30 by 30 progress review: 6 months to go

Is it bad that I had to go back to the page to remind myself of my targets? Yeah so as you can tell things are going really well…..To give you all fair warning, this is going to be a text-heavy, picture-sparse post containing a lot of rambling about life in general. If that’s not your thing, I’m not at all offended if you move right along.

1. Buy a house

So this isn’t happening, and it isn’t going to. We had an offer accepted on a house, but it fell through. Long story short, it wasn’t the right house or choice for us and if you peek ahead to no.30 on the list this may give you a clue as to why.
I’m wondering whether I should get rid of this completely and pick a new thing, seeing as I now don’t plan on completing this before 30…. Thoughts?

2. Visit Angkor Wat

Done! See posts here. This trip comes in at one of my top two trips of all time, tied with the time S and visited Australia, got engaged, drove a camper van up the coast of WA and an itty bitty hire car across the wilds of Tassie.

3. Get promoted to Senior Consultant

Work in progress! I should hopefully find out about this in the new year. I’m not going to jinx it by saying anything further…

4. Master gluten free doughnuts

As soon as I’m home for a weekend, this is getting tried again. We don’t speak about attempt one.

5. Join an orchestra/ensemble with Ned

I’m absolutely terrified of this, therefore have only made small attempts to find an orchestra at about my level, which is middling-to-fair. But I really do want to do this, not least because I know it would have made my Dad really happy. Oh, and Ned is my cello in case you were wondering.

6. Earn my professional development qualification level 4

Uh yeah I haven’t started this yet :/

7. Travel to the USA, specifically NYC, Seattle and/or Chicago

I’m in the process of planning this! Currently aiming to go to NYC in June to celebrate my actual 30th (so this occurs after I turn 30 but I’m bending the rules on this one) and then to Seattle in September for a cruise up to Alaska. I’m pretty darn excited.

8. Master gluten free eclairs

See above re: doughnuts… Although I have had a passable first attempt. This picture is slightly misleading – this half of the eclair looks fine, but the other half (subtly cropped out of the picture) is all sunken and sad.

9. Get our first pet, which will most likely be a rescue cat (this depends on numero uno up there)

Seeing as numero uno isn’t happening, I’m wondering whether to cross this off as well. As much as I’m absolutely dying to get a small fluffy thing, I’m just not home enough and it wouldn’t be fair on the poor thing. Also our landlord says no, so there’s that.

10. Quit Facebook properly

Done, and I couldn’t be happier about it. PSA: in order to delete the account of a deceased person, Facebook requires a copy of their death certificate. That means Facebook will have on file exactly when, where, how and why you died. If you’re not comfortable with a large corporation knowing that about you (or your friends/family having to submit that information), I’d encourage you to consider how much you really need that account.

11. Tell my friends about my blog (eeek)

Er no. Still not done. I’m not sure why I’m finding this so hard, but I like having a space that’s just mine that I don’t have to worry about who is reading and what they might think.

12. Make new friends in our new town

By which I mean the kind of friends you can call up and say hey, what are you doing this evening, I’m bored, fancy hanging out? And I think I’m getting there! I feel like these things can’t be rushed, but I think there’s a few people who I could do this with.

13. Go for a month with no technology after 8pm

Ha nope. Maybe when life settles down a bit after Christmas and if I’m not on a project for a while.

14. Sort out my dang shoulder

Another big nope. I tried, but the NHS is being it’s usual dysfunctional self and I appear to have fallen off a list somewhere.

15. Read (or listen to) 52 books in 52 weeks

(Taken from last month’s book roundup)

I’ve read 21 books in 24 weeks, so I have some catching up to do but it’s not unobtainable. I’m really enjoying this challenge, and discovering a great book reading community via Steph and Jana’s link up.

16. Encourage someone new to donate blood

I already have everyone in my family who can donate blood all signed up, so maybe I can put this one over to you dear reader? To save you the sob story; donated blood saved my life but unfortunately, having had a transfusion or two I’m now unable to donate myself. So if you are able, please would you consider donating blood?

17. Complete a photo-a-day challenge for a month

I’ve tried an insta challenge or two and I always crash out around day 13. I’m going to do this one day, I swear!

18. Start a memory jar

No and I’d completely forgotten this was on here. What a great idea. I might just do this!

19. Go to the V&A Museum

Nope! But I think it would be a fantastic place to visit over the Christmas hols.

20. Find an exercise regime that works for me, and then stick to it

Big fat no. Quite literally. I could make excuses about being away a lot but I think that would be fairly transparent. I need to focus on this.

21. Have S and my pictures taken professionally, for no particular reason

I haven’t done this, and have some significant work to do on convincing S this is a good idea. He is currently sceptical, to put it mildly.

22. Join a book club with strangers

No; again I’m not around very much during the week which is when these things tend to occur. I’ll look again in the new year though, just in case.

23. Make our wedding photo album (it’s only been 5 years…)

Oh man. No. This will be an activity for the Christmas holidays I reckon.

24. Get my own camera and learn how to use it competently, instead of half-assing around with S’s posh camera

Basically yes, although the competent part is debatable.

25. Learn how to edit video clips into nice short films, and then use my new skills to make memento videos for trips, travel etc

Basically no. But I’m still keen. I just need that free weekend that I keep going on about…

26. Get contact lenses and learn how to use them properly without freaking out

Argh no. Eyeballs yuck.

27. Transcribe FPM’s travel diaries and try to recreate his photos in the present day

Yes! Then and now here and here.

28. Get a suit made for me

Yes! To be honest it was kind of a weird experience. I’m not sure I loved it.

