Tuesday, 23 August 2011

30 rock(s) - hopefully

Yikes, this is a long one!

Inspired by two lovely ladies and many more in the past (and far too numerous to mention here save the clever one cat per person) I have decided to write my 30 before 30 list. I am not usually one for setting aims for myself because of the fear of failure. However the is something so intrinsically delicious about a to do list.  The stark page just waiting to be filled with hope and dreams. The filled page waiting patiently for perhaps the most satisfying moment where one can strike out a wonderfully completed task. Yes, lists are good.

So 30 things. There are so many things I need or want to do. So to choose the profound or mundane. 

Just promise not to be disappointed when I fail miserably! (I am probably talking to myself here).

Now 30 for me is in about 6 months. Not scared by the 30ness more about the lack of time there is to accomplish said things. Well I should say that I never used to be scared of the 30ness. 30 seemed deliciously grown up and with grown-up-ness came stability and money and joy. Yes money to me equals happiness. What an awful thing to admit. 

Hmm perhaps it is time I stop associating money with joy. Sadly this association has been something drummed into me by my mother. She grew up with little (financially) but a loving hard working family. She then came to London and became a yuppie. She worked hard. In some ways she really did not want children. She really dislikes children. She married late for her age (for 1979), she married a younger man and they married alone with only 2 witnesses. The families did not approve on either side. I am always confused by their marriage and the subsequent me and brother. Why did they have children - because they wanted babies, because of social pressure, thinking they needed children to be happy. I just don't know. It always seemed to me like an odd choice on their part. (Perhaps linked to other issues I may have?)

This sounds terrible but my childhood was all about money (or more accurately) lack there of and the sacrifices my parents underwent to give us a good start in life. The 80s were hard for them. I guess it was a difficult change of pace for them. Something I always hear in the back of mind when thinking about about children. 

So perhaps my most important point on the list is this one.

1. Learn that money does not equal happiness. 
I have my Bean. I am lucky. I find myself in a joyous bubble of love whenever I am with him. Come on girl, learn this.

2. Write my (hopefully thrilling and entertaining) wedding story.
Whilst I do harbour dreams that you will find this enthralling and life changing I really want to write it for myself. I've started. It's just harder than I thought it would be.

3. Learn to drive.
Admitting that I can't drive is bad enough. I really need to do this before my capacity to learn is completely decimated by age. I am petrified at the thought of being behind the wheel. The power and the fear. I think this may have something to do with a school friend killing herself when driving late at night shortly after qualifying.

4. Reply to emails in a timely fashion.
I get some seriously awesome emails from people. I owe you an email. I am sure of that.

5. Declutter.
I need to get rid of stuff. It is painfully apparent that my life is painfully overly full of stuff. I need to get rid. With this in mind there may be a future post of wedding stuff I wish to offload. Would you like some cool wedding shit? Let me know.

6. Start a fricking awesome new website.
Seriously, I think I have a really something you are going to love. 

7. Find myself a job.
Whilst there is a little voice in my head saying I really should return to medicine. That cannot happen until August next year (at the earliest) and I need me to get me out of the house. It may be as a volunteer or paid. Either way I need something.

8. Find a little place for Bean and me.
We need our own place. Whilst I am grateful and lucky to be offered space in my parent's home. It's not my home any more. Got a lead? Know of somewhere cute and cheap?

9. Get fit.
Yeah, let's run a 5k and maybe 10k in the nearish future. Being fit is far more important to me than losing weight but hopefully a happy by product? Also I don't want to have to get fit. I want to want to. I want it be part of my daily routine.

10. Finally go to New York.
My god, why has this not happened before. (P.S. Does anyone have a place Bean and I could perhaps maybe crash whilst in NY - perhaps sometime in November for maybe 3 nights?)

11. Become a cocktail genius. 
Perhaps create a signature drink for myself. It will probably include elderflower.

12. Ride a horse and try to scuba
I never liked the horsey girls at school, save my friend Woody. However Bean would love to go pony trekking in Patagonia so I should probably at least see if I could stay upright on a horse before then. Clumsy anna would probably say no. As part two of operation honeymoon I would like to go somewhere and look at the pretty coral and fishes.

13. Encourage at least 10 people to donate blood.
This is one of the things you can help me with. I can't give blood for a year because of the evil jaundice. So can I find 10 new donors (or perhaps a lapsed donor?)? If you are Londonish, I would be happy to come with you and then perhaps buy you a virginal drink? What do you say, I promise, it is not bad.

14. Learn photography
Oh yes such an easily attainable goal. I think I need to find a good evening course. I hate how bad a photographer I am.

