30 Before 30 – THE END

Not to sound dramatic, but… It’s over.

My 20’s that is.  Depressing? NOT AT ALL!  Look at all of these BRILLIANT things I’ve achieved in the 5 months leading up to my birthday!

Of course I am extremely, ridiculously and UNFORGIVABLY late writing this, but please accept the excuses that I’ve been a very busy bee and frankly, I have been just a tad lazy about writing this too.  Evidence is hard to gather in these conditions!  But I have been honest enough not to add anything to the list after my September 8 cut-off date.

Shall we tally-up? Blue for done, red for not so much:

  1. Run in a 10k race 

I hate to be a bailer at the first hurdle, I did sign up for this.  I paid my fees, I trained, all was going well.  But I sadly caused my knee some damage in training.  SO, while I didn’t tick this item off the list I did learn a valuable lesson – listen to your body, not your mind.  Your brain thinks you should stop long before your body needs to, but actual physical pain is not in your head.  If it physically hurts, stop it.  I’ll be aiming to try again once the physio signs me off.  I did achieve a not too shabby 51 minutes while training, but I know I can do better with a few months of physio and a bit more practice.

01. 10k 



  1. Play one song right through on guitar

Well, not to brag but I have a small album of covers in the making here!  Of course, I’m no Sheryl Crow, but I think I’ve done okay considering I taught myself my first chord in April.

I started out with the song “Zombie” by the Cranberries, which is a great first song for learners, it’s very slow and you can keep the strumming pattern as simple as you need to and, most importantly, it’s only four chords! Second song I chose to learn was Natalie Imbruglia, Come September and the last was Travellin’ Soldier by the Dixie Chicks.

I can’t believe I’m sharing this, but please see below for evidence, not of my abilities as an entertainer, but just that I (mostly) played a song.  I got a bit lost at the end but this was the only version where I managed to remember all of the words in the right order, didn’t have a stinking cold and where my long nails weren’t getting in my way – May we never speak of this again.



  1. Hold a controlled handstand, to the same standard as I can hold a headstand

Entry and exit are not quite to the standard of my headstands, but a definite improvement here! Calling it a win.




  1. Cook a 3 course meal (successfully…)

I’ve served a 3 course meal to my family on two separate occasions now, but unfortunately, my mind wasn’t on evidencing it at the time, so please take my word for it.  To lie would only be cheating myself!

If I remember rightly, we had Asparagus wrapped in bacon, followed by something chicken and mushroomy and then a desert of brie and cranberry puff pastry bites.  The second time was a starter of rocket and watermelon salad, a main of pesto and pomegranate homemade pasta with Salmon and something chocolatey for desert (Brownies, if my memory serves).



  1. Host a dinner party

Nope! Not sure what on earth I was thinking when I wrote this, unless my family count as the party.  This is just not something I have enough civilised friends for – or civilised enough friends for that matter.



  1. Attend a fashion show

Anybody who knows me, knows that I couldn’t just go to ANY fashion show.  I managed to find an African Fashion Show in London.  Second row tickets, no less!  Beautiful.

Not sure if she’s wearing any pants under that net, it was dark in there!

06. Fashion Show



  1. Watch 30 classic films 

Depending on your definition of classic I guess… In my opinion, these tick the box.

  1. Of Mice and Men
  2. Mad Max
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird
  4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  5. Eat, Pray, Love (Yeah, that counts!)
  6. Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
  7. Hudson Hawk
  8. Doctor Zhivago
  9. Full Metal Jacket
  10. Raging Bull
  11. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
  12. Labyrinth
  13. Django Unchained
  14. Pride and Prejudice
  15. Shindlers List
  16. Neverending Story
  17. Clash of the Titans
  18. Hook
  19. Pulp Fiction
  20. Get Shorty
  21. Ned Kelly
  22. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  23. Young Frankenstein
  24. Sleeping with the Enemy
  25. The Mechanic
  26. The Great Train Robbery
  27. Sense and Sensibility
  28. Sliding Doors
  29. Lady Chatterley’s Lover
  30. Dr Strangelove



  1. Learn to put on my make up properly, not like a 5 year old

I am officially the most un-photogenic female in modern society, so I have chosen to fail this over posting a close up of my own mug.  If it counts for anything, I think when I glance in the mirror that I’m better at it than I used to be, but photos tell me otherwise – and I believe them.



  1. Take a UK road trip

I feel I nailed this one (modest old me).  I felt the pressure of the big day looming, so I took the week off leading up to my birthday and darted off on a big solo UK drive.  Don’t ‘aw’ it was solo through choice, I didn’t invite anybody, I travel better in my own company.  And honestly, it was AMAZING!

