Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sarah vs 30

After weeping uncontrollably over the loss of my youth for the last six months, I finally feel able to talk about the trauma of turning 30.

I am, of course, talking shit. I haven't blogged about it sooner because a) I've been busy baking a lot of cakes, b) I was so worn out from having to document my life that I couldn't be arsed and c) there wasn't really a lot to say.

That's right, there was no horrific meltdown, I haven't suddenly started pissing myself when I sneeze and gravity hasn't pulled my arse cheeks any closer to the back of my knees. In fact, turning 30 was pretty much like every other birthday. Sorry to be such a let down, but there was no big drama.

30 challenges before 30

Speaking of let downs... I guess it's confession time. I didn't complete my 30 challenges before 30. I gave it a good shot though, I worked hard and I tried new things, but sadly I didn't quite get there. C'mon, 27 out of 30 ain't bad!

I actually thought I'd be really disappointed with myself if I didn't complete everything, but I'm not at all. My 29th year was awesome fun, I've laughed a lot and I've discovered talents I didn't know I had. In fact, I got a lot out of this little project of mine: I have a new found love of baking, I've started sewing again, I've realised I can do (some) sporty things and I can give anything a go when I really put my mind to it.

It would've been great to have completed everything on my list, but I'm sure I'll get round to ticking them off at some point.

Best moments

There have been so many awesome moments during the last year that it is so difficult to choose one.

If I had to pick one stand out challenge it would be learning to snowboard as this was something I'd always wanted to do and it was so much fun. The fact I did it and did it well was also quite a triumph since I'm not the sporty kind at all.

Giving blood was also a very rewarding experience and really worthwhile, I just wish I'd got round to doing it sooner. I have to admit I haven't been back since, as my plans to donate this summer were scrapped due to the heatwave. If I faint after giving blood in normal conditions then that's just asking for trouble. Jeez, I'm such a flaker.

Rollerskating with my friends was also awesome fun - thanks Laura, Mandeep and Lucy for such a great day!

Worst moments

There were no challenges that I absolutely hated. I think the only bad times I had during this whole thing were when I was in pain. Like after I learnt to snowboard, which hurt like hell and left me battered, bruised and struggling walk for days afterwards. I'd never had a swollen arse before and I don't really want another one. Similarly, I suffered a lot after BMX-ing too as my legs were really badly bruised and stayed various shades of black and purple for weeks afterwards.

Thank you

The best thing about doing this whole thing was having the opportunity to do cool stuff with my lovely friends. Without them many of these challenges wouldn't have been possible and I'm very lucky that they've been kind enough to support me when I've insisted on dragging them along to something they probably don't want to do.

On that note, a special thank you goes to the long-suffering Dan, who has put up with the most during the last year and never once complained.

I'd also like to say a big thank you to everyone who visited my blog, read a post, commented or said something encouraging. There have been way more of you than I ever imagined.

Thanks also to those who Googled some really weird stuff and found your way here as a result. My personal favourites were 'shitting in wellies' and 'she shat herself horse riding'. You have some bizarre interests, but thanks for making me smile.

Life after 30

One thing that has pissed me off since turning 30 is that people ask about marriage and children a lot more. It doesn't matter how many times you tell people that you don't want children, those who are already parents will tell you that you are missing out and you will either change your mind or regret not having children in later life. Please don't be so patronising, I don't envy your life and mine certainly isn't less fulfilling for choosing not to spawn. So please shut the fuck up.

That's the only downside really. Other than that, life is ok as a 30-something. Instead of thinking my best days are behind me, I'm focussing on the positives. I'm a lot smarter than I was in my youth, I find myself caring (even) less about what I look like and I've been asked for ID on numerous occasions, which is nice.

Plus, I have way bigger things to worry about now. What's going to happen when I'm on the cusp of turning 40...?

Verdict: Turns out turning 30 isn't so shit after all 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Other 30th birthday stuff

My 30th birthday celebrations didn't centre entirely around buying records. I managed to fit in some other cool stuff too while I was in London...

Breakfast at Ed's Diner

I'll be honest with you, waking up as a 30-year-old sucked. Completely. But I discovered the fastest way to cheer yourself up on a milestone birthday is by consuming a large amount of sugar for breakfast. That's the only reason I'm smiling in the photo below, because I'm off my face.

