The 101 Challenge

101 – Find a goat 

When I chose this challenge, I did it with the knowledge that at the end of my road is an animal sanctuary with several goats. Great I thought, this one will be easy. Awkwardly, the goats were shortly removed from the sanctuary and moved somewhere else, making challenge no. 101 actually quite hard. That was until my Sunday School class finished early one day and in an attempt to keep the kids occupied with something, took them to the farm at the back of the school that we meet at. And what should I find there? …..

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101 Challenges Completed: 5

 

 

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Realistic Summer Plans

Annddd we’re back. Phew that was a long time! But guess what, it’s over, exams are done and we’re free. Sort of. Thoughts are now turning towards summer and I’m getting excited and making all sorts of plans that I probably won’t actually do. We all do it – dream of adventures  that never actually happen; it might be money issues, timing, distance, who knows. We know it all too well with our 101 bucket list, it takes a lot of work to actually getting round to doing them! So in the interest of realism, I’ve made a list of 5 realistic plans everyone can make for this summer.

5) Dinner with friends – inside or out

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Something I’ve started recently is having dinner with a group of friends every single week. Every Friday evening we get together at someone’s house, eat together and then just sit and talk for hours. Sometimes there’s games, sometimes there’s just company but every time it’s lush. Spend time with your friends and make a big thing out of it. Light some candles, decorate the table, make something adventurous.

 4) Go for a walk – somewhere surrounded by green

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I would usually describe myself as a city girl but as soon as I’m back in green I realise I’m not at all. There’s something breathtakingly beautiful about countryside to me – the hills, the fields and the grass – it creates a sense of freedom. Go for a walk up a hill and just sit there and admire the view. No music or phones allowed. Just you, your thoughts and nature.

3) Stargaze

1It probably won’t be as spectacular as this and hand-holding is not essential but it’s not something we usually make time for and it’s a waste. I was doing my silver DofE a few years ago and a couple of us snuck out one night and lay on the grass covered in blankets looking at the stars. We were caught pretty quickly, given a good telling off and were sent back to bed, but it was still beautiful. If you’re in a city and stars are hard to come by there’s still so much to see, even if you’re just people watching.

2) Visit a local landmark

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The chances are there’s somewhere near you that’s quite the tourist attraction, but you’ve never been. Go! There’s a reason it’s a tourist attraction so go and get your fill. For me, Stonehenge is on my list.

1) Cycle

3It’s a proven fact that exercise makes people happier. Find somewhere beautiful, take a bike or hire one, use a map, get lost, ask directions. If you see a little trail and wonder where it goes, follow it – you might discover something amazing.

Hannah

For more ideas for realistic summer plans, take a look at our board on Pinterest

Why Is It Even Called Fall?

Autumn (or Fall, though really why is it called that – is because the leaves are falling? By that logic surely you should call Spring: Grow because the leaves are growing? Just a suggestion) is by far my favourite season. Not only is my birthday right in the middle of it, but it’s just starting to get colder and Christmas is just around the corner.
I also love it because of the beautiful autumnal landscapes and golden leaves on the trees.
I visited the National Arboretum today and took some photos of the changing leaves before they all fell for the winter (okay I guess the Fall thing makes sense):

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Katie

Life Lately

The Half Term Edition:

Wait What Homework?!

You may have missed us last week (or if you didn’t please just pretend) because we were living it up on half-term which means, I at least, spent all my time avoiding doing half-term homework, sitting around doing nothing and watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians for the whole week, up to the point of Sunday evening when I realised I’d done pretty much none of the 16 pieces of work I’d been set. This led to a secret meltdown out of sight of my parents (who are still under the impression that I’m happily on top of my workload), and an emergency study session this morning during breakfast. I managed to make it to school with the three pieces of work that were set for today (shoddily) completed. How many of those do you think were checked? That’s right. None.

Torquay … T-adventures

There’s nothing better than a bit of awkward alliteration, admit it. Ah and the second one wasn’t even on purpose! I digress. Our family’s annual ‘holiday’ happened last week. I’ve noticed something about holidays as my brothers have left home and my parents have grown older, an that’s that they’re getting shorter and more dull. When we were younger, holidays involved going away for a week or more in caravan, going to beaches and on trains and eating a lot of ice-cream. This holiday consisted of three days in a Travelodge, a National Trust visit, country walks (avoiding the muddy paths of course) to beaches with no sand and a big fat no to any suggestions of trains or cliff trams or ice-cream. I’m sorry if I sound ungrateful, but frankly, none of those things are fun to me. So as a cure for this, I’m forcing Katie to come on holiday with me this summer, whether she likes it or not.

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Awkward Parties

Me, my brothers and sister-in-law, traveled down to London on Saturday for a friend of our’s 40th birthday. Of course, we got there and knew nobody, so our friend’s wife introduced us to his nephew. Unfortunately, the music was so loud that my brothers and I were too far away to hear him, leaving him to chat to my sister-in-law who, also unfortunately, doesn’t actually know the birthday boy at all. Their awkward conversation about why she was actually there was then interrupted by an older, rather eccentric looking man, who immediately dropped an extremely inappropriate sex joke, then left again. Nephew guy then also left and avoided us for the rest of the night.

