Far out! If I can’t think of 40 things to do, or if I run out of time to do them I am placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of Word Press. I feel like I have practically gained a degree in Information Technology and Website Design whilst trying to navigate their ‘beginner’ web pages. Typical to actual university though, the information was only momentarily retained and I now have forgotten all knowledge related to widgets, plugins, pages, posts, menu’s, themes and formats.
I think that doing 40 things before I am 40 may be a little too much to achieve so I have decided that my list can either be a number that is a multiple of 4 or end in a 4. I did have a list that I wrote when I was a teenager of “things to do before I die” but nearly all of those things are now absolutely IMPOSSIBLE so it is of no use to me. I must have been a seriously disillusioned teenager. At the age of 16 I thought that it was a genuine possibility that I could go to the Winter Olympics as a figure skater despite having never ice-skated, nor had any intention of doing so, did not have the ‘figure’ that is required to be a figure skater or any plans to achieve this goal. A goal that was SO important that it made the top 10 in my list of things to do before I die. That is just one of the ludicrous and absurd things that took up my list – a list which I obviously regarded with the same attention that I give to Ben’s budgets – zero.
I am awesome at making lists. In fact, I probably spend more time writing lists of things that I should do than I do actually doing the things on the list. This list however, is going to be taken seriously. I intend to follow through on all the declarations I am about to post. I should point out that past experience has shown that I make huge declarations or as Ben likes to call them “over-promises” then either completely disregard them or majorly underdeliver. An example of which would be Christmas Day, 25/12/2017 at 5:32am where I told Ben my present to him was that I was not going to go shopping or spend ANY money for FOUR whole days. This promise was tossed aside at 5:48am when we realised that Santa had delivered iPhones and had not delivered sim cards (which are required to make the iPhones work). So off I went to the servo to save Christmas Day. As I had already broken my promise, boxing day was spent blissfully at Ikea, shopping up a storm, so I could re-organise the kids bedrooms to fit in all their new Christmas presents. This definitely won’t happen this time.
- Become a successful blogger. This has eluded me despite numerous attempts at writing blogs, googling ‘how to become a successful travel blogger’ and shamelessly forcing family and friends to like and share my page. I have been thinking lately about how I will decide if this goal has been achieved? Why do I want to be a successful blogger? My number one goal is to be successful enough so that when we camp at Big 4’s I am able to use my blog traffic to negotiate paying for only 50% of my offspring. Big 4’s usually charge approximately $60 for 2 adults then $15 per extra child – with no option for unpowered camping. We have a camper trailer that does not require power so I object to paying $120 per night for Ben + me + 4 kiddo’s. I have just finished emailing Big 4’s head office asking them what traffic on my travel blog would be required for me to be in a position to negotiate only paying for 2 children instead of 4. I sent this as a private message but I will definitely post on their FB page if I don’t receive an answer or an un-favourable answer. I would also like to be successful so that enough people read the blog I wrote: https://nobeladventures.com/2018/07/11/paris-day-2/#more-284 on Isabelle’s unfortunate toilet incident in Paris – enough people to make the manager of Cafe de l’Opera rue the day he yelled at me and not only traumatised my child, but caused horrific chaffing on her poor little backside. If anyone has advice on how I can make my blog more successful I am open to ideas. I obviously suck at self promotion.
- Import “Ferrero Espresso to Go” to Australia. In Italy, I stumbled across the BEST THING EVER!!! Being a “Super Taster” (which is actually a thing – please see here for more information: https://supertaster.com ) I have never been able to drink coffee, which is way too bitter for me. I have tried numerous times and no matter how desperate I am for caffeine or no matter how much sugar I add – I can’t drink it. However, Italians, being the bloody geniuses that they are, have invented a product that is a shot of Espresso in liquid Ferrero chocolate. It is only about 23ml of liquid and comes in a teeny, tiny popper type thing. You push your tiny straw in to the pod and drink away. I am dead set serious about this. Two weeks ago I spent 2 hours of my life writing a letter to Ferrero Italia in Italian (thank goodness for google translate) asking them about purchasing this product. They responded (in Italian) that they don’t sell direct but only sell via the world trade market. Italy is the only country in the world smart enough to stock this product and they make it very difficult for people to order from overseas. I have 150 of these babies en-route to me via a third party (parcl.com) at a price that would make Ben’s eye’s water should he ever find out. Not only does Ferrero NOT ship these babies to any other country, they also don’t ship all over Italy, which has held up the arrival of my much anticipated stock. I am still unsure what to do with the 150 of my Ferrero Espresso to Go’s. I have promised a few to some close friends but also have plans to storm the head office of 7/11 and give one to the CEO and also the people in charge of product ordering then demand that they get these suckers imported into the Australian market ASAP. Ben reckons that 7/11, Coles, Woolies and the likes would have already conducted market research on this product and decided it would not prosper in Australia, but I completely refute this claim. I’ve been conducting my own market research (by telling everyone I know about it) and the consensus has been extremely positive. I’m half tempted to start up my own distribution business so that I can import them but again Ben said this plan was impossible. I am nothing if not persistent and history has shown that my ability to whinge, complain and wear people down is second to none. So far Ferrero Australia have ignored my emails. The worldwide Ferrero website only has links to different countries websites and not a contact for their head office. I’m afraid that I’m going to have to do a lot of company investigation and research and find out what the Hell the ‘World Food Market’ is and what you have to be to buy stuff from it.
