Five Down, Ninety-Six To Go

101 in 1001 LogoI am now on day 26 of the 101 / 1001 challenge. Since my last update I have completed 4 challenges. Yippee!

The first challenge I completed, right at the start of the project, was Number 79: Persuade someone to join the Day Zero Challenge. That one is well and truly DONE. Since my last update I have talked a third person into signing up, who has in turn persuaded three other people to join in, plus Louise published her list yesterday.

I think I have nine willing volunteers in my pyramid scheme now. Cha-ching! (Or at least itwould be if I start rewarding myself cash for each new person who joins).

Before I go into which four I have completed, let us first look at the works in progress:


Number 26: I have read 10.1 cm of books – that’s about 6% of my height. My new phone has a little inbuilt-ruler-gadget-thingy which is proving very useful for this challenge.

(I went camping at the weekend – in the rain and cold. We could have left at any point but I had borrowed a book from another camper so I refused to leave until I had finished reading it. It gave me a further 2.2 cm).

I’ve also spent a small fortune on second hand books recently. If I just read books on my Kindle I would never complete the challenge. How many Kindles would I need to stack up to reach my height? Have you seen how thin they are?

Bear Grylls eating ZebraNumber 50: The challenge to eat 10 new unusual foods might not be as difficult as I first thought. I have discovered some crazy online shops that sell unusual meats, such as zebra, camel, python, rattle-snake and crocodile. Plus the Manchester Arndale market doesn’t do too badly either. From there I can buy pigeon, pig trotters, cow stomach, razor clams and shark, occasionally. I haven’t actually started this challenge. But I will. One day.

Number 56: I have attempted to curl my hair twice since starting the challenge. The second time I was even able to show my face in public. Alright, so I still looked messy and I was only visiting family but I am getting there. I just hope that incidents don’t go hand in hand with improvement. The first time I curled my own hair I looked dreadful. I brushed it out immediately but at least I didn’t burn myself. The second time it looked ok-ish, but in the process I burned my ear repeatedly and accidently grabbed the curling-wand with my un-heatproof-gloved hand. Ouch.

In brief, I have also:

  • Bookcrossed 5 out of 20 books (Number 29)
  • Sent off for my photocard driving licence again. (Number 81) My challenge was simply to fill in the form and send it off, which I have done twice now. I’m unwilling to tick this one off until I receive everything back safe and sound.
  • I have written my diary in 6 words for 36 out of 101 days so far (Number 86)
  • And Melanie has offered to write a guest blog piece for me (Number 88). I look forward to receiving that in my inbox at some point over the next 2.7 years.


Number 55: I became pretty obsessive about the Rubix Cube on my phone for about 3 days last week. After watching 4 or 5 hours of tutorials on Youtube and having written 10 pages of notes I managed to solve my first Rubix Cube. Hurray! When I went to tick it off my list however I realised my challenge was to ‘learn how to solve’, not just solve using instructions. Doh! So that one is still a work in progress.

I received an email yesterday from the Ebay seller who is sending me an actual Rubix Cube to work with. I ordered it weeks ago but it still hasn’t arrived. The email said:

“Mr. Pigeon informed us that he has completed 75% of its journey and preparing to land in a few days time. We are really concern that your item arrives on time and in good condition. Kindly keep we informed once you have received the item. If you have received your items please ignore this email, our pigeon must be have worked all the way out to get your products delivered.”

Homing PigeonHow sweet! A pigeon is carrying it all the way from China! At least that explains why it’s taken nearly a month. They should have used Owls. Harry Potter’s mail never took this long.

Soooo, now to the four challenges I have completed:


Number 18: I won a makeover and photo shoot several months ago from one of the numerous makeover-photography places in Manchester. (There are dozens, seriously). When I won I thought I would wait a few months, take on a strict fitness routine, loose weight, look great, you know – that sort of thing. It didn’t happen. I love food too much so dieting was never going to happen. I could have exercised more but something always got in the way: Laziness, mainly. Plus a touch of procrastination.

If I was going to accept the prize I had to take it by the end of August. I just about squeezed it in by taking last Friday off work. When I booked the photo shoot I didn’t know it was going to coincide with We Love MCR Day. When I found out I thought ‘Great! I have the whole day off to enjoy it’.

Of course it didn’t quiet work out: Photo shoots always take longer than you expect, so I didn’t get to Exchange Square for 5 pm to tie a love-note to a balloon to release en mass at 5.30 pm. (Sulk!) I was looking forward to Number 77 but I’ll just have to buy a balloon another time.

World Book Night 2012WORLD BOOK NIGHT – TICK!

Number 30: The deadline for April 2012s World Book Night is upon us so I spent a lot of time last month deliberating on which 10 books to nominate.

For those of you who haven’t heard of World Book Night, it is Bookcrossing but on a huge scale.

World Book Night 2011For those of you who don’t know what Bookcrossing is, it means to leave a book in a public place for someone else to find, read, then leave in a public place for the next person to find. Feel free to look at my bookshelf here.

