Challenge Anna (the thirtieth birthday countdown): THE FULL LIST

Ok, so. I havent wanted to post anything much until I had time to collate the whole list of things that people I had suggested I try and do before my 30th birthday. Annoyingly, what with having a very busy (though very productive and good etc) this took me so long that Ive probably wasted a bunch of time that I should have spent trying to do the things.

No matter. Here are two versions of the list – one which just lists all the things suggested in the comments (and thank you again for all your suggestions, even – or especially? – those of you who got a bit over excited), which youll find below .

And one which has ben annotated with my thoughts on how likely it is that Ill do them, which Ill post in a post underneath this one, when Ive managed to annotate all of them. Things I have already done are in italics, until I can think of some way of making them feint.

  1. Release a downloadable Best of Anna Pickard – spoken blogs childhood squeakings. (michael dolenzio)
  2. read “84 Charing Cross Road”, by Helen Hanff. Have you already read it? Good!! You can cross it off you 30-things-to-do list!! (france)
  3. Go busking. (JonnyB)
  4. Stop being twenty-nine (Dominic)
  5. Jump out of a helicopter and run up to random passers-by asking them if they have a clue (Dominic)
  6. Bottle Feed A Lamb? Achievable AND seasonal (SophieW)
  7. The London Marathon is on 22nd April and is nearly 26.2 miles. It’s a little late to do the run but you could walk 3.8 miles from the finish line in the Mall to make it 30. (Murph)
  8. Buy a little red plastic boat and launch it in the Thames at Charing Cross. A picture would be good. (Murph)
  9. Get Married?… (Debster)
  10. … have a baby? I dunno… (Debster)
  11. how about buy a kangaroo? (Debster)
  12. Kiss the next [real – not virtual] person that makes you laugh. (Andre)
  13. Go to the supermarket in your slippers and pajamas. (rachie)
  14. Go see a movie at the Electric Cinema in Nottinghill if you haven’t. (Adrian)
  15. Have the blackened cod from Nobu (Adrian)
  16. Place a wager in a bookies (Adrian)
  17. Go swimming in the sea at sunrise (Adrian)
  18. Do a tequila body shot (Adrian)
  19. Get a tattoo (Adrian)
  20. Go to a live football game. (Adrian)
  21. Go to a live cricket game. (Adrian)
  22. Eat an Ice Cream in Trafalgar square sitting on the walls at the side watching people. (Adrian)
  23. Go up in a hot air balloon. (Adrian)
  24. Cook something you have never cooked before. (Adrian)
  25. Dye your hair a colour it’s never been. (Adrian) Um, that’s it for me for the moment. If I think of any more I’ll let you know. (?!)
  26. Do the Star Wars marathon thing.
  27. Get married. (Laura)
  28. Write a letter to your parents or mother and father depending on the ‘family structure’ and tell them things you’ve never told them before. But only nice things. (Laura)
  29. Have a great professional picture taken. (Laura)
  30. Skinny dip (Laura)
  31. International Dance Day on 29 April… Try a class in something new. Salsa? (Tuuli)
  32. Booo. JonnyB stole my idea. Except I was going to mention Brighton sea-front and a Kazoo. (Mr Angry)
  33. Stay up till dawn, both drinking and putting the world to rights (live blog it, if necessary) (Mr Angry)
  34. Do some volunteer work locally (hour, afternoon, or a full day, up to you) (Mr Angry)
  35. Walk across London town. (Mr Angry)
  36. Make a bet that is sufficiently big to scare you a little bit, then watch the ensuing action, live. (Mr Angry)
  37. Ooo, I’ve got one – do the bet thing on the Grand National, put an each way bet on NUMBER 30 (see what I did there?), it’s called “Naunton Brook”. It’s got a good each-way chance (so tipsters better than me claim) (AndyB)
  38. I like the betting idea a lot too – I’ve never done it either. How about thirty 1 pound bets on thirty different horses (or dogs, or beasts of your choice) (with the silliest names possible, obviously)… that way you’d be bound to win something! (Eloise)
  39. Drink champagne on the beach at sunrise. (This can be combined with Adrian’s, which I’ve just noticed… grr.) (Mike)
  40. Post pretentious poetry on your Livejournal. (Mike)
  41. Mosh. (Or crowd-surf. Your choice.) (Mike)
  42. Go through a faux-mature “settling down” phase, eg. staying in on a Saturday night so you can buy something nice from Habitat with the money saved OR throwing an over-elaborate three-course dinner party, using recipes from EITHER Jamie Oliver OR Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, with EITHER James Blunt OR James Morrison on the CD player. (Mike)
  43. Protest about something in public (ie. t’Internet doesn’t count) (Mike)
  44. Invite a homeless person round for a cup of tea, because you, like, rilly want to get to know them as a person? (Mike)
  45. Go through a 1980s Retro phase. (Mike)
  46. Meet up with someone you haven’t seen since School/University/your first job. (Mike)
  47. Schmooze your way onto the guest list for an ultra-hip club night, swan ostentatiously past the queue (Ha! Plebs!), drink over-priced cocktails (and ENJOY them), pretend you recognise the tunes (”Yeah, I got this on promo months ago actually”), and sneer at anyone who looks over 35 (”God, have they no self-respect?”). (Mike)