- Europify my home. Firstly, I would like to begin this goal by letting you all know that I coined the term Europify, meaning – to make like Europe. My travels around UK and Europe awakened me to the fact that I, and most of Australia, live in what can only be described by Europeans as ‘visual pollution’. In Europe, it doesn’t matter how much pollution is in the air or on the ground, it only matters that when you look around – all houses/apartments/streetlamps/bridges/walkways are adorned with baskets of beautiful blooming flowers. My own home is currently a major site of visual pollution and I’m afraid that a few baskets of hanging flowers is not going to do much to fix that. But it is definitely a start. I’ve also asked Ben to do some outdoor renovations to remove a few eyesores as a 40th Birthday present for me so hopefully in combination we will be able to create an outdoor area that is visually appealing. Ben has said that in order to do the renovations I have requested I will need to stop breaking my weekly budget. This leads me to goal number 4.
- Budgeting. Ever since I met Ben and was introduced to this strange concept of budgeting and living within ones means I have made numerous half-hearted attempts at complying with his mantras. I don’t mean to bust the budget. I just always have lived by the philosophy that you buy what you want and then work hard to pay it off. I have never been one to shy away from car loans or credit card bills – two of Ben’s greatest execrations. The notion of saving up for something over a period of time does nothing to interest the innate part of me that craves instant gratification. But, in order to appease my husband, and to show that I am capable of following a budget I am going to make an attempt to stick to the weekly budget for an ENTIRE WEEK. Of course the terms and conditions of this budget will have to be negotiated with Ben. Hopefully these terms and conditions don’t lead to divorce as EVERY time this has been attempted in the past it has lead to intense frustration and a period of not speaking to each other. Ben will present me with a series of spreadsheets which I will look at for two seconds before rolling my eyes and losing interest. This enrages Ben who has spent hours compiling these spreadsheets and I begin saying things like “I’m tapping out. Don’t show me anymore spreadsheets”. I get his anger. I tell him I’d like to know about the budget, he spends hours simplifying his very complex spreadsheets in order for me to understand them and then I give him about 2 seconds of attention before declaring that I no-longer am interested. I would be angry too.
- Googa Experience – For Year 11 and 12 I attended Grace Lutheran College at Rothwell. Thank GOODNESS I didn’t arrive in grade 10 as Grace College has a 1 month camp called Googa. I can assure you that as a 15 year old I would not have survived at Googa. At the time it sounded like my worst nightmare. I probably would have broken my own leg to get out of going, truth be told. As an adult I can see that the Googa experience was probably good for kids (not needy, whinny, kids like me with severe attachment issues though). The climax of the Googa experience is a 1 night camp out on your own. I’ve decided that before I turn 40 I am going to borrow Rohan’s trekking gear, hike off into the wilderness and spend 24 – 48 hours all on my own – without any creature comforts! Rohan has a backpack with a teeny tiny tent and sleep mat. He also has tiny cooking equipment. Over the course of the next week I am going to get him to teach me how to use all this equipment and plan to head off ON MY OWN at a point sometime in the near future. I will not be allowed any technology (apart from the laptop so I can blog about the experience) and my kindle. I will not be allowed to post to FB or use the internet at all and need to find somewhere where I am all on my lonesome. Spending 24 – 48 hours by myself is something I have never done and it scares the bejesus out of me. I really am not a fan of my own company.
- Keep the house clean for 3 days straight. Originally this was going to be for 1 week but who is kidding who??? Near impossible I say. Of course the date of this challenge will start immediately after our lovely cleaner has left (she comes every 4 days) so I will only need to maintain the cleanliness and tidiness for 3 days. I come from good stock of tidy people. My Grandma’s house is the cleanest, most organised house in the WHOLE world. Surely some of those genes exist in me… maybe they haven’t been activated yet. I will post pictures to document this goal once it is achieved.
I think I might leave it at 6 goals for tonight. If I went through the whole 40 at once it would take up an entire book so I’m going to introduce the goals in stages. Already I’m up to 2122 words and the advice that I’ve received from successful bloggers is to keep it short and sweet. Under 800 words is ideal. These bloggers also look great in bikini’s and know how to take amazing selfies so I wonder if their success is due to the lack of word count or the pictures / beauty tips they offer up???? Even though I may be short and sweet (in appearance) I do not possess the ability to write things that are short and sweet so those that want to follow along with my ’40 things’ journey, are going to have to accept that it will be full of finger dribble and quite obviously a lot of rot. I will post updates on how I am going with the goals I have introduced, as well as introducing new ones.
Any advice on achieving any of the goals (i.e. becoming a successful blogger or distributor of Ferrero products) will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for reading!!
P.S. Am going to add some pics of the places around Europe that I am using as inspiration when transforming my house into a place void of visual pollution.
P.P.S. I am so over writing that I can’t even be bothered editing. So you’ll have to forgive any typo’s or grammatical errors.