The Big 30: a brain dump and the beginnings of a list

So I turned 30. 

Growing up and watching other people turn 30 it always seems to be met with dread.  I was rather indifferent to the whole affair until quite recently.  It was a bit late in the day to start thinking about a 30 before 30 list so instead I’ve opted for something a little more long term.

30 things, big and small, I’d like to accomplish in the next 30 years.

Sounds a bit ridiculous really when I think about it.  Is 30 things enough to motivate someone through 30 years of their life?  That’s one achievement a year, seems doable?  I’m not sure I can limit myself to that though, there’s a lot of stuff I want to do.

30 years feels simultaneously like FOREVER and a teeny drop in the bucket.  So much can happen in 30 years.  For example I’ve gone from a squalling infant to a woman grown with a husband, 2 children, a house in the country, a degree and a career.  That’s a fair amount of stuff to have done! In some ways I feel like this is the beginning.  

I’ve spent so long waiting for the next step, graduate, get married, get a house, have kids.  I’m starting my 30’s with a blank canvas, there are none of the standard big life moments ahead. That’s immensely liberating!  My 30’s will be just that, mine! 

It’s nice to think about the future though, it’s nice to plan, to have a vague idea of the path you think (hope?) your life will take. 

It’s nice to be able to reflect back at the end of it too, think about the person you were then and who you are now.  How did you get there?  What twists and turns did your life take?

It’s important to reflect regularly, revisit these lists and go for the “quick wins” (bullshit bingo anyone?) if motivation is running low.  It’ll also give me something to write about when inspiration is running similarly low.

G and I always said we’d go to a local restaurant for dinner one day.  It’s not a posh restaurant by any means but it was something we wanted to do.  We waited too long, it’s now under new management with a different name.  It made me think twice about postponing something you could be doing now and the reasons you’re postponing it.  We were just lazy in this instance I guess.

It’s weird to think about what the world will be like in 30 years.  The technology we have now will likely be redundant, replaced by goodness only knows what.  Who’d have imagined back in the day that popping a video in the player would be replaced by touching a screen?! 


I could be a granny in 30 years…


And so, in no particular order, and because I couldn’t stick to just 30, a bunch things to help me guide the next 30 years of my life… and beyond:

  1. Learn to bake
  2. Install my dream kitchen &  bathroom
  3. Address the dungeon* situation
  4. Have a successful marriage
  5. Be able to buy nice things without wondering if I’d be better getting the cheaper alternative from IKEA / Primark
  6. Sell a painting I’ve done
  7. Master photography and organise our ever growing collection of photographs
  8. Have a job which makes people say “wow” instead of looking at me blankly
  9. Take 1 family portrait every year (hopefully twice, once in summer and again in winter)
  10. Catalogue how the garden changes over time
  11. Paint the “Wendy house”
  12. Teach my kids to ride their bikes / swim
  13. Read Roald Dahl box set with the kids
  14. Replace cheap horrid clothes with quality, timeless pieces
  15. Become a proper part of our local community
  16. Support my kids through uni
  17. Go to San Diego Comicon.  Ideally in costume.  Ideally before my children will be mortified by the sheer notion.
  18. Have more kids
  19. Install some really funky house modifications.  Hideaway beds, stairway drawers, you know the type.
  20. Learn an instrument
  21. Turn a hobby into a source of income
  22. Start some new family traditions
  23. Create a new photo album, every year, on my birthday
  24. Visit New York, Sydney, Rome, Berlin, Moscow, Disney Land, Canada, The Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Kathmandu, Great Wall of China, Santa in Lapland, see the Great Migration in the Serengeti, Antarctica to see the Penguins
  25. Spend New Year in a different country every year (not different from any other year, just different from the previous one)
  26. Paint a portrait
  27. Build a treehouse in the garden for the kids
  28. Keep improving my photography
  29. Grow veg in the garden
  30. Own the car I want not the car I can afford
  31. Inspire my daughters
  32. Be more confident and secure in myself
  33. Make tablet as good as Granny
  34. Challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone
  35. Learn to sew
  36. Meet Felicia Day and/or Neil Patrick Harris. Kit Harrington would be a bonus (and, as my lovely niece informed me, at 27 he’s *not* too young for me). 

A lot of these items are big, and vague, and hard to quantify.  I wonder if my idea of having a successful career will be the same at 60 as it is now.

Do any of you have an overarching life list?  Big goals?  Themes?  I’d love to know.  Mostly so I can pinch some of your ideas and pass them off as my own.  I’m greedy like that.

*it’s not really a dungeon but it’s an easier way of describing something which is part cellar, part basement, part house of horrors and happens to be part of our house.  Currently there’s just a door in the hallway that never gets opened.  I want a utility room dammit!!


Things to do – East Links Farm Park

My gorgeous sister’s birthday fell on the May Day bank holiday this year so we hopped in the car and took a trip to East Links Farm Park near Dunbar and spent a lovely day cooing at the lambs and chasing after the Peas.  Now that they’re both on their feet it’s been great to give them a bit more freedom when we’re out and about and loosen our dependence on the buggy.






East Links has a nice mix of things to do for all ages with animals to feed, a giant fort to climb, a huge jelly belly trampoline (along with individual trampolines for the littles), soft play and, of course, the train!  Because what farm would be complete without a train?

After a good play going backwards on the tractors (we still have some difficulty co-ordinating forwards!) we ventured off to see some animals… and have a play on some other tractors!




There’s a track which follows through all the animal enclosures with little vending machines for animal feed along the way (buy your tokens before you set out… or bring an Uncle you can send back for some like H&C did!).  You can comfortably walk round and take a trip through the maze or hop on one of the family bike type go cart sort of things and let Mum and Dad do all the work.





There animals are a bit of an eclectic mix for a place which calls itself a farm… I’m not sure there are many farms in the UK which have wallabies but there you go.  There were also Darwin’s Rhea, Llamas, Goats, Sheep, Chickens, Turkeys, Geese, Rabbits and PIGLETS!!!  Ahem. Edit_EastLinks_014


A quick pitstop for lunch on the picnic benches in the middle of the park and it was off for a shot on the trampolines and a monster about the Fort.  When we reached the top we discovered that 2 of the turrets have picnic benches in them which would have been a perfect spot for lunch!  We planned on heading back up to have birthday cake there later but, when the time came, we were just too keen to eat the cake and we didn’t make it back up.  Also, you know, tractors.



After a wee trip in to see the chickens it was time for a jaunt on the train!  Very exciting.  It’s all included in the entry fee and the driver gives a good tour as you go round.  We rounded off the day quick visit to see (read: manhandle) the bunnies and decided to head home before H fell asleep on her feet.  Not before we had another shot on the giant chute though!!






Adult tickets cost £12, kids £9, 2 year olds £6 and under 2’s are free.  A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 kids will set you back £44 with a £1 per person after that.  It’s not the cheapest of days out but it is SO MUCH FUN that it’s worth a treat once in a while.  You can also become a member and (from memory, this information isn’t available on their website and, actually, was rather difficult to track down on the day) if you manage to make 4 trips in the year you’ll have made your money back.  They’ll even deduct your entry fee from that day.

I discovered while writing this post that I’d lost a few pictures that I took that day, some of my favourites, so we’ve already got another date in the diary to go back this summer with more of the clan to take some replacements!

We love East Links and every time we go it just seems to get better and better!  You can find out more information on their website or Facebook page.  The Facebook page is worth a follow just for the pictures of baby animals and tartan sheep!