30 before 30 update!
After nearly two months, here's how I'm getting on with ticking things off my list...
1. Exercise regularly (make time to exercise at least twice a week)
- I have been doing pretty well at this, mostly by cycling or walking as much as possible. I will soon be able to go swimming as it is now apparently officially swimming season in Japan and so the swimming pool is open for business.
2. Save money (each month)
- Not very easy at the moment, as I get paid a month behind and did not get paid while I was off in February and March. Looking forward to putting away a small amount of my paycheck at the end of May though!
3. Learn to knit, crochet or embroider
4. Write a story (something over a page with a beginning, middle and end)
5. Grow something edible (and eat it)
- I have planted some basil in a tub on the balcony and it is growing brilliantly, even despite my neglecting it over three days of Golden week.
6. See a musical
7. Have/host afternoon tea
8. Learn to bake a “showstopper” – e.g. sachertorte, baked Alaska
- Not sure if they exactly count as a "showstopper", but I did bake hot cross buns for Good Friday, which was really difficult. They turned out really well though, and I have not been put off making more enriched, dessert-y breads .
9. Have a picnic/hanami
- I enjoyed hanami (cherry blossom picnic) twice this year, both just myself and Logan, under the cherry blossom trees in our own local park. It was delightful.
10. Swim in the sea
11. See the snow festival in Hokkaido
12. See Mt. Fuji
- Complete! We went to Lake Kawaguchi two weeks ago and got up at 5am to make absolutely sure we saw Mt Fuji in all its glory before the top clouded over. It was a really breathtaking sight, and it was good to be up before most other tourists too.
- And as if that wasn't enough, I also caught a glimpse of Fuji from the top of the Tokyo Sky Tree through a fair amount of haze. That makes four trips up the Sky Tree and one sighting of Mount Fuji!
13. Revisit Kyoto
14. Cook and eat shellfish
15. Climb a mountain
16. Sing in a concert.
- I have joined a Glee Club in my town, run mostly in Japanese, but singing in English. We have a concert scheduled for July, so I'm on track to tick this one off the list!
17. Travel alone
18. Make/sew an item of clothing or useable item
- I haven't done any actual sewing yet, but I have made time to learn the rather useful skill of darning and have repaired several holes in jumpers and jeans
19. Learn to identify the birds I see in Japan
- Not quite ticked this one off yet, but my Dad was able to help me identify one or two new birds when he visited last week. So can add white-cheeked starling and pygmy woodpecker to my birding list!
20. Read at least one book per month
- I am not doing particularly well at this. I finished Julia Child's "My Life in Paris"in March, having really enjoyed it. Since then, I've been re-reading the Anne of Green Gables series, which is completely unnecessary and highly indulgent. I should definitely read something else. Preferably something interesting and new.
21. Learn a song in Japanese
22. Kayak/canoe in a river
23. Volunteer time for charity
- Not quite ticked off this one yet, but I have spent the week playing host to a crocheted kitten which will soon be heading to a child in hospital in the UK through a charity project called Out with Animals, run for PostPals.
24. Take part in an ikebana exhibition
- Still practicing ikebana and I have been to see an exhibition in Hitachi, which my teacher gave me tickets for. It was really impressive and the scale of the arrangements was huge. I took away lots of ideas.
25. Write a simple computer program/use a programming language
26. Actively manage mood/practice mindful meditation
27. Learn how to contour (make-up)
- Done! My sister bought me some nice make-up for my birthday and I practiced contouring using various YouTube tutorials. It was quite fun, although I definitely need more make-up and more practice before I wear it out!
28. Buy and wear an item of “Harajuku” fashion
- Not yet but I did spend most of Saturday in Harajuku, investigating all of the little side-streets and eating in delicious, hidden restaurants and looking longingly at clothing that is for people with much narrower waists and much deeper pockets than myself at this moment!
29. Spend time with family
- Technically ticked off, but never completed! My parents have been visiting Japan for the last two weeks and we have spent a few days together which has been absolutely wonderful.
30. Visit another country