Catching Up!

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I’ve been pretty slack with keeping this blog up to date so I thought I’d do a quick update on how far I’ve got with my challenges. So far I have completed the following:

  1. Learnt to alpine ski.
  2. Learnt to cross-country ski…and fall over!
  3. Had a gliding lesson…and felt quite sick.
  4. Ran in the Newark Anarchy Adventure Race, took three and a half hours, got very muddy and spent an hour in the shower trying to wash it all off!
  5. Spent a whole day in my PJs doing nothing but relaxing (I’ve never done this before!!). I actually spent a whole weekend with Paul in South Yorkshire, genuinely doing nothing but laze around and LOVED IT!
  6. Had a clay pigeon shooting lesson with my Mum and dad on Mum’s 70th. Dad was awesome, Mum was good and I was hopeless!
  7. Learnt to use crampons and ice axes in the mountains…February half term. Blogged it before.
  8. Ate in a Michelin Star Restaurant. Paul didn’t enjoy it, I was more shocked at the price.
  9. Spent half term in Scotland on a Winter Mountaineering training course.
  10. Milked a cow.
  11. Assisted in the birth of an animal…well, none were born the day I was on the farm so instead I looked after a poorly calf and fed it from the biggest baby bottle I ever saw in my life.
  12. Completed the first Lincoln Colour Run.
  13. Climbed the Stenigot Tower.
  14. Went to the ballet.
  15. Went to Paris for the first time.
  16. Attended the Buckingham Palace Garden Party and meet the Queen!
  17. Went to London Zoo.
  18. Gave blood. Technically, I tried to give blood but I’m not allowed to because my veins were uselessly small.
  19. Went on a relaxation spa evening with Aggi. And we plan to go again soon.
  20. Climbed to the summit of one of the seven summits of the world, Mount Elbrus. Climbed to within 800 metres of the summit but due to bad weather had to turn back. So technically not achieved, but the closest we could have got.
  21. Opened Lincoln UTC in our new building.
  22. Went to Russia for the first time.
  23. Completed the 100km Race to the Stones. Actually, got to 70km and then my feet fell off and I had to withdraw. Going back next year for another go!
  24. Working towards a Doctoral Diploma in Strategic Leadership – I’m still plodding along.
  25. Proudly attended Q’s Graduation from Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (and resist the urge to run across the parade square waving my arms in the air). Photos to follow.
  26. Took Mollie on a low ropes and high ropes course.

So, 26 challenges achieved on 5th October 2015 and 14 remaining. Update on progress is:

  1. Going to a Foo Fighters concert later this month.
  2. Taking part in the Crystal Maze challenge – waiting for Claire to fix the date.
  3. Climbing a big mountain in December 2015. Booked to climb three peaks in Morocco over New Year.
  4. Keeping a blog and photo diary of my 40th year…I’m still trying!
  5. Learn to ride a Penny Farthing. Struggling with this one, cant find a bike!
  6. Learn to Roller-Ski. Again, struggling to get on a course, might have to wait until the New Year.
  7. Design and make a silver spoon. Ready to book a weekend in November to do this.
  8. Send a message in a bottle. Going to do this with Bex when she comes home next weekend.
  9. Bury a time capsule. Not sure where or when…anyone got any ideas?
  10. Enter and complete a Cani-Cross race with Pippa. Missed the last race of the season – might have to put this into 2016.
  11. Complete the lakes open water swim race – 2.6 miles. Missed the race as we had to move the Russian expedition dates. Maybe replace with a similar challenge?
  12. Go on a meditation weekend. Replaced with ‘Go on a relaxing week with my Mum and take part in meditation’. We are off to Crete for October half term for exercise, meditation, yoga and sun!
  13. Raised £4,040.40 for charity. The money is slowly adding up. have you sponsored me yet?
  14. One space for one final challenge. Any bright ideas??!!