  48. Have t-shirts printed with “I am a twenty-something” and wear them every day until your birthday. (Anxious)
  49. Publish a ‘Best of Little Red Boat’ by Anna P, via if needs be. (f:lux)
  50. My God, I’m amazed no-one has yet mentioned it: you should definitely have a threesome before you turn thirty. (OneTrack)
  51. Read “Little, Big” by John Crowley. (Sophie)
  52. Eat out at thirty restaurants before your birthday. (Some Catchy Chic)
  53. Make a time capsule containing something important from each year of your life – and then plan to dig it back up on your 60th – adding a further 30 years worth of memories. (joanne)
  54. Learn how to make a decent martini (if you don’t know already) and get all your friends to come round and drink them. (Nic Dempsey)
  55. Take a photo of yourself every day until your birthday and put it on the site (Nic Dempsey)
  56. Plan a huge birthday party (Nic Dempsey)
  57. Tickle a (on-duty) policeman. (Becky)
  58. Hold a one-woman protest outside the Houses of Parliament: protest about something very odd but be very sincere when you shout your slogans. How about an apathy protest? “WHAT DO WE WANT?” “DON’T KNOW!” “WHEN DO WE WANT IT?” “OH, WHENEVER!”. As it is a one-woman protest, you will have to both ask and answer these questions in a very loud voice. (Becky)
  59. Eat a whole chocolate cake to yourself. (Becky)
  60. Watch the sun come up on a beach. (Becky)
  61. Swim in the sea with a dolphin: you don’t have to travel far to do this, as I believe both Ireland and Wales have ‘Ambassador dolphins’ living off the coast who are only too happy to frolick with humans. Be careful though – as Terry Pratchett once wrote, never trust a species that smiles all the time. (Becky)
  62. spontaneous road trip (ladybird)
  63. host a fancy dress party (i’m very much looking forward to LittleBTS eurovision party – ooh are you liveblogging the eurovision? you so should..) (ladybird)
  64. go to that fab kareoke bar near soho. (ladybird)
  65. send a message in a bottle. (ladybird)
  66. engage in the facebook poking war of all poking wars. (ladybird)
  67. bury treasure. (ladybird)
  68. race 30 little red boats down the Thames, we’ve all seen the rubber duck races, why not tiny boats? (ladybird)
  69. go to a pole dancing class. (ladybird)
  70. The monopoly board pub crawl. (ladybird)
  71. do something for charity, and hang out with some cool people ( (ladybird)
  72. Oh, bugger, is a bit like the boat idea… But I think you should put thirty messages in bottles. Possibly little red messages, or little red bottles, or something. And then release them off Brighton pier, and see what happens, what exciting people (if any) write back and where from. I have always wanted to put messages in bottles and this is an excellent excuse. Or you could release them from all sorts of different (seaside) places, cos I guess it would make a difference where they started from. I suppose it could work with little red boats, but they would be mroe likely to sink before reaching far-flung shores. Or you could release messages on thirty red balloons. Or thirty pigeons. Or thirty red cards left around London with a favourite blog post on one side and a message to people to take them somewhere else and leave them and see how far they get… (Eloise)
  73. You could spend one lunchbreak trying to give away single flowers on the street, to strangers. See if you can give away 30. (katoutthebag)
  74. Record a record. Better than that, do it as a podcast. Ukelele accompaniment, obviously. Perhaps a video version posted on here. (dury)
  75. Show us pictures of your favourite 30 things in brighton, these could be either stuff you have lying around in the house or things outside the house. (andrea)
  76. Make a mix CD that reminds you of your teenage years. (andrea)
  77. Make a list of your 30 favourite words starting with W. (andrea)
  78. Dress up as a Pirate Wench.
    Commandeer an old-stylee sailing ship.
    Mount a raid on a trading ship in the Spanish Main.
    Get thee loads of doubloons.
    Well, perhaps just the dressing up bit then? (Farty)
  79. For the birthday party: 1) Hire an indoor swimming pool facility. 2) All guests must be in their “birthday suits.”
    Potential drawbacks: 1) Violates your “Not Tits” instruction. 2) If the water is cold, your male guests may not appreciate the venue. (xl)
  80. Pretend to do an Earl. Un-shoplift sweets or drinks in a corner shop and then post it on You-Tube. (Salima)
  81. paint a picture (Salima)
  82. have a spa therapy, chocolate wrap or similarly decadent sounding thing (Salima)
  83. watch the sun-rise (yep I know its been said but i wanted to say it too) (Salima)
  84. visit an orphanage (Salima)
  85. How about making your own little red boat? Natural materials only. Must be seaworthy. (sooz)
  86. Apply for ‘The Apprentice’. (sooz)
  87. Go on a spa break – to get yourself in shipshape and Bristol fashion for your birthday celebration – must be blogged about though. (sooz)
