Sunday, January 1, 2012

The End

Well, it's been a while, hasn't it? I turned 40 in November and for some reason I kept putting off doing this final blog post. After all, it's the end of an era, this blog has opened so many doors for me and helped me meet some wonderful people. Thank you to all the people that have supported me along the way. There has been highs and lows in the last four years since I set out to complete my 40 things list. Thankfully more highs and I've done an amazing amount of stuff that I would never have thought possible, being the coach potato that I am! My favourite task? Probably climbing Ben Nevis - I never thought I would ever do anything like that and now that the scars have healed I'm even thinking about climbing some more. My least favourite task was probably driving the Ferrari. I had a complete prat of an instructor that contradicted everything he said and made me come away hating the experience.

Out of my original list there are a few left that I would probably still wish to do, so I've transferred them and a few others on to a life list for my new new blog I'm also still doing the paper reviews for Radio Nottingham, so you can catch me on there once a month.
Well, I guess this is goodbye or should that be Au Revoir?

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Aha blog! Did you think I'd forgotten about you? Never! You are always at the back of my mind, always looking for another opportunity to cross one more task off my list.

I'm just back from a long weekend in sunny Scarborough. Unfortunately there never seemed to be the opportunity to complete my skinny dip task, so I will have to ear mark that for a secluded river somewhere in Nottinghamshire. I am grateful I didn't do the mass skinny dip that I talked about in a previous post, due to several reasons. The most important one is that the 'discreet' photography wasn't all that discreet having seen some of the photos in the press. Seeing my ample assets would certainly put most people off their breakfast, that's for certain.

My wonderful friend, Frenchy Phil, has sent me a French disc to spur me on to learn a new language, so you never know I may just be able to cross that task off before I turn 40.

As for my 40th itself, I can't really decide what to do. I thought about having high tea at one of the restaurants in Nottingham for all my girlfriends, but none of my friends know each other, so that could prove to be a little awkward. I think me and the husband (who turns 40 in September!) are just going to book a table at World Service. I'm hoping to have lost some of my excess baggage by then, so I may even treat myself to a new frock - push the boat out so to speak! I don't think I relish the idea of having a big do. I hate being the centre of attention at the best of times, so whatever I get up to on the day, will be discreet.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

8) Go To An International Football Match In The New Wembley

When I was a die hard football fanatic, the thought of going to Wembley every season was like mecca. Thankfully I went four times as a Nottingham Forest supporter, but never quite managed to see an international match there. Wembley at that time was in dire need of a refurbishment. The whole place looked decrepit and I remember there was always a problem with the toilets over flowing.

Turn the clock forward twenty years and we now have a brand new sparkling stadium. Gone are the infamous twin towers but instead we have a stadium worthy of being our national homage.

I caught the coach with a whole host of other supporters in Nottingham, taking us just over 2hr 45mins to do the journey into Wembley. The approach is still the same, still have to go through
an industrial park to get there, but finally ending up just outside the stadium, parking in a concrete jungle.

The first view I saw was this:-

Not a bad old view is it? A fantastic structure. I was trying to relate it to how the old stadium stood, but having not been for over twenty years, it was hard to place where the twin towers once stood - I'm sure also we never used to park that close to the stadium either.

I had a good walk around the building and then located my entrance to the turnstile, which meant me climbing the stairs and walking round the side of the building, where I came across this:-

the Bobby Moore statue - captain of the 1966 World Cup team - you know the last time that England actually won something and didn't fall down on penalties! Quite a lot of people were hanging around here, which seemed to be the main meeting point. I had a wander around a bit more, bought an ice cream and a programme as you do - typical that the only day that it's blazing hot in this country and you are at a place where there is no shade!

Then the turnstiles opened and as my fair skin was beginning to get a little frazzled thought it was best to get inside and in the shade. The turnstiles are a new sophisticated system, where you place your ticket under a reader and then it beeps to allow you to push the turnstile open - so glad that I followed someone in that had done that before, because I would have just stood there not knowing what the heck to do! Then to my joy I found that I was in the noise bleed section of the stand, so five flights of stairs later (had to walk off the ice cream) I was there and thankfully the seat was just inside the entrance:-

My first view was this:-

The stadium was huge and something that my little camera couldn't really grasp the enormity of it all. I hasten to add that this was about 3:15pm when I took the photo - which was 1hr 30min before kick off. It was great to savour the atmosphere and the build up to the game. I people watched, I read my book for a little while and watched the stadium start to gradually fill up to a mind blowing 86,500 thousand people!

