Can you even call yourself a blogger if you don’t have a #40before40 list? In October 2017 I turned 37. It came as a little bit of a shock as I still think I’m in my 20’s. I’m not even sure I feel like an appropriate adult the majority of the time but somehow I’ve found myself a parent of 3 children, a small business owner and navigating my way through life with Daddy Moo (who I’ve spent nearly half my life with now!). This paragraph has me ageing by the second! Oh and now I’m 39! Just one year left! Anyway, it got me thinking about doing something just for myself. Sometimes we get so distracted by life and “stuff” that we don’t get the chance to do the things we want to do. I’ve also realised this year (2017) that I am absolutely terrible at taking action, I talk the talk but never get anything done! So in true blogger meme fashion, I’ve joined the many others who suddenly realise they are about to get really old and made a list of 40 things I’d like to do before I turn 40 ie. #40before40
You can follow my journey as I attempt to eat eels, possibly make a Christmas Album and generally do some random things.
The List #40before40 :
✅ 1. Climb a Mountain : 13th August 2018 This has to be one of the craziest experiences I’ve ever had. We (Daddy Moo, Charlie and I) drove to North Wales on the Sunday after checking in and finding somewhere to park the car as the Pen-Y-Pass car park is £10 every 12 hours something to be aware of beforehand, we were not prepared for this! After we ate a picnic style tea, whilst watching Mr Bean on Netflix and headed for an early night. We stayed at YHA Snowdon Pen-Y-Pass Hostel who kindly gifted us a family room accommodation, Charlie loved the bed which was a double bottom bunk with a single above us we also had our own en suite bathroom. I’ve never stayed in a hostel before there were so many great points, like the drying room which we needed! and the games room complete with Twister, Scrabble and a pool table.
We woke up, were up dressed, backpacks filled and drinking a coffee contemplating our mountain climb by 8am. The fog was thick and damp, there was no sight of Snowdon anywhere! The carpark was already filling up fast with excited mountaineers so we decided to set our Strava and go for it. We had already planned ahead that we were going to walk up the Pyg Track and down the Miners which seems to be standard at Pen-Y-Pass as both tracks finished in this carpark, we’d spent some time the evening before looking at the maps and watching people coming down the tracks. The weather was insane, wind, rain and mist we were soaked through and yet I couldn’t stop smiling. There were a few hairy moments and parts of the track that you were literally scrabbling up across rocks. Charlie was an absolute trooper, he didn’t complain once, keeping me going and instead choosing to savour every moment of our adventure. As the conditions were so bad we made the decision early on to just keep on moving and reach the summit as soon as we physically could. It took us 2 hours and 44 minutes but we finally reached our goal. After a little family group hug celebration we climbed the 10 or so steps to the actual summit and hung onto the brass plate on the trig point. The wind was intense I was sure I was going to blow off the top and I daren’t get out my DSLR so we had to make do with some blurry phone pictures.
During our climb, we had met our Army Cadet friends over and over who were excited to see their “mountain friends” at the Summit Visitor Centre. The fact we could change our soaking clothes for the dry ones in our backpack and grab a coffee to warm up was much needed. We also ate our picnic and after an hour decided to brave the weather outside and make our way back to Pen-Y-Pass. The wind was still howling but the rain had subsided by the time we descended the zigzag (of doom) and reached the marker where the paths split off into the Pyg Track and Miners. We sat and took in the views with our Army Cadet friends. The Miners Track has some phenomenal views (although the peak of Snowdon stayed hidden behind a cloud so I’ve still not seen it!) and meanders around the lakes. Charlie and I binged watched Merlin on Netflix over the winter so we’re super excited to see Llyn Llydaw, a lake below the mountain where legend has it at King Arthur’s death Bedwyr (Bedivere) threw Excalibur into the lake where it was caught by the Lady of the Lake. We didn’t see Excalibur or the Lady of the Lake but we did spot a lady having a swim. The sun shone and we felt amazing, of all the challenges I have undertaken this so far has been my favourite. After a nap, shower, delicious pizza, a glass of wine and a game of cards in the Mallory, surrounded by maps and tales of Sir Edmund Hillary we discussed our next mountaineering adventure.
