Friday, 30 April 2010

40 things... 26 months... 1 man!

Well, there comes a time in everybody's life where you simply need to get off your butt and try something new or do something different. It happened to me when I was in my late 20's, when I decided to explore the world. Within the next few years I trekked through the Sinai desert, canoed through the Amazon Rainforest, bartered for goods in Marrakesh, wandered along the railway platform in Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland, fell over the edge of a quarry in Wales, and many other life enhancing experiences along the way.

So here I am, 10 years later... ...time for another set of challenges. And that is where this blog begins, in the middle of April 2010 the gauntlet was thrown and I came up with a list of 40 things that I wanted to experience and enjoy before I hit the big "40"!

40 challenges, 26 months, one man. I hope you join me along the way!

So, without further ado I officially announce the list of 40 challenges:

40 things to do before I'm 40

  1. Visit all 48 ceremonial counties of England

  2. Climb a mountain (without falling off this!)

  3. Improve my cooking skills with a culinary course

  4. Publish a book of photographs

  5. Sample wine at vineyard in France

  6. Learn 3 new crafts

  7. Watch a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre, London

  8. Meet somebody really famous

  9. ‘Do lunch’ in Paris

  10. Dine in Bruges

  11. Party in Barcelona

  12. Watch ‘Cirque De Soleil’ live.

  13. Photograph the ‘Big Five’ whilst on Safari in Africa

  14. Do a good deed for a complete stranger (Pay it forward...)

  15. Master the art of Sushi making, sausage making and pasta making

  16. Read 25 best selling novels that I haven't read before

  17. Replace the bathroom in my house

  18. Eat in 25 restaurants recommended by the good food guide.

  19. Have afternoon tea at the Ritz

  20. Walk along the F1 road race circuit in Monaco

  21. Do an evening class in something fun (not work related!)

  22. Take a ride in a hot air balloon

  23. Go to a music festival

  24. Learn to juggle 3 balls (at the same!)

  25. Sleep in a haunted house/castle

  26. Invest in the Stock market

  27. Have a BBQ on the beach

  28. Enjoy a day at the races in style

  29. Be a member of the audience in a TV show

  30. Drink a pint of Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin

  31. Host a Murder Mystery dinner party

  32. Take a ride on an open top bus tour through London

  33. Sample 100 different single malts

  34. Enjoy a boat trip whilst drinking champagne

  35. Ride a rollercoaster at a theme park (my worst nightmare!)

  36. Gamble in a casino

  37. Visit all the squares of the Monopoly Board in London on one day (with a pub crawl thrown in)

  38. Walk along Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England

  39. Build and light a camp fire without matches, then cook sausages and marshmallows on it.

  40. Take a journey on a Steam train

So that is my list. Each item has its own little challenge. Some requiring travel; some requiring varying levels of ingenuity, dexterity and/or creativity, some requiring rather a lot of food and alcohol; and some simply requiring a sense of humour and sense of adventure. I am writing this first blog post at the beginning of the challenge. I will write plenty of posts as I work my way through the list, sharing plenty of the trials and tribulations, the laughter and the horror (I'm still having second thoughts about the roller coaster and the haunted house!!!), and there will be plenty of photographic evidence on the way too!

Where ever you are, I do hope you can join me on my journey! Oh, and if you already have your own list or you decide to start your own list of things you are challenging yourself to achieve, then please let me know.

Best wishes and see you on the way!!!

A big shout out and thank you to Design Bug for designing this blog site for me!


  1. great list Graham and i could steal a lot of your wishes for my own list were it not for the fact that i am 43 (thank goodness some of your's i did already too).
    jeez, the haunted house... really?
    anyway good luck and lots of fun on these journey's

  2. Hey Ineke!!! You should still do a list! Perhaps 50 things before you are 50. You still have many years to achieve them, so it will give you plenty of time :) I know what you mean about the haunted house. I'll be dreading it beforehand, but it will be a great achievement (If I survive, that!!!!) Thanks for your kind words :)

  3. Wow!! It's seems it's going to be a bussy countdown to 40!!! I think your to-do list it's great...except for the casino stuff...I don't like them too much (they don't like me either, lol). I'm looking forward to read about the hounted house sleep over!!! Cirque du soleil live (Varekai) was one of the best experiences I've ever had =D
    Have fun!!

  4. Ro Ro, How are you? I hope you are well! Thanks for coming by my new blog :) Gambling and me are not friends! I will definitely write about all the details in the haunted house. I will have my video camera and DSLR camera too, just in case I see something or hear something go bump in the night. I am so excited about going to see Cirque du soleil. I have tickets to see it in June. Knowing that you enjoyed Varekai makes me even more excited about going to see Saltimbanco.

    Best wishes ~ Graham

  5. This is a very doable list and you have time to accomplish most everything. Mostly everything sounds like fun.

  6. They would all perfectly fit on my list too! I hope you enjoy every one of them, it's inspired me to finish completing my list! Life of Pi is such a good, flippant, witty book, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Good luck with all, Cheers!

  7. No 2. Does half way up Glastonbury Tor count?
    No 4. I'm writing a book at the moment.
    No 14. Done quite a few times.
    No 24. I can!
    No 25. YAY! Can't be worse than my damp creaky flat!
    No 30. YUK!
    No 31. I'll come!
    No 32. Take a brolly!
    No 33. Don't try them all at once!
    No 35. Done.
    No 36. Done and won!
    No 39. NO CHEATING! Add the words 'or a lighter'!

  8. LOL! Welcome back Azzy! Thanks for making me smile :D

  9. Hiya
    Great list!
    If you need assistance sampling the Guiness in Dublin then Im your woman!!! lol
    Wishing you lots of fun whilst you work your way down your list
    P.S have a ball at the royal albert on Thursday
    Im so so envious

    lots of hugs
    Lynda x

  10. Theresa, it will certainly be fun! Thanks :)

    Batty, I look forward to seeing your list. Thanks for the good luck, I wish you luck with your adventures too!

    Lynda, thank you so much! Hey, a local is always welcome in Dublin :) The first round is on me! lol! I'll tell you all about the Royal Albert Hall on Friday at work! (If I am still awake, as I will be driving home in the early hours of Friday morning...Yawn!) :)

  11. I think you could vacation in Switzerland and tackle a ton of your to do list. ;-) Most sound amazing to me...

  12. I can't wait to hear about the haunted house! :)

  13. Great list! For #7, don't make my mistake - wear comfortable shoes. And the Guinness at the Storehouse I've enjoyed most has always been on clear summer evenings as the sun is going down - the view of Dublin is amazing up there (I used to live next door and went more times than I can count....)


Thank you very much for coming to my blog. I hope you have enjoyed the read and hope you join me as I journey my way through the 40 challenges.

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