  88. Pick 3 studio audiences to sit among wearing your most red of clothes and hogging the camera as soon as it swings your way. (sooz)
  89. Wear an enormous pair of fake breasts to work and pretend that there’s nothing ‘different’ about you. (sooz)
  90. Dress up like Marc Bolan for a day. He died when he was 29 you know. Obviously try not to die though. That would be silly. (Amy)
  91. Take a photo of what you’re doing every half an hour on a normal day. There will be about 30 pics. Then look at them when you are 40. (JT)
  92. Or for a month take a photo of every friend you meet. Then look at them when you are 40. (JT)
  93. Surely doing something with a red boat is kinda compulsory.… (JT)
  94. and a sunrise. (JT)
  95. Go on a pub/bar crawl of every place you have had a drink on previous birthdays. I hope you did not start drinking at an early age or things could get messy very quickly. (Invader_Stu)
  96. Have to say I’m with The Girl on this one. Sexually deviant behaviour all the way. See in 30 in a tangle of sweaty limbs… (H Factor)
  97. Bake cookies and give them out to the cookie-worthy people in your life. (Tasha)
  98. Phone/email/meet up with some of the people you’ve been meaning to stay in touch with but work and life and stuff keep getting in the way. (Tasha)
  99. You should hold a birthday party on the pirate ship on the south bank, i always see school kids over there in pirates hats and it looks like fantastic fun (ladybird)
  100. Love the idea of leaving posts on little red cards all over the place. (ladybird)
  101. Go to work in face paint – a different face paint design every day for 30 days… (ladybird)
  102. Overcome a fear. (Any genuine fear. Maybe not mouses-big, but one that really bothers you.) (Fraz)
  103. Spend a whole day being excessively nice to everyone you meet. Carry some cakes/biscuits/sweets and hand them out to anyone who even looks at you. Then try to avoid arrest. (Fraz)
  104. My Mum spent her 30th birthday with her legs apart, giving birth to me. I guess you don’t have 9 months left to plan that one… (diamond geezer)
  105. Scarily, I Googled it and got this link: One of which involves shooting something. Hmmm. I think your list will be nicer! (SophieW)
  106. I think the plastic boat idea has legs (if that’s not a contradiction in terms). But its not very interactive or 360 degree-thingy, so.. Buy the cheapest GPS tracker you can find (flaw #1: probably not cheap) – it needs to send the position back at regular intervals like on ‘Spooks’ – affix it to the boat, and then one of us can produce a trendy ‘Google mash-up’ so everyone can follow the boat on its epic journey. If it lasts for more than 30 minutes without sinking (flaw #2) there’s probably a book deal and a radio series in it for you. Or at the very least paint the website address on the side of the thing in case its finder can be bothered to trace the vessel’s origin. Sorry, but I do have an urge to ruin ‘lovely’ ideas with unnecessary technology. (William T)
  107. Thirty different dance classes? Lots of fun, but possibly a bit tiring… (Eloise)
  108. Thirty ships (little red boats) in thirty bottles? No? (William T)
  109. Eloise and William T – is that thirty messages/ships per bottle, and thirty of those bottles? Because 900 messages/ships is rather a lot. (Liam)
  110. Eat a cheese and chocolate sandwich (Clare)
  111. Do a podcast of yourself singing your favourite song (Clare)
  112. Start a worm farm in your garden (Clare)
  113. Gain an ounce a day in weight (Clare)
  114. Dye your hair pink (Clare)
  115. Get a tattoo (Clare)
  116. Climb the highest peak in England (Sca Fell, Lake District – it’s not very difficult, beenu p it several times meself, although I guess you may already have done this) (Clare)
  117. Swim a width underwater (Clare)
  118. Do some weird dangerous sport (hang-gliding, bungee jumping, whatever) (Clare)
  119. Go on a helicopter ride (Clare)
  120. Write a love poem to the internet (Clare)
  121. Something for charity (Clare)
  122. Do a good deed every day (Clare)
  123. Give a small inexpensive present to a random stranger every day (Clare)
  124. Give away a home-made candle to a different blogreader every day (I know you have tons of spare home-made candles) (Clare)
  125. Link to a different Favourite Blog every day (Clare)
  126. Or… find a brand new blog what you have never read before every day, and link to it. (Clare)
  127. Read the first page only of 30 books from your own bookshelves wot you’ve never got round to reading, then compose a poem made of the 30 First Words. Then pick your favourite, and read it all the way through. (Clare)
  128. Buy something in a sex shop (Clare)
  129. Go with your beloved to one of those seedy red-light cinemas (Clare)
  130. Fill your wellies with jelly and wear them to the beach (Clare)
  131. Go on a donkey ride (Clare)
  132. Go and visit Anthony Gormley’s sculptures on Crosby beach (Clare)
  133. Fly a kite from the top of a tall building (Clare)
  134. Learn how to walk on stilts (Clare)
  135. Buy a spacehopper and bounce the length of Brighton beach
  136. Knit yourself a toast rack (Clare)

Annotated version to follow