Update: week 1

It’s been a busy old week. I felt like I’d made LOADS of progress on the challenges but I just looked at the full list again and realised how much there is to get through. Yikes. Still, some progress made…


Horse riding is REALLY painful the day after you’ve done it. And it’s also bloody hard. Kat and I went to Wythenshawe Riding Stables on Saturday for my first equestrian experience. I was queasily sceptical before we arrived but due to my nervousness around horses the people at the stables paired me up with Charlie, a ridiculously placid horse who they usually give to (and I quote) “the kids from the special school” because of his stoic and unflappable nature. Charlie was ace.


Tilly the stablehand is visibly impressed with my skills.

After an hour of vigorous knee squeezing I could just about get Charlie to trot in the right direction. We were moving at speed; the wind was in my hair and the smell of freedom in my nostrils. Man and beast were as one.

Video evidence from Kat shows that we were barely scraping 5 miles an hour, and as the full challenge is to be able to control a horse at canter, I think I have a way to go.


It costs twice as much to take a bag on a Ryanair flight than the flight itself. We’ve reached the end of days. Still, travel to and from Oslo is booked for June, and now Anna and I just need to get some maps and plan the trip. And I probably shouldn’t do any horse riding the week before we go or I won’t make it very far across the fjords.

Deadly yeast

By pure serendipity the day after my birthday someone on a local facebook page was selling a beer brewing kit. I picked it up yesterday in exchange for the princely sum of £40 and have just opened it up to take a look. Alongside the barrel, heating belt, a really big spoon and some cool machine to put caps on the top of bottles, is the kit itself, which is just two big sealed cans of… something, plus a little packet of yeast, all of which is marked best before September 2014. Will this work if I try and use it? Should I use the sealed cans but replace the yeast with some fresh stuff? Will the resulting drink be basically rat poison? Anyone??

If a woman swears in an empty flat… 

…does it really count as a swear? At the moment I’m saying ‘yes’, though I might change my tune as the pennies tot up. I’m 10 days into Lucy’s no-swearing challenge and I have slipped up 17 times that I’ve managed to count. A fair amount of those were when the guys building the new metro line cut through a water main outside the theatre and we had to close the building because the basement flooded – so that’s not really my fault.


Hannah’s lent me my first graphic novel to read as inspiration, the Pulizter Prize-winning Maus. Here she is:


Hi Hannah!

It looks awesome.

Bits and bats

  • I brought my banjo back from Mum & Dad’s house to start working on Jose’s challenge next week.
  • I had two conversations with strangers on the metro but they were both a bit rubbish, one about the weather (hailing. In April. Why?) and one about a fox on the platform, which I thought was very exciting but the lady next to me did not.
  • I’ve bought my first album for Patrick’s challenge. I’ll share when it arrives.

Week 1 round up:
Challenges engaged with: 8
Swears: 17
Conversations with strangers: 2
Challenges completed: 0



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