The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast:
Pancakes, sausages and strawberries with maple syrup.
Washed down with a peanut butter milkshake.

Nom nom nom nom nom nom nom

Ed's Diner
I love 50's shit

Trocadero Arcade 

In between a bit of record buying there was time to visit the Trocadero arcade, which used to be awesome, but isn't so much these days as they got rid of a load of games. Still, I did find some to keep me entertained. 

There's always time to fight some
zombie pirates on your birthday...

... And enjoy a bit of Whack-a-Shark
Although my reactions are obviously a lot 
slower now I'm an old bastard

Hard Rock Cafe

I'm partial to a bit of gawping where rock memorabilia is concerned, so Hard Rock Cafe was the obvious choice for tea.

Here's a little fact for you. Hard Rock London was actually the one that started the whole chain, after Eric Clapton gave them a guitar in order to reserve a place at the bar. And it's still there today.

My giant slab of a cheese burger was amazing, as were the onion rings that were big enough to wear as bangles on my scrawny lady wrists. Oh and I highly recommend the mojitos as a way of numbing the pain of becoming a 30-something.

This was the best cheese burger I've ever had.
Thanks to my best friend Steven for pointing out my photobombing boobs

View from the table: Cool shit that you want to take home but aren't allowed to.
The drumkit you can just see on the left was John Bonham's
 of Led Zeppelin and the black coat belonged to Queen's 
Brian May. Not sure who the bald guy belonged to.

The walls of the place are jam packed with stuff, so there's a lot to take in. The only problem is that you can only really look at what you can see from your seat as the tables are crammed in so tightly it's hard to have a wander round and look at everything. But I guess that just gives me an excuse to go back sometime to see the rest.

Post-burger: Approximately 14lbs heavier and
about to burst out of my jeans at any second

We Will Rock You 

I have a little confession to make. I've never been that keen on musicals. Apart from Grease, which I will happily watch anytime due to its killer songs, awesome dresses and hot looking John Travolta, I have always struggled to sit through musicals. I promise you I have tried. I even watched a bit of Moulin Rouge once, but that probably ranks among the dullest 30 minutes of my life. Either that or the bit of Dirty Dancing I watched once. They were equally as shit, so it's a close tie.

Anyway, as this musical is based entirely around Queen songs I thought there was a chance I might like it. And it's written by Ben Elton, so I was confident it would have some good laughs. But if it did end up being shit I figured I could just sit in the theatre doing this...

We Will Rock You is basically a piss take of manufactured music and is set on iPlanet, where everyone dresses the same and thinks the same, and where all music sounds the same. I've spent my entire life feeling trapped in that world, so I could instantly relate.

The story follows a group of rebels who are trying to bring back real bands and proper music. It's very cleverly written with little references to Queen lyrics everywhere and lots of laughs. And of course, lots of singing! But it worked and I absolutely loved it. I may not be a complete convert to musicals, but if the soundtrack kicks ass then I'll happily give it a go.

Famous people I share my birthday with
  • Justin Bieber (I know, but it gets worse...)
  • Nick Griffin (Urgh, told yer)
  • Kesha (a singer apparently)
  • Dafydd Ieuan (drummer with the Super Furry Animals)

Other stuff that shares my birthday

Ok, so according to the weird world of Wiki, 1st March is also...
  • National Pig Day in America (errrr to celebrate pigs, I guess?)
  • Self-Injury Awareness Day
  • Beer Day in Iceland (the date prohibition ended in 1989)

Verdict: Awesome birthday fun  

Monday, 26 August 2013

Challenge #27: Sarah vs the Record Shop Pilgrimage

I've always wanted to go on a massive music buying splurge, visit loads of indie record shops and buy what the hell I want. Since I don't earn a lot I never really have any spare cash to do anything reckless - or anything much at all really - but with it being a special birthday I thought what the fuck, let's have some fun.

The plan

So, I came up with a plan. Visit as many record shops as I could during my birthday weekend in London. I gave myself no limits on spending, but I had to buy at least one thing from each shop I visited. I knew that part wouldn't be difficult since I usually want to buy shit loads of stuff.

Since there are only 274 record shops left in the UK - compared to over 2,200 in the 1980s - London was the obvious choice for accessing as many as possible. I did a lot of Googling, made a map (see below), saved some cash and off I went...

