Thing 5: 365 Day Photo Challenge, Week 1

I used to be great for taking pictures. I was known as the one to always take a camera on a night out and snap away on day trips at home. But over the past couple years, sadly, I haven’t been using my camera as much as I should. Recently I started on a project of scanning all our old family photos and negatives into digital format (a timely, but worthwhile project!) and it got me to thinking that I really should be using my camera and capturing memories more often.

I decided to complete a 365 Day Photo Challenge as part of my 101 Things to Do. I started it last week over my holidays, so here is the product of the first week of this challenge.

While on the trip up Northern Ireland, we stopped off in Belfast for a night. I visited Shankhill Road on my last trip, this time we visited Falls Road. If you don’t know the history of Northern Ireland: the Falls Road is a main road running through West Belfast and its name is synonymous with the Republican communities in the city. The neighbouring Shankhill Road is a predominently Loyalist area of Belfast. During the Troubles both areas endured sectarian violence and were famous for their murals depicting the fight and struggle of each area.

Falls Road, Belfast

It’s nice to chill out with a cocktail Happy Hour every so often….it’s a hard life! 😉

Cocktail Hour

Our poor miniature dachshund Bobbie was a little ill last week. He’s 19 and is very frail at the moment. He’s back to his normal self now, so hopefully we’ll have him for a little while longer.


Limerick city, and a view of King John’s Castle.


The first signs of Autumn….


Planning a surprise 60h birthday for my dad in a few weeks…



Thing 4: Titanic Experience Belfast

Another of my 101 things completed: the Titanic Experience Belfast. It’s a story that has fascinated people for 100 years. We’ve all seen the movies and know the story, but did you know the RMS Titanic was actually built in Belfast? At the start of the last century, Belfast was home to a shipbuilders Harland and Wolff, who built the Titanic the largest ship of the era.

So 2012 marked the 100th Anniversary of the maiden voyage, and sinking of the Titanic. Titanic Experience Belfast opened earlier this year on the anniversary of the ship’s sinking. The exhibition cost €100 million to build. I have to admit, previous to visiting I was a bit dubious about spending such a huge amount of money on a visitor attraction, especially in times like these. But I have to say it seems to have been money well spent. And it’s proven to be a huge success, as it has already attracted half a million visitors, since April. The exhibition is fantastic: modern, interactive, engaging and interesting.

The exhibition brings you right through Belfast’s history, the history of the shipyards, Harland and Wolff, the building of the ship, the passengers, the sinking and Titanic in the media.

If there was one suggestion I could make, and I know there have been quite a number of complaints about this so far, but there are full scale replicas of some of the dining areas and the staircase at the exhibition, which are unfortunately are only reserved for conference delegates. I think this is a shame, as visitors are paying £15 to visit (plus parking) and it would be nice if they could also view these areas. It is expensive to visit, but I believe you pay for what you get and it certainly is money well spent. We were under a bit of time pressure and made it through in 90 minutes or so, but you could easily spend much longer there, up to three hours I’d say even.

I don’t want to give too much away about the exhibition for future visitors, because I think it’s nicer to experience it all first hand. But I’ll share a couple images to give you a taste of the exhibition, why by the way, I would recommend anyone to visit. I’m not a particularly huge fan of museums, but this is one you should definitely include on an itinerary to Ireland or Northern Ireland.

Kate and Leo’s costumes from the movie

The Staircase

Model of the Ship


Titanic Experience Belfast

Relay Sprint Triathlon. Check.

Again, as part of my ‘Things’ to do, I’ve committed myself to complete a full sprint triathlon. Eeek. In practice for this, I decided I’d do a relay sprint the weekend gone by. I did the cycle element, my sister did the run and my cousin did the swim.


We headed off to Rosses Point in County Sligo on Sunday morning. As you can see above, it’s quite the scenic spot.

The event started at 9 am on Sunday morning. The sky was grey and dark as I woke in the morning and it was quite windy. Nerves were high. But all went relatively well in the end. As our first relay sprint, we had hoped to finish in 1 hr 20 mins, but we finished in 1 hr 28 mins, which isn’t all that bad considering. I did the cycle in 45:32, which I was happy enough with.

I’m not sure how I feel about completing a full triathlon. I think I must be nuts? But it’s a challenge and it’s one I would really like to succeed at. I’m going to try my hardest to train and put in the effort to aim to do it towards the beginning of next year’s triathlon season. Swimming will be my downfall. I used to be quite a strong swimmer. But over the years, I’ve become more wary of water for various reasons and I’m not sure I can build up the courage to swim 750 meters in the sea. I don’t like to get out of my depth in the water anymore, once I can touch the bottom I feel pretty secure, but I’m very nervous in the sea or lakes. I do think it’s a matter of overcoming this fear and training to get back to the strong swimmer I used to be. Therefore hitting two birds with one stone – I also need to overcome one fear as part of the ‘Things’! 😉

I’ve put my training program together. It’s an 11 week program. Hoping to complete this twice before the tri season begins, so I will be well fit for my first ever full sprint triathlon. I’ll keep you updated on my progress!

