New Things Challenge Week 6: community and the natural world

Maybe not a good time of year to have ‘the natural world’ as a theme. I’ll try it again sometime! But the ‘community’ theme was a bit easier. And we have the usual random new things which aren’t on the themes but are very welcome nonetheless, plus a feature from me about some big new community-themed things I did.

Leona met her new nephew for the first time.

Sarah spent money at a local Christmas craft fayre AND, on both themes, signed a petition to help stop Donald Trump ruining the environment (her first petition signed for the environment or about Trump). I almost couldn’t bring myself to mention him on my blog.

At one point Claire C said ‘This week hasn’t been that great for new things!’ But she lied – here’s her list:

  • Did her first 5k race. ‘The best new thing I have ever done!’ (See below for my account of this same race.) Here she is with Cheryl, who I hope doesn’t mind being mentioned on here without me asking!
  • Went to her first village bingo, in aid of the local school. She proceeded to get drunk in her daughter’s school hall. Putting some spirit into community spirit.
  • Went to Ely fireworks with just her husband, for the first time since having children. This was a date night which involved another new thing, eating out for a meal she had won in a competition.
  • Made some wrist warmers.

Rosa touched the arm of the lead singer of one of her favourite bands (Bastille).

Laura went to her first concert at school, to see her son in his first concert.

Viv picked up all the litter from the ‘play area’! fb_img_1479850794773

Charlotte made oat and raisin cookies.

Liz turned 52 for the first time.

Caroline was interviewed for the Cambridge Evening News after having left a comment on their Facebook page questioning an article which stated antisocial behaviour in Arbury has ‘rocketed’, suggesting that they ought to compare figures with those of other wards, rather than singling Arbury out. She was asked about crime in her area so she said she’d never witnessed any criminal activity since moving there. She also participated in a fundraising concert with one of her choirs, which involved singing sea shanties and raising over £300 for charity, both new things. In fact, they raised £930 for the RNLI. Here they are, singing ‘What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor?

Tabea hosted a party and cooked soup and a cobbler for 30 people – she’s never cooked for so many people before.

Sally started her own business! Good luck, Sally!

Claire A manages a team of 45 and does new things constantly as a result, but this week her new thing of turning 39 led to some other new things including:

  • First time having lunch with her husband in Covent Garden
  • First matinee of a theatre production (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
  • Being bought cake by her colleagues (as well as bringing cakes in herself, as is normal in birthday situations)
  • Being taken for dinner by her bosses, for her first 10 course meal!

My big weekend in the community

I did two big things at the end of this Challenge Week which both involved lots of new things. Most importantly, these are two things that I don’t think I would’ve done if I hadn’t spent the year doing new things. I also wouldn’t have done them without inspiration, encouragement and tips from a number of people, in particular Caroline for the singing and all the running enthusiasts I know, beginners and experts alike, such as Claire, Lauren, Kerri, Sian and Liz! And this weekend was a way of celebrating getting to the end of a rather difficult year personally, so I’m quite chuffed with myself. And grateful that lots of lovely people came to the concert to witness it, otherwise I might not quite believe I was there, and to all those who gave sponsorship for the run!

Cambridge Timeline Choir’s first concert: British Bard-Song!

This choir has to be my most favouritest new thing of the year. I was a nervous wreck before my first choir practice back in January so it’s quite unbelievable that I got to this point!

The concert was a new thing for us all and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who’d never performed in a choir concert before (I’m not counting school concerts although I don’t think I was ever in a school choir anyway). As someone who used to be in a band and learnt piano for years, I probably shouldn’t admit that I really don’t like performing. I don’t enjoy being the focus of any attention and I was quite keen just to go to this concert rather than be in it!

Anyway, the choir has supplied a steady stream of new things throughout the year but these are some of the new things that this concert involved for me:

It wasn’t until the evening came that I really appreciated what an amazing programme had been put together – Stef Conner is a genius and I’m very grateful that she and this choir exist! And we were brilliant. Everyone said so. Yay!

Ely Festive 5k

This wasn’t my first 5k event but there were still lots of new things to be done:

  • First time doing this particular event
  • First running event in Ely
  • First chip-timed race
  • First time running in a Santa hat
  • Went round some streets in Ely I’d not been down before
  • Ran in lots of streets and paths in Ely I’d never run down before
  • Ran with friends I hadn’t run with before
  • First time raising money for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. Over £200!

All in all it was one of those weekends where, in the run up, I questioned why I put myself through these things, but now I would do it all over again.20161120_110134



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