Which looked a little like this! The atmosphere was incredible, especially when everyone stood up to sing the national anthem. Then I have to say it fell a little flat. The game itself was dire. England were down 2-0 at one point. Some how when you don't feel that attached to the team (I barely knew any of the players and those I did know ended up going off injured) then it doesn't mean as much to see them win. But I savoured the occasion - I knew I probably wouldn't do it again. So I people watched again, which probably gives you an indication of how dire the game was and then at 80 mins I decided to head back to the coach park, as I didn't fancy coming out with the rest of the 86,000+ people.

So all in all, it was one of those tasks, very much similar to Wimbledon - glad I went, I enjoyed it whilst I was there but probably wouldn't do it again, but hey, you don't know until you try these things, do you?

Friday, May 27, 2011

My Week

Had another appearance on BBC Radio Nottingham on Wednesday, which went well as always. Also got my ticket for the England match this week - can't quite believe it's only another week away! Also was very tempted by this all in the name of completing another task off my list of course. Then I checked my diary and realised that I was going to my friend's daughter's Baptism - divine retribution?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'm Alive!

Hello, you will be pleased to know that I am alive, just awfully busy at work, so busy in fact at the mo, I just seem to work, eat, sleep in a continous circle with not much chance for anything else. Need less to say my list has suffered some what. It's Murphy's law that now I am back earning a wage I can now afford to do some of the tasks that I want to but unfortunately I just don't seem to have the time to sit down and organise them.

However this weekend, I decided to change all that. I've been thinking of going to an England match at Wembley for a long time but then I had the added hassle of arriving late back in Nottingham and a little concerned about the safety aspect of doing this. So I've been waiting for a Saturday match for a while and today managed to get a ticket for the England v Switzerland match on June 4th. Another tick off my list and hopefully it will spur me on to get a few more completed before November.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

33) Watch A Nottingham Forest Match From An Executive Box

Well, it's been a while hasn't it? Unfortunately settling in to a new job has left me little recreation time, but it's not all bad, especially when I get to complete another task!

I've supported Nottingham Forest football club since I was three years old and from the ages of about 18-24 pretty much lived my life down at the City Ground, watching my team week in week out. Then I guess life took over, my friends stopped going, I went out more, discovered boys and drinking, as you do, but I still supported them from afar.

I think in all my times of going down to watch them, I must have sat in every stand at some point, but the pinnacle to me was always a seat in an Executive box. I can't explain why I wanted to watch from there, but it just seemed so luxurious compared to the rough and tumble of the stands and there was also that aspect of it being so unobtainable, after all, it cost a small fortune to hire one out.

I haven't been to a match at Nottingham Forest for well over ten years due to the fact that football doesn't feature so heavily in my life any more, plus my husband cannot stand the game, so I sort of got out of the habit of not watching it even when it was on TV. But occasionally some thing happened that meant I drove over Trent Bridge and I would look at the ground and it would just bring back a flood of memories of the times I spent there. Then I got this new job, working for a non profit organisation and I had to liaise with the football clubs in Nottingham and suddenly I was back at the ground, reliving the memories and well I may have mentioned to my contact if there was any possibility of getting a seat in an Exec box. They did one better! I got a call on Friday to say that we had a whole box to our selves to do with what we wished. So I rang around and managed to sell some tickets with all proceeds going to the charity. So on Tuesday against Burnley, which is not possibly the most glamorous match in the world, we drove to the ground and we being my husband and me - yes I got him to his first ever Forest match!

