May catch-up


Amazing May!

We’ve moved in proper to our house …and discovered it takes 7 weeks to get a sofa! So we’re enjoying a very romantic month(s!) of sitting on the floor. =) We’re also really, really enjoying gardening. (Our neighbors are amazing! One dropped off a bag of bulbs for us to plant and another one brought us a bird feeder!) Stuart found a frog and a newt while weeding, and I am in love with all of the massive peonies!

IMG_1616Sprained my ankle in the most important basketball game of the season for my women’s basketball team. Worth it! We won. Requisite photo of me at A&E (Emergency room!) with our winner’s medal. =)

Made for an interesting time at the wedding I was to attend the following weekend. So long, high heels! And what a tricky drive home from Glenrothes (basically in 5th gear the whole time so I didn’t have to push the clutch down… uh oh).

Also we explored our city a wee bit – a pal moved to Newhaven so we met for brunch at The Old Chain Pier. Amazing eggs benedict! And a stunning view of the firth of forth from the window seats. We later went to the Newhaven town fair which was super quaint. =)IMG_1530

Ended the month with a wee dinner birthday party for Handsome S, at Wings! followed by Supercube karaoke. With the help of generous sharing from my friends, I managed to hit my Wings-target so keep your eyes peeled for the 30-flavours-of-wings post, to come. Getting closer for karaoke as well with an additional +3 hour stint.

Have totally withered on my Duolingo and CodeAcademy/edX studies. BUT am now looking into doing a CIM qualification (as my work has kindly offered to sponsor me). We shall see! Carpe Diem, right?

With the new house, we’ve also made SERIOUS moves to throw away/recycle/donate SO MUCH STUFF. We traded in board games at Black Lion for an amazingly generous swap, and also donated easily 50 items (mostly books and clothes) in one go to a local charity. We bought a sledgehammer and S destroyed these two coal bins in the back garden as well so we got to clear out the ‘last’ of it on a trip to the local dump. Oh the joys of home ownership! =) Great fun really. I mentioned the sledgehammer, right?

readingKimiko Hahn – Air Pocket (at least the first part of this book is basically the collection/poems I dream of writing..)

Annual re-read of Where Rockets Burn Through. Still amazing!

Also received my special supplementary books and things from the Kickstarter funding of Coin Opera 2!

And enjoyed listening to The Best American Short Stories of the Century on tape on my rides in to work!


Clean Bandits – Rather Be (this video is of dancer, Koharu Sugawara, that I learned about through my pal Yoko’s newsletter Why Aren’t We Dancing?)
Ellie Goulding – Beating Heart
Foxes – Holding onto Heaven
Unicorn Kid – True Love Fantasy
Tove Lo – Stay High (Habits remix) feat Hippie Sabotage
Odesza – Sun models ft madelyn grant
Siren – I Think I Like You

May the force be with you?

30 by 30

With 11.5 months left until my next birthday, I’ve made up a wee list of goals I aim to achieve before the big day.*  Not in any particular order, and I’m not going to stay 29 until I finish them all. But wish me luck all the same!:

  1. Adventure! (go somewhere new)
  2. Apply for UK residency – DONE!
  3. Buy a house – DONE!
  4. Carpe diem (take opportunities when they come) – IN PROGRESS
    (Beekeeping, Save the WorldDonate my hair)
  5. Catch a fish – DONE!
  6. Clock up 30hrs karaoke
  7. Cut 30lb
  8. Dine on coins – DONE!
  9. Donate/bin 30 of my possessions
  10. Go to a music festival – DONE!
  11. Grow my own garlic
  12. Learn German
  13. Learn to code
  14. Learn to do a two-finger whistle
  15. Learn to quilt
  16. Mommy&me vacation – DONE!
  17. ‘Own’ my city (discover, explore)
  18. Ride in a helicopter – DONE!
  19. Ride in a hot air balloon
  20. Ride more rollercoasters – DONE!
  21. Run a race – DONE!
  22. See the Northern Lights – DONE!
  23. Take up archery
  24. Travel the UK by train – IN PROGRESS (Derby)
  25. Try all 30 flavors at Wings – DONE!
  26. Try glass blowing – DONE!
  27. Try Paleo – DONE!
  28. Try silversmithing
  29. Wake up at 6am for 30days – DONE!
  30. Write a poem a month (at least!)

Backburners: return to Japan, go on a cruise, make our wedding book, learn millinery, practice Spanish, adopt a pet, take a bookbinding masterclass, learn basic auto mechanics, do the splits, do make-up properly.

More 30s: complete 30 DIY projects (ie. use up the craft trunk!), see 30 films, read 30 books.

29th birthday cake, homemade by S!
29th birthday cake, homemade by S!

Positive review
It feels like an intimidating amount to accomplish, but also not (two-finger whistle?!). Still, I think it’s also important to reflect on some of the things I’ve already done that are probably bucket list material:

I’ve lived in multiple countries, seen the sunset over the Grand Canyon, danced all night in Las Vegas, walked the Brooklyn Bridge, been to the top of the Empire State Building. I’ve done stints as a HS English teacher, a vegetarian/vegan, an online shop owner; I gave a speech in another language to over a thousand people. I’ve been kayaking, zorbing, swam with lots of cool fish (even turtles!), been on ALL the rides at ALL the theme parks in California, seen hundreds of beautiful firework shows (some over castles). I’ve graduated from University (twice!), got married to an amazing guy. I’ve had my poems published in great magazines and read them all over, including at an International Book Festival. I’ve flown kites, camped in the wild, been to all-inclusive resorts and spas; I’ve volunteered – building houses with H4H, at a local city farm, at a library, etc. I’ve taken classes in bookbinding, sewing with a machine, screenprinting, and how to drive (and drive stick in the UK, tricky!); I play basketball with a great local women’s team. I’ve picked my own fruit, baked my own wedding cake, been an extra in a movie, gone to Coachella in the good old days, donated blood. I’ve been to the UK, USA, Mexico, Japan, Poland, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, Philippines, and beyond!

So here’s to spending the last year of my 20s adding lots of great things to this list!

*Inspired by my lovely boss who is doing a similar challenge for her next momentous birthday occasion.