New things for new people: Caroline (week 4 and a bit)

Here she is with her last instalment. This time I managed (not intentionally) to get in there first in blogging about one of our shared new things – Drink and Draw – but since it was her suggestion to go to it, she must still take the credit.

  1. I had a go at field archery. I’m not sure what that normally involves, but the Center Parcs version involves wandering around a fenced-off forested area and shooting arrows at 9 different model animals. The animals are all ones that supposedly live in the forest (fox, deer), though they must’ve run out of inspiration at a few moments (lynx, capercaillie). You got 5 points for hitting the animal, and 10 for hitting it somewhere that would kill it. This doesn’t sit well with my vegetarian ways, so I just pretended it was a weird-shaped target. In any case, I’m pretty awful at archery so would probably be better off on a plant-based diet if I ever need to go wild and native.archery
  2. I made an origami frog. It is featured in an origami book that I have, which sits on a shelf and never gets used. Until today! I can never claim I don’t have time for things like origami, as this only took about 10 minutes. The power of new things strikes again.frog
  3. I went to Dr Doodley’s Drink and Draw. Again, this is something I’ve been meaning to do for ages, so I’m glad the months of new things meant I got out and did it! It’s simple, you just go to Hot Numbers Cafe every other Tuesday, buy a drink and draw things. On alternate sessions there’s a theme, and on the other sessions it’s a ‘free draw’. This session was a free draw week, so I started off by drawing the cafe (I got very interested in the brickwork), then drew the back of someone, also drawing. I’ve known the organiser, Emmanuel Martin for years, and it was a great couple of hours of just focusing and drawing. Drawing is another thing I ‘never get round to doing’. I also noticed that you look at things much more closely when you’re drawing them. It was through this new thing I found out about the Cambridge Urban Sketchers, who meet up and draw urban buildings. That sounds fun too.
    drink and draw
  4. I learned four phrases in Polish.
    Jak tam u ciebie – How are you?
    Nie mówię po polsku – I don’t speak Polish.
    Dzień dobry – Good morning.
    Cześć – Hi!
  5. I downloaded an MP3, downloaded Audacity AND then failed to edit the MP3, but I’ll figure it all out soon!
  6. I went to see Radiohead at the Roundhouse. I’ve seen them before, but this lead to a new thing – going in the Members’ Bar! I suspect we weren’t supposed to be in there, as we shuffled past some security people demanding to see our very average hoi polloi wristbands, but once we got to the bar, the bona fide member who I do vaguely know due to the Cambridge Web Of Evil ensured we could sit in there. It had a great backstage view of the Roundhouse.
  7. I went to the Bond car exhibition at the London Film Museum. I’d recommend this if you have a passing interest in Bond films, or cars, or both. You get to see smashed-up Aston Martins, props from the various films, and, my favourite bit, storyboards from old films! We were in London for the weekend, so I also did a few more new things, like have a drink at the Green Room near the South Bank (they have outdoor cushions and deckchairs).
  8. I resolved not to use my mobile phone or social media for a day. The social media avoidance thing was easy – Facebook and Twitter seem ubiquitous but actually, if you ignore the device through which you access them, phones or PCs and so on, they disappear. I also *almost* succeeded in not using my mobile phone, apart from a 12-minute call to my parents. They didn’t know I wasn’t using my phone today. I took the call in case it was urgent. It wasn’t. However, I didn’t use it at all for the rest of the day, and it wasn’t even on my person, so I think that counts.
  9. I went to the Museum of Computing History, which is hidden away behind a load of warehouses off Coldham’s Lane. You get to play old PC games and old arcade games – pac-man and so on.
  10. I made red pepper tagliatelle with chilli sauce. We’re a bit stuck in a rut with recipes in our house so it made sense to make my final new thing a new dish. I did change it around a bit – we didn’t have any tagliatelle but did have a lot of other types of pasta, so I used that. The recipe also used aubergine, but I don’t really like aubergine and Chris only does within strict parameters that I don’t truly understand, so I left those out. It involved 1/4 pint of olive oil! 1/4 pint! Was it a typo? I’m not sure, but it was an oily chilli grilled vegetable thing. Might need a bit more honing, but a good end to a month of new things. I could probably do another month just cooking new dishes, actually.

Reflections after a month of new things

Do it! It’s a great way to do all those things you wanted to do but never thought you’d have the time. It doesn’t have to be expensive either, as you could easily spend a month doing new things that are completely free, such as saying hello to a different person every day, reading the unread books/unlistened music and so on in your house, or going on a different walk every day. Don’t worry about running out of new things either. Other people are brilliant for that – they can teach you new things, and they can give you ideas. I did start with a list, but I didn’t do a lot of them. I’d still like to:
– Go to the Museum of Technology
– Go to the miniature railway that does actually exist
– Go to one of the evenings at the Institute of Astronomy (wrong time of year, unfortunately)
– Shadow someone doing a different job to me at work for an hour
– Have a pedicure
– Go to one of the gazillion new cafes in Cambridge
– Have a half hour lesson on a new musical instrument
– Watch someone teach an instrument I can’t play
– Go to a session with the Cambridge Community Circus
– Do acro yoga
– Take a taster class in capoeira
– Have a go at triathlon
– Go open water swimming (I was challenged to do this, and will be doing it next weekend)
I don’t even know what some of those last things are. But Caroline’s lists have given me more ideas for future things, which is always handy. She’s right though – running out of ideas doesn’t seem to be a problem!

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