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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

Ten Activities To Prepare For Christmas

December, Christmas,
Even though I profess not to be, I think we are traditionalists when it comes to the Christmas build up.  Our family custom is to put the decorations up on the 1st of the month (it's a bit early for me but it's all for the kids, isn't it?) and we have the usual battle about where best to store the presents so that they aren't discovered.  From the moment that famous Christmas truck hits our television screens I am already planning the the big build-up so here are my top ten things to do during the December holidays and on the run up to Christmas.  

  1. Knit a nativity scene.  I have never ever accomplished this but it will stay on my "to do" list until I do! It is something that should prefereably be done before Christmas.  Maybe I should start in June?
  2. Try and find the best Secret Santa present for the gift exchange at work. I'm thinking of a maneki-neko or a space hopper for this year's lucky recipient.
  3. Use everything up in the freezer and then we have space for the big Christmas shop
  4. Have a clear out of the food cupboard and anything that has not been used or is spare, donate to the local foodbank
  5. Set aside 'gift wrapping time' and use the ironing board as my gift wrapping station so I don't hurt my back
  6. Practice making mince pies because the first and second batch have to be taste tested to ensure perfection
  7. Make a gingerbread house but only because I've seen it on Great British Bake Off and I fancy giving it a go.
  8. Watch Christmas movies to get in the mood.  My husband is a Scrooge fan and I love National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  9. Go ice skating.  We are lucky to live almost next door to a huge ice rink but there are loads of temporary ice rinks in town centres though.  Give it a try! 
  10. Book a Christmas break and leave the mess behind... 

What do you do in December to add to the atmosphere and make it all the more special?