One Year On, What Have We Achieved?

25 Mar

So an almost total stranger emails me in early March last year and says, Want to do 101 things you’ve never done before in a 1001 days, and do them with me?

Yes, I said.  Why not?  It’s not like my time is taken up with housework, caring for my family, job hunting, dog walking and backside expanding.  I’m in! 

Of course, I didn’t have a Kindle then, so I was optimistic about the time I could give to the challenge.

Sarsm – for it was she of the evil disease name who roped me in – got her hubby to provide us with an excellent logo:

and all I had to do then was come up with 101 challenges.  One year later, I’m still thirty-three challenges down.  I need thirty-three suggestions from you, dear readers (non-rude, please) in the next…hang on…let me do the maths…143 weeks take away 52 weeks equals 91 months times seven days then take away the number you first thought of add a large glass of wine maybe one of my challenges should be maths lessons?

By the way, I hope you’re impressed with the celebrating snail: drawing by Sarah’s clever daughter; animation by Sarah’s clever husband.

So Sarah – she of the disease – and I started our challenge one year ago today.  I have to admit, it’s been fun, even though I had reservations at the start:

Task 1. Accept a challenge I don’t really want to do.

I did; I’m glad; it’s fun. 

Fun! fun! fun!

Fun! fun! fun! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sarah – she of the good idea – and I asked ourselves some questions last week (her replies are here):

What did you expect of the challenge at the start?

Not much at all, if I’m honest.  I thought I’d fizzle out after a couple of months.  This time last year I had not learned to say ‘no’, so I was in it out of politeness.   (Sorry about that, Sarah.  On the plus side, I may be weak but I have excellent manners.)

How do you think you’ve done?

Much better than I expected!

Anything you would change?

No.  Because the beauty of the challenge is that it’s all on my own terms.

Has anything unexpected come out of the challenge?

A wonderful friendship and many phone chats with one of the funniest people I know (that’s Sarah – she of the exquisite funny bone – if you were wondering).

What has been your favourite task so far?

Hmm.  Tough one.  I have two:

Task 4. Type up and print out for folder and notebook over 150 poems I’ve written.

I was never going to get around to doing this before I started 101/1001; but I’m pleased to announce I’m halfway through.

Task 62.  Learn all the words to the South African National Anthem. 

I had great fun with this one, sitting at my computer every morning, singing along to You Tube.  I promised you I would post a video of me singing it with my eyes closed, to prove I know it, when I had learned it; but I never got around to it…until now.

This was a challenge in itself: first, I had to find an aligned moment when I was clean and dressed and the Hub felt well enough to locate the camera.  Then he had to find an SD card for the camera.  Then he had to find an SD card that worked.  Then he had to give up on that and record it to hard drive.  Then we had several false starts, including his instruction to me to ‘Open your eyes!  You look stupid!’  Then we had a brief hiatus for a furious discussion on the merits of wearing cameras where the sun don’t shine.  Then we recorded it and found we couldn’t upload it to my blog, even though he’d downloaded various free software.  Then he said, ‘Let’s put it on Facebook.’  Then we argued because I said my family, who I don’t particularly want to be able to see it (they already have enough reasons to laugh at me), would be able to see it but my readers, who I particularly want to be able to see it (I can never give them enough reasons to laugh at me), wouldn’t be able to see it.  Then I suggested we put it on You Tube and I would include a link right here.

I have to include a link because I can’t upload You Tube videos for any reason that the WordPress techies can find.

Here it is again, in case you were skim-reading:

As embarrassed as I am by my reedy singing and pitch issues, I am also rather pleased with the whole debacle because it allowed me to add another tick to one of my challenges:

Task 11.  Expose myself to twenty new experiences (5/20)

Appeared on You Tube (6/20)

Go me!

So, one year on, what have we achieved?  I can’t answer for Sarah – she of the excellent blog, Sarsm’s Blog (she’s great with ideas but maybe not so hot on names) – but for myself, I’ve achieved the satisfaction of committing to something and sticking with it, despite my misgivings.

And I had an excuse to re-read all the Harry Potter books.  Again.  And again.  I accidentally did that one twice.  Well, not so much ‘accidentally’ as, ‘on purpose’.

So, what’s next?  I have quite a few tasks that I haven’t started – Leave my poems in 101 locations; Ride my bike twenty out of thirty days; Dance in the rain; amongst others – so I have to get cracking on those.

Now I think about it, I could combine those three tasks: I will ride my bike in the rain, delivering poems to unsuspecting Stockport locations.  When I fall off my bike (did you not hear me say it was raining?), instead of crying, I will dance; and ask the Hub to collect me from the funny farm to which I will no doubt have been sent when people see me dancing around my bike in the rain, showering poems on the witnesses.


You can see how I’ve progressed with my tasks on my 101/1001 page.

If you have enjoyed this post, please head on over to Sarsm’s blog – she of the genius idea – and check out her take on our first year.  And go even if you haven’t – it’s only polite, and we’re big on politeness here.  You will enjoy it, I’m sure.