✅2. Break a Guinness World Record : May 21st 2020
This was a goal for 2017 but
I ran out of time need to take ACTION (my word of the year 2018)! Stop talking start doing! Charlie and I did research a LOT of records in 2017 so we have an idea which we could try and break, like the number of pencils snapped in half in 1 minute NOT run multiple marathons over multiple days in various countries!
Attempt One : April 15th 2018 the largest seated exercise class.
The children and I went to Southampton FC and spent a fun-filled half an hour exercising whilst seated in the stands. The previous record was 731 people which was set in Hong Kong in 2016 sadly this attempt was a fail, BUT we did have a great time and I’m thinking group events are a good way to try and ✔️ this one-off!
Attempt Two : May 21st 2020 I really did not expect to complete ANY of my list during lockdown but hey look what Megan and I did! We broke a Guinness World Records for the world’s largest ever online art lesson! 45,611 participants join Rob’s lesson on 21st May 2020, smashing the record of 10,000!
✅3. Finish Degree : I started an OU degree as part of my previous life as a Day Nursery Manager. I thought having a degree in childcare would be really useful. In 2009 with 2 babies and a fledgeling business I decided that I couldn’t keep up the momentum. However back in 2014 I received a letter to say I had a number of years left to complete my degree and I thought although I didn’t need/want a degree in childcare anymore I didn’t really want to have half a degree. I have been completing the remainder with units useful to my business. I really thought I would finish this in 2017 but turns out I can’t add up and I’m rubbish at maths (why did I choose an accounting unit!) but whilst on holiday in Corfu I received the LONG awaited email I had FINISHED. That’s right nailed it I now own a shiny : Bachelor of Science (Honours) Open Degree (QD)
4. Go to America : Not fussy where …..
✅5. Write A Second Book : 15th May 2020 My first book “Crafting a Successful Small Business” was published in 2012! Come on Joanne how hard can this be! Turns out it was really hard! BUT on the 15th May 2020 I FINALLY published my second book and I did it during #lockdown. Yup, I launched a book about small business networking midst the confusion and uncertainty of COVID19 lockdown. It might seem like a peculiar time in which to launch a book about networking when we aren’t able to leave our homes or be within 2 metres of people but having run various networking groups and events since 2009, I know without my network I wouldn’t have got through the past few months.
“Networking A Succesful Small Business”
ISBN 978-1-5272-6149-5 (paperback) via Amazon and available on Kindle too.
Review copies available on request.
✅6. Make a Chicken Pie : 2nd May 2019 Well it definitely won’t be winning any beauty contests soon but hey I made my own pastry and yes it’s in a cake tin 🙈 Appears I don’t own a pie tin 😂
If you are looking for a really easy chicken pie recipe can I recommend English Mum‘s post (even if it is from 2012 ). Although I went for red onions sweated down in some red wine 🍷 which turned the chicken pink was proper lush, even Olive ate it 😊
7. Buy a brand new car :
8. See a Puffin :
✅ 9. Enter the London Marathon : 30th April 2018 this specifically says enter the London Marathon. There is no mention of actually running it and I didn’t get a spot in 2019 and I missed the deadline for 2020, but there’s always next year. But task achieved.
10. Speak at a Large Event :
✅ 11. See a West End Show : There are so many super shows I’d love to see in London, Wicked, The Lion King, Les Miserables, but let’s face it. it isn’t cheap. BHLive offered me 2 tickets as part of Bournemouth Bloggers to see Fame the Musical UK Tour with an all-star cast which is also performing at The Peacock Theatre, London so I figured I’d give myself 1/2 a tick for seeing a West End Show but in Bournemouth. But in a weird twist of fate I “won” 4 discounted tickets to see School of Rock in the WEST END! Nailed it! (Read my Fame the Musical Review too)
Did you know that many of the West End shows have a weekly lottery you can enter to “win” the chance to purchase discount priced tickets? You don’t get a choice of date or time but we managed to bag 4 tickets for £80, the price of our seats normally £77.50 each! Being massive fans of the Film we literally couldn’t wait, it was all the girls talked about for a week and we were NOT disappointed! I still cannot believe how talented the children in it are! They sing, they dance, they act, they play instruments and they stick it to the man! Jake Sharp as Dewy Finn is phenomenal he literally made the night for me! Created for the stage by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the show includes 14 new songs added to the original ones from the movie, there is a great mix of styles and songs for everyone to enjoy. The live band makes you feel like you are at a concert which adds to the atmosphere. If you get a chance to see Schoo of Rock you won’t be disappointed.
