Falling Forward: A Girl & Her Lists

101 in 1001 – March Update

Posted by in 101 in 1001, Projects

This month I managed to tick off a couple of long term goals, which is always a pleasure. I’m coming into the final stretch with this project – all the stuff I have left to do has been left for a reason – but I’m hoping I’m going to find some final motivation to get it finished in time.

Completed Goals: 6
41. Make packed lunches for Chris and I myself every day for a month
My original goal included my boyfriend at the time, since I made this list in 2009 (gosh how long ago that feels now!). I modified it this year and have just completed 30 days in a row of bringing my own food to work. I’ve saved a lot of money and I’m probably eating a little healthier because of it. However, I am looking forward to my next Burger King A LOT. Nom.

63. See at least two live bands
I finally got to see Elbow live and they were incredible. So now I can tick this off and never have to go and see another gig again. Yay!

77. Use Tesco’s online more
We live in a flat above a shopping centre, so getting Tesco’s to deliver to us has sometimes been problematic, heh. Most of the time tho it works okay and I am definitely better at not picking up pork pies and ferrero rocher when I’m not actually in the supermarket. Score.

89. Try and pay off one of my credit cards
I am going to count this as done because I’ve actually paid off about half of my debt from the original £14,000 I had when I started this list. I’ve moved the money around a lot, but I’ve definitely paid some off. So take that, Virgin Money, you bunch of utter fuck muppets. I beat your system, now fuck off and die*. Thx!

50. Pay off my car
Yay! It took three years but I finally paid off my car. & then promptly sold it about two weeks later because I don’t need a car in Cardiff and we only have one parking space anyway. But I still paid it off!

93. Have a work girly night
Technically it wasn’t with the work girls, but since I like my friends more than the people I work with, having a girly night with them was much more fun.

Total completed: 63/101
Days remaining: 183

*Virgin Money are now on the list. Along with Darren Aronovsky and Danny Boyle for making films that gave me nightmares and Zurich Car Insurance for being tossers.

Friday Thanks

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects

Dear Girl at the Gym,
Thank you for doing some crunches on the mat whilst I was trying desperately to balance on the ball and do some arm exercises at the same time.
I hate going to the gym because the idea of people watching me exercise fills me with dread, but you inspired me to do some crunches too and I know my abdominal muscles will appreciate it.

Thanks for making me feel less bothered about what people think,

♥ Sarah.

– this is a potentially new feature, inspired by Leah at ThxThxThx.

Grace In Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

1. Bed hair that actually looks good
2. Being able to not take a coat to work
3. Sunshine
4. Homemade salad dressing
5. Shampoo that smells like apples

Everything is better now the sun is shining, right?

One Day Like This

Posted by in 101 in 1001, A Little Conversation, Projects

Tonight I finally get to tick off item number 63 on my 101 in 1001: See at least two live bands. I know it doesn’t seem like such an arduous task, and perhaps two is a laughable number for a three year project but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Are you ready?

 I don’t like live music.

Now, before you stone me to death for my bare faced ignorance let me explain. I like bands, I like music, I like songs. I do not like crowds, loud noises and being trodden upon. Being 5ft 2” normally means that at whatever gig I am at I am liable to either a) not be able to see or b) be smacked in the face. & also, I have had terrible experiences at live gigs. They’re just not my favourite things in the world.

I actually put it on my list for that very reason – because I don’t like doing it. One of my best friends is obsessed with live music and it’d be nice to be able to be a (n admittedly quite far away) gig buddy if the need ever arose. I went to see Los Campesinos! in February of last year, in a small gig in my home town believe it or not. The music was fun and I got to introduce my sister and her fiancé to the wonder that is My Year In Lists (a song obviously close to my own heart, heh) and We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed – the song that contains my most favourite lyrics in the world, ever:

I taught myself the only way to vaguely get along in love
Is to like the other
slightly less than you get in return
I keep feeling like I’m
being. under. cut 

I also got accidentally punched in the face (with my glasses on, double yay!) by an over exuberant fan. You see? Live gigs + sarahmia = a dangerous combination.

