week #38 shoot

This week I shot an air rifle. The key achievement seemed to be managing the manual lever system to create the compressed air needed to fire it. That was a full on arm workout. I did enjoy hitting the targets (last night’s beverages) which I suppose is the purpose of these things. Perhaps it would…

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week #37 makeup

This week I’ve put myself in the hands of my daughter to give me a full works face of makeup, using everything in the armoury to create the look. This is weird for me. Day to day I use tinted moisturiser, and that’s only really for the SPF, usually plus mascara and sometimes a bronzer…

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week #36 silks

Another physical challenge this week, I hung out upside down and tried out arial silks for the first time. Two wide strips of fabric hung from the ceiling to use for creating a series of holds and poses and a tough workout along the way! Something really liberating about putting your movement into a fully…

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week #35 poledance

I say pole dance, but this challenge was a tough one so perhaps not quite at the ‘dancing’ phase just yet! I was lucky enough to have a 121 for this introductory session and quickly realised that my upper body strength was going to have a steep development curve if I’m ever going to master…

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week #33 re-use

This week I took up a challenge to buy an outfit from a charity shop. I’m a great donator of items to charity shops but rarely a purchaser. I should also add that I’m not particularly into clothes or shopping so making myself go and buy clothes is always something of a challenge. But if…

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week #34 acupuncture

This week’s challenge was to try acupuncture for the first time. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years for many health issues and I felt like it was something that I should find out more about and experience at least once. I decided to use this technique for stress relief, it has been a…

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week #32 canoe

A little messing about on the river is always a great way to spend a warm summer’s day. I’m on holiday and happy to be able to enjoy a change of scene after months of working at home. I went with the whole family, and some lovely friends, to canoe our way down the Wye.…

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week #31 career coach

Part of my year of 50 challenges is being open to trying new things, including things that previously I had perhaps been hesitant to try or sceptical about, and this happens to come at a time when my work has been both uncertain and challenging. So it feels positively luxurious to turn my concerns over…

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week #30 horse archery

This was one of the 50 challenges that I have been MOST excited about. A true physical challenge for me to try something unusual and demanding, combining horse riding and my freshly acquired (basic) archery skills. Fortunately one of the few UK centres that offer this was only an hour away from home and after…

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week #29 environmental B

Back on with a couple more environmental challenges this week after my first adventure back in week#5. I’ve done a renovation job on our bird feeding table. It was looking a bit sad and apart from being a garden eyesore it didn’t seem to be too popular with the birds. Along with this I’ve been…

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week #28 plant food

The challenge this week is to increase the variety of plant food that I’m consuming. It’s a fairly simple challenge, I logged the variety for last week and then tried to beat my intake this week! Whilst I think my diet has a good level of variety it’s easy, when busy with life, to return…

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week #27 archery

Finally allowed out and so a new physical challenge! Last week I was talking about upper body strength and here’s one of the reasons I wanted to make that a target. Archery is a mix of skill and strength and to give it my best shot (nice puns eh) I was keen to feel that…

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week #26 handstands

What’s all this about, why am I making handstands one of my challenges? Well firstly I spent a lot of my childhood upside down (very keen on gymnastics), secondly I hate the idea that I might not be able to do something that I used to be able to do (why I sometimes run even…

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week #25 dawdling

As adults I don’t think we do enough dawdling, most things that I do are within a time frame and are generally required to be done quickly so that I can get on to the next task. So this week I have been concentrating on dawdling and think that it will be incorporated into my…

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week #24 publish

For my challenge this week I have put together an article aimed at women to get them thinking more about their pensions or retirement financial plan. Back at the beginning of the year I spoke to a women’s group in my workplace about some of the factors that affect women’s earnings through their working lives,…

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week #23 foraging

I’ll come clean. This was largely about my love of elderflower and so I needed a challenge week to be built around an opportunity to try making elderflower cordial. Early June is peak time for the flowers and here we are. After weeks of glorious weather I gathered the blooms in wind and driving rain,…

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week #22 declutter

Is everyone decluttering at the moment? It’s on my list and if you saw my house you’d understand why 😉 but what does it actually mean? I’ve been testing it out this week and I think it means more than just chucking stuff out. I think it means reviewing how you do things, what you…

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week #21 scrubs

After dusting off the sewing machine in week #19 and then seeing the need for more scrubs in UK hospitals it seemed as though this was a challenge being put in front of me. Perfect for a 50in50@50. To be honest it was also looking like one of the more testing of my challenges, I…

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week #20 choux choux

Choux pastry. I’m not that keen on cream cakes, hence previously avoiding the weird mysteries of a pastry made in a saucepan, but custard fillings are another matter entirely so it went on the list. Never made it before and it seems I may have met my 50 challenge nemesis. But challenges are not challenges…

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week #19 1st time

Showing someone how to do something for the first time was an item already on my list but it seems that in our current lockdown this is something that many people will be doing, whether they like it or not! Spending more time as a family has given us greater opportunity to share knowledge and…

