100 followers and 10 challenges

To celebrate reaching 100 followers. In fact over 120. How did this happen? Even I don’t find me that interesting. I started drafting this post some weeks ago, which is why some progress is already being made.


Onwards and Upwards folks!


I’ve talked a lot recently about being energised to do something new. Increasing and expanding my blogging and meeting inspiring new friends (albeit, sadly, at a distance so far) has only increased my appetite to, well, live a little. I have a few ideas for targets in the two months until Christmas, some of which I have started working on (progress updates in bold):

  1. Do some clothes shopping and absolutely refuse to buy anything boring. Problem is my size might change (see number 3). Maybe a new shirt or two would be safe? Or I could wait and see how number 3 goes then hit the January sales? I did go into numerous shops on my recent trip to London but the only things I liked were some shirts in Paul Smith. I refuse to spend £200 on a shirt, no matter how nice it is!!


  1. Take up Yoga again. I know I already hit the gym a lot but I miss the peace that yoga gave me and I still have most Monday nights free so it might be do-able. I have looked at videos produced by one of my followers, Marta Justyna, and these would be great but I am not sure I am organised enough to do Yoga at home these days (I used to do 20 minutes every day at 5:30 am and maybe I could start again?). Think I would prefer classes as this would also challenge me socially.


  1. Achieve wash-board abs by Christmas. Seriously. I’m probably the nearest I have been for a long time and I am 51 so this may be my last chance before entropy and gravity catch up with me. I have had a word with the trainers and am now doing six to seven hours per week at the gym and adjusting my diet. Weighing and measuring starts this week. Oddly, my wife is not so keen on this objective. She says she worries I might overdo it and hurt myself but I think she also worries I might get offers to verify my progress 😉

I’m still undecided about giving myself some extra incentive by doing this for a mental health charity. Inevitably I’d have to provide proof and the thought of going topless publicly doesn’t appeal. Especially in December.


  1. Renew my passport. I feel ready to travel again after a 5 year gap.


  1. Talk more and be positive. I’m tired of living inside my own head. Already making amazing progress with this 🙂 . Too many examples to even list!


  1. Movie nights. I am a big movie fan and I’ve a stack of unwatched DVDs and my wife won’t watch anything over a 12 certificate so I figure I could stay up for a couple of hours after she goes to bed on a Friday or Saturday night each week and catch up. Started already!


  1. Be more organised about reading on the bus instead of staring bleary-eyed out of the window. Take a book each day. Started already but on gym days may need a bigger bag as my shoes take up a lot of room (I have enormous feet). I follow several book bloggers now and keep finding things I want to read.


  1. Go to more gigs – aim to book at least one before Christmas. I need to prove to myself that I can deal with crowds again. Done! Pumarosa in Manchester, December 1. Hotel prices for that night look eye-watering though!


  1. Be more organised about selling artwork – a lovely blogging friend has suggested this and pitched in to help. Currently evaluating options.


  1. Get my nails painted. Yes – I have mentioned this before but have not yet done much about it and it sounds fun. Toes at least but it isn’t sandal weather so that would be a waste. Either way I should wait until I have finished interviewing job candidates with one of our directors as I’d best look professional-ish. Maybe I could do this as a reward to myself at Christmas if I achieve number 3? If I timed it for the Christmas break I would not have to worry about solvent spills on them at work. During my massage on Saturday I broached the idea with Carol at the salon. At least she didn’t laugh…. Incidentally – I like the colour in the picture at the top!
    Stop Press: My friend Dominique posted this – how bizarre are these nails????

I am going to need your help and encouragement with these to stop me chickening out!


  1. Congratulations on your follower numbers! They will only increase as time goes on. You are fun and we fellow bloggers like fun. Also, your list is brilliant! Good for you trying to get out more. I’m a total introvert so I know how hard that can be sometimes. Washboard abs? Fabulous! Go Darren, go! As for your fingernail polish, I love the royal blue. Perhaps a purple or teal would nice on you, too. It’s hard to tell without knowing your skin tone. Experiment! Have you thought about putting a little temporary dye in your hair now and again? Every once in a while I’ll comb a little midnight blue or violet through a swath of my salt and pepper hair. Have fun!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for this lovely comment Linda 😀💕

      The introversion thing is funny. I feel like being much more sociable at the moment. It might not last but I want to have some fun while it does.