But tonight I am willing to throw all that to one side and embrace the live music because tonight it’s Elbow and damn if I haven’t been waiting for this gig my entire life. (I’m just hoping they play my favourite songs otherwise I may well end up crying). I think it’s probably not an understatement when I say that Elbow are my favourite band of all time.

My actual favourite tracks come mostly from their B Sides, that I fell upon by accident long after their release. If you are new to Elbow, I suggest you listen to these five tracks. (Narrowing it down to five was hard).

Top Five Songs You Should Listen To Right Now:

  1. Grace Under Pressure [Cast of Thousands]
  2. An Imagined Affair [Leaders of the Free World]
  3. Fugitive Motel [Cast of Thousands]
  4. Great Expectations [Leaders of the Free World]
  5. Lippy Kids [Build A Rocket Boys]

My Favourite Tracks Of All Time:

  1. Stumble [Asleep in the Back, B Side]
  2. Lucky With Disease [Newborn EP – I think]
  3. Puncture Repair [Leaders of the Free World]
  4. Mexican Stand Off [Leaders of the Free World]
  5. My Everthere [Leaders of the Free World]

To say I am excited is a massive, massive understatement. So, if you’re listening, @guy_garvey, Please play the above and in return I promise I will sing along to every single word.

Grace In Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things

  • Laughing out loud in the cinema, with other people
  • Actually, just laughing in general
  • Other friends doing their own Grace in Small Things lists. (Hi Sean!)
  • Goodnight routines
  • Ham, salad cream and lettuce sandwiches
  • Have a good weekend, everybody. Be kind.


    Posted by in A Little Conversation, Wedding

    I should have spent the afternoon at work but instead Sky decided to royally screw us over time and time again and I’ve had to stay in to wait for yet another engineer to come out and “fix” our internet. (This is probably the fourth visit in a month, along with countless phone calls from Q to the apparent idiots on the other end. He is a much more patient person than I am, I would have drawn blood by now I think).

    So. Instead of being at work I got to stay at home and catch up on Glee, 90210 and two episodes of the American version of The Office that I recorded before Christmas. Internet problems, apparently, have their small perks. I’d still trade it in to be able to download stuff again. TV gets boring, let me tell you.

    I’ve also spent some time going through some honeymoon brochures, because that’s the most fun part of a wedding – right? The bit where you get to leave everyone else behind in cold, dreary England and then bore them to death with a jangly background music enhanced slideshow when you get back of eighty photos of you on a beach with a different cocktail in every shot. Personally, I can’t wait.


    Posted by in A Little Conversation


    I’m quite looking forward to this weekend. Both Q and I have booked Friday and Monday off work, and tmrw night you’ll find us loading up the car and speeding down the M5 towards Cornwall, to spend a few days with my family and friends who have migrated back there recently. People in the office ask me what I’m up to with my days off and I instinctively reply that I am going Home, which must be confusing because to them Home for me is Cardiff, not anywhere else. Home is my flat around the corner, not 200 miles south. I love living in Cardiff, it’s just that Home with a capital H is different to home, isn’t it? Home evokes memories of the beach and the quiet and the cold. Cardiff home reminds me of the summer and the sun and being warm and content.

    I still have my parents number listed as “home” in my phone, not the landline in the flat. I can’t be the only person that still does this, right? Before I moved back last year I hadn’t lived at home for four or five years but that number never changed and I don’t really have a good reason for it. When I think about my home I think of the cosy space that Q and I share, and in the every day context of ‘returning home’ that is always where I imagine I’m going. But the word Home by itself always conjures images of the house I grew up in, rather than where I live now. It’s funny, isn’t it? It hasn’t been my home for a long time, and for a good few years now whenever I go back I find it harder and harder to remember that I even grew up there at all, it feels so different, but I still can’t shake the attachment between it and that four letter word.