Camden (Tube station: Camden Town)

First stop was Camden and Out on the Floor Records (Inverness Street), a shop which I must have passed a thousand times and never noticed. It's pokey little shop, but it's got a ok punk section, which is always the first thing I have to check. Unfortunately, they keep all the second-hand punk and metal downstairs, which is only open at weekends, so there wasn't a great deal of trawling to be done.

I opted for 'Let's Get a Bit A Rockin' by the 101ers and that was it - first purchase in the bag. Oh and I also got a comment on my Amoeba tote bag, which was nice.

Here I am getting a little bit a rockin' 
at Out on the Floor

Camden Lock Vinyl (Camden Lock Place) was next on the list. I come here every December and always like flicking through the boxes of old punk 7" singles, although I rarely buy anything cos my visits are always a little too close to Christmas to be able to treat myself. Well, not today. Today I'm going to buy those old punk singles I always drool over.

The Clash and Sex Pistols singles

Then it was on to some place in the market that I'm not sure even has a name. I also come here quite often, but I think this visit was a lucky one as I found me 'Come on Pilgrim' by The Pixies from '87, which was probably my favourite find of the whole trip. It's got some of my favourite Pixies songs on it, including 'Nimrod's Son'.

The sleeve's a little battered, but I kinda like them like that as it shows they've been loved and used.

The Pixies was probably my fave purchase

Somewhere in Camden market

Rough Trade West (Tube station: Ladbroke Grove)

Then it was off for my first ever visit to Rough Trade West. I visit Rough Trade East every time I'm in London, but I'm not sure what took me so long to make it West, since it's awesome. East is great cos it's massive, has loads of vinyl and new stuff, plus a great book section, but West is a bit of an Aladdin's cave thanks to the downstairs second-hand section, meaning you've no idea what you might find.

It's also got a lot of heart thanks to the sleeves and posters all over the walls and the fact that it's tiny. My only complaint is that the racks are quite high up, so if you're a short arse like me you can only look about half way through before you start struggling.

I loved routing through the second-hand section. I actually an original 'Motown Junk' by the Manic Street Preachers that had me weeing my pants for a few minutes, but I decided to put it back as it was a little out of my price range. Plus, this was only my fourth stop and I knew I still had a few stops left of my tour.

I decided to go for 'True North' by Bad Religion on record, which was released in January and also came with a free CD of the album too. The awesome thing about buying new vinyl now is that most come with a download code too, so you can still add it to your iPod or what-not, as well as drinking in its beauty and actually holding it in your hands. And you just can't go wrong with a bit of Bad Religion.

Rough Trade East (Tube station: Aldgate East)

Rough Trade East is by far my favourite record shop for the following reasons: cool punk n hardcore sections in CD and vinyl, great book section, has an old school photo booth, does nice coffee and the staff are friendly. I have never once visited this shop and left empty handed. It's impossible.

After a dangerous amount of time browsing - for every five minutes you look you find at least one thing you want - I narrowed it down to the latest Mariachi el Bronx record (even though I have the CD cos  I knew it would sound amazing on record), 'God Save the Queen' by the Sex Pistols (reissue), Eight Miles High by Husker Du (reissue), Vaya by At the Drive-In and 'Songs the Lord Taught Us' by The Cramps. Awesome stuff.

Showing off the Mariachi

Reckless Records and Sister Ray on Berwick Street
(Tube station: Tottenham Court Road)

Then it was off to Reckless Records, which is the kind of record shop I really love. Since all the stuff is second-hand you don't know what you might find, so putting aside at least an hour for trawling is recommended. I got my hands on a Pegboy 12" EP from '93 and a Volbeat CD for a tenner. Not bad, not bad.

Sadly, while I like Reckless, what letting it down are the incredibly rude staff. The guy that served me basically just grunted at me, looked at me like I'd taken a shit on the counter when I asked for a bag - surely not an unusual request - and then chucked it at me. So while it is a pretty awesome shop, I'm not keen on the idea of giving my hard earned cash to such a dickhead.

Me and my Pegboy

Ahh, Sister Ray. I'm including it on my list, because I went in, but I didn't actually get to buy anything from here as there was only one person serving and a fucking massive queue. Since I had to catch my train home I left empty handed, which was obviously disappointing. I have been here before though and bought stuff, and I'm sure I'll be visiting again at some point, so it's not the end of the world.

That's my I-wanna-buy-shit-but-the-
I'm-going-to-miss-my-fooking-train face.