I spent day one travelling up from South Wales to the North, stopping for short walks and photo opportunities (in the rain) in any pretty village that took my fancy along the way, then across the North coast and over the border, into the Yorkshire Dales.  Day two, from the rolling hills of the Dales to the picturesque open waters and moody skies of the Lake District.  Day three was dedicated to more Lake District, there’s so much to see here! Day four was the last of the Lake District and then a short drive down to Manchester, ready for my early morning flight on day 5 to Paris to end my 20’s with wine and laughter in good company.  I spent 24 hours in Paris with a friend who helped me to see in my birthday in style, in front of the sparkling Eiffel Tower – Magnifique!



  1. Hit 1000 followers on my blog

Nowhere near! Ha – I think to gain a following you have to be a far more consistent poster than I’m proving to be.



  1. Get another tattoo

Not only me, but I managed to rope in a friend to join me.

This is the symbol for congruence – it represents two separate shapes of equal measure in every angle, two objects which agree in every way. She and I are the same, but different!




  1. Finally decide on my all-time favourite alcoholic drink and remain faithful to it

Aahh, I thought I had it, I thought nothing could beat it… I was on track to post you a picture of a lovely bottle of Kraken sitting on my shelf, smiling down at me.  But two things went wrong here: 1) I drank it, and 2) I discovered a rum I like EVEN MORE than the amazing Caribbean Black Rum and it is very local to my home here in Wales.

Pembrokeshire born but bred at sea, Bartholomew Roberts was a true Welsh Pirate, better known as Barti Ddu. Barti Ddu seaweed spiced rum has a totally unique flavour and I could not be happier to have stumbled across it.  A true love is brewing here.

12. rum



  1. Learn to ride a motorbike (officially, with a license)

CBT passed! I didn’t push any further than my CBT at this stage because I’ll need to spend some time on the roads on a 125cc before they’ll take me on with a beastier bike, but I’m really okay with that for now.  I’ll call this a tick!

13. CBT (2)



  1. Master the ‘Iron-X’ move when pole dancing

Hell No! I don’t know what I was thinking.  I know people far stronger and more consistent in their practice than me who still can’t do this – I can’t even handspring! I did however finally get some evidence of an extended butterfly.  If I can muster the strength to release that ankle then I’m winning!  I’ll keep at it.




  1. Spend a day at a shooting range

I would love to share a picture with you of me enjoying a day with guns (in an appropriately controlled environment), but sadly I didn’t get around to it, mainly because I am so fussy.  I didn’t want to fire rifles, since I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the past with bigger guns for various reasons, so I wanted to try my hand at a pistol or revolver of some kind.  Unfortunately, hand guns are illegal in the UK (quite rightly) even at a shooting range, so my only options around here would have been a rifle range… Nah, I don’t need to pay to do that, I’ve done the clay pigeon thing plenty of times.  Apparently the gun laws in France are a little different to the UK though and you can legally fire a handgun there under the appropriate supervision, in the correct environment.  Not me though, my French isn’t strong enough sadly, so I didn’t meet the requirement to be taught there.  What a shame I’d already booked my flights when I found that out – Oh well, a night in Paris is never wasted.



  1. Wear a morph suit in public

Okay, I might have twisted things a little for this one.  At the start of the post I said I wouldn’t post anything from after the September 8th deadline, but I didn’t manage to make this one happen in time.  I also did not manage a full morph suit, with head included.  I settled for a skin-tight jumpsuit on October 20th instead!  Am I forgiven?




  1. Test drive a sports car

Disappointingly, despite many offers, I didn’t secure a test drive in anybody’s sports car in time for my deadline.  One day.



  1. Have a brief conversation in French

I had a couple of very brief conversations through different mediums.  Firstly over email with a man from a shooting range in Paris, which went a little like this (actually it went exactly like this, because that’s how copy and paste works):

Nom:Katy XXXX


Je suis Britannique et je serais sur Paris le lundi 4 septembre et j’aimerais découvrir le tir. Je n’ai pas de licence et je parle très peu le français. Serait-il possible d’organiser une session découverte avec une amie. 
Pouvez-vous me communiquer quelles seraient vos disponibilités et tarifs SVP. 
Quelle est votre adresse precise ?