Sarah – my new BFF – has put up an FAQ page, if you’re interested in joining us.

I wish you would: it’s been a blast!

61 Responses to “One Year On, What Have We Achieved?”

  1. sarsm March 25, 2012 at 09:10 #

    I’m really glad you’ve enjoyed it and wow – thank you!!!

    The name, the name… Arghhhhh!!!!! 😉


    • sarsm March 25, 2012 at 09:11 #

      And thanks for making me Laugh Out Loud!!!


      • sarsm March 25, 2012 at 09:19 #

        Re animation I sent you an email entitled: Slug animation probs


  2. roughseasinthemed March 25, 2012 at 09:16 #

    Huh! Can’t possibly join now. Not enough time left. Oh no, I’m not falling for that one 🙂


    • Tilly Bud March 25, 2012 at 09:20 #

      No, no! You set your own timetable. The great thing about thsi challenge is that you control EVERYTHING.


      • Tilly Bud March 29, 2012 at 10:20 #

        Apart, it would seem, from your spelling…’this’.


  3. restlessjo March 25, 2012 at 09:28 #

    Totally impressed with the commitment and loving your self deprecating humour as ever Tilly. Carry on enjoying!


  4. vivinfrance March 25, 2012 at 09:31 #

    Suggested challenge: stop rising to challenges to undertake challenges. 😀 Just do ’em when you feel like it.


    • vivinfrance March 26, 2012 at 07:53 #

      PS You sing jolly well, in tune and with a good timbre. When I played this clip, Jock came in from the other room and stood to attention!


  5. judithatwood March 25, 2012 at 09:40 #

    I think you have a lovely voice, Tilly, and congrats on learning all the words! Sounds like you are having a lot of fun with this challenge! Oh — you might consider telling the Hub to find the words South Africa somewhere other than your chest. Knowing he was recording, I thought he spent a rather lasciviously long time filming your chest! Seriously, good for him for helping, and good for you for being unafraid and sharing this video with us — It’s nice to know your voice and a moving picture of you; you are a much dearer friend and fellow bloggy person, now that I’ve see you live, so to speak! 😎


    • Tilly Bud March 29, 2012 at 10:25 #

      He swears it was the words ‘South Africa’. We’ve been together thirty years this year, so I believe him 😦


  6. jmgoyder March 25, 2012 at 10:10 #

    Okay, you wanted 33 suggestions: Pitch your book, The Laughing Housewife, to 33 publishers.


    • Tilly Bud March 29, 2012 at 10:27 #

      😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
      😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
      😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
      😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀


      • jmgoyder March 29, 2012 at 11:45 #

        I’m serious!


      • jmgoyder March 29, 2012 at 11:46 #

        I will send you 33 of the same suggestion if you don’t watch out! Why not – I reckon it would be a hit!


  7. creatingreciprocity March 25, 2012 at 10:19 #

    Good singing! Great nerve. Very impressed.


  8. Tom (Aquatom1968) March 25, 2012 at 11:10 #

    Well done, Tilly! 🙂
    I don’t know if you have the words exactly right or not, however that doesn’t matter – it seems as though you did and that’s all that counts! I don’t think I’d ever appear in a video full stop, let alone singing on one! Very impressed.
    I’m quite interested in taking up this challenge myself, but thinking of 101 things seems a challenge in itself!


    • Tilly Bud March 29, 2012 at 10:31 #

      I most certainly did have the words right! [Insert fake outrage as required] I didn’t slave over that You Tube South African tv advert teaching South Africa citizens their national anthem in time for the 2010 World Cup for months for nothing, you know.

      Not sure about the accents, though…five languages, and I only know one and a bit of them.


      • Tom (Aquatom1968) March 29, 2012 at 19:24 #

        No… no… I mean I’m sure you have the words exactly spot on, only I don’t know them. I couldn’t get involved with the accents, though. You can learn loads on You Tube nowadays!


        • Tilly Bud March 29, 2012 at 19:24 #

          Excellent backpedalling! 😀

          You know I was teasing right?



          • Tom (Aquatom1968) March 29, 2012 at 19:31 #

            It was the fake outrage that did it.
            I thought I offended you the other week when I suggested you watch the Twilight DVD on the nights when you couldn’t sleep, and now this. My back has never been so pedaled…


            • Tilly Bud March 30, 2012 at 10:37 #

              Not at all! It takes a lot to offend me – insulting my children will do it, but not much else 🙂


  9. lanceleuven March 25, 2012 at 12:12 #

    Climb Everest, direct a Hollywood blockbuster, and create the first permanent moon colony. Let me know if you want any more suggestions, maybe I’ll try and think of some hard ones.


