Home and garden new things – April

One of my favourite things these days is hearing someone say ‘Oh Maria, I did a new thing yesterday!’ I’ve had some lovely comments lately from people who have persuaded themselves to do something because it would be A New Thing, or who just enjoy reading about everyone’s ventures.

April’s theme for my New Things Challengey Group was to do something new in the house or garden. It’s just the time of year for that sort of new thing. Although some of them happened in March and May.

From March (partly inspiring this theme) both Jade and Claire revamped some cupboards. Here are Claire’s:

And Jade’s:

Both Claire C and Emily dug out new flowerbeds – Emily’s is for her daughter:

Emily also tried a new trick – planting parsnip seeds and radish seeds in the same place so the radishes act as a marker to remind you where the parsnips will eventually pop up – and Claire C also started a sunflower competition with her family.

And Emily made this lovely support for her peas on her allotment.


Sarah P sanded and painted a bench. And she went on a bike ride with her daughter for the first time.

Clair bought, constructed and filled a new raised bed planter! And planted it up with yummy veg and salad.

Caroline sent some packets of sunflower seeds to her friends (including me, yay) – they were left over from a mailout at her work. She also planted some herself, but I forgot to check with her whether this was a new thing, too. Caroline is doing a new thing every day in May – check out #newthingeverydayinmay over on Twitter.FB_IMG_1495964399144

Sacha blitzed some plant pots that hadn’t been touched in years and planted them up with flowers.

Alison let her eldest son take over her kitchen while she was out, and ended up not just with some lovely crème brulee but also lessons in how to use her blowtorch that she’s always been too scared to use.

Terry planted a new variety of rocket and Viv planted some basil.

Leona planted seeds in trays for the first time – spinach, spring onions, leeks and French beans.FB_IMG_1493629721275

Jade laid some topsoil and grass seed – the previous occupants of her new home had had a bonfire and done this:

Also this month:

Caroline wrote an article for the International Therapist magazine about massaging homeless people during Crisis at Christmas – this isn’t new but the fact that it got named their ‘Star Communication’ was! And she got sent a free book on Ayurvedic massage. She also:

  • cooked roasted vegetables for the first time,
  • went to a new ballet (Jewels)
  • and was accepted as a volunteer at the London 2017 World Athletics Championships, which means she already has a new thing lined up for August.

Leona volunteered for two hours for the parents’ association flag day at her children’s school, did dance aerobics at her gym, and also did this visit which she volunteered to undertake for a special interest group (a new thing for her earlier this year), and which ended up ‘online and over Twitter which is very cool in a library nerdy way’. FB_IMG_1493629470247

Lauren did her first run commute and enjoyed it so much she did it again the following night. And she bought her first pair of climbing shoes.

Claire C started a new job and went to a metafit gym class.

Jade made some spicy chickpea snacks – says they turned out more like rabbit poo, having been left in the oven too long, but a new thing is never a fail in my book!

Shannon held a baby goat (called Bambino).

Liz and Shannon ran their first half-marathons. And raised over £400 for Mind!

Emily made rhubarb cordial.FB_IMG_1493629663375

Jacqui went to one of the set menu/film nights at our local Wildwood, something I’ve been meaning to do for ages.

Which leads me on to my current theme for May – doing a new thing that you’ve meaning to do for ages! You have a few days to squeeze something in on that theme.


I started this month planning to go back to doing a new thing each day because I was missing it! I promptly forgot – but still managed a fair few new things, not least because I’m in the middle of trying to sell a house for the first time which has generated many new things, some of them a bit scary and exhausting. I’ll save that list for another day when it’s all over! But here are some of the other things I have done:

  • Made two quizzes for work, for a training session. I enjoyed this a lot. I might start making quizzes for myself, tests on how to function better as an adult human.
  • Responded to a ‘wanted’ ad on Freecycle – it was a handy spot for something I had just been about to advertise.
  • Some London new things including getting the tube on my own! Finally. I first mentioned this back in February last year, when I was pondering how this project was making me get round to doing things I had been avoiding – I’m pleased to see I’ve since tackled some of the others, too, although still a few to do. Other London new things included dinner in Chinatown and tea and cake in Whittard’s Covent Garden Tea Bar.
  • Sold something on Gumtree (I’ve advertised something before but it didn’t sell).
  • Set up voice recognition on my internet banking.
  • Donated a magazine to the collection box in Ely public library (they are passed on to residential homes).
  • Tried the vegan samosa stall on Ely market (I have been back since – they are delicious).
  • Went to a new Meetup group, which was also my first non-fiction book group.
  • Made lemon linguine.IMG_20170423_204210
  • Walked in a new place – Ely Common.
  • Went to ‘Earth Optimism‘, which was a new event full stop.
  • Found a swarm of bees!FB_IMG_1495964367662_kindlephoto-2419139

The challenge for June will be for you (and me) to do a new thing that someone else has done as their new thing somewhere on this blog!


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