And so that was it, homeward bound with my arms about dropping off thanks to the weight of all that awesome shit...

Interesting little fact for you... 

Sister Ray and Reckless Records, on Berwick Street, can be seen on the left-hand side of the cover of '(What's the Story) Morning Glory?' by Oasis.

Berwick Street 1995

Berwick Street 2013

Run down of my finds

Let's Get a Bit a Rockin' - 101ers (12")
Anarchy in the UK - Sex Pistols (7")
Know Your Rights - The Clash (7")
Come on Pilgrim - The Pixies (12")
True North - Bad Religion (12" plus free CD)
Mariachi el Bronx II - Mariachi el Bronx (12")
God Save the Queen - Sex Pistols (7")
Eight Mile High - Husker Du (7")
Vaya - At the Drive-In (CD)
Songs the Lord Taught Us - The Cramps (CD)
Fore - Pegboy (12")
Guitar Gangsters and Cadillac Blood - Volbeat (CD)

Total spends

Errrm, it was something in the region of £100. Whoopsies.


The coolest and most fun way to lose a load of cash in two days. Also the perfect way to spend your 30th birthday if you love music. And I'm pretty sure I should take some of the credit for the rise in sales at independent record shops in the first half of the year - sales grew by 44% in the first six months of 2013. With this trip and then my Record Store Day splurge at Rough Trade East in April I think I've certainly done my bit.

Unfortunately, I didn't quite have enough time to visit all of the shops I had put on my list, but I did give it a good go and I'm sure I'll get to all the others at some point.

Plan your own record buying adventure 

If you fancy a little a record shop tour of London yourself then you might find the map below handy. Just remember to take plenty of cash!

View Sarah's Record Shop Pilgrimage in a larger map

Verdict: A most excellent win for my record collection! 
A massive fail for my bank balance.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Challenge #26: Sarah vs Golf

It's a cold, wet, miserable and windy morning in February. I have a week off and by rights should be horizontal on my sofa with some punk rock blasting out of the stereo, a good book in one hand and a steaming cup of coffee in the other. Instead, I am stood in a soggy field trying to hit a ball with a stick.

When I added 'play a round of golf' to my list of things to do before 30 I envisioned blue skies, blazing sunshine and ice creams. I thought it would involve sun cream. Unfortunately, the summer of 2012 was heavy on the vile side and heavy on the rainfall, which is why I had put off the task. If I had known it would mean playing golf in the drizzle on a February morning I think I would've gotten it over and done with earlier.

So here I am at the Melton Mowbray golf course at 10am. 

Ready to tee off.
I've got all the professional gear on,
leopard print wellies and skinny jeans.

I took many chunks out of the grass.
I put them back though.
I know you're thinking it must've taken
me ages to tee off, but after missing
the ball completely the first time I
actually hit it on the second attempt.
I was impressed even if you're not.

It's in!

Wow, it only took 16 shots to complete one hole - I'm a natural!

This was on the second hole.
At this point I got bored and pretended to play
polo on an imaginary horse.
I don't need drugs to have a good time. 

I made improvements on the second hole and
managed to get it in with just 12 shots.

Confession time...

I known I said I was going to play a round of golf, but it took me over half an hour to play two holes. TWO HOLES! Plus it was cold and damp, so I called it a day after just the two. I still gave it a go though and did try really hard, but it is quite difficult to hit a ball with a stick. It's also not the most thrilling sport. Maybe in the summer it's more fun, but I don't recommend playing it for the first time in this weather.

Verdict: I gave it a go, so I win.

Challenge #25: Sarah vs the Bucket List

This wasn't on my original list of things before 30, as it came as a bit of a surprise challenge that I thought I would be waiting a very long time to do.

Jack Kerouac's 'On The Road' sat on my bookshelf for about 10 years before I finally got around to reading it. I was packing my belongings up ready to move out, deciding what to keep and what to give away. Even though I hadn't made the effort to read it, I was reluctant to give it up. I sat on the floor and read a couple of pages, telling myself it would have to go if I couldn't get into it quickly, and ended up reading the whole book. Since then it has been my favourite book.

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."

The story of how Kerouac wrote 'On The Road' on one huge scroll of paper - supposedly in a three-week burst while on benzedrine - has always fascinated me and in my head I thought one day I would go and see it on display in America. So when I heard that the scroll was heading for the British Library late last year I had to go and see my favourite book in its original form.