      I don’t know how feasible the washboard abs idea is but I am going for it anyway. My weight loss around my waist almost caused a very undignified accident yesterday when my pyjama bottoms fell down when I was on the stairs. Sometimes fitness is bad for you, and also embarrassing. I am glad our niece had gone home too!
      My skin tone is pale, though my hands and face tan well if we have a summer. Funny you should mention the hair dye because I did toy with the idea of doing what Billy Connolly once did and dye my beard purple!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations on your growing list of followers! Introversion is a daily battle, I think your list is wonderful and inspiring! I struggle like many introverts so I am especially interested in your progress. I think diet and exercise help us come out of our shell a little more. Rock the nail polish and dye!! Be you and be amazing!! Please share how it’s going. Perhaps it could be a movement for all of us 😀🌹

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awww, thank you Lisa💕

      I don’t want to stop being an introvert but I do feel I am missing out on some things and it can’t hurt to at least have some new experiences, or at least revive some old ones I enjoyed when I was younger.

      Found my passport last night so renewal can now proceed!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. With you 100%. Like all the items on your list, including the nail polish and washboard abs (would like to see. You know me curious as a cat). Anyway, you certainly can count on my help and encouragement. Lisa is right this could become a mouvement for all of us. Hey, we only live once… Or twice like the song says. One life for yourself, and one for your dreams.

    Thank you for the pingback. You are so kind to me!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The only time I have for myself to work on the blog is when everybody are asleep, so it’s either late at night or very early in the morning. Did you check the link I send you about Etsy and other shops?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I did yes, thank you, and I am drawing up a shortlist to discuss further 🙂

          Susan is away all night tonight so I will have some time to work on this further I hope, once I have got back from the gym and bathed and eaten.

          I also have some other ideas which came from reading that list. Some pieces (the scotch bonnet for instance) would lend themselves for use as a design on a mug or t-shirt perhaps?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes definitely. The mug and t-shirt are good ideas. Perhaps we could read under the scotch bonnet Chill out. I also thought that your artwork could lend on iphone case. For that, the casefy shop would be a nice option.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations Darren!! 🙂 🙂
    That’s awesome that you’ve set goals for yourself for the rest of the year!
    If you want to buy non-boring clothing without spending too much cash, and IF you don’t mind gently-used clothing, maybe going to a thrift store is a good idea? I get compliments about my clothing and shoes all the time and people are always surprised to hear that I buy them second-hand. The truth is that a lot of people (myself included!) donate clothes that are barely worn (sometimes even with the tags attached!)- it could be because their size or their tastes changed!
    That’s great that you will be selling your artwork!! To be honest, I always thought that you were ALREADY selling your art (it’s that good!) Go for it, I’d say!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the tips and lovely encouragement Sophie. I did look in vintage shops when in London too. Had flashbacks to 1970s shirts…. Thrift shops I have not tried.
      As I work full time it is hard to find time to do extras like selling art without it eating into actual drawing time, but I will try. Dx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been to vintage shops a while ago but I don’t go too often! I think the difference is that thrift stores have clothing in newer styles and the price is cheaper 🙂 hope you will have a good experience if you decide to give this a chance!
        I’ve been to some events where artists and craftspeople sell their work! You could also sell prints of your art online! However I can see how that takes time! All the best 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. How did I miss this post???!!! Oh yeah, I was playing the role of a vampire for a few days! Yes to the gym! Exercise helps so many things in life! I have thought about the hair color…maybe a little green in my hair, but I just don’t know. I have not had color in my hair since I was in my 20s! I hope you are having a fantastic week! Happy Halloween!!🎃

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I must try harder though. We went to a winter food market today and now the house is full of cake. I’m doomed!

      I am encouraged to hear about your hubby’s at 53 though – it means there may be hope I will achieve it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Moving into the holiday season will be challenging for all of us, especially those with fitness goals. Hang in there (and a little cake now and then won’t destroy your abs entirely) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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