Merci par avance, 
From: Marc XXXX
Sent: 10 August 2017 09:57
Subject: Tir Initiation


Merci de votre demande.
Votre français semble parfait contrairement à ce que vous écrivez (sauf à ce que ce ne soit pas vous qui ayez écrit, bien entendu).
Pour la pratique de nos disciplines et pour des raisons de sécurité, la matrise de la langue française est absolument nécessaire (consignes de sécurité et procédures à respecter), aussi vais je devoir vous informer que sans cette maitrise, vous ne pourriez être reçus.
Le 10 août 2017 à 21:08, Katy XXXX a écrit :

Je suis desoléC’est trop évident mon ami a aidé avec mon écriture –  Je vais essayer seul cette fois-ci!
Pas probleme, je comprends.  C’est possible que mon amie (français) se joigne à moi – si elle peut traduire, cela serait-il acceptable?


Confirmez un numéro de téléphone, je vous recontacte demain (vendredi 11/08) afternoon….

Bst Rgds.

Secondly, in person with my taxi driver back to the airport on the morning of my return home.  I realised by this point that there really is only one sentence I needed to learn:

“Je suis désolé, je parle un peu français, mais c’est tres mal.  Parlez-vous anglais s’il vous plait?”

I imagine even the purest English-only speakers among you can figure that one out.



  1. Attend a gig of a world famous band 


19. Gigs (1)
19. Gigs (2)
19. Gigs (3)
19. Gigs (4)
Fatboy Slim



  1. Go fully manual on my SLR camera, never use ‘Auto’ again

Boom again




  1. Make my own fresh pasta

Pretty bloody good if I do say so – terrible pictures though! Tasted better than shop bought and was far more simple than I expected.




  1. Sew some clothes out of all of the material I’ve bought travelling

I taught myself to use a sewing machine and I started out with a practice run on a few other bits and pieces.  I upcycled an old dress of my mums, I made a summer mini from scratch with no pattern and I built up the confidence to start chopping up the material I bought in Africa.  But in the typical style of somebody who starts a lot of things, I am not quite finished… I’ll keep working on it through the winter. I’m giving myself a pass and calling that acceptable progress.  There’s more material floating about the house somewhere…




  1. Have my teeth professionally whitened

It’s safe to say that after a few horror stories from my dentist, I won’t be getting the quick win treatment I was after.  I have been offered a longer treatment, which should have my teeth sparkly white in 6-8 short weeks… Once I actually pay for it and start the treatment.



  1. Go to a gin tasting

I won big at this one.  While road tripping through the Lake District, I managed to make a stop-off at the Lakes Distillery, where they make whiskey, gin and vodka – so I tasted all three!

24. Gin tasting



  1. Volunteer in my local area

I volunteered on the bars at Latitude festival near Suffolk back in June, which is nowhere near my local area, but it raised money toward the Torfaen Young People’s Forum, a local charity to me who are committed to raising awareness among 11-25 year olds in the community of their rights according to the UNCRC, specifically Article 12, which is the child’s right to have a say in decisions that affect their lives.  The youth forum do some incredible work on getting young people from all backgrounds in the local community involved in government decisions, giving them a chance to influence how the council choose to spend their funding, giving children and young people an interest and understanding of politics and of current affairs which are essential to anybody who ever might want to vote or have a say in their community.  It also gives the youths involved some great opportunities to add to their CVs.



  1. Take part in a colour run



  1. Donate blood (if I’m allowed)

I’ve been waiting to be eligible to give blood, due to my time in Borneo in March and taking anti-malarial treatment, which means waiting 6 months to be certain that there’s nothing left in my system and away we go! I’m counting this one because despite that the needle wasn’t until November, the situation was out of my control and I had it booked in by September just to be sure.  Congratulations to the lucky recipient of some awesome blood there, you’re welcome!




  1. Learn to make something impressive (or just something) from origami

DRAGONS!! Feck yeah.



  1. Attend the Stonehenge summer solstice

There are no words… Just. No. Words. ❤

29. Solstice



  1. Teach both of my nephews to clearly say my name before their other aunt and uncle (because I’m competitive like that)

So damn close! I swear the small one is doing it on purpose.





I don’t think that’s too bad for a rushed job, and it’s not because the effort wasn’t there.  I’ll make it my mission to add the rest to my full bucket list as longer term goals.

Thanks to all who made suggestions for awesome films to watch, supported me to do weird and wonderful things and accompanied me along this journey.  You are a wonderful support network, near and far.


6 thoughts on “30 Before 30 – THE END”

  1. This is awesome! Congrats to everything you were able to accomplish and keep pushing on the ones that you weren’t able to. Can’t wait to see the update from your sports car test drive! 😬😬😬


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