  10. lanceleuven March 25, 2012 at 12:13 #

    On a more serious note, great idea by the way! 🙂


    • Tilly Bud March 29, 2012 at 10:34 #

      Thanks. I’m a little deflated that you were only joking about directing a Hollywood blockbuster, though. Don’t you think I could do it?*

      *Note to Lance: always avoid answering loaded questions, unless you like wearing your blog as a nappy.


      • lanceleuven March 30, 2012 at 00:02 #

        How did you manage to figure out my preferred manner of blog wearing? You’re so insightful!

        With regards to the blockbuster though, no*.

        *Uhhh…You do know that was a joke right?…Because like…I’m sure you could if you wanted to…Well…Maybe…I dunno…Maybe not….It’s not an easy thing to do…But I guess I don’t know you so I can’t really give a definitive answer either way…Ummm…Are we still cool? 🙂


        • Tilly Bud March 30, 2012 at 10:34 #

          We are so cool, a frosty atmosphere has arisen between us 😉

          Actually, I’ve never been cool – I’m far too impulsive.

          So no blockbuster, hmm? If I ever write a book and it’s a massive hit and Hollywood buys the rights and there’s a movie franchise, you are welcome to come see it, with popcorn. Tickets available online.


          Yes, I know it was a joke. 🙂 🙂 🙂


  11. Simply Tia March 25, 2012 at 12:59 #

    Wow that’s an excellent project! I think I may do something similar with my hubby. Thanks for the inspiration!!! Off to check the video now.


    • Tilly Bud March 29, 2012 at 10:35 #

      You should! It’s great fun.


      • Simply Tia March 29, 2012 at 11:53 #

        I think I will Tilly. Thanks to you and your friend for the inspiration. Will draw up my list before April is done and start working on them in May onwards.


  12. laurieanichols March 25, 2012 at 15:01 #

    You were great and incredibly brave. Your voice is very pretty and you didn’t lose concentration even when the hubby went off to focus on two letters on the wall behind you now that was impressive. I at times can get distracted and lose train of thought, my head if it was attached to my body, other things. Hooray for Tilly! The ending of the anthem is a tough one.
    I’m trying to think of a task, I know that you love poetry and love writing it, I’m thinking that finding out more about your favorite poets and visiting their home towns or cities to see what gave them inspiration, it could be fun.


    • Tilly Bud March 29, 2012 at 10:36 #

      So long as the travel is free, I’m in!

      Great idea, though 🙂


  13. gigihawaii March 25, 2012 at 16:08 #

    Congrats, Tilly. You must be very proud and happy.


  14. Pseu March 25, 2012 at 17:35 #

    You can sing!! So wonderfully. I’m jealous


    • Tilly Bud March 29, 2012 at 10:38 #

      How do you DO that? The link you posted here doesn’t even appear in my comment list. (Thanks, btw)

      What’s wrong with my blog? 😦


  15. Elaine March 25, 2012 at 18:18 #

    Congratulations, and what excellent singing! I like the South African national anthem – of all the ones I hear sung at rugby matches it’s one of the best tunes.

    What about this for another task for your list – translation subtitles for your video? 🙂


  16. kateshrewsday March 25, 2012 at 21:43 #

    Well done on an action-packed year, Tilly 🙂 Wonderful to accept new challenges. And I love Sarsm.


  17. Perfecting Motherhood March 25, 2012 at 23:46 #

    Congratulations on your first year of 101 in 1001! You’re making me look forward to reaching this milestone too.


    • Tilly Bud March 29, 2012 at 10:40 #

      I never really thought I’d get here when I started. It feels GOOOOOOOOD!


  18. sanstorm March 26, 2012 at 23:36 #

    When I finally master the pancake thing, learn german and am thin…


  19. bluebee March 27, 2012 at 11:48 #

    Well done, Gals – I’m exhausted just reading about it!


  20. bluebee March 27, 2012 at 11:49 #

    Oh, en Tilly, jy sing so mooi, ne 🙂


  21. Marion Driessen March 27, 2012 at 13:24 #

    You are TWO funny and admirable ladies! Thank you for sharing your words, thoughts, poems, funniness and singing even, with us!
    Good luck and much fun with completing the 101 challenge. And then please start another one 😉


    • Tilly Bud March 29, 2012 at 10:42 #

      Thanks and, good grief! What are you saying?


      • Marion Driessen March 29, 2012 at 10:45 #

        Oh nothing. Just keep on doing what you are doing 😉


        • Tilly Bud March 29, 2012 at 10:51 #

          Phew! For a minute there I thought I was going to have to take on another 101 challenges 😉


  22. eof737 March 29, 2012 at 05:36 #

    You’ve done great … what’s the rush, you have 1001 days to complete the challenges? 😉



  1. Say what? | Sarsm's Blog - March 25, 2012

    […] to answer giving two different perspectives on the challenge so far. You can read Tilly’shere […]


  2. 101/1001 (53) « The Laughing Housewife - March 30, 2012

    […] all the excitement of Sunday’s anniversary and my first – and last – You Tube appearance, I forgot to update you on what I’ve […]


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