Sunday, 21 April 2013

Time to reflect and plan again.

So I have achieved a number of things on my list but I probably need to start on the more challenging and costly tasks. So lets see how well I am doing.

1.Start a blog to keep track of progress and report back. - So still doing this and about to set up some more at work.

2. Read a book every month (or 12 in the year) and post a blog comment about it  - 3 read now, I have found having them on my ipad really helps me read more. So the 2 books I have read recently are:

Gervase Phinn: All These Lonely People. Its quite a sad book but does tell you not to judge a book by its cover and all anyone wants is to be loved and needed. 

Tom Reynolds: Blood, Sweat and Tea: Real Life Adventures in an Inner-city Ambulance. This gives a inside view on life as a member of the London ambulance service, it made me laugh and cry both in happiness and sadness. It also made me realise that I will only ever call an ambulance when I really need one. 

3. Complete a cross-stitch design every month - still only 5/12 done but got one that is nearly complete

4. Run a reasonable 5km run - I should start making an effort on this one, maybe I will start using the xbox and try and do 5km in the house first before venturing outside.

5. Visit a new city in the UK -  Went to Manchester so this one is technically complete :) although I will try to visit more cities. 

6. Go to a rugby game - I really need to organise this and drag someone along, will have to find someone to take to a league game especially now the weather is improving.
7. Listen to a new band as recommended by someone else - Complete this one thanks to Hayley.

8. Try a new recipe from my recipe books each month and blog about it - For Debbie Rosen's birthday at work, I baked a Raspberry Cakewell from my new Clandestine Cake club book, it seemed to go down well. 

9. Go to a ballet I will get the Ballet events list and see what is available.

10. Go to a Classical concert - I may go to one of the University ones, but i may need to wait until September.

11. Have a facial -I am just being lazy on this one but I should treat myself for my birthday.
12. Track day  - I need to investigate the cost and see if someone will come with me, I don't fancy going on my own.

13. Get a tattoo I think I know what I want, I just need to find a suitable tattoo artist. 

14. Go to a 20-20 cricket game - I may fail on this one, but hopefully get to a cricket game this year, the season is only just starting so plenty of time yet.

15. Eat in a Michellin Star restaurant This is one for later in the year, I need to save some cash!

16. Get a new qualification - failed miserably at the MOOC, I will write my thoughts on MOOC's in general in a separate post. My current options are a bee keeping course so I can help keep the bees at work or an icing course.

17. Go on a steam train Need to replan this trip, maybe a trip to Scarborough

18. Go to Centre Parcs - Haven't really thought about this but maybe October time

19. Give something up for lent - completed :)

20. Learn to knit a scarf - scarf course at shop in Headingley so need to book on to it. I have looked and they are once a month so might need to leave it until June or July.

21. Ride a horse, even if its just a short ride - I have not investigated this, will look into it for a summer event.

22. Do a course of some sort maybe painting or crafting etc - must see what the new lists are, might do a cake decorating one. These is a cake decorating one at Leeds Grammar school but I missed the current one, hopefully they will repeat it at a time i can do. There is also a shop in Ossett that has courses too.

23. Go to a craft show or game fair - Cake and Bake show done! See my previous post, but always looking for new shows.

24. To take more pictures - I now have a flickr site here

25. Eat one meat free day a week - Must try harder!

26. To attend at least 6 WYNTV tasks - There are a large number of tasks that are a long drive or require lots of walking so will wait for the slightly nearer tasks.

27. Build a sandcastle at the seaside Going to do this when I go to Alnwick in about 5 weeks time.

28. Attend more talks after work  - Need to try and go to some, there is one on Monday but it just means late home and then feel rushed.

29. Ride my bike - still in the garage, but have found a flat 2 mile route to try and get going on.

30. And finally work to get my contract extended or find myself a new exciting job. - I still don't know anything and its beginning to get to me, I will start applying for other jobs.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Cake, cake and more cake!

So early on Saturday morning me, mum and a cake set off to Manchester, 3 train journeys and about 2 hours later we arrive at Manchester Central. The train journey was good apart from noisy sexist man on the train who while talking to another man (possibly his friend but it was difficult to tell) described every woman in the conversation by their body shape or beauty level. So we were quite happy to get off the train at Manchester Picadilly and change train to go to Oxford Road. This train went to Liverpool, on Grand National Day, it was rammed!! It was worse than any tube I have been on and all the time trying to protect a delicate cake.

Arriving at Manchester Central with the cake, I decided rather than queueing with everyone else (it was a very big queue) we entered through the competitors entrance waving the cake at the security guard. We are in! It is a lovely venue, and very busy. I spotted the Clandestine Cake Club stand and abandoned my cake. We were told judging was at noon. So off me and mum set into the show. We walked around the stalls and decided to watch a demonstration by Mich Turner who runs the Little Venice Cake Company. She is tiny but very instructive so I learnt a lot.

My cake was entered into the Clandestine Cake Club competition along with 8 other entries. It was judged by Peter Sidwell.

Here is Peter testing my cake with Lynn Hill from the Clandestine Cake Club. 

I didn't win :( but never mind it's the taking part that counts. I then went and bought lots of bread flours, I want to try making some different breads. I also bought some fancy textured mats to make embossed icing for cakes, lots of coloured icing and a rolling mat and 2 new books.We didn't buy light things, we were silly.

At 4pm after watching the Baker Brothers we headed out in to the Manchester sunshine. We stretched our legs and took in the amazing architecture. Then home!

Only one  change heading home and a Chinese takeaway too. So it was a pretty good day.
My next cake session is to bake a cake for Debbie at work for her birthday, I will be using a recipe from one of my new books. My flikr site has more pictures from the show, there are some truly amazing cakes!

So this is 2 more challenges off my list, visiting a new city and going to a show, still many to go! But I don't have any money this month so I wont be doing many this month. 

I have a few other things to update on but I will leave that until the weekend.