November 2016: something new each day

I’m pleased with some of the things I’ve done this month although I’m a bit worn out now! I’ve noticed that certain things that would have stressed me out in the past now phase me less.

  1. Went for a distraction run. I’ve done angry walking so I’m progressing.
  2. Spent most of the day in a new place – the Cancer Research UK Li Ka Shing Centre – for two new and unrelated events:
    • Helping at the University of Cambridge’s first Postgraduate Open Day
    • Attending a Cambridge Bioresource Open Evening for volunteers. I’ve been a volunteer for a number of years and have participated in a few trials – it was great to hear about the amazing research that has been possible because of this innovative scheme which is now ten years old.
  3. At yesterday’s Bioresource event, I found out about the National Institute for Health Research Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre’s Patient Public Involvement Panel. Today I contacted them to express my interest in joining up for this. (I signed up properly later in the month.)20161102_165610
  4. Went to the new Cambridge University Centre Wine Bar, a Cambridge Wine Merchants venture. It was a bit odd drinking wine in a room where I usually distribute biometric residence permits (visas) to new international students but it was very VERY nice wine so I am sure I will get used to it.
  5. Listened to an episode of Radio 3 Live In Concert (featuring Juice Vocal Ensemble – research for 19 November!)
  6. Made gift tags that came free with a catalogue.
  7. Made pilau rice. Not from scratch exactly, but from a Curry With Love kit, which is a new thing. Yum.img_20161107_194111
  8. Tried on and bought a coat that a friend had identified for me in advance after I’d put out a desperate plea for someone to please help me find a coat. I actually said I’d pay someone to find me a coat but she wouldn’t accept my money in the end. Thank you, Sophie! Also went to Bread and Meat. I only had beer and cake. This is important information in relation to 18 November.
  9. Ate in The Pickerel Inn. Went to a Cambridge Storytellers event.
  10. Did a song in choir which involved making wind noises and talking/whispering/shouting. And went all the way home carrying a huge peacock feather. No-one seemed to notice.
  11. Made my second ever Victoria sponge, which was my first sponge disaster.20161111_104616
  12. Went to the very handy new cafe in the new Ibis hotel at Cambridge (Chill#02).
  13. Went to the Wellcome Collection. This was to see the Bedlam exhibition.img_20161120_164632
  14. Had a new type of fishcake from Tesco  (I forgot to do something but luckily I had done this very rubbish new thing).
  15. Made a pud in a mug. 20161115_205831
  16. Asked a shop assistant to help me decide whether or not to buy an item of clothing. She was very helpful and I bought it and am very pleased with it.
  17. Went to my first art/craft workshop at Tindalls. I chose the Festive Beginners’ Papercutting Workshop run by Loïs Cordelia. Here she is with one of her pieces. 20161117_154250Papercutting was a new thing for me. Loïs started with an introductory world tour of paper cutting history and traditions – here are some examples from her collection.

    Then we got to work. I didn’t cut myself, yay.
    20161117_120223I’m really glad I did this course because Loïs had lots of tips and I think if I had tried to do this on my own I would’ve got frustrated and given up. Here is my finished article – I traced the outline but the interior design is all my own work! 20161117_154154I also went to Ely’s first ‘Festive Late’ Market.

  18. Had lunch in Bread and Meat. See, I didn’t have an actual meal on 8 November. And I didn’t have bread or meat either. Today I did.
  19. My choir concert! I’ve written about this here.img_20161127_142133
  20. I did Ely Festive 5k. I’ve written about this here, too.
  21. Read about landays. I find it quite difficult to get a proper grip on what’s going on in the world in terms of wars, human rights and so on, and to remember facts about it all, or to know what and who to believe, and I wonder whether, for me at least, this kind of thing is a better way of getting an insight.
  22. Taught myself some basic sign language – numbers and ages. A few days later I could still remember it, which never happens with me when I learn new spoken languages.
  23. I tried to make this cute mosaic kit but it was a DISASTER. So I spoke some Welsh instead, using the ‘Say Something in Welsh’ app.
  24. Sang a Christmas carol in choir. It also happened to be a new carol for me, ‘The Boar’s Head Carol’ (it’s a macaronic carol – in two languages – so now I also know what macaronic means, and so do you). Played a human drum game.
  25. Tried a sloe-flavoured beer (Adnams Slow Porter).
  26. Used a voice recognition dictation feature (on my tablet) to write something (my blog). Could be life-changing.
  27. Went to a country music gig (The Shires). I used to think I didn’t like country music but after going to lots of folk festivals I’ve learnt not to be quite so closed-minded. It’s always good seeing live music, anyway, and this was no exception – they were very impressive plus they had four guitarists in some songs and I don’t think I’ve seen that before. There was a nice buzz and a different demographic to anything I’ve been to before.
  28. Tried ‘Winter Spice’ Ribena. img_20161128_220042_kindlephoto-87245503
  29. Saw another new band – Belshazzar’s Feast. First gig where we were given a carol lyric sheet. Lovely evening.
  30. Saw Teenage Fanclub. Not seem them before but more importantly, first time going to a gig on my own! This was on my list. I lasted until they went off stage the first time (‘Ain’t That Enough?’) and would’ve stayed if it wasn’t Wednesday and I hadn’t had three gigs in four days and my feet hadn’t hurt and I hadn’t been really squished. I don’t think I’ll be going to gigs on my own very often but at least now I know I can.

I still haven’t quite decided what to do next year but I now have the inklings of a plan. One of the problems with doing a new thing every day is there isn’t time to carry on doing any of them. So I could go through my year and make a list of, say, ten things I want to do more of next year – e.g. paper cutting, singing, running – and see how I get on. But I’m still tempted to keep logging any new things I do, because of all the benefits this entails!


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