35 things to do before I turn 36 by Philippa Moore

Goodness, come May I am well and truly in my MID THIRTIES.

When the hell did that happen?

In my head, I'm still that 26 year old who left Australia with a backpack strapped on and so much hope and excitement in her heart.

So much has happened in those ten years. So much that I had to write a book about it

When I first arrived in London, this bustling hive of a city where even going to shops and taking the tube to work was a giddy adventure for a while, I had so much I wanted to do I didn't really know where to start, so I just dove in head first. I loved living like that.

But as the years have passed and my life here has undoubtedly become more domestic and started to grow roots (not that that's a bad thing), it's been very easy for things to pass me by and to put things off until later when I might have more time, money or energy. I feel like a madwoman sometimes, mentally possessed by ideas and projects and things I desperately want to do and get off the ground, and physically surrounded by detritus of my mental chaos, books, letters, receipts, plans, everywhere.

I want to get a handle on things. I want to recapture some of the free-spirited fun of my twenties, but start feeling organised and like I have a plan, as would befit a woman in her mid-thirties. Gulp! 

No matter what age I have been, I hasten to add, I have yearned to be organised, socially useful, present and making the most of things. So with that in mind, I've come up with a few (well, 35) things to do in the next five weeks that will contribute greatly to that feeling! 

So, here we go. 

  1. Declutter my phone - back up, organise and delete photos; back-up poems written in notes, etc
  2. Run 10k (either on my own or with my running group)
  3. Write more letters
  4. Make a wedding album (finally!) 
  5. Read an Edith Wharton novel (I know, terrible!)
  6. Plant my cavolo nero, courgette, radish, french beans, kohlrabi and tomato seeds
  7. Keep blogging
  8. Keep meditating
  9. Become a member of Kew Gardens
  10. Declutter my study and reorganise my bookshelves
  11. Get another parkrun PB
  12. Buy some smart and comfortable work shoes that I can wear in spring, summer and autumn (I'm covered with winter shoes!)
  13. Treat myself to another oracle deck
  14. Get a haircut/colour
  15. Pitch that *top secret thing* to *you know who*
  16. Get my favourite (broken!) statement necklace fixed/restrung
  17. Get a trolley to keep my makeup in
  18. Get a pedicure (well overdue!)
  19. Learn how to make a potato fondant
  20. Clean out my tea cupboard (and treat myself to some new ones!)
  21. Subscribe to the London Review of Books
  22. Organise my vintage photo collection
  23. Find another yoga class (and start going regularly)
  24. Book our anniversary holiday
  25. Call the ATO (boring but necessary)
  26. Buy a new teapot
  27. Go out for dumplings 
  28. See a live comedy show
  29. Redecorate and declutter bedroom
  30. Go to the National Portrait Gallery
  31. Go to Maltby Street markets
  32. Take a hiphop or Beyonce style dance class
  33. Finish my current journal and start a new one
  34. Buy a new jacket in a bright colour
  35. Try a new restaurant 

If I manage to do all of them, it's going to be a fun and productive month!

heart in two places by Philippa Moore

We brought this drop dead gorgeous Tasmanian pinot noir back from our trip last year, and had kept it at a balmy controlled 13 degrees in our wine fridge since. We had a few things to celebrate this weekend so we felt it was as good a time as any to crack open the Pooley. With a Bee Gees album spinning on the record player and this wine in my glass, I half expected my dad to walk in from the garden. Such is life, with your heart in two places, in the blossom of spring and the bramble of autumn. 

I hope your weekend is full of delicious things.

to have succeeded by Philippa Moore

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

even against the odds by Philippa Moore

I wrote a lot - and learned a lot - while I interned at Cosmopolitan UK nearly five years ago. Even though I did Fifty Shades-style workouts, made pasta like a pro and even got to see the Iceman in South Tyrol, this story is still the one I'm most proud of.

This year's London Marathon is on Sunday and I remember both my own race in 2011 and Anna and Vicky's incredible feat of running from Paris to London (eight marathons in eight days!) to celebrate life and raise awareness for a good cause with lots of fondness and pride. 

Read their story here and make sure you scroll down to the bottom to see the video interview with Vicky and Anna (I am the silent interviewer....crying silent tears!)

I really love revisiting this story every now and then. You really are stronger than you think. And even when you think it's the end, it's really not. There's always a way forward.

nothing is more difficult for me than writing by Philippa Moore

Yesterday, Heather Rose won the Stella Prize for her  magnificent novel The Museum of Modern Love. Her acceptance speech is also a glorious read - funny, humble and powerful. It resonated with me so much and has given me fresh courage to return to my work in progress. You can read the speech in full here.