Lottery Information : It’s always free to enter. You simply fill out an online form to enter a draw, some offer extra entries if you post on social media too. Each show varies, for example, Matilda offers two tickets at £25 each whereas School of Rock 4 at £20 each. We had 24 hours to purchase the tickets before our offer expired we had one week notice to organise ourselves. Most lotteries provide a list of dates and times during the Summer Holidays I selected everything but during term time I opt for the weekend dates. Good Luck!
✅ 12. Donate Blood : 31st January 2018 I gave blood I’m such a wimp when it comes to needles so this was pretty much one of my worst nightmares. I was so nervous and everyone was so lovely making sure I was OK. Every person I came in contact with thanked me for being there and doing such an amazing thing 💜 I felt so humbled and a tad emotional. It literally took 6 minutes 14 seconds to take a pint of blood. One pint can save up to 3 people. The whole experience took about an hour, I think we can all spare an hour every 4 months? That’s pretty incredible. I didn’t expect it to be feeling all the emotions but I did! Sign up yourself www.blood.co.uk there are so many pop up venues that you don’t even need to visit your local hospital. #giveblood
6th June 2018 I tried to give blood again however, it turned out that my iron levels were too low. It had been a crazy busy day, the weather was so hot, part of me thinks I might not have drank or eaten enough that day and part of me was completely frazzled! Low iron isn’t something new to me I suffered quite a bit when I was pregnant with Megan, the team gave me a super leaflet with tons of foods to help keep my iron levels up. I was really gutted more so that I have to wait 3 months before I can try again. I think this is a case of lack of self-care on my part.
Donations : 21st November 2018, 24th April 2019, 11th September 2019
✅13. Turn on the Christmas Lights : 6th December 2019 Our Christmas Lighthouse, is famous for it’s stunning Christmas light displays which get better and better each year. Not only did 2019 mark the 10th year but I got to switch the lights on. I’ve always wanted to turn on the Christmas lights like the used in the early years of XFactor. They’d send the singers back to their hometown to turn the lights on to rapturous applause and ample knickers being thrown. Every year we visit Our Christmas Lighthouse, especially on Christmas Eve and Carols on the Petwyn always signifies the ramping up of Christmas festivities, being involved in switching on the lights was literally like a dream come true!
I cannot thank Lee and his family enough for welcoming into their home, allowing me the joy of turning on their Christmas Lights and they also gave me that very button as a gift. There are no actual words this was amazing!
✅ 14. PaddleBoarding : 19th June 2018 Excuse the wobbly bits, big pants and extra-large thighs and just look at that FACE 😍 If you’re going to try your hand at paddleboarding then what better place to be than sun-drenched Corfu, gliding across the beautiful clear water to the cheering sounds of your children. We hired a paddleboard for 10 euros and everyone had a go, Megan turned out to be a bit of an expert, unlike Charlie who kept falling off! It seriously was just the tonic we needed and well yes I have been googling places to paddleboard in the UK, luckily I live on the south coast! I’m also putting paddleboard on my Christmas List! Any advice and tips welcomed I’m not usually a watersports person but paddleboarding is such a tranquil activity, I felt at ease and such calm, I’m hooked!
15. See a Band with Megan : 26th January 2019 I’m giving myself half for this as I wasn’t with Megan (#sorrynotsorry) BUT what I thought would be sitting and watching a show with my mum at Lighthouse Poole turned into a party with 1000 other screaming fans! Can it really be 37 years since George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley formed one of the most enduring pop groups of the 80s? WHAM! sold more than 28 million records and I don’t care what anyone says it’s not Christmas unless you have heard WHAM!
If like me you are an 80’s living legend 😉 then The Best of WHAM! Show NEEDS to be on your must-see list. As a joke I bought myself a Choose Life T-shirt thinking I was like well y’know super cool. When we arrived literally EVERYONE was wearing or buying a t-shirt!