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week #18 clean green

I’ve been reading about green cleaning for a while and it’s on my list of 50 challenges in 2020. Like it or not the lockdown situation seems the perfect opportunity to give it a go! Marigolds on and washable ecloths at the ready. I’m seeing how the more environmentally friendly options compare to our usual…

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week #17 lifelonglearner

This week I have signed up for an Open University course. It’s an estimated 25 hours commitment and I’m really excited to have got started on something to tickle the grey cells. I am a strong believer in life long learning but it does tend to get pushed aside when daily life is busy and…

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week #16 foodbank 50

I’m a long term supporter of food banks, usually donating food as part of my weekly shop. So this challenge was on my list prior to the current circumstances. I knew that normally it’s around May that stocks tend to get low and that during the course of last year high demand was already being…

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week #15 national dish

It’s lucky that I already had some ‘stay at home’ challenges on my list. This week I’m cooking things well known as a national dish but which I have never had before and definitely never made myself. With the help of some of my international friends I have come up with a few things so…

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week #14 insect protein

Does this title strike horror into your heart? Why? Here is a tasty, nutritious and environmentally friendly food source. Eaten by millions of people around the world but just not so much by us here in the West. Massively less land and water required than for meat production, all the essential amino acids and rich…

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week #13 activism

How do you feel when you read that this was achieved with a public petition: “NHS and social care staff will be given free car parking during the coronavirus outbreak, after 400,000 people signed a petition urging the government to thank NHS workers by scrapping charges”. Did you sign it? Do you see yourself as…

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week #12 women in film

I had no clue that my 50 challenges would be tested through a global pandemic, but whilst I’m spending more time at home and looking for ways to stay positive it’s been the ideal time to look for inspirational stories of women told on film. I’m looking out for celebrations of female achievement and empowerment…

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week #11 purple veg

When purple is my favourite colour and purple veg is known to be highly nutritious then it sounds like a retrieving challenge (50in50@50) to grow my own. Coincidentally this week I got free beetroot seeds from my supermarket – it’s a sign! The purple sweet potato got great press when it was shown that the…

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week #10 new city

What happens in your head when you visit a completely new location, particularly if you get the opportunity to experience another culture? I’m always excited to go somewhere new because I switch off from day to day worries, becoming totally absorbed in seeing and hearing what’s going on around me. It’s a visual feast to…

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week #9 sourdough

About ten years ago I ate a whole loaf of fresh warm bread for lunch. I was hungry, it was fresh and irresistible. Then I got an awful stomach ache, felt sick, weak and dizzy for a few hours. This was confirmation of my nagging suspicions and the final nail in the coffin for my…

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week #8 curling

I’m on ice this week and testing out a physical challenge to try curling for the first time. It’s a sport that’s been on my list for some time. I’m a winter sports fan so visit locations where curling is available, but before setting myself 50 challenges I hadn’t made the effort to go. I’ve…

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week #7 musical horizons

I listen to a lot of music and I think I have broad tastes but…where does that music come from? Almost exclusively Europe and North America. Time to look over the horizon and find out what else is out there. The joy of the internet is that I can instantly track down recommendations for international…

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week #6 blow torch

Using a blow torch in the kitchen always looked like a pretty cool thing to do to me, the instant transformation of food, the involvement of a lot of sugar and the opportunity to play with fire. What’s not to like. Not sure how tricky this was going to be to get a good result…

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week #5 environmental A

This week’s challenge is about trying to reduce my environmental impacts. I already do my best with our recycling but get frustrated about how much can’t be recycled, so can I reduce the packaging that we have coming into the house? I’m also looking into my garden to make it more wildlife friendly. It’s week…

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week #4 micro-lending

Time to calm things down a little after the excitement of the axe wielding and long lunches for 23. I read about micro-lending a while ago and was keen to give it a go. As you might expect it means lending small amounts of money. Or at least small to me but with big implications…

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week #3 cousins@100

When was your last family gathering? I have 9 first cousins and also 5 brothers and sisters who all range in age from 24 to 51. With that age gap and also due also to location, I haven’t always seen that much of them over the years. I thought that the new year would be…

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week #2 axe throwing

It came as a bit of a surprise to me that axe throwing was a thing that you could turn up and do, a bit like a bowling alley but with very sharp objects. Once I saw it though I was in no doubt that this had a be a 50 challenge. Different, exhilarating and…

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week #1 – get online

Of all the challenges that I have thought up that this is one of the ones that intimidates me the most. Terrifying!! I have never made it much further than Facebook. I have some reservations about social media, one of the key ones being ‘who has time to look at all this stuff?’ and another…

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I did that!

If you are thinking about new adventures or activities it’s definitely interesting to reflect on previous experiences and to consider revisiting them.  I recommend focusing on the legal ones.  I was made to sing in the school choir (on the basis of headcount and not any talent) but suspect that voluntary participation as an adult might be…

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