New Things Roundup: 1

This is a magazine-style post, with chapters and that. And I’m pleased to announce that Kerri will be my next companion on the project, doing a new thing every day in July, some of which will be Iceland – jealous.

New things for new people: Claire

Following my recent challenge, Claire was cajoled (NOT bullied) by me, over some herbal tea and massive cake, into completing over a week’s worth of new things. After a few days she just couldn’t seem to help herself.

  • Sunday: had a pitch at Witchford’s yard sale.
  • Monday: cooked with tofu.
  • Tuesday: took her son on his first pre-school outing, on a school bus, to the Raptor Foundation, a new place for them both.
  • Wednesday: made lemon drizzle cupcakes.
  • Thursday: hosted a cupcake coffee morning, in aid of Alzheimer’s Society.
  • Friday: made a Slimming World quiche, cooked with lentils (dhal) and dyed some rice for children’s crafting purposes.
  • Saturday: went with her dad to see his portrait, part of an exhibition of Louise Riley-Smith’s ‘Head Porters‘ paintings at the Pitt Building (also new), plus lunch in Ed’s Diner (new, too).
  • Sunday: made strawberry jam.
  • Monday: got her three stone Slimming World award. Yay!

New things for new people: Paul

This is where getting involved in one event – through work or otherwise – can lead to a plethora of exciting new things! I’m beginning to see the value of stepping back and recording these activities and achievements, so I’m doing it for other people too, whether they want me to or not.

Paul was involved with organising the inaugural MRC Festival of Medical Research. This led to:

  • His first quote in the Cambridge Evening News;
  • His first proper tv interview, by Cambridge TV;
  • His first appearance on said tv channel, broadcast later that day and now available on their website.

The turnout at our event ‘Are you in a healthy place?’ was good, and the audience seemed to enjoy the online polling we used during the discussion, with event host Kat Arney doing an excellent job of getting everyone involved.

Being in a ‘proper’ TV studio was interesting, one of the biggest adrenaline rushes I’ve experienced since soloing in a glider many years ago. Something I’d like to do again!


July challenge

I had so much fun forcing people to do new things the other week (even though most of them were already doing them and don’t need as much challenging as I do), that I’m running another challenge week. By then I’ll have been doing this for SIX MONTHS so it will be a celebration, too! I must admit events of the last 48 hours have made me wonder whether I can muster up the enthusiasm to do another six months, but it has given me lots of happy moments so far, and hopefully it will continue to do so; it’s certainly a brilliant distraction.


  • 4-10 July 2016
  • Themes: music; new places
  • There will be at least one dedicated blog post at the end of it – deadline for submissions is 7pm on 12 July.
  • Photos and additional thoughts welcome but not essential.
  • Feel free to make it a week’s worth of new things on these themes – that is my plan although I have cheekily and intentionally tied it in with my stewarding stint at Ely Folk Festival.
  • Do also tell me about new things you did that are nothing to do with music or new places!

Here are some ideas if you’re stuck:

  • Go to a new village or town.
  • Visit a new stately home or museum.
  • Explore a new park or garden.
  • Go for a walk somewhere new.
  • Try a new restaurant or cafe or pub.
  • Find a new church or cathedral to look round.
  • Go to a new country! And do all of the above.
  • Play a new instrument.
  • Play a new piece on an instrument you can already play.
  • Play music with someone you haven’t played with before.
  • Give someone a music lesson – or ask someone for one.
  • Record yourself singing or playing. Then listen back and then record yourself again doing it better.
  • Go to a concert – a new venue? A new band? A new type of music?
  • Listen to a new radio station.
  • Listen to a new album or new style of music.
  • Go to see a musical, or watch a film of a classic musical you’ve never seen.
  • Go to a ballet or the opera.
  • Watch a music-themed TV programme you wouldn’t normally watch.
  • Sorry I didn’t overlap this with the 2016 BBC Proms – but maybe you could book a last-minute ticket to one!
  • Write a new song. (It doesn’t have to be any good!)
  • Read a biography of a musician.

The possibilities are endless!




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