After the first song George, Andrew, Pepsi and Shirlie encouraged everyone to get up and dance, and dance they did. The concert hall of Lighthouse Poole has a sprung floor even if you can’t dance 1000 people bopping away you were flung into the air with glee! We sang and we danced along to the sensational vocals, choreography and an amazing live band. Gutted when the show ended, even more gutted when I watched mums videos back and realised that squealing in the background was me *see 19 & 28 does not bode well*. ‘Young Guns’ and ‘Club Tropicana’ are now my go to jam! Living the dream!
16. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon :
17. Shower in a Waterfall :
✅ 18. Ride a Horse : 29th March 2019 For the whole of 2016 every other weekend Olive rode a pony for 30 minutes/hour and she loved it. So adding ride a horse to my #40before40 list seemed like a piece of cake. I soon discovered that Jo (from Jo’s Healing Cabin) had ride a horse on her #50before50 list we also completed our FireWalk together (November 2018 #38) together, having someone else with a list is really motivating! As these seem to go with my networking group it suddenly turned into a booked event of 5.
I was excited and nervous all the way up until the horse, called Smartie, stood in front of me and I realised I had to ride it! As soon as I’d managed to hoist my leg over and get comfortable in the saddle I knew horse riding wasn’t for me, he hadn’t even moved yet.
The team at Eastmoors Riding School and Livery were amazing, Katie stayed at the back with me, chatting away and making me giggle, offering advice on how to hold the reigns, sit properly and get the horse to do as I wanted. I attempted a trot, but cried and hated it! But hey at least I did it, I guess and it’s a massive tick on the #40before40 list ✔️ and I got to spend time with my lovely friends so all in all, it could have been worse.
19. Sing at an Open Mic 🎙️ Night : 25th October 2018 we did a recky … well that’s what we are calling it after rocking up instrument-less and song-less! So singing at an open mic night takes preparation and planning. Who knew? So now I need to learn to sing a song and play an instrument 😂😂👊👊 How hard can that be?
20. Go to Iceland : I think most people have the northern lights and swimming in a hot lagoon surrounded by snow on their bucket list.
✅21. Volunteer Work : 10th March 2020 I spent 2 hours in Morrisons chatting to people and collecting donations for Marie Curie. I spent the first half-hour feeling awkward and uncomfortable but everyone was so generous and people thanked me (on behalf of Marie Curie) told me stories of loved ones they had lost and some their own personal struggle. It was a very humbling 2 hours. It is true you never know what people are going through. I’m keen to work with Marie Curie again, but as you can see from the date 2 weeks later we went into lockdown.
22. Afternoon Tea at The Ritz :
23. Eat an Eel :
24. Have an article published in a magazine : From 2013 until it’s demise I was an expert for Craftseller Magazine and appeared in most issues. It’s a little bit business related and a little bit ego boosting but I’d love to be published in a printed magazine, one my mum can buy at the shops.
☑️☑️☑️ 25. Purchase 5 things I’ve never bought before : Screws, kumquat, goats milk, insect/grub filled lollipop and ***, yes crazy as it seems I’ve never bought these items before! This should be one of the easiest things to cross off my list and yet it has taken me nearly 3 years! #lameass
Kumquat (16th June 2018), not just a super cool word, but an actual fruit like a tiny orange, which it would seem they like a lot in Greece. During our stay in Corfu, you could buy all manner of things kumquat flavour, alcohol, sweets, actual fruit, fizzy pop the list goes on. Although I did pose for this photo at a greengrocer in Corfu Town I actually opted to purchase a packet of kumquat sweets for Father’s Day …. they were like sugar-coated jellies with a truly unique taste!
Insect/grub filled lollipop (3rd October 2018), I purchased 4 lollipops, 2 mealworms and 2 ant filled varying flavours. The girls were really excited to try these (Charlie not at all!), however, it soon became apparent that Olive liked the idea of eating them but as soon as I unwrapped the watermelon flavoured ant lolly she wouldn’t even lick it! Megan opted for the apple flavoured mealworm and was enjoying it until she’d sucked away the thin layer of lolly over the mealworm and her exact words were “bits of worm are in my mouth” before she binned it! I ate part of the watermelon ant one but not enough to actually get to the ants. Now I’ve 2 lollipops to gift on!
