Look! Look at this!
This is where I am sitting NOW, this 26th day of April. In front of the woodburner, that hasn't seen any action for nearly a month. Sheesh, it got chilly today. I gave in and lit it. I've said it before and I'll say it again - thank goodness for the woodburner! #cosytoeses
Anyway, Andy has got me a birthday present. Yes, I know the BIG 5 - 0 isn't for another six months yet, but on the wise advice of several friends, I have decided to spread the landmark of my half-century over more than just one day, and in the spirit of this, lovely Andy has presented me with an exciting opportunity to experience something that would DEFINITELY be on my wish list, if indeed I had such a thing.
And that is (drum roll)...a falconry day!!
Oh yes! You know how I got more than a little excited over our visit to the International Centre of Birds of Prey at Newent in Gloucestershire earlier this month? Well, we are returning at the end of May and I shall spend the day in the company of owls! Flying them and everything! It is terribly thrilling. Andy got me the owl experience because they are my favourite of all prey birds, don't ask me why, they just are. They are just, well, owly!
So, this marvellous start to my half-centenary year got me thinking about other stuff I could do. Y'see, my biggest problem in this decision-making process is that I don't have a list entitled 'Things I Want To Do/ Buy/ Learn/ Experience' which, having done some minor research in the form of asking other people and being blown away by their ambitions, puts me,apparently, in a minority, at least as far as my circle of family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances goes.
So, I did some sewing this morning and then, because it was cold and grim outside and this made me restless, I lit the woodburner and spent the afternoon attempting to construct a list of potential 'Could do' items. This is where I am so far:
1) piano lessons - and I even got as far as tracking down a teacher and emailing her regarding starting lessons - there's dynamic for you! I always wanted to learn the piano when I was a little girl and ended up playing the flute (???) and suddenly it seemed to me a very sad thing if I reached my dying breath and thought, 'I wish I'd learned the piano beyond 'Chopsticks.'
2) getting a bicycle. I used to cycle a lot when I was a child, in the days when you'd get on your bike first thing in the morning and scoot off for the day without anyone giving it a second thought or worry. You know, before Health and Safety was invented. It'd have to be a bike with a basket on the front so I could carry a book, a baguette and a bichon frise. And I mean a proper bike. Not one of those exercise thingys. Lord, what a soulless and futile experience they are. Pedalling fast and getting nowhere. And I live next door to a massive park, for heaven's sake. Think of the fresh air! Think of all the teenagers I could mow down!!
3) Entering Mastermind. I have considered this before. But what would I have as my specialist subjects? You have to prepare at least 3 in case you get beyond the first round. More thought required here.
4) going on either a writing retreat or a sewing retreat. A few days where you have nothing to do but sew or write. What's not to like about THAT??
5) taking Pilates classes. Just to keep the strength up and the middle-age aches and stiffness at bay. You know.
6) a weaving loom. However, they are quite big, aren't they? Not sure where it would go, given I have come to realise that, with my expanding sewing hobby, my little craft room is way too small by about 300%.
7) build a garden room from scratch. This stems from watching 'George Clarke's Amazing Spaces' and seeing the lady who built a miniature cob house in her tiny back garden. She was middle-aged, crazy and totally wonderful and when I saw the finished project my immediate thought was, 'I want one of those!' Andy and I briefly discussed the building of a quirky garden room on the patio. We've got the space...
8) jacking in teaching/tutoring and re-training as a textile artist. I have tried to ignore the financial implications of this idea. It is an idea and, therefore, of worthy list potential.
...and that is as far as I have got.
It's a start.
Right, time to chuck another log on the fire and do a spot of reading, methinks.