We were greeted on arrival and given tickets to the box and a free match day programme, purchased a drink and then went to our box. It was a lot smaller than what I'd anticipated - it seats 8 but I think you would be struggling to get 8 big blokes in there. Incredibly nice though to just sit and chill and watch the stadium fill up in front of you and not having to wear layer upon layer of clothing to stay warm on a cold Nottingham evening. What was even better was the fact that there was a TV in the room and once the match started it switched to the Nottingham Forest match also on the screen so you got a commentary as you watched the match. It also gave me chance to people watch big time, as you could see into each box (I would presume so you haven't got restricted view of the pitch). There is obviously still quite a lot of money around Nottingham as the woman in the box next to me had a multitude of designer accessories including a sort after Chanel hand bag!

It was a pretty dire first half I have to admit but second half saw it liven up with two goals by Forest to seal the victory. It was almost like old times seeing them win again - I half expected Psycho to come running down the left flank, but it was not to be...

So my first ever Executive box match at Forest was a success. I certainly don't think it was any less of any atmosphere being in the box than sitting outside in the stands and it's certainly something that I wouldn't mind doing again. Plus all ticket monies sold went straight to the charity I work for - even better!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The French Thing...

So on and off I've been listening to French on my I-pod as I walk to work. It isn't working. I'm okay with the first chapter or so, but then my mind starts to wander and before I know it I've missed sections. It doesn't help that the recording is full of stuff that I wouldn't probably ask for in English never mind a foreign language. I'm a little bored to say the least. So this afternoon I've written out 40 sentances, phrases, words and numbers that would be of the most use to me and I'm going to see how I get on with those. I'm hoping it won't take too long...
And for those who listen in, my next radio spot is this Wednesday, 16th March - around 08:30am.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

An Update...

Well apart from having the week from hell this week, which involved me being back in Nottingham and for part of the week my car being in Solihull (won't go in to it, but it was all to do with a well know break down service and their lack of customer service) I am still attempting to learn French! I am finding it pretty difficult due to the fact that I have the memory capacity of a goldfish, but I'm hoping the more I listen to the disc, the more will sink in. So far I know how to order a coffee, tea and beer, none of which I drink...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Some Good News...

Well, it's been a while, hasn't it? Nearly a month since I last posted and probably one of the longest times I've gone without posting since I started this blog. So what's new, well... I have a job! I've started working for a charity as a Community Fundraiser, which is an area that I really wanted to get into but there never seemed to be the right roles, until now. I've just completed my first week and apart from the fact that I've started at their busiest times of year, I love it! I love being busy and it seems to have unearthed the old Janette that is highly motivated and wanting to be a success. Long may it continue!

Of course I'm still thinking about this blog and trying to at least plan some of the outstanding tasks into my busy working life (never thought I'd ever be saying that again!) In particular I'm also conscious that I started to learn French and then abandoned it half way through December and I hate leaving things half finished. Well, I now walk to work, so I've down loaded some French phrases on my I-pod and in the half an hour it takes me to walk in, I can listen to at least 5 sections of my French dialogue (it has 10 collectively). Here's hoping that it doesn't take me too long to learn them all and I can cross another task off my list!
And just before I go, I'm on BBC Radio Nottingham tomorrow (14th Feb) at 8:30am approx. Hope you can tune in!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Where I'm At

Well my first radio appearance of this year is done and dusted thank you very much and went okay. Unfortunately my good intentions of starting back learning French went slightly astray this week when my feeling grotty suddenly turned into gastric flu, not pleasant and I won't go in to any more detail about that!

So what beholds me in 2011? Well I'm going to try and enjoy life. A simple request you may feel, but the last six months of being unemployed have not been great and have had more downs then ups. I figured I could spend the rest of my time at home miserable or I could turn it into something positive (circa Field of Dreams; if I'm positive a job will come!) So I'm going to take each day as it comes and try and knock a few more tasks of my list in the meantime.

One final thought, a few people have started to ask what I'm going to do with this blog once I've hit 40. Well I've always been conscious that this blog is about my 40 things and that I don't stray too far from that, so unless it's task related then it won't be updated after November. However, after several failed attempts I have started another blog which will be continued after my 40th, which is here if you are interested
my other blog. It's mostly about my writing but it will cover other aspects of my life as well.
Right back to the French me thinks...