A New Claim To Fame

The most exciting part of that night is obviously the fact that the Captain of the Cutty Sark was there, and gave me a kiss on the cheek which I will now always refer to as my claim to fame, displacing that time that Jessica Ennis smiled at me across a room. Before you get excited though, the Captain was about 80 and told me I’d have to be 60 years older for him to whisk me away on his boat … which is kinda a good thing I guess …

Hannah

A DIY Wedding Gift

In case you’re new to this blog, or just haven’t really been paying attention, my brother (Tim) got married at the start of August. Considering the celebration of my brother convincing a woman (Esther) to marry him, and the gaining of a new sister-in-law, my other brother (Luke) and I decided we should probably get them a wedding/welcome to the family gift (which also turned into a birthday AND housewarming present. We’re not too great with gifts). Being the loving and supporting brother he is, Luke decided to dump the whole thing on me with the words “You’re a girl, you know what you’re doing with gifts and things.’

Here’s what I came up with. I say came up with, I just stole it off Pinterest. But it’s a very good idea, especially if it’s for a couple that don’t particularly like lovey-dovey stuff, but still want to remember their wedding date – even if it is just so they’ll remember their anniversary!

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It’s pretty simple to do. The photo-frame is bought from Ikea, The backing pictures can be pretty much anything that’s not going to be too distracting. I chose textured photographs to give a little interest but not distract from the main subject. The letters are cut from cream card, using a Cricut machine, but can be done just the same by hand.

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In the original post on Pinterest, they’d added the couple’s last name to the top, but I thought that would make it a little too wedding-y for them, but may help it make sense to people not in the know!

Hannah

WARNING: This Could Get Emotional …

I’m not really an emotional person, and talking about ‘feelings’ and smooshie stuff (yes, that is a word) is not something that comes naturally, but today will be a special day where I let the inner girl in me take over. Why? Because last Friday was one of my best friend’s and co-writer of this blog’s 18th birthday. That’s right, she’s now officially an adult which is both scary and quite frankly, hilarious.

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Which leads us to the emotional stuff. Katie is a lover of all things emotional, and I’ve already managed to make her cry with one of my presents which I think is an achievement (they were happy tears by the way … I think), so I’m going to attempt to do it again.

First things first, she’s a pretty amazing person. I don’t think I know anyone else who is so genuinely caring about everything. I remember a group of our friends going round to her house one day after school and then finding her crying in her kitchen because one of them was having a bit of a strop and she thought it was all her fault.

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I don’t think I appreciated this quality in her as much as I did last year, when I had to drop out of college because of a virus. The majority of friends stayed in contact for a little while, but after a few months, just stopped calling or texting, while Katie was constantly checking up on me, including me in things and even coming all the way round to my house when I cried to her on the phone. So Katie, for that, I really want to say thank you. Not only for being such a caring, loving friend when I really needed one, but for not giving up on me like everyone else.

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I really feel blessed to have Katie in my life. She’s so different to all of my other school friends, who always seem to be talking about who’s going to get drunk at the weekend, and who’s sleeping with who. She holds high morals, doesn’t get molded into how people expect her to be, and is the only person I can have a conversation about Postman Pat with. She never fails to make me smile every single day, and I can guarantee that in 50 years time, we’ll still meet up and laugh about the time that James fell off his chair when she threw a glue stick at him.

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So Katie, happy birthday, and in 50 years, we better still be doing our Halloween tradition …

(P.S. And Katie, assuming you’ll show this to your mum, hey Mummy Bullock! I love you just as equally and thank you for bringing up such and such an amazing daughter)

Hannah

The 101 Challenge

78 – Go to a market

This one was pretty damn easy. We happen to live in a city that has a pretty famous market, which I go to every time I go into the center. The highlight of this trip was watching a man sell a mop like he was on some sort of game show. He had an example floor and everything.
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101 Challenges Completed: 3

Hannah

German Bears and Rubber Ducks – Part 2

From one capital city to another. If you’ve read my first post about my summer holiday then you’ll know that I went to Germany for 10 days this August.

I believe we’d only got to Day 3, so this will be a (really rather long) rundown of Day 4-10.

Day 4

Nikolaiviertel, Berlin. Statue of George slaying the dragon.

Nikolaiviertel, Berlin. Statue of George slaying the dragon.

In Germany, they have this incredible shop full of hundreds of different chocolate combinations. Hence why there is a picture of me next, what I can only assume, are giant chocolate bar replicas.

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Remainders of the Berlin Wall.

Day 5

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At the station, before getting on a train to Munich.

After our final day of sightseeing, the next morning we headed to main station in Berlin, to catch our train to Munich. Over the course of the 6 hour train journey (which we were very nearly late for because the timetable said it left 20 minutes later than it did) I finished An Abundance of Katherines and managed to get some of my summer work from college done. After arriving in Munich, we headed straight to the hotel and out for dinner.

