Thursday, 26 September 2013

39 things to do before I turn 40...

Oh my! There's only one year to go before the big four-o! So here we are above frivolously drinking cocktails in the day at my favourite restaurant, The Ethicurean, to try and drown my sorrows as this is the last year of my thirties!

As I've done for the last five years here's my annual list of things I'd like to do this year...
  1. be a better mother! 
  2. plant an edible hedge of crab apple (for jelly), blackthorn (sloe gin), cherry plum (for jam), dog rose (for rosehip syrup), elderberry (for cordial), hazel (for nuts) and wild pear (for jams, liqueurs and syrups)
  3. illustrate my favourite walks 
  4. eat more veg as a family 
  5. make a mini garden with the boys like this one 
  6. visit the Hay literature festival 
  7. give myself time to explore more creative photography
  8. bid on something in an auction (& win it!)
  9. go to the Circus of course! 
  10. chop and fill the wood shed ready for winter
  11. take the boys fossil hunting ✓
  12. press apples and make our own cider
  13. start making my own clothes (slightly ambitious!) 
  14. have a secret weekend with my husband here
  15. run a gingerbread house making workshop ✓
  16. make some personalised rosettes 
  17. buy a waffle iron (I love waffles)
  18. bake the most amazing birthday cake ✓
  19. visit The Wild Rabbit 
  20. go to the Natural History Museum & see the dinosaurs 
  21. buy a panama hat 
  22. make snow lollies
  23. hire a Morris traveller and go for a drive & picnic
  24. go wild swimming 
  25. make fruit leathers
  26. visit Paris
  27. plant my favourite flowers in the garden 
  28. find all the March Hares  
  29. go stargazing & learn to identify more constellations
  30. write letters to each of the boys should anything ever happen to me (morbid I know, but inspired by Caitlin Moran's brilliant letter to her daughter & the fact that I am getting on a bit!)
  31. buy a new bigger bell tent 
  32. & find some amazing places to go camping 
  33. have a snail race
  34. grow the biggest pumpkin
  35. wonder at a starling murmuration
  36. find a dramatically deep shade of red lipstick that suits me and wear it 
  37. visit Rye and stay in the Crow's Nest
  38. host a series of twelve seasonally inspired gatherings
  39. make a difference! 
here's the previous years 38 things37 things36 things, 35 things and 34 things, which still need finishing!


  1. Now that is a what I call a list! You've inspired me to do the same, joining you on the 39th step in a few weeks too....gulp! Share so many of your wishes, hope we get to do them! Happy birthday, looks like you had a lovely day xxx

    1. Brilliant - let's make it a really exciting year in the build up to the big b'day x

  2. Happy Birthday Emma! Another great list - I've just been looking back through your others and they're so imaginative and interesting. I'm also considering a bell tent and wondering what can accommodate our family of 5. Oh and the lipstick one is brave but great!

    1. Thanks Cathy, so much I haven't managed in the previous lists though! Bell tents are so beautiful to sleep in and when the children get a little bigger you can get an inner tent too, Emma x

  3. Happy Birthday! I am with you with all of that list - it is fantastic!!! Lou xxx Oh and try NARS Jungle Red, it's a winner xxx

    1. Thanks for the lipstick tip, I would have never known where to start x
      I hope my birthday buddy had a great day too?
      Emma x

  4. Happy Birthday Emma! Great list this year and what looks like a lovely lunch.

  5. Happy birthday! A great list! I have a similar one but its 50 things to do before I'm 40. Only a couple of years to go here. I love the idea of hiring a retro car and having a picnic so might have to steal that one. And I can THOROUGHLY recommend the Hay Festival...we've been two years in a row now, with children, and its been great!

  6. Happy birthday, what another fabulous list to look forward to! By the way, I'm sure I can help you out with no.23 just let me know next time you're in Cornwall and you can take our convertible Morris for a spin x

  7. Inspired by the list item-14, we booked the Summerhouse for our 20-year wedding anniversary celebration break. It was delightful, the property is located in a magnificent place, it is very comfortable & the absence of electricity/central heating added to the charm. We enjoyed a very lovely break thanks to this recommendation.

    The Summerhouse reverts back to its owners at the end of January 2014, so its availability is now very limited


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