The final list. Now, time to complete

Well here’s the list. As I mentioned here, there’s a couple of things I’d like to accomplish before I enter my thirties. All 101 things I have to complete in the next 548 days. It’s going to be a busy time!

  1. Complete sprint triathlon
  2. Cycle tour in Ireland
  3. Go to Wimbledon & French Open – complete all 4 grand slams! 🙂
  4. Donate blood
  5. Join a book club
  6. Read 40 books
  7. Watch 101 movies
  8. Make homemade ice-cream
  9. Try Bikram Yoga
  10. Make homemade gifts
  11. Change career
  12. Learn Spanish
  13. Perfect 5 desserts
  14. Go to Glastonbury
  15. Host themed fancy dress party
  16. Godfather marathon
  17. Quit smoking
  18. Buy a good camera
  19. Quit Facebook for a month
  20. Volunteer for a charity
  21. Brew my own beer
  22. Visit Amsterdam
  23. Create a blog
  24. Climb a high mountain (>1000m)
  25. Stay at a 5* hotel (on personal time!)
  26. Make my own jam
  27. Go vegetarian for a month
  28. Take a long haul holiday
  29. Go to Russia
  30. Visit Stockholm
  31. Go fishing
  32. Win big in Las Vegas!
  33. Dance till sunrise in Ibiza!
  34. Do a cookery course in Spain
  35. Make a time capsule
  36. Climb Carrauntoohil
  37. Answer the “50 Questions that will free your mind”
  38. Making something with my sewing machine
  39. Have a family portrait taken
  40. Complete a 365 day photo challenge
  41. Learn to roll sushi
  42. Grow my own vegetables
  43. See Radiohead in concert
  44. Hire Volkswagen camper
  45. Guinness Storehouse
  46. Adopt a dog
  47. Go white water rafting
  48. Cruise on the River Shannon
  49. Alton Towers
  50. Overcome one fear
  51. Create family photo album
  52. Swim with dolphins
  53. Go whale watching
  54. Surf again
  55. Take golf lessons
  56. Have Harry Potter movie marathon party
  57. Visit Tate Modern
  58. Learn a card trick
  59. Go to a musical
  60. Write a short story
  61. Learn national anthem
  62. Learn all countries of the world and their capitals
  63. Bowl 10 strikes in a row – not on the Wii!!! 😉
  64. Be able to hold a conversation in Irish
  65. Learn a martial art
  66. Day in a spa
  67. Go to Dublin Zoo
  68. Draw a picture
  69. Lord of the Rings trilogy
  70. Bake Sourdough from scratch
  71. Picnic at midnight
  72. Visit the Cotswolds
  73. Make macaroons
  74. Throw a ‘grown up’ 3 course dinner party
  75. Save at least 6 months living expenses
  76. Buy my own house – or at least be living on my own
  77. Eat at a Michelin star restaurant
  78. Take a dress making course
  79. Skydive, again?
  80. Complete Grade 5 piano exam
  81. Learn Origami
  82. Go Wwoofing
  83. Dye my hair an outrageous colour
  84. Take my parents our to dinner and pay for it
  85. See Des Bishop live
  86. Be on the road to setting up my own business
  87. Go mountain biking
  88. Ride a Segway
  89. Learn to salsa
  90. Have plan in place to go long-term travelling again (Asia and South America for at least 6 months)
  91. Get a tattoo
  92. Make jewellery
  93. Send a message in a bottle
  94. Windsurfing
  95. Go rock climbing
  96. Learn a programming language
  97. Road trip of the Antrim Coast
  98. Learn to juggle
  99. Make pasta from scratch
  100. Reminisce on previous 29 birthdays
  101. Complete this list before I’m 30! 😉

Where to start?!  🙂

101 Things to Do Before I turn…..3….0…..

554 days to go. Duh duh duhhhh.

That’s plenty of time to complete 101 things I’ve never done before right? Yes. Lots of time.

I don’t usually worry about birthdays. At the end of the day, it’s only but a number. But I feel there are a lot of things I haven’t accomplished, that I would have liked to, at the grand old age of 28.

I’m compiling a list on at the moment and it’s proving rather difficult. The first 42 ‘Things’ were no problem. But I must admit I’m rather struggling to find another 59 things to do and time is ticking.

I’d have no problem coming up with lots of ideas, like travel in South America, China or Africa, go to Coachella, etc. But unfortunately, time and money will put a limit on some of the things I can do. Here’s a link to the list so far.

Any ideas folks, let me know! 🙂