29. Take a hands on course, like floristry, hairdressing, or upholstery

No, but I’ve found the list from my local college and am now trying to fit one around my travels etc.

30. Finally, the biggie. Figure out whether to go and live in Australia or not. And then do it.

I’m making inroads with this one, you guys. It’s pretty huge.

So all in all I’ve done 7 out of 30. Or 8, if you go and donate blood….! There are two that I reckon I’ll just cross off, and 3 in progress. That’s pretty bad, isn’t it?

Looks like I’ve got my work cut out for the next 6 months.

Have you done a X before X challenge? How did you find it?




  1. 20th November 2015 / 20:29

    You had quite a list to complete before you turned 30, and it seems like you made an effort with some of them! Maybe you could count a blogger book club as your book club that you join? And I love Jana and Steph’s monthly reading linkup too! I feel like I come away with hundreds of books that I want to read!

    • 23rd November 2015 / 22:12

      I know! I did only write it 6 months ago so I feel I set the bar quite high. A blogger book club is an awesome idea, do you belong to one? That linkup always overwhelms me a little because there are so many good recommendations, and so many posts that it takes me ages to go through them all. It’s a good problem to have though!

      • 24th November 2015 / 14:09

        Kristen over at See You In A Porridge is a part of the Literary Ladies Book Club and they have a book once a month that they read and sometimes they do reading challenges. They’re on a hiatus this month, but you should check it out in December!

  2. Jen
    23rd November 2015 / 03:29

    What an amazing list you have! I think living in Australia would be wonderful!

    • 23rd November 2015 / 22:11

      That’s what I think too! We shall see though, no point going if we don’t have anything to do once we get there.

  3. 24th November 2015 / 17:54

    woah. tell me more about #30 😉 that is something i push to the back of my head and ignore. its a possibility, but it’s big and scary and i don’t know.
    also, i have updated and changed my 30 before 30 a million times since i created it. i had buy a new couch on it, but i have grown up a bit since i created that list, and though i’d still love a new couch, it’s not as important to me as it was, and i don’t want to keep it on the list because i’m not as focused on it as i used to be (seriously, everyday… lol.) now i want to travel and do things, and our couch is just fine. for now 😉 but really, i didn’t want to leave something on the list just because it was there originally, because i’d either do it and not really want to do it (and it would mean less travel), or i’d leave it as unfulfilled and feel bad about it. no thanks. so i changed it 🙂

    • 4th December 2015 / 05:17

      Ha! Sounds like we have a conversation to have about that #30 then! It’s something S & I have been thinking about for a while but we only want to do it if it’s right and it will work out. It’s a huge decision so we don’t want to make any rash decisions. There comes a point where it just turns into procrastination though!
      I like your couch justification, I’m exactly the same! It’s sort of for that reason that we didn’t buy the house, either. If we’d bought the house I wouldn’t be in Australia right now so I’m really quite glad about that!

      • 4th December 2015 / 14:08

        it definitely is. we’ve talked about it, but it’s such a huge decision, not to mention crazy expensive, and we have 3 cats. it would be cheaper to leave the cats behind, but we won’t do that. it’s such a terrifying decision, especially if it’s the wrong one, and then we are stuck, you know?

  4. 25th November 2015 / 13:43

    Wow living here in Australia would be great! And it’s understandable that some other things on your list wouldn’t get done until you make the big decision about that!

    I think if you’re eligible to come over here to Australia, you definitely should! I know visa requirements and things can be tricky. I had friends who wanted to come over and came on holiday and looked at houses, but when they got back home the Visa requirements had changed and the were no longer able to come over with their current careers, which was a big blow to them! 🙁

    You’re making a lot of progress with your goals though, you’re doing well! 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • 4th December 2015 / 05:19

      So we spoke about this when we met, but yes please could I have the details of your visa people that you know? I feel like progress has been slow but I’ve got some fairly big stuff on there so…. I shall persevere!

      • 5th December 2015 / 07:24

        Flicked you an email, hope it helps! 🙂

  5. Caitlin Jean
    26th November 2015 / 10:00

    Hey – Go easy on yourself 30 things before 30 is kinda challenging.
    I had my own list of 30B430 and ended with not doing 9 items on the list. 21/30 Not bad at all 🙂
    I like to make the excuse that a certain item about getting a new job resulted in me not finishing the list, however I do plan to try still do those items without a set time limit.
    A bit of advice, don’t change the list! There is a reason why it is on the list in the first place and you never know what can happen in the next 6 months. Don’t think that it won’t or can’t happen.
    For me doing the 30B430 was a very selfish year where I made some big serious life choices and which came with the best result, being truly 100% happy and content with who I am at the age of 30. Also looking back I realised I celebrate my 30th over a full 12 months instead of 1 day. It was magical!

    • 4th December 2015 / 05:23

      21/30 is great going! Seeing as I’m at all of 7, that sounds super impressive to me. Like you, I think I will keep on trying to achieve the things on my list even past my 30th. Some things like going to the US will occur after my 30th birthday anyway, so I may do the same thing as you and take the year. I think that sounds like a great idea!

      I have a feeling that 30 will involve some big decisions and sea changes for me too, but I’m ready. Time waits for no man! Bring it on.

  6. 3rd January 2018 / 08:18

    Hello ,

    I saw your tweet about animals and thought I will check your website. I like it!

    I love pets. I have two beautiful thai cats called Tammy(female) and Yommo(male). Yommo is 1 year older than Tommy. He acts like a bigger brother for her. 🙂
    I have even created an Instagram account for them ( https://www.instagram.com/tayo_home/ ) and probably soon they will have more followers than me (kinda funny).

    I have subscribed to your newsletter. 🙂

    Keep up the good work on your blog.


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