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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  < ongoing (now parkrun Run Director too) Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at

*AARRGGHH* World Book Day Alert!!

With thanks to Liz from Living With Kids, I was reminded of the fact that it is World Book Day next week - 4th March - but I already have that date highlighted in ORANGE in my filofax as it is the last time EVER time that I will have to panic over producing a respectable costume that a child who hates reading will wear for the day.

*Proud Parent Alert*  My most ingenious ideas have come to me with only an evenings notice (yes, of course I ignored the original letter) and on each occasion I have my child has won first prize.  Today is your lucky day as I intend to share a couple of my most creative ideas

The first costume that created ripples around the primary school was when son #1 went as James from The Snowman (Who?  The little boy that build The Snowman, of course!).  That was simple - a pair of plaid pyjamas, a warm dressing gown, slippers and a small cuddly snowman.  Sadly, no photograph exists of this amazing creation as it was cobbled together in the short space of time (7 minutes?) between breakfast and leaving the house at 8.30am.

This book was "Treasure Island" (well, Jake thought he was Jack Sparrow but we'll gloss over that for a few minutes).

Our model is wearing mummy's holiday bandana with "Ibiza" printed randomly across it, mummy's glittery "going out" scarf, mummy's work blouse and jacket with the sleeves rolled up, mummy's belt from her jeans and another of mummy's glittery "going out" scarves.  Our model is wearing his own jeans and trainers and adopts an appropriate "AH-HAR" stance.

Next we have "Cat In The Hat".  This 'favourite' took slightly more planning time.  For this one, we started at approximately 7.30pm on the Wednesday night and finished at around 11.00pm  The model had his picture taken at 8.15am the next day.

The hat is constructed from a pizza box base

Four pieces of A4 paper sellotaped together and then painted with pink poster paint
(we had no red) 

All randomly stuck together and plonked on child's head
(please take note of how incredibly excited said child is to be wearing this hat)

Here we have the model wearing his own black t-shirt, black cords, and black pumps.  He is also wearing his sister's black fingerless gloves.  The white "tummy" was a haphazardly cut piece of white A4 printer paper, snatched from daddy's printer.  The neckerchief is the bottom three inches of mummy's second favourite red top.

So the key is not to plan anything until the night before, at the earliest.  First prizes all round... kudos in the school playground... brilliant pictures for the slideshow at the child's 18th birthday part.  Everyone is a winner.

Now, I need some inspiration for this year...