June 2016: something new every day

Halfway through the year! I was briefly tempted to stop there…but I have two new things booked in for 1 July, not to mention a new guest blogger and another challenge week, so let’s see what happens. Here’s what I did in June.

  1. Had dinner in Bedouin. Delicious, atmospheric and nice service.
  2. Publicised my blog on a stranger’s blog (a few strangers read and followed me as a result).
  3. Signed up to Camp NaNoWriMo (for July). What on earth to write, I wonder? This might not happen.
  4. Cooked monkfish. Prepared marinated lamb for tomorrow’s dinner ready for the slow cooker (it’s possible I have been organised enough at some point to marinate something the night before, but not for my slow cooker).
  5. Cooked lamb shanks. They were amazing. My slow cooker got its annual outing but as I have never tried its rice cooker and steamer functions, I will be keeping it handy to use those for future things, as long as I can find my user manual!IMG_20160605_183039
  6. Started organising a DIY open house ‘party’.
  7. Started a bullet journal.
  8. Read a scene from a Shakespeare play I haven’t read before (Richard III). Read the corresponding Sparks Notes, too. This is the first Shakespeare play I’ve picked up since school. Also taught myself a new keyboard shortcut (how to flit between two monitors). Need to learn more of these.
  9. Sat and ate my lunch at a Cambridge market stall. A nice holiday-y thing to do – I even caught the sun. The (Thai) stall was also a new thing.
  10. Tried some new fruit – yellow pitaya and flat peaches. The yellow pitaya had a similar texture to kiwi but tasted more delicate and sweet. The flat peaches tasted like not-flat peaches.
  11. Now. Before you laugh at me, I HAVE changed light bulbs before. Many times. However, before today, I don’t recall going out on my own, having written down what I need, and buying one. Buying the right one, no less. I didn’t realise it was a new thing until I’d done it. The fact that I’d been without a bedside lamp for many weeks was probably a sign that there was some cluelessness happening. I agree that it’s ridiculous. I have since gone and bought another identical one, so I have a spare AND I know where it is because I put it there. Anyway, now that I can mow a lawn and buy the right lightbulb, maybe I should start believing that I CAN live on my own semi-competently (I can do all the other things that this entails, obviously). A slightly delusional lightbulb moment!
  12. Made a new cake – cappuccino loaf cake. First time I’ve done the skewer test and made frosting, too. IT TASTED LIKE A PROPER CAKE even though it looks a bit mangled. I’ve made it since – it looked better but tasted less squishy, sadly.13413142_1006290826119784_3001935767170052740_n
  13. Did a plank. Not for very long. But it was at the end of a day of DIY and my back hurt less afterwards, so I think it still counts. I’ve nicked this one off Caroline. I will try and do it every day in July and see if I get better at it.
  14. Went to an organ recital. This sounded fairly innocuous when Jacqui suggested it, and on the day it was a bit of a ‘Shall we? Go on then’ kind of thing, but as first organ recitals go, this turned out to be a bit of a special occasion, so I’m pleased we went. I live a 5-minute walk from a beautiful cathedral that I hardly ever enter except for book talks and Christmas fairs, so for a start it was nice to go to what I think is only the second musical performance I’ve been to there. It was for the 90th birthday of Arthur Wills, composer and Organist and Director of Music at the cathedral from 1958-1990. Seven of his former Assistant Organists performed some of his works, followed by Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, which was nice to hear as I used to be able to play some of it on the piano. Arthur Wills was in the audience and got a standing ovation and said a few words at the end, so obviously I cried, which is a bit silly given that I’d never heard of him before today. I conclude that organ recitals probably aren’t totally my thing but I’m sure I could sit through some more of them, especially if I already know the music. And I have no idea how anyone can play an organ – it looks like trying to play drums and keyboards at the same time. And it was free. Very pleasant.
  15. Set up a Facebook event and invited people to it (my July New Things Challenge!)
  16. Went to Sheffield. Went to my first Home Office event. Went to the legendary (in my world/head) Vulcan House. Got escorted to the toilet for security reasons – like when you’re having an exam although I never actually did that in any exam ever – how on earth did I manage? Went on the train, first time travelling on that route beyond Peterborough – 6 hours might also be the longest I’ve spent travelling by train in one day. Disproportionately pleased with myself about today as travelling generally is one of my big ‘on my own’ things I need to tackle. It’s a step nearer taking myself away on holiday somewhere! When I’m 50 maybe I’ll be ready.
  17. After yesterday’s braveries, I let myself off with a new type of beer (which I’ve forgotten the name of) and a new type of rocky road (finally got to try one of Anthony’s apricot and almond offerings from last week’s challenge week – delicious even five days later). Also bought a black coffee for my morning train journey – first and last time. 15 minutes is not long enough for me to drink something so scalding and dangerous. AND watched Paul being interviewed on Cambridge TV – first time I’ve seen someone I know on there, and a new thing for him, too!
  18. Went to the ‘Contemporary 6’ exhibition at the Babylon Gallery. Friedel Buecking, Christiane Haag, Libby Jones, Mali, Sue Ribbans and Danny Israel.IMG_20160618_153743
  19. Had a vegan day. Fruit with Alpro yoghurt plus two new recipes: Squash and Barley Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette and Slow Cooker Chickpea Coconut Curry. Very easy to get 5 a day; today I had 12. Yum.
  20. Went to the Ramadan Fasting Feast in Ely. Organised by the Ely Muslim Association and supported by ten local restaurants, this was a lovely generous event with a free meal for appreciative local citizens like me! And a strawberry moon rose while we ate.
  21. Did an exercise routine with my medicine ball. I’ve had it in a box so long that by the time I’d finished it was basically flat, so I won’t be doing another one for a while.
  22. Went to an event as part of the new (new for EVERYONE) MRC Festival of Medical Research – ‘Are you in a healthy place? Travel, food and our neighbourhoods‘.
  23. Voted BEFORE work.
  24. Watched voting results during the night (morning). As this is supposed to be a positive blog and this experience was horrid, there’s not much I can say about it. I’m not sure whether it’s better to watch a nightmare while it unfolds or just wake up to a shock.
  25. Replaced a blade in a Stanley knife. (Not connected to 24 June.)
  26. Did angry baking, and mowed the lawn with no other responsible adult around. (I actually forgot to do anything – Brexit-brain – but these two things WERE new and DID happen.)
  27. Went to a garden party at Newnham College. I don’t know why I feel the need to point out that this was a lovely thank you gesture, rather than the sort of jolly that I get to go to all the time. Anyway, look at that beautiful garden.
  28. Joined the Electoral Reform Society. While I am horrified by many aspects of this referendum, including the outcome, it got people out voting and I think it was the first time I felt my vote hadn’t just vanished into thin air by the time it was all over. Imagine if it felt like that after a general election; my votes are normally a total waste of time in East Cambs.
  29. Went to a Mindfulness taster session and a ‘Come and Sing’ event, both as part of my work’s ‘Festival of Wellbeing’. If this festival hadn’t been planned for this week already, I think they would’ve had to create one especially. I think I would’ve chickened out of going to both of these events last year.
  30. Tried rhubarb vodka. In a pretty cocktail; not sure why I didn’t take a picture. Santé! Cin cin! Proost! Etc. 




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