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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

Holiday Fun Times: Top Tips for Packing a Teenage Girl’s Suitcase

sunshine, packing, holidays
Summer is upon us, and what do the summer months entail? Holidays! Whether it’s a quick break with your other half, or you plan to take the family abroad for a week or two, a holiday of any description helps to break up the humdrum of daily life and can be a welcome thing for many of us.

If you’re getting away with the kids this year, the hassle of travelling with them and their spontaneous tantrums can be a real nightmare when you have little ones - and when they get older, you have the troublesome teenage years to consider. But before you even start thinking of the actual journey, you need to consider what to pack for them. As they get older, they’ll probably want to have more of a say about what to put into their suitcases, but when they’re young, you have more control over what clothes to take on holiday with you. Boys are fairly easy – a selection of t shirts and shorts will do the trick, but girls can be a little more problematic. Here are some great tips to help you sort out your teenage daughter’s suitcase for your summer trip, if she lets you have a say in what she takes at all, that is!


  • Encourage her to wear her bulkiest items on the plane, so that they don’t take up loads of space in her suitcase. Teenagers love their hoodies!
  • Pack, or wear, a jacket because even if you’re going to a beautifully hot country for a holiday, you’ll likely come home to rain.
  • Shop for the holiday essentials at George at ASDA, so that you don’t overspend before you step onto the plane. She may have pocket money or saved cash to spend, but try and stop her from blowing it all on a couple of designer items and encourage her to buy more affordable gear.
  • Roll up what you can – you’ll be able to fit more stuff in to her case.
  • Pack things that don’t take up much room – bikinis, flip flops and sandals are beach holiday essentials and take up hardly any space.
  • Don’t forget accessories, such as hair bands, clips and jewellery. They can all be stored together in a make-up bag or purse, so that they don’t get lost in the stitching of the case.
  • Pack plenty of mix & match clothing – shorts, skater skirts, vest tops and summer dresses etc. Pack a couple of cardigans that go with everything, in case it’s chilly.
  • Don’t forget the sunglasses, sunhat and suncream! She may be a stubborn teenager but she till needs to be protected against the sun, even if you have to force her to slip, slop and slap!


Encourage her to pack minimally, so that you’re not lugging an overweight suitcase through the departure hall. It’s easier said than done with a teenager, but as long as she gets a say in what she does take, and some new threads out of it, she should be OK to compromise!

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