Day 6

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On our first day in Munich we visited the famous Hofbräuhaus which is one of Munich’s oldest bear halls, founded in 1589. My mum and I obviously didn’t have one of their massive 1 litre house beers, but did get to enjoy our soft drinks in beer steins. We also got to meet some of the locals – well some of the slightly tipsy locals shall we say. A German man came to sit next to us on one of the long tables in the beer hall and introduced himself as Pete (very disappointingly un-German). He then continued to talk to us for the next half an hour, playing the game “Guess the English celebrity I’m thinking of” with my parents whilst I got intensely stuck into reading the guide-book – did you know they repainted the roof in 1972?

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On to another trip to Starbucks, no name on my cup at all this time.

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Day 7

We woke up to pouring rain so it was time for Science Museum number 2! No windmills this time, but there was a planetarium. So almost the same… After that we went to the German version of Pizza Hut where they put little Pizza Hut shaped chocolates on our desserts which I found amazing.

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Day 8

You may have heard of Bayern Munich. Well the clue is in the name – their stadium is in Munich, so we went to visit. Not so much a fan of the football, my mum and I decided instead to take pictures of ourselves. We have no idea about this photo either.

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DSC_1359We then headed back into the centre and visited Olympiaturm which is at the Olympic park built for the 1972 Olympics. As you can see we climbed to the top at 955 ft.

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I was taking a photo of the Olympic Stadium and my dad thought it would be hilarious to step into the photo just as I was about to take it. This is the result of that…

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We spent the majority of the day walking around the park and enjoying the beautiful weather. Also, when we had gone back into the centre for dinner I noticed these incredibly creepy mannequins. Seriously…bleughh.

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Day 9

Day 9 took us on another train, to another country. After getting to the station at 9:30 we booked ourselves on a guided tour around Salzburg in Austria. There were 7 people on our tour including us – the other 4 were Americans from Chicago (I just wanted them to keep saying my name because I loved the way they called me ‘Kadie’ instead of Katie).  So we had a tour guide who directed us to our train which took roughly 2 hours to reach the centre of Salzburg.

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Like many other places now, this is a bridge across the river has loads of padlocks locked onto it with people’s names engraved on. Its a tradition that people will write their names on the padlock, lock it onto the bridge and throw the key away into the river below.

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After our tour, the guide gave us some free time to visit anywhere we wanted before catching the train back to Munich. She had told us about a shop that sells handpainted chicken eggs. Intrigued, we went to have a look. They have literally thousands of individually, and beautifully I might add, painted eggs so we bought one as a Christmas decoration.

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Day 10

Our final day of holiday was spent mopping up all the last things we wanted to see in Munich before flying back to Heathrow. I ingeniously named it ‘Moperation’ (a combination of operation and mopping up).  First stop was St. Peter’s Church tower where you can get a brilliant view of the whole city.

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Admittedly, I did take this with a zoom lens but this the Münchner Kindl who is the symbol of Munich.

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Lunch was much needed after our trek up to the top of the tower and around the city so we went to one of the parks that has a massive outdoor beer garden selling food as well as their famous beers. We opted for a stereo typically German meal as it was our last day.

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In the gardens they also have an artificial wave maker in the river that surfing experts are allowed to use. The river has a very strong current making it perfect.

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Then it was onto our last Starbucks of the holiday with a better version of my name than they’d managed to do in England on my cup.

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Now to solve the mystery of the Rubber Ducks part of the title…

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Katie

Life Lessons: Keep An Eye Out For Horse Poo

Last weekend, my brother and I headed to London to visit some family friends of ours in Greenwich. After an annoyingly long train journey in the ‘quiet’ carriage (it was NOT quiet. Two strangers sitting behind us had an extremely loud two-hour conversation, where everyone in the carriage learned the girl’s entire life history. Did you know she spent a year in Ethiopia and her dad’s directed a Bollywood movie? More worryingly, she swapped Facebook details with this guy. She was 17. He was 38. Don’t do that. Sorry that was a long bracket. Maybe go and re-read the start of the sentence so the next bit makes sense.), a tube journey with two very excited Americans, a swerving bus and a short walk/run in the rain, we arrived at our friend’s house and sat gossiping over tea. They’ve just bought a new house so we were forced to run out in the rain and complete darkness to see the ‘potential’ of the house – the garden. It was dark. We saw nothing.

On the Saturday afternoon, Luke and I headed out into central London for what turned out to essentially be a really long walk. We started off with a trip to Chipotle, a Mexican fast food place that has only two shops in the UK, both of which are in London. We headed to the one on Baker Street and although Luke says that they’re not as good as the are in America, they were still pretty damn awesome.
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This guy was hilarious. We were watching the inspection of the guards and as they paraded out the last three accidentally walked straight through a massive pile of freshly laid horse poo. This poor solider had to run up and clean it off their boots. Ew. DSCN4219 DSCN4225 DSCN4234 DSCN4244 DSCN4253

Bonus points if you can spot the snail below. DSCN4259 DSCN4265 DSCN4281 DSCN4286

It wasn’t until I got home and showed my mum this picture that I realised that this originally said ‘be yourself’ and someone’s just rubbed out letters so it says ‘be our elf’. I thought they were advertising for a Christmas job … (also, by ‘I realised’ I mean ‘my mum pointed out to me’.)DSCN4296
Hannah