After January feeling like the longest month ever, the last few days have sped by with the urgency of a high speed locomotive. So, now it’s time for the monthly 20/20 challenge update. You can read the original post about the challenge here.
My first impression of the challenge was somewhat naive. I genuinely thought G and I would breeze through the whole thing in the first few months. Now we’re a few weeks in, the enormity of the challenge is becoming apparent. Mostly, I think because although relatively easy, they do require perseverance and our the tasks are not ingrained in habit yet. We’ve been to the supermarket countless times in the last month and have forgotten each and every time to get something to put towards the food bank. Shameful really.
Other times failure has been more practically based. It turns out the Highways Agency in Devon are committed to cleaning the road signs. Most of the ones we drive past are really quite polished. Those that aren’t tend to be out of reach. I need to take the cleaning fluid when I head back to Surrey where the Highways Agency aren’t quite so fastidious. In any respect, this one will need a little bit of planning in order to complete it.
But we are having lots of successes. We started on Jan 1st when we shoved the telly up in the loft and rearranged the sitting room. During the rearranging, we cleared loads of books and DVD’s into bags to take to the charity shop. The purge extended to the kitchen where unused tins and bits and bobs went in the bag. Between us, G and I corralled over 40 items so in theory, we could cross that one off the list.
Three £20 notes have been banked. Well, it seemed sensible to do that at the start of the month rather than the end. Books have been read, blog posts written and rubbish picked up.
We’ve been diligent with self care. G and I starting the year with a *ahem* refreshing dip in the Atlantic sans wetsuits. We were due to join a group dip that turned out to be at the other end of the beach from where we were. On the dot of 11am, they charged into the sea while we debated whether to jog down the beach to join them.
Although we could see them, we were at least 10 minutes away, so in the end it was a moot argument. After playing ‘I will if you will’ for a few seconds, we both caught a dose of ‘Sod it’ and stripped off ready to charge in, much to the alarm of a family who were walking along the beach.
It was freezing and invigorating in equal measures. The sea temperature was higher than the air temperature. In part due to a chilly northerly blowing across the beach. But neither was balmy, so we soon got out again, clambered back into dry robes and marched back up to the top of the dunes and the safety of the Porthole cafe.
I’ve taken a day off when the weather was forecast to be nice. Heading to RHS Rosemoor for a wander around in the beautiful winter sunshine. G and I have also made it our mission to roam around various venues across Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. It’s an area neither of us know particularly well. We’ve explored National Trust properties at Killerton and Trelissick and enjoyed an exciting trip to the Eden Project; getting there in sufficient time to complete the park run. It’s been a brilliant way to get to know our new surroundings.
I’ve also attended a soap making course earlier in the month. I’d branched out to make my own deodorant – which turned out to be easier than I though (partly because the ingredients are mainly inert; coconut oil, Shea butter, arrowroot and bicarbonate of soda with a few oils thrown in. Soap making needs more chemical interference and since I got 26% in my last chemistry exam in year 9, I didn’t feel confident to experiment on my own.
The chemical in question is sodium hydroxide, a strong alkali. Know as lye in soap making, it does something chemically to the oils added to leave soap behind. We used a mix of olive oil, coconut oil and sustainable palm oil (Shea butter would be fine too). And added essential oils for aroma in some or honey and oats for a delicious exfoliating soap. The process was in no way scary – care was taken – and the process was really quite therapeutic. The soap is currently curing in the spare room and should be good to go by the end of the month.
We’re also experimenting with less time on social media. We’ve completed one day successful, but a couple more have been scuppered early doors because we’ve forgotten and logged on to Facebook first thing to catch up. Purely habit.
So, in order to instil better habits, I have deleted my Twitter account (which only makes me rage and adds nothing positive to my life at the moment) and will experiment with no social media Sunday’s.