The original 'On The Road' scroll

Me and the scroll.

A few facts about 'On The Road'
  • The original scroll manuscript, typed by Kerouac in a three-week burst, measures 120ft
  • It's only been fully rolled out twice
  • It was bought for $2.43 million (£1.51 million) in 2001 - the highest ever amount for a literary manuscript
  • That's $20,250 (£12,555) per foot
  • It has a typo on the first line - 'I first met met Neal...'
  • The end of the scroll was chewed by a dog
  • More than 10 million copies of 'On The Road' have been sold - I own two of those

Verdict: WIN!

Challenge #24: Sarah vs The Nationals

It's a long time since I had anything published in a national magazine or any magazine now I think about it. I thought setting myself the challenge of getting something published nationally would spur me on to get writing and help me to keep my hand in features. Since I began working in PR I've been really worried that I will lose this skill, so writing other stuff is important to me.

I tried pitching my '30 before 30' thing to a couple of publications, but it's hard to get anyone to take any notice and I gave up. I realise now that this was a mistake, that I should have put a bit more effort in and worked a bit harder at it, but with two days to go before I turn 30 it's too late to be working on it now.

However, I do have a way of cheating through this challange in order to say I've completed it. My cunning plan involves using an article that was published in the Guardian last summer and passing it off as my own, because the basis of it was my own. You see, my press release about the country's first woodfuel co-operative made it into the Money section of the Guardian. Yes that may be Rupert Jones' name on there, but I did the donkey work so I'm claiming it as my own. Told you I had a cunning plan.

Guardian article from my press release

Verdict: It's not quite what I had in mind and it's not my byline, but I don't have enough time to be picky type of win.

Challenge #23: Sarah vs Sleeveface

Sleeveface describes itself as 'one or more persons obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion'. It's basically a game that involves holding record sleeves over your face to create an amusing picture.

That doesn't sound too challenging I hear you say, but my brilliant plan was to create a whole series of photos using different records. I even got up before 8am on a Sunday - ON A SUNDAY - to trudge round the carboot sale in search of the perfect sleeve faces and bought some vile 80's pop records that have no place being in my collection. In fact, they are so vile I plan to melt them into vinyl bookends so that no-one can listen to them ever again.

Where was I? Ahh yes, the idea behind adding this to my list of things to do before I get dementia was to get creative with some records and  camera. This being me, however, I did one and told myself I would come back to it later, obviously I didn't. It was July when I did the first one. It's now February.

So here it is, my one attempt at Sleeveface, which got posted on the website. You have to admit though it is pretty awesome for a first go, especially when I just happened to be wearing the same jumper...

Verdict: Win

Monday, 25 February 2013

Challenge #22: Sarah vs The Burning House

I hope escaping a burning house isn't something I have to do before 30 or after it, but ever since I found The Burning House I've thought long and hard about what I would save were such a heartbreaking thing to happen.

The Burning House...

'If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It's a conflict between what's practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.'

My Burning House...

So after much consideration, I've come up with the following precious items that I would scramble to save in the event of a fire.

1. Journal
2. Amoeba Music bag, I'm rarely seen without it and it'll come in handly for carrying all this stuff
3. Memory cards
4. Purple belt with silver hearts that my mum made me for my 18th birthday
5. Letters from my teenage years
6. Festival wristbands
7. Ticket stubs
8. Teddy bear I've had since I was little, known as Poorly Bear because he has a plaster on the side of his face
9. Favourite photos
10. 'Sarah Music' compilation tape and CDs from my boy Daniel

Close ups...

The collective shot didn't do my ticket stub collection
justice, so here they are spread out a little bit.

CDs, records, tapes and even my band t-shirts can be replaced, but these little bits of paper are irreplaceable and I would be devastated if I lost them. I feel like they tell my journey through music, where I've been and who I've watched. If I had time I'd share all those stories, but I think that's game for another day.

Verdict: Win

Challenge #21: Sarah vs Star Wars

I've never been one for going out on New Year's Eve. I've probably done it a handful of times in my almost-30-years and there's never been any remarkable about them. I find I encounter enough knobheads on a night out anyway, but the amount of orange flesh, cheap looking slags and scummy lads seem to increase significantly on this occasion.