Goats milk (8th February 2020) I had tried to avoid buying goats milk from the supermarket but it would appear that not many farm shops sell “goats milk”, goats milk soap and goats milk cheese or yoghurts in abundance but not milk. I ended up buying a carton in Morrisons. No-one was that keen in on the taste as a drink so I made goats milk chocolate fudge instead! Which is INCREDIBLY hard to make but is super yummy!
26. Have a Facebook Post Go Viral :
27. Hit 10,000 followers on ONE of my social media platforms : So my Twitter account is currently at 7500 so the closest to 10,000 if you’re reading this make sure you are following : Twitter JoanneDewberry
Make a Christmas Album Single : Every Christmas, a whole host of celebs release an album of either old covers or Christmas songs *cough* Alexander Armstrong *cough*. Daddy Moo and I always have a little chuckle and brand them sell outs (sorry!) or maybe they are super shrewd on the whole passive income angle. Who knows BUT anyway I’m going to give it ago! I might include the children who knows! I would like to donate a percentage of the profits (if anyone buys one!) to charity too. OK so one year into my #40before40 and I realise on top of everything else making a Christmas Album is maybe a little ambitious so I’ve scaled down to “Christmas Single”.
29. Win a Small Business or Blog Award : This might seem like an odd one as during my time in business I’ve won multiple awards but it’s actually been a few years. So I’d like to win one before I start to feel like I’m all washed up!
✅30. Do a Cycle Challenge : 31st July 2020 I cycled 300km over the month of July. Megan joined me on so many rides she clocked up 150km! Was such an amazing thing to do together. We had lots of wonderful chats and copious amounts of ice-cream! We decided to try again in September – 400km for me and 200km for Megan this is proving much harder! But we are determined.
31. So it would seem that Twitter is currently not accepting applications for Blue Twitter verification. *sad face* If this option becomes available before 2020 I will try but in the meantime I’ve a new 31. Twitter Blue Tick :
31. Man VS Food Challenge : Who doesn’t love a food challenge? Charlie and I love watching Food Network together. Charlie enjoys baking and cooking just as much as he enjoys eating. We’ve joked for years about doing a man vs food style eating challenge.
✅ 32. Learn a new skill : 27th February 2018 I tried my hand at Rifle Shooting. Not sure it’s a skill I’ll use on a regular basis but it was a lot of fun. Charlie does a lot of rifle shooting with the Scouts, I was so surprised how heavy and technical it actually was. My best score was 17, which must have been a fluke as most of the pellets never hit the target (which in my defence are tiny!)
March 26th 2018 Hot Yoga another new skill I tried to master! Illana (Hari Hari) and I ventured down to Yoga Lounge Bournemouth to try a spot of Fierce Grace Yoga. Totally overdressed and totally underprepared! Fierce Grace Yoga combines strength and flexibility for both body and mind. Lasting 90 minutes in temperature of 40 degrees! You certainly are sweating by the end. I’ve never tried Yoga before and I’m not sure my body knew it could bend in those directions. I wouldn’t say I’d learnt a new skill as such but I would definitely go again, I felt revitalised and slept so well that evening. The Yoga Lounge is easily located, with plenty of free off-road parking. The building has great energy as soon as you walk in you are greeted by happy, smiley staff who were quick to alleviate any nerves and answer my millions of questions. Like why does the room need to be hot? The room temperature heats your body from the inside out, which helps with relaxation, cardio workout and of course, makes you sweat a lot. Ensure you drink plenty of water before, during and after.
March 28th 2018 I gave flower arranging a bit of a whirl! Massive thank you to Edwards Flowers for hosting. Vicky was really supportive and I think I found a hidden talent. Not only do flowers smell amazing, but they are really easy to work with. The perfectionist in me actually liked the fact that there was no right or wrong way, everyone’s creations were unique but looked incredible.
#40before40 Learn a new skill. Tried rifle shooting and hot yoga both of which I enjoyed but my hidden talent seems to be in creating a table spray 😍🌹🌿 Big thank you to @edwards_flowers for their time and patience last night. I had such fun and flowers are so instagramable so expect more photos 😂😍 Great time with great friends @a_dash_of_dorset @hariharicurry #edwardsflowers #trynewthings #learnanewskill #flowerarranging #flowers #daffodils #pretty #mugsofinstagram #easter #tabledisplay #floralcenterpiece #ashleycross #womeninbiz #lovepoole
April 30th 2018 Tomahawk Throwing, again not one I will be adding to my list of skills but I gave it a go! You’d be surprised how much “skill” is actually needed to throw an axe! Here’s me posing with an angel which was even harder to hit the target with!