15. Make my hair look shit hot.
I have no idea what that means. I have been watching old SATC episodes and want the non ombre (aka roots) hair Carrie often rocks.

16. Make Christmas awesome.
This year we are going to Bean's house. A house full of love and food. His mother usually does everything. However this year we are going to contribute. We may get them a cat amongst other things. There will be onesies, stockings and nog. 

17. Finally finish our wedding album.
And then perhaps actually buy it with money from new job!

18. Send letters.
I love to write letters. I want to write pretty letters on pretty papers. Would you be my penfriend?

19. Learn my ancient history.
It frustrates me not knowing the name of the Greek god of rabbits or the mother of said god of rabbits and what not. This will inform my crossword skills. Oh yes super cryptic crosswords I'm coming for you.

20. Improve my French skills.
Well if the parents are going to live in France and where they will live is really not Little England. I'm going to need to ask for more wine and prawns.

21. Love more.
Love my husband. Love my friends. Love you. I want to give more of myself to people. I want to see more people and nurture these relationships. I'm pretty sure I am not a bad person. So let's have some fun?

22. Be more positive.
Baby steps anna. This is a good first step. How can I prove I will be more positive is more difficult. We shall see. Part of this includes cherishing the people who are part of my life and not begrudging those who choose not to be part. Their loss, not mine.

23. Eat my 5 a day.
Part of no. 9 but I am not good at getting my 5 fruits and vegetables.

24. Drink something other than Sauvignon Blanc.
I do love my fruity whites. However, it is time I found different wine to enjoy. I would rather like to learn more about wine too. (Also I do mean drink other wine. I do not drink wine exclusively).

25. Take a tentative step towards writing comedy.
Perhaps submit a joke to a radio 4 show? I talk about this a lot. However never actually try. I don't mind if I get shot down, I just need to try.

26. Learn how to "do" make-up.
Sadly my mother is the one with lipstick on her teeth. I did not sit at her knee and learn the techniques. I need to learn. Can you teach me? 

27. Put the iphone down.
I need to actually use my own sweet little alarm clock and banish my phone from my bedroom. I think there have been two occasions I have acted upon information received in the middle of the night. It's just not worth the broken sleep to be continually checking my phone.

28. Learn a new signature dish.
If you come over for dinner and Bean isn't cooking I will most likely cook you seafood risotto. It is yummy but I think it's time to mix up my culinary repertoire. Included in this is learning to chop like a mother fucker.

29. Visit my grandmamma more.
She deserves a nicer granddaughter. She is a wonderful lady.

30. Foster kittens.
This is dependent on having our own home. But a potent motivator, indeed.

Hmm, this seems workable. Although it may change as I realise it is not! Sorry if it all seems rather mundane but sometimes I think mundane is good.

So do you have a list? Would love to hear about it.

(Note edited already -23/8/11 because I realised some things are more important.)


  1. What a wonderful introduction to your blog-I couldn't haven gotten to know you quite so well as quickly through any other vehicle! And oh, PS-I like you a whole bunch.

    xox, Lena

  2. I've been a lurker for awhile and thought now is the time to chime in - great list! I like making little life lists, I don't usually accomplish half the things on it, but I do at least try one or two things that are outside the norm for me. I look forward to hearing about your successes!

  3. Love this list. Particularly the writing letters bit. I would make a good pen friend. But I'm a bit manic and like punctuation and proper titles and capital letters. Hate abbreviation. Would you still want me!

  4. Great list Anna! Hope you achieve most of them before the big 3-0! Look after yourself and look forward to hearing the updates x

  5. This year instead of goals, I've been running through a list of things I wanted to do. It's been pretty great. And I like it much better than goals. I have it up on my site and post about it usually once a quarter. Have fun with your list! You've got some great stuff on there!

  6. I love your list, and I am in the process of making my own. Good on you and I am more than sure that you will make a lot of those dreams and wishes come true my lovely.

  7. I love this list. Enjoy achieving these wonderful things.
    I wish I had done one before I turned 30. (I will have to do a 40 version when the year comes!) 30s are brilliant you know? x

  8. Oooh I love this list! It has inspired me to do one of my own. 'cept it will be 40 before I'm 40 thing, you know. I love your number 9 - I'm actually just about to go to the gym and feel a little spring in my step now ;)


  9. I love this list!! And I ALSO want to drink other/learn more about wines - we should find a wine tasting course in London town somewhere and do it!! (obvs only if you fancy company!!)

    Also love the fostering kitten idea - kittens are the best...and all the other points (now blathering...)


  10. To all the lovely ladies (and perhaps odd (in number) gentlemen) who perhaps fancy receiving pretty letters in the post. Please do drop me a email annaandtheringlondon {at} gmail.com with your address. Ask and ye shall receive. (Although regular readers will realise I am not one good with the grammar and what not!).

