Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Things an accomplished modern gel should be able to do

Thanks so much to you all for the delightful birthday wishes for yesterday. It was quite overwhelming, really. I had a fabulous lunch with my parents at Kafe Kara and then my sister and nephew arrived, bearing gifts and another birthday cake for the pixies to help me blow out! Mr PB finally returned from his day over in Melbourne at about 10 pm so it was a long day. Here I am with the pixies and the cake they made.
Cake with the pixies (Sammy was asleep)
Okay, so how are we going? Have you been thinking about your bucket list? Before I start compiling mine, I want to complete following this list Maggie Alderson wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald a few years ago. It appealed to me so I stashed it away. Now is the time to dust it off and see how I'm going, now I've hit the big four-oh.

1. Toss a pancake (I can cook them but haven't successfully tossed one yet so a half tick.)

2. Make a birthday cake without stress (Tick)

3. Make a soufflé, pavlova and chicken stock (Tick for pavlova. Let me know if you want my failsafe recipe.)
My latest pavlova, complete with raspberries and blueberries
4. Understand the scoring of the major sports (with some leeway for cricket) (Tick. I am a cricket tragic so that's not a problem. Soccer and rugby union can be a bit complicated, though.)

5. Swim (Tick)

6. Ride a bicycle (Tick. I haven't done it for years, though.)
I want one of these!
7. Drive a car - both manual and automatic transmissions (Tick. I have my manual licence but loathe driving one. Automatic for me!)

8. Eat dinner alone in a restaurant (Tick. It's not fun, though.)

9. Play poker and backgammon (Not at all keen.)

10. Grasp the basics of at least one other language (Tick x 4 - German, French, Spanish and Indonesian)
From one of my favourite childhood books, Richard Scarry's European Word Book
11. Predict what manner of wine most grape varieties will bring you (Tick. I adore wine although we don't seem to drink as much on PB as we did pre-PB.)

12. Open a bottle of champagne (Tick. And another one, please! Moet Imperial will be just fine, thanks.)
A favourite
13. Host a dinner party (Tick. I'd love to do this again - it's years since our last one. Yes, pre-PB.)

14. Sew on a button and shorten a skirt (Tick to sewing a button)

15. Thread a sewing machine (Tick. Now I just need to buy one - any suggestions?)
Maybe this Brother machine would be good
16. Have several dishes you can cook without looking at a recipe (Tick)

17. Know when to clap during a classical concert (and when not to) (Tick)

18. Waltz or at least know how to be led by a man during same or similar (Tick)

19. Write a letter of condolence and know what to say to someone recently bereaved the first time you see them after the sad event (Tick)
Ooh, I'd love a Mont Blanc fountain pen
20. Know how to act around a famous person (Tick. We had to do this in Sydney.)

21. Have at least one restaurant where you are known (Tick. Le Provencal in Hobart.)
I love the trompe l'oeil painting on the walls at Le Provencal
22. Be on genial terms with your neighbours and the people in the corner shop (Tick. On both counts.)

23. Remember to pay your bills on time and very rarely run out of toilet paper or milk (Tick)

24. Make a store-cupboard dinner at 10pm after a bottle of wine or several (Tick)

25. Shuffle a pack of cards without dropping them (Tick. The pixies think that is fancy.)
Fancy a hand?
26. Enjoy being alone for a whole weekend (Tick. Gosh, I can't even recall when this last happened!)

27. Knit (Tick. But not for years. I'd like to start again.)

28. Go to the cinema alone (Tick. That is one of my favourite things.)

29. Go to the theatre alone

30. Have a birthday book and use it (Tick. I love mine - I'll post about it one day.)
Given to me on my 10th birthday
31. Say no (Tick. I need to do it more instead of over-committing.)

32. Say yes (Tick. I need to embrace the spontaneous.)

33. Read a newspaper most days (and always at the weekend) (Tick. The Sydney Morning Herald, of course.)
A front page to keep for the pixies
34. Serve a tennis ball (Tick. I must take it up again after not playing for years.)

