Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Updated list

One of the things I've learned so far in this Challenge is that some of the things on my list were over- ambitious.  I have had to be a bit more realistic of what I can do, mostly due to financial constraints.  Also, a realisation I have had, not just in terms of my Challenge & Blog, but in other aspects of my life, is that just because I can do something, it does not mean that I have to do it.  This applies mostly to all the ideas I have for making things; Steampunk creations, jewellery, clothing, whatever.

I also realised that some of the items on my list were things that I didn't really want to do; they were there because I thought I should do them; for instance, having colourful flowers in the garden.  I know that my Mum would like it if I had a nicer garden, but I'm simply not green fingered.  I tried to plant some things, but I don't think they're flourishing.  I have tried it, but since it wasn't really there for me, I have removed it.

Anyway, here is my re-arranged list, with items completed at the top, then remaining things below, so that I can see how far along my Challenge I am.

1   Thames river cruise (18th April 2012)
2   Visit Stonehenge (17th April 2012)
3   See the Northern Lights (2nd March 2012)

4   Visit Thackray museum in Leeds (12th November 2011)

5   Have a Belly dancing lesson (8th January 2012)
6   Do a day of Falconry (24th April 2012)
7   Handbell ringing (16th December 2011)

8   1:1 Barre class (3rd November 2011)
9   Hold a tarantula(!) (25/02/12)
10 Try at least 5 new foods (Finished March 2012)*
11 Do something completely spontaneous (26th October 2011)

In Progress:
12 Read at least 3 classics**
13 Make a corset (K.)
14 Wear more colours, at least half the time! (Steampunk colours, admittedly!)

15 Edinburgh: Spend a night in the Library room at the Witchery, take a tour of St Mary's Close (Edinburgh under-city) and visit Jekyll & Hyde pub!
16 Tour the Victoria Tunnels (Newcastle)
17 Visit Lindisfarne (when Mum comes to visit me)
18 Make a leather masquerade mask (Jo)
19 Have a 4-hand massage
20 Horse-ride along a beach, in the surf :)
21 Rock climbing (indoor!)
22 Take a course in Bookbinding & bind a book. (applying for course starting Sept.)

23 Learn to use a Spinning Wheel (K.)
24 Money-diet for a month (July?)
25 Watch at least 5 'must-see' classic films****
26 Try at least 3 new (possibly SteamPunk) bands***
27 Return to my idea weight (8st7lbs ish)
28 Break myself of the habit of picking at my skin

The following are money/opportunity dependent.

29 Carriage Driving
30 Side-saddle riding
31 Hang-gliding or similar
32 Ride in a hot air balloon
33 Upholstery or Stained Glass making
34 Take a Millinery course & make a hat
35 Have a Capoeira lesson
36 Take a Fan Dancing class

37 Perform at a Burlesque show!
38 Box Brownie photography (J)
39 Make Ginger Beer
40 Make a Dragon sculpture, since it is Chinese Year of the Dragon!

*Bilberries (what blueberries aspire to being!)
  Figs (nice)
  Turkish sweets (too sweet!)
  Samphire (too salty)
  Kiwi Berries (just like a mini kiwi fruit)
  Dragon Fruit (like a cross between a melon & a kiwi fruit)
  Avocado (not overly keen!)
  Lychee (nice but odd texture)

**Old - Beowulf
   Classic - Frankenstein
   Modern - Brave New World, Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

*** Vernian Process, Abney Park, TMWWNBBFN etc.

**** ???? Suggestions welcome!

Falconry day

I had a lovely time at Falconry Days in Northumberland (http://falconrydays.com/index.php).  We got to meet a large selection of the birds, have some of them fly to our gloves, see some fly to the lure and generally had a lovely day.  Something I learned that I hadn't known was that when a bird sheds a feather either by moulting or if it pulls it out deliberately (I'm looking at you Kevin-the-Kestrel!), they are kept so that if a feather gets broken, it can be replaced!  This is called this "imping" (from implanting).

Marmo the Tawny Owl

Kevin the Kestrel (naughty lad, pulling a feather out!)

Prince the Peregrine Falcon

Spock the European Eagle Owl doing one of his tricks; flying to sit between us!
Teal the Gyr/Lanner in flight
Frazer the Harrier Hawk, taking in the view from above


The third day with my German friend & her school group, we went to London for a whistle-stop tour.

We started at Greenwich (which really doesn't look like I've spelled it right, although that might just be too much caffeine, still!) and visited the Meridian.  Last time I was there, many years ago, I think one could actually see the 'proper' line, with all the markings, without having to pay.  This time, we only saw the 'free bit' and therefore just a small portion of the line :(  However, I did get a nice photo of the 24-hour clock :)

24-hour clock and units of measurement
On our way to the Thames for a river-boat cruise, I snapped a pic of the Cutty Sark.  I hadn't seen her before, and she is magnificent!

The Cutty Sark
From Greenwich, we travelled to Westminster, passing all the lovely sights from a distinctly different angle.  I took oodles of photos, but I think this one of the Eye is my favourite.

The London Eye
Ducks in the fountain at Buckingham Palace

We walked to Buckingham Palace and through St James's Park - the squirrels were practically tame!

A very friendly squirrel

This squirrel took a peanut from my fingers - the closest I've been to a 'wild' squizzle!

"You lookin' at me?!"

One of the boys in the school party hurt his foot, so Karin & I took him to St Thomas's Hospital to get it checked out.  Luckily, nothing was broken, but it did mean that we had a couple of hours to spend before meeting the rest of the school group.  We went up to Covent Garden; this shop is new since I was there last & I just loved the sign!

"Agents of Cool"

Too much caffeine....

I had far too much coffee yesterday, and for all that I did ALL THE THINGS! it does mean that it is now nearly 5am & I haven't slept yet!  Since I have to be awake at 8am, it doesn't look likely that I will sleep, either.  So!  What better way to spend a couple of dawn-time hours than catching up on my blog?!  ;)

I've done a few things from my Challenge list since I last blogged.  While I was in Brighton visiting Mum, I went out for three days with my German friend Karin who was visiting with her school group.  During those days, we seemed to visit most of the South of England (not actually, but it did feel like it!)  The Royal Pavilion I've been to before, but seeing it again was lovely, and I had lots of nice comments about my outfit!  We had a nice walk along the Palace Pier (I can't (won't!) get used to calling it the Brighton Pier!) :

Karin & Me on the Pier!

On Tuesday, we saw most of Wiltshire!  (That's certainly what it felt like!)  Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge, Woodhenge, Winchester Cathedral & the Great Hall and King Arthur's Round Table.  Oh boy!  But that's certainly plenty of things I hadn't done before... I think after this round of blogging I'll post an updated version of my list.
The Medieval Clock in Salisbury Cathedral

Description of Clock


The cairn at Woodhenge

The tunnel near the Great Hall
King Arthur's Round Table