16th May 2018 I remember loving pottery classes at school. I also remember making loads of things which “apparently” all ended up in that one moving box from Tokyo to the UK that got lost. That one box, how on earth did that happen! I think though my adult insecurities took over and I found this activity really hard as I couldn’t relax and get into it at all. I was super impatient and found it hard to visualise the colours once it had been fired! But here is my after and before pot, what do you think? Did I succeed in learning a new skill?
13th May 2019 Fencing, I have been loving organising Self-employed Team Building Socials and trying new things. Most of the time I’ve discovered that I have very little sporting skill. That was until we tried FENCING! I’m not gonna lie being crowned overall winner made my day. BUT my goodness those masks are hot and boy did my thighs ache for days after. Olympics here I come!
✅ 33. Get a new Tattoo : 13th September 2019 I’ve wanted one for years but keep putting it off because
I need to lose weight I’m a scaredy-cat! However, I finally got one! Now I’d like a few more … well maybe!?
34. Got to see World Strongest Man : This is my guilty pleasure. I absolutely adore WSM. I watch it every Christmas/New Year for as long as I can remember. I’d love to go see the Giants live.
35. Go on a Barista Course : We drink a lot of coffee, too much really! So it would be nice to learn how to make coffee properly or even do a latte milk course and make lush looking cups!
✅ 36. Do Something for Charity : 15th January 2018 I organised a head shot session with DK Capture for the networking group I co-host Lemur Linkup, which was obviously hilarious! We raised £50 for Julia’s House Children’s Hospice.
Crafternoon Mind 30th November 2018 : Ekkk I forgot how nerve-wracking organising an event like this can be! After weeks of collecting craft supplies all of which had been kindly donated, selling raffle tickets, organising prizes AND putting up posters it was finally time to cross my fingers and hope people turned up. We had 14 crafters in all and the lovely Lexy from Made By Me Craft Parties who kindly ran the card making table, whilst my mother in law kindly supplied the much-needed refreshments, I don’t think the kettle stopped! I could have done with organising an event photographer too, so many photo opportunities I missed out on!
It was such a lovely afternoon, although I was so busy chatting I didn’t even get a chance to make anything! Luckily, there was A LOT of left over craft supplies! After the girls raided the box, we donated all the crepe paper to Olive’s school, the rest we sold on for donations and I can now confirm that everything is gone (OK I lie there’s still 200 odd stone hearts 💜) I rounded the donations up to the nearest pound making the total raised £111 thank you everyone who supported with money, raffle prizes, cake and your time. Massive thank you also to West Moors Guide Hall who waived the room hire fee.
37. Make A Piece of Silver Jewellery :
✅ 38. Walk on FIRE 🔥 : 17th November 2018 Since I added this to my list (although Daddy Moo suggested Fire Eating! this is my tamer version!) local event were popping up all over the place!
CRAZY! Well, I did it not once but three times I marched over those hot coals. You literally have no time to think about it and just have to go! It’s a mind over matter scenario. Then you get to walk three and you find yourself wondering if you are able to do a third without hurting yourself, you can’t get cocky or complacent. BECAUSE you are walking on hot coals and blisters did happen. Thankfully my tootsies were toasty not burnt! I raised £102 in total and the event raised an extraordinary £4457.24 for Diverse Abilities. Just amazing. 🔥🔥
39. Go to the Races : Pre-children I had a bit of a stint working in at the Greyhound Racing Poole taking bets. I loved the buzz and excitement working there. I’ve never been to see any horse racing and would very much love to do #40before40
40. Have a big 40th birthday party!
I’m really looking forward to the challenges, learning new skills and spending time with special people in my life. If you are a brand, charity or small business that is able to help me achieve my list in any way then please do let me know. Thank you so much for all your continued #40before40 support!
This post contains affiliate links helping me to fund 3 years of madness!