35. Set your video recorder (Tick. We do need to buy some more tapes, though.)

36. Work a digital camera (Tick. I love my new Sony  DSC W310.)

37. Surf the net (Tick. Constantly.)
Keep your balance
38. Send emails (Tick. All the time.)

39. Make pastry (Tick. Although I do still buy my frozen shortcrust.)

40. Ski (Tick. Oh, yes, take me back to that holiday in Lech, Austria!)

41. Recite at least one poem by heart (Tick. Several, thanks to my Grade Five teacher.)

42. Have legible handwriting (Tick)
Learning cursive
43. Balance a chequebook (Tick. Yes, I have one. It's a bit retro but handy.)

44. Know roughly how much is in your current account at any time (Tick. As the holder of PB's pursestrings, I have to.)

45. Pay your credit cards by direct debit

46. Remember to put the rubbish out (Tick. On Monday night.)

47. Recycle (Tick)
Reduce, reuse, recycle
48. Grow fresh herbs on your windowsill (Tick)

49. Know how to grow something from seed (Tick)

50. Hold your drink (Tick. And, yes, I'll have another glass of Moet Imperial, thanks!)

So, PB is beckoning again - feeding time at the zoo awaits. I'd better go. Do let me know how you fare with Maggie's list. Do you think she's missed anything out? All ideas welcomed!


This post was rewound for the Weekend Rewind at Life in a Pink Fibro on 17 June 2011.


  1. Firstly, so sorry I missed your birthday post...happy belated birthday. As to the list...very impressive. I've ticked quite a lot (but then I've got quite a few years on you!) but do you know...I've never made a pavlova. So if you'd like to send my your failsafe recipe Jane I'd be very grateful! I'd go for a few adventurous things like abseiling and parachuting as well :)

  2. Oh, thanks Kerry - that's very sweet of you. One pavlova recipe coming up! And my, you are adventurous. The public liability lawyer in me would never attempt such things. Good on you! J x

  3. Hope you had a great day Jane. Happy Birthday to you and thanks for stopping by.
    Ness xx

  4. Thanks so much, Ness! I'm thrilled you're following - I'm a big fan of yours :) J x

  5. Hi Jane, so nice to meeting you! I love your list, recognizing a lot ;)

    The sweet little boots in your header are adorable. We do need them these days, Fall is just around the corner in the Netherlands. Did Spring already arrive at your doorstep?
    I will follow you too so I don't have to miss your lovely future posts. Looking forward to all of them!
    EnJOY your morning cup of coffee, while I'm enjoying my evening tea .^_^.

  6. ... just me again, cannot get through at the follow button, trying it over my next visit. Hugs for a lovely Wednesday! xxooxx

  7. Happy belated birthday. Thanks for stopping by my blog, now I get to peak into your beautiful life and it makes my heart happy. Love your list, pleased to say that I have 5 more years to go but most of the boxes are checked. Have a great day. Heidi

  8. Hello Saskia So lovely to hear from you. I just stumbled upon your blog last night - I am in love! Yes, Spring is springing, the hyacinths and daffodils are blooming. I do hope the 'follow' button is working for you now. It looks okay to me - fingers crossed! Oh, and no coffees for me - I'm a water girl!

    And hello Heidi. Thanks for the birthday wishes. I also found your delightful blog last night. I am tired this morning :) I am so pleased you like mine. I am very flattered. You are doing really well to have done most of that list with an extra five years to spare! J x

  9. phew! what a great list - you are doing pretty well aren't you! hope you had a lovely birthday!x

  10. Hi Inis. Lovely to meet you! I'm now following your blog:) Thanks, on both counts. It was lovely and the celebrations will continue for the next two Saturdays so this girl has to be happy! J x

  11. I can remember this list! I desperately want to learn to knit!

  12. Oh, Emma, you're the first person who saw Maggie's. I love her columns. This is heavily modified but she was certainly the inspiration behind it. I haven't knitted since I was about 10 - that's on the to-do list! J x

  13. Hello, visiting from Weekend Rewind - there's a whole lotta things I have to do too, well done for having done so much already! Kirsty @ My Home Truths

  14. Ooh. I can tick a lot of these but not all. I have work to do!

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro.

  15. Thanks, Kirsty and Al. Don't worry - I'm still a WIP! J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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