My way of welcoming the New Year usually involves a DVD, a lot of food and some of my favourite beverage, so this year I decided I would watch three films back-to-back. I was going to tackle the Star Wars original trilogy boxset marathon.

Now I realise there is no possible way to make a blog post about me watching three Star Wars films interesting, hence why I'm writing this in February. So, here are just a few photos that show what happened that night...

It's 6pm and I'm feeling good about this challenge.

Essential tools for a Star Wars boxset marathon:
 a Star Wars boxset, a full tin of Quality
 Street, a bottle of gin and some tonic water (not pictured).

Sarah's top tip: pace yourself on the gin
otherwise you will be asleep before 9pm

Two thirds of the way through.

Feeling sick...

I can't feel my arse. So much time has passed
 I might even be 30 already.

2am: Is it over yet?? Please can I have my life back now.

I took the BBC's Star Wars quiz afterwards and got
9 out of 15, which isn't a bad score
when you consider I
 was off my face on sugar and gin.

Verdict: WIN!
p.s. I love Star Wars, but I'm never doing that again.

Challenge #20: Sarah vs Pottery Painting

After the traumatic experience of BMXing I need to think about something calming, so I'm finally getting around to blogging about my pottery painting, which happened before Christmas! In my defence I did move house just two weeks before Christmas - something I haven't fully recovered from yet - so I've been pretty poor at doing any challenges, never mind blogging them since then.

Anyway, there's a cute little coffee shop, art gallery and ceramic studio all rolled into one a short walk from my house and I walk past it at least twice a week. For a long time I've promised myself I will go in and be nosey, and on the run up to Christmas it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make some festive decorations.

My favourite thing about this place is that you can have coffee, cake and be creative all at the same time. You don't actually make the pottery items, you pick out readymade items to paint, such as a plate, tile, mug, money box and Christmas decorations, then you choose your paints and away you go. Once you're done you leave them to be fired and collect them a couple of days later.

Reindeer and snowman tree decorations

Hard at work


Daniel putting the finishing touches to his snowman

Verdict: it's an awesome win!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Challenge #19: Sarah vs BMXing

I was probably about seven-years-old when I gave up riding my little blue bike. Coincidently, it was around the time I bombed down the hill where I grew up, took my hands off the handle bars and went straight over them, creating a mess of both the pavement and my face.

That painful face-planting incident - along with the very wise decision to give up riding a bike - flashed through my mind as me and my BMX smashed into the ramp we were attempting to ride up. It was a combination of nervousness and indecision, I got a bit of a wobble on, made a half-arsed attempt to go up it, couldn't quite decide which ramp to go up and then... crunch. We were only 20 minutes into a two-hour BMX session and it was already the second time I had fallen off.

I like doing things that have an element of danger to them and get the adrenaline pumping, so I thought BMXing would be right up my street. Sadly, I hadn't taken into account the number of years it had been since I last rode a bike or my ability to injure myself at any given opportunity. I was crap and the falling off certainly didn't help my confidence, especially when the place was full of children who weren't falling over.

Having said that, normally in these falling over/knocking something over/doing something incredibly silly situations I would be mortified, but on this occasion I wasn't. I didn't actually give a shit whether anyone was watching it or filming it for YouTube because it was very funny and I'm happy to laugh at myself. Within just 20 minutes of entering the building I was bruised and bleeding.

That face says 'what the fuck am I doing??'

Evidence I did ride the bike

 And went up the ramps

Dan's so fast he's a blur. He was also very good,
which made my efforts look even worse.


Things I've learnt

Ok, so I was completely rubbish at this challenge, but I'm glad I gave it a shot. Up until now I had enjoyed all of my challenges and while I was a little gutted I couldn't get the hang of it, it's not the end of the world. I'm good at lots of things, but I can't be good at everything and there's no shame in that.

Other things I've learnt

BMXing is very cliquey. If you're into it and good at it, they have time for you. If you're not your 'instructor' will watch you fall over and bleed and not bother to ask if you are ok, and will then piss off and leave you to it because he basically can't be arsed with you. On a positive note, not everyone that worked there was a dick, but some really were.

Even more things I've learnt

Cheesecake makes everything better...

The aftermath

It wasn't until I got in the bath that night that I realised quite how much damage I'd done to myself. I haven't counted the bruises yet, but there are a lot.

Verdict: A wobbly and bruised win, but I don't think I'll be trying it again