mix of places to visit, things to learn, things to do, sometimes a one off achievement, sometimes an ongoing commitment over twelve months.
Now that we are half way through the year, here is a review of the 52.
High level stats :
2 unable to complete
14 on track
17 still left to do
In January we spent a lovely day in Gibraltar, so challenge number 1 was ticked off on the second day of the year. During that holiday in Seville, Spain, I drove on the other side of the road in our left hand drive hire car. I can do it, but I didn’t like it. I’m happy to let Aussie Mate be designated driver on such holidays. Back in the UK we had a fascinating day at The Old Bailey.
We had another wonderful day out in February when we did our “Circle Line Challenge”. During this winter month of long, cold evenings, we watched nineteen movies that were made before I was born. We both enjoyed a variety of genres and got to know some of the big screen idols of that era. February was my first complete month of voluntary work, in a charity shop. It was an eye opening, new experience.
March was a frustrating month as we waited to exchange contracts on our house sale. I cooked and sorted out possessions as we planned to pack up our UK life. I re-red my 1985 journals and wrote notes for blog posts. Finally we had a move date. We tried to book breakfast at the Duck and Waffle restaurant in London. We didn’t expect the restaurant to be booked for two months in advance. That was the first challenge that we were unable to complete. We couldn’t get a table for breakfast, lunch or dinner until May, when we’d be in Australia.
In April, we turned our lives upside down. We sold our home of twelve years, packed up and flew to Tasmania. Within nine days we had moved into a waterfront rental apartment. We look out over the River Derwent estuary. Although I can see land across the water, it is tidal, so in my mind I am now living by the sea. We explored and found several beautiful deserted beaches. I wrote messages and drew hearts in the sand. We discovered that Garagistes Restaurant in Hobart had closed earlier in the year. That was the second challenge we were unable to complete.
May was the beginning of various new experiences. We went to a rugby league game in Sydney and saw the moon rise over the Pacific Ocean. In Tasmania, the Milky Way is visible even from Hobart. With minimal light pollution, the night sky is just stunning. We also begun to visit places with historical importance, such as The Penitentiary Chapel.
Last month, we continued to explore and experience life in Hobart with a visit to MONA gallery and attendance to an Aussie Rules football game. I also joined the global “post crossing” community.
All of the long term challenges are on track. I missed two weeks of sending a postcard, the week we left the UK and the following week when we arrived in Australia. I think this is an acceptable margin of error, considering how busy those weeks were, so I’m marking this as on track.
My blog continues to grow, with more visitors viewing more posts month on month. I am following more blogs myself and interact with other bloggers through various challenges, weekly photos, bench series, weekly walks, occasional 100 word challenge. I am thoroughly enjoying this online community. My blog has grown way beyond my initial idea of keeping in touch with family and friends. And photography continues to be an important part of each day.
There are still things to do so I’m looking forward to the second half of the year.
Still To Do
7 ~ Drive along Australia’s Great Ocean Road
8 ~ Visit Puddleduck Vineyard on a picnic day or duck race day
10 ~ Get a new job
12 ~ Visit Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania
15 ~ Make a driftwood Christmas tree
20 ~ See moon set over the ocean
21 ~ Bake my own bread
22 ~ Skinny dip in the ocean
23 ~ Go to a drive in movie
24 ~ Participate in a protest
27 ~ Paint a picture
29 ~ Get to a healthy BMI and maintain it
30 ~ Visit Western Australia
31 ~ Send a message in a bottle
36 ~ Take a moonlit walk on a beach
37 ~ Lie on my back in the rain and watch the drops fall
48 ~ Expand my Twitter network
2 ~ Live in another country for 6 months minimum ✔
4 ~ Send a postcard every week for a year ✔
6 ~ Blog for a year ✔
13 ~ Complete 365 Photo a Day ✔
16 ~ Complete “a sentence a day” journal ✔
17 ~ Learn the Southern night sky ✔
33 ~ Learn more photography techniques ✔
34 ~ Learn more photo editing techniques ✔
41 ~ Hike on Mount Wellington, Hobart ✔
43 ~ Reduce my alcohol intake, have alcohol free weekdays unless special occasion ✔
45 ~ Regularly go to the local farmers market ✔
49 ~ Expand my blog network and blogs I follow ✔
50 ~ Organise my jewellery and wear it more often ✔
52 ~ Take a selfie every week for a year ✔
Unable to Complete
39 ~ Breakfast at the Duck and Waffle, Heron Tower in London ✘
40 ~ Dinner at Garagistes restaurant in Hobart ✘
1 ~ Visit Gibraltar ✔ ✔
3 ~ Drive a left hand drive car on the right hand side of the road ✔ ✔
32 ~ Observe a court case at The Old Bailey, London ✔ ✔
11 ~ Do some voluntary work ✔ ✔
35 ~ Watch 10 movies that were made before I was born ✔ ✔
47 ~ Complete London Underground Circle Line challenge – my own version ✔ ✔
14 ~ Make blueberry muffins ✔ ✔
42 ~ Re-read my original gap year journals from 1985 ✔ ✔
46 ~ Make banana bread with C~M ✔ ✔
51 ~ Sort out my wardrobe and be realistic ✔ ✔
9 ~ Live by the sea ✔ ✔
38 ~ Draw a picture / message in the sand on a beach ✔ ✔
18 ~ See the Milky Way ✔ ✔
19 ~ See moon rise over the ocean ✔ ✔
26 ~ Go to a rugby match ✔ ✔
44 ~ Visit Penitentiary Chapel in Hobart ✔ ✔
5 ~ Join “postcrossing” ✔ ✔
25 ~ Go to an Aussie Rules match ✔ ✔
28 ~ Revisit MONA in Hobart ✔ ✔