    @Charlotte-yes please. Will have a look into wine-ness.

  11. Your list and my list could be BFF's lol.
    I really want to give blood but have this hellish phobia! My whole body goes floppy and I cry alot!

    Also was looking for people to write to but it's hard to think of people, so if you want a pen-pal just ask.

    I think this list is great! xxxx

  12. I love your list. I love lists in general. I would be perfectly content to sit around all day writing lists. I enjoy creating organizational structures for my life (setting goals, creating action steps, setting up reward systems -- can you tell I'm a program evaluator in my 8-5 life?) The only problem is I only like the planning and the organizing. I don't like the doing. I can design a workout routine that I know will work wonders for me, an eating plan that I know will keep my blood sugar levels perfectly regulated and perhaps also lead to a few lost pounds, and I can set up lovely excel spreadsheets tracking all of my spending. But I can't manage to get my ass up off the couch to actually do said exercise or make the effort to stock my kitchen with the things I do need to eat (rather than with ice cream and marshmallows), and tracking your spending is not the same thing as having it under control.

    Hmm, perhaps because my lists aren't really fun? Your list seems more fun rather than being filled with things that seem like punishment. Must add fun to my lists. Like learning to use a jigsaw. I've been hinting really hard to my guy about power tools for my birthday so here's hoping.

    Please share your new signature dish once you have found one and pictures of the foster kitties when that becomes a reality.

  13. 30 does rock i have to say and i wasn't sure it would. i have a life list and it's pretty fun to be able to check things off it.

  14. Great list Anna. Especially like learn ancient history, make Christmas awesome & signature cocktail with elderflower. As I look towards 40 can I just say being 30 is great.

  15. I love your list Anna. It's endlessly fascinating to read what other people's goals are. I found the idea of learning drive really terrifying for similar reasons (my sister was in a bad car accident plus I'm the most uncoordinated person ever). But when I did start learning to drive that fear eventually transformed into caution and I think it made me a better driver than I might have been otherwise. Just take your time and find a lovely instructor

  16. I love your list Anna! It reminds me to revisit my own...or perhaps craft a 33 before 33 one? Driving still remains on my list :)

  17. I love a list, and love ticking things off more. Good luck with yours.

    For number 26 (?) have a look at Sali Hughes tutorials on The Guardian website.


  18. Anna - i share number 28 with you - cooking skills are minimal in my Super Glossy life - he he!! fortunately my man is fabulous in the kitchen, otherwise i would live on toast, biscuits and gin!

    I wish i had done one of these lists before i was 30 (2 years ago now). Instead i hit 30 then decided that there were several things i needed to start doing - you know, to up my game! I started having facials and getting my nails done - the things you think grown up well groomed ladies do! i had better do a 35 list pronto (need to add: wear dresses more and learn to walk in heels)!


  19. Good list Anna... I always think you should put an easy one on there like give up smoking (if you don't smoke) just so you can tick something off immediately. Kittens and NY are my favourite ones – I'd be happy with just that! :)

  20. 1,5 and 9 would be enough for me right now and I'm nearer the next landmark!

  21. thank you for your comments on my blog :) loved reading this impressive list, and yes, go to NY like now! Very interesting, I'd love to do so many of them as well xox

  22. Do you know what - this list is fab!!! i turned 30 a few months ago and feel at piece with it but there are quite a few things i want to do before the whole babies thing (fingers crossed) You have inspired me!!
    Rachie xo
    PS: I passed my test a couple of years ago but i'm completely rubbish driver, on my list should be drive more and become confident! It annoys me I find it so scary!! xo

  23. I'm turning 30 in February too. I feel like I should have a list. Might get working on it. I think learning to drive will be pretty high on the list, I have put it off for so long but I am determined to do it now, 30 can be my deadline for no longer being a pedestrian.

    Will you keep up posted on how you get on with it?

    L x

  24. I have a great idea for you, practice french, then do a wine tour in France! Two birds, one stone. Also, you should swing by DC while you're in NYC - :)

  25. What a beautiful list! If I were in NYC, I'd definitely offer my place to you and we'd shop and eat to our heart's delight!
    I love the mix of other sweet things from loving more to learning photography (two things I'm working on too!) As for new dishes, I love to try new things and the NY Times health section and the Minimalist are great places to start!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living


So, I really love all the sweet and/or informative comments that you lovelies leave. Yet if you feel the need to be unnecessarily rude or offensive I will delete your comment and not feel bad about it. So just be constructive alright! Hugs to all you wondrous others.


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