To Bookcross you register each book individually on the website then write the number and a brief message inside the book. Whoever finds it and reads the message can type the unique registration number into the bookcrossing website and leave a ‘Journal Entry.’ In theory you can follow your books journey around the world though the messages people leave. I think I’ve only ever received 4 messages but I live in hope.

So back to my challenge: World Book Night asked people to nominate 10 books to be Bookcrossed next April. Last year they gave away 40,000 books around the UK all in one night. In addition to nominating 10 books I have registered my interest to be one of the bookcrossers on the night. Fingers crossed that they pick me.


CongratulationsNumber 91: (Yes, this is a new one). Those of you who live in the UK will have seen countless advertisements asking you to nominate a torch bearer for the London Olympics in 2012.

You were asked to nominate someone who does a lot of charity work or is active in the community. I secretly wanted to be nominated but I didn’t tell anyone. I do a lot of fundraising and volunteering so why not? I’m probably too old, ok I’ll admit that. 80% of torch bearers will be under 24 so it’s unlikely that I’ll actually get to the carry the torch, but I’m delighted to have been nominated. Thank you. 🙂


Number 90: My fourth and final task this week was to list 101 things that make me happy. It’s quite personal so I’m not going to share my list, but I have written it. Honest.

It’s wonderful being so easily pleased!


How are you all getting on with your lists?

All comments are welcome. 🙂


One Down, One Hundred To Go

I am now on the 10th day of the 101/1001 challenge. I have completed ONE task.

Despite being giddy and excitable in anticipation of the challenges I haven’t actually managed to achieve very much.

Or have I?

I have only completed one task but I’ve been discussing the challenges at length, weighing up my options and putting feelers out for some of the others. It seems everyone I show my list to wants to help me achieve my goals.

A few people have presented an easy way out. For example, I was enthusiastically encouraged to make fish cakes decorated in tartar sauce, thus completing tasks 41, 42, 43, 44 and 45 all in one fell swoop.

I won’t.

I don’t want the challenges to be easy. I’ll feel cheated if they’re easy. Experience has taught me that you only get out what you put in. For the challenges to be worthwhile and memorable I need to put thought and effort into each individual one.

If I was willing to cheat I could claim I’ve completed number 44: Learn how to bake and ice fancy cupcakes. You see, Blondie gave me an impromptu lesson last night but to be honest it was a farce:

First Attempt at Cup CakesI measured too much butter. I didn’t beat the butter before adding the sugar. Blondie added too much milk so we added more of the other ingredients randomly to compensate. The mixture was still too runny so we put it in the freezer to solidify. The biggest cheat of all is that Blondie did most of it for me, except for icing the buns.

Number 44: Well and truly FAILED. (Oops, I mean IN PROGRESS).


1001 days to complete 101 challenges: That works out at one challenge every 10 days.

Yesterday, on day 9, I really thought I was going to fail to tick anything off in my first segment. That was until Melanie from Silly Wrong but Vivid Right saved me by publishing her own Day Zero list.

It could be argued that I had already passed this challenge when Manchester’s Artistic Son signed up, but as he was so easily persuaded and published his list before I did I felt cheated. Now that I have inspired 2 people independently I can confidently say: Number 79 – TICK!

Although I have completed the challenge I will continue to persuade others to join in. I really thought that task would be much harder. Complete yes, but was it too easy? How about 101 new joiners on a pyramid scheme? What is the policy on bonus points anyway?


The task I assumed I would complete first was number 81: Send off for a photocard driving licence. That should be simple enough, right? I filled in the form, took and attached a passport photograph, gave them my passport details, did everything they asked of me – then they rejected my form. I was disappointed to say the least. Dave made the mistake of asking what was wrong with my application: You can read my rant here…


Several of my challenges are now in progress. Look at the Day Zero Project Tab for the full update:

  • I have read 5.7 cm worth of books towards reading my height (26);
  • I have ordered a Rubix Cube from Ebay (55);
  • I have stacks of used stamps ready to be cut out and donated to charity (34);
  • I am 21 days into writing a Diary In Six Words each day for 101 days (86). (I started this task on the day I decided to take the challenge. Day one reads “Started writing my Day Zero List.” That isn’t cheating, surely?)
  • I have registered 8 out of 10 books for World Book Night and I’m open to suggestions for what to nominate for the remaining two;
  • Plus I’ve started a few of the ‘list writing’ challenges.


I wrote earlier that people are volunteering to help me achieve my goals: I honestly thought number 82 (shear a sheep and / or feed a lamb and / or milk a cow) was going to be a wild card. I didn’t even know where to start with it and yet as soon as I mentioned it someone piped up and started making plans to speak to local farmers on my behalf. How unexpected and fantastic! Do you know who is sorting this one out for me? My Mum.


How wonderful is my Mum?!

I really should bake her a cake. (Number 45).


All comments welcome. 🙂