Update: 111 days in

Time for a quick update on the 27 remaining challenges.

The Good

Make your own dress – as I don’t own a sewing machine and can’t even stitch a button I’m putting myself in the hands of the experts at Manchester’s Junk Shop. They run beginners dressmaking courses in the Northern Quarter, I’m booked in for a weekend in September.

Stand up on a surf board – dates are in the diary for a trip to Abersoch with Richard and co in October.

Learn to ride a horse – I need another date with the lovely Charlie. Possibly on the bank holiday weekend. Co-conspirator Kat is out of town though so it’ll be a solo mission.

Chill-out/unplug once a month – I’m getting there with this one. I was bad at it in May, had a lovely day in June, watched TV all day in July (not in the spirit of the challenge) and need to shoehorn something into August.

Create a graphic novel – started. It’s about robots.

Listen to 30 albums from around the world – I’ve done a really excellent first three. I’m keeping a record of them here. Any recommendations – send them over.

Send nice letters to strangers – I have completed the most important step and bought some nice stationery. I’m going to try and send the first few notes this week.

Busk – I’ve found a partner in crime for this challenge; the lovely Bryony. She’s coming round soon for a jam session so we can plan our set list. I’m excited.

The Bad

Get Naked in Public – I couldn’t get to London on the weekend of the Party in the Stark so I’m investigating other naked options. I really wish I’d been in Hull during Spencer Tunick’s Sea of Hull project – that would have been perfect. It’s the Great British Skinny Dip weekend at the start of September so maybe I’ll just find a friendly bit of beach…

Celebrate Your Awesomeness – I have tried twice to start this list, but both times I can’t help writing a second list of faults and improvements. Must try harder.

Read Middlemarch – started it. Got to page 80. Got bored. Started a different book. Need to pick it up again.

Learn a song on an instrument you don’t already play – I brought my banjo back to my flat but haven’t cracked it out yet.

Sing solo karaoke – haven’t put a date in the diary for this but I have complete faith that I’ll get it done by Christmas.

Show some gratitude – I haven’t done any of the one-to-one chats yet but I’m thinking about this a lot and making notes. I’m a little nervous about starting it properly and looking like a dick. I need to bite the bullet.

Talk to strangers – I’ve been doing this intermittently but I need to be more focussed. Sadly I’ve not met the love of my life on the East Didsbury metro line yet. There’s still time.

Learn to drive – I’ve started investigating local driving instructors and I’m just waiting to build up my savings a bit so I can start learning soon and have a good crack at it.

Lie down in public  – haven’t done it yet but might do it in Edinburgh this week. Is that cheating, doing it somewhere where I’m surrounded by arty wankers who won’t bat an eyelid? Maybe.

Dye your hair a crazy colour – I had grand plans to do this with Laura a few weekends ago but forgot about the logistics of getting a skin patch test first. But I’ve picked a colour… 

The Ugly

Learn to breakdance – haven’t even started.

Walk from London-Brighton – just a reminder, that’s 60 miles. I walked 17 with my dad the other day as part of the Offa’s Dyke Trail. It took 8 hours and everything hurt.

Research your family tree – haven’t started. Sorry family.

Write a children’s story – haven’t started. Sorry children.

Enter a photography competition – haven’t started. And I’ve managed to take my good camera – but crucially not the camera battery – up three mountains so far this year. Because I am smart.

Learn two guitar duets – haven’t started. Haven’t even picked them. Yikes.

Become a master chef – haven’t started. Help.

Knit/crochet something to wear – haven’t started. But it’s more of a winter activity anyway. Right?

Become a Youtube star – haven’t started. Don’t want to start. Why have I done this to myself.


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