    Maybe if my parents had moved house it would be different. Maybe if I owned the space we live in I would feel more inclined to name it (Q bought the flat and I moved in) – I’m not sure what he defines as home, but I’d believe it if he said it was where we spend the majority of our time these days, our lives neatly entwined within those four walls. & that would be nice. Just because I don’t call it home doesn’t mean I don’t love to be there, enjoying my life. Maybe when I have children and it’s the only place they’ve ever known as home it will become home to me too.

     But there’s time enough for that, I suppose. For now we’re going home, for the weekend. & then we’ll come back to our home on Sunday night and both trips will be welcome.

    Books! 2011 – February Update

    Posted by in Books, Projects

    Read in February:
    13. NEW: The Monkey’s Raincoat – Robert Crais
    14. NEW: The Life & Soul of the Party – Mike Gayle
    15. NEW: Room – Emma Donahue
    16. NEW: The Secret Shopper’s Revenge – Kate Harrison
    17. NEW: William Walker’s First Year of Marriage – Matt Rudd
    18. NEW: The Game – Jack London

    Favourite book read this month:
    I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t really love any of the books I read this month. I quite enjoyed The Game by Jack London. We’ve recently watched The Fighter, I’m not sure if that endeared me more to the book that I would have otherwise been but it was quite a sweet little story. The prose was a little archaic for my general reading purposes (it’s this type of thing that puts me off the ‘classics’ like Jane Eyre etc) but it was free on my Kindle and worth a read, I think.

    Least favourite book read this month:
    My least favourite was The Secret Shopper’s Revenge by Kate Harrison. It wasn’t terrible by any means but it was a bit long and the whole ‘Charlie’s Angels’ premise was a bit of a stretch too far for me.

    I read: 6 new books in February and zero re-reads, bring my life list wish of reading 1000 new books up to: 18/1000.




    Posted by in A Little Conversation

    I don’t know why I’m always surprised that I have very little energy and motivation to do anything when it it happens to me every single winter. You’re the same, right? The cold weather and the rain makes me buy more food and hibernate indoors constantly. Cosy jumpers, crap films on TV, Ferrero Rocher bringing out special chocolates – winter is all about hunkering down and surviving the storm.

     But it’s Spring now! (Officially, at least. We are yet to see a change in the freezing temperatures in Cardiff. Boo.) My life list is ticking along at a steady pace and the film and book challenges are still stumbling along. It’s weird that I feel like I’m not doing very much when I’m in the middle of:

    • planning a wedding
    • reading 100 books
    • watching 100 films
    • taking home made lunches every day for 30 days
    • attending the gym semi regularly (& training for a 5km, in practice)
    • and trying to complete a set of ice-skating lessons without falling on my ass.

     That’s not to mention all the ongoing life list tasks like:

    • watch 50 comedians live (I’m on 10)
    • eat every flavour of Krispy Kreme (I’m on 3)
    • eat 100 cheeses (I’m on 43)
    • taste 100 cocktails (I have no idea what number I’m on for this)
    • and meet all of my favourite internet people. (I’ve ticked 2 off my list of 13 and they were both quite, quite lovely.)

     Maybe I feel like I’m not achieving anything because I’m attempting too much, but that’s always been the way I’ve rolled and I don’t know why I would change it now, ha. I was toying with the idea of setting up a wedding blog to steer my ramblings away from here – I know a few of my readers are boys and I doubt you could care less about whether Q would prefer a waistcoat or just a suit and tie, and whether navy dresses with nude sashes are prettier than nude dresses with navy sashes. Right? But that would be one more thing to add to the ever growing list of Things to do in 2011 and I’m not entirely sure I have enough time for all the things that are already on it. Oops.

     I guess I shall soldier on and attempt to do as much as a can and if I don’t get it all down this year I can always do it in 2012, right? I think I need to be less hung up on the when and more focused on the quality of the enjoyment. After all, what is the point of doing it if I’m not going to enjoy it?

     Viva doing things only because you want to, and only because they will make you feel good. Are you with me? Because I can’t do this on my own.*

    *I need you to buy me Krispy Kremes if nothing else. Those things cost a fortune! 😉