Mollie’s Challenge

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I headed on the train to Taunton to see a friend and her husband and daughter for the weekend. It was a much needed rest after a busy half term and the chance to take Mollie on a low ropes and high ropes course. Her Mum and Dad had tried the course and weren’t too keen on the height and risk factor, so I was voted in to accompany her for the challenge! So, we added it to the #40Challenge list and off we went! She tackled it like a pro, full of confidence and free of fear. Such a super day, thanks Mol!

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An Unexpected Opportunity

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Paul managed to delay his flight back to work in KSA so we had an extra day to spend in London. I had another experience on the list to enjoy, a day at London Zoo, so I remortgaged the house and we headed to Regents Park in the rain! Paul spent many of his childhood years in the zoo, and having heard about his love for the place I was keen to go and see for myself. Like many people, the sight of tigers caged up feels wrong to me but the delight seen in the escapades of the Penguins made me feel a little more chipper! So, thank you to my new found friends at the zoo for making us laugh in the rain!

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Ma’am like Spam!

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This was one of various pieces of advice I was offered by my friends before I headed to London to attend the Queen’s Garden Party! It was a huge privilege to be invited and the efforts that have gone into getting us there on the day have been considerable…mostly because of the need to wear a proper dress and hat! I’m most comfortable in the kit that I train in but the Royal Palace demanded much higher standards! My husband flew in from working in KSA for the day and we made the most of a wonderful opportunity.

We were really fortunate to meet Sam Twistelton and her husband Ian in the gardens. Having followed her on Twitter and admired her work it was great to meet another Twitter buddy and feel like we had known one another for years! And she was the one person who took our photo (because we followed the rules and left our phones at the hotel!) so we have her to thank for our two memorable snaps…memories of a great day, the best cake I’ve eaten in a long time and Paul eating four ice creams in one go!! #oink

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Challenge 9…Michelin Star Experience

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Paul took me to Paris as a belated birthday present and chose a hotel housing their own Michelin Star restaurant, Il Carpaccio. We had the pleasure of dining there last night. I’m not sure what I expected but after the most delightful champagne, we enjoyed the set menu…I say enjoyed…Paul wasn’t overly impressed (though he was paying the bill!) and I enjoyed the experience of many new tastes and flavours. I couldn’t take many photos as it was a little posh and I felt very self conscious whipping the iPad out! We had a great time, ending in taking a box of 12 macaroons to the lounge for coffee…yum!!

Another superb challenge and experience, thank you so much for taking me away and making me feel very special!

 

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Number 19…*tick*!

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We have just returned from a wonderful couple of days in Paris. These challenges were a great idea. I hadn’t seen Paul for three months so it was so nice to be together in a beautiful city, relaxing and seeing the sights. I was well and truly spoilt as my birthday treat…Eurostar to Paris, collected by a Range Rover Vogue with blacked out windows and chauffeured around Paris for an hour whilst we drank champagne!

 

We arrived at our hotel, The Royal Monceau, which was designed by Philip Starky. It is truly magnificent. Our room included a bedroom, dressing room, bathroom and lounge…with details and treats to make my heart skip! I enjoyed opening all the little special boxes, checking out the lights and the two wall-size televisions and feeling like a Princess! We spent the rest of the day walking the Champs Élysées, relaxing and enjoying the sun and sights. Dinner was taken in the hotel, cocktails and wine with three courses including asparagus, gambas, beef fillet and a chocolate- heaven dessert!

 

The next day we hit all the sights…Notre Dame, Louvre, Pompidou Centre, Grand Palace, Little Palace, Jardin de Tuilleres, Eiffel Tour…we walked miles and enjoyed the views. Back to the hotel for a bath….biggest bath I have ever seen!…and to dinner. But that’s for another post!

 

A lazy start the next day, another gorgeous breakfast fit for a king and then off to Gare du Nord to catch the Eurostar. Premier class this time, with lunch served, before catching the train at Kings Cross to head home. An amazing few days away, I loved living the high life!!

 

Photos to follow…