Ten things to try in 2017 – just pick one and life will be a lot more interesting.
Drink less. Drink better.
If abstinence brings on a bout of depression at the thought of all those plumpscious, big, juicy reds you’ll miss out on. Or the prosecco bubbles that will effervesce no more as you take your first Friday evening sip. Then kid yourself that your restraint is actually indulgence by upping the quality of the reduced volume that passes your lips. Find yourself a really good independent wine merchant such as the fantastically friendly, wonderfully knowledgeable L’Art du Vin. Or avail yourself of local artisan gins and ales. Doesn’t feel so hair shirt now, does it?
Try Something You’ve Dismissed
There is nothing quite like trying something you’ve been a bit sniffy about for giving you a fresh perspective on life. Perhaps you’ve chuckled at SUP (Stand Up Paddling), or bellowed with laughter at metal detecting, or even yawned at the thought of orienteering. Even the most open-minded of us harbour an element of not for me. Take a long hard look at yourself, ask your family for their thoughts on activities you’ve black balled over the years – AND just go try something you’re not that into. Pleasant surprises can be found in the most unusual places.
Give Supermarkets a Rest
Try to feed the family using only local independent food retailers. If the idea of popping in and out lots of little shops, stopping for a chat with people along the way, scratching dogs under the chin and kissing babies, sounds like something that might push you over the edge, then try Food Assembly. Food Assembly is a movement that allows you to order online from lots of small independent food suppliers then collect your order from a single location. At a convenient time.
Read a Classic
There’s always a list (not an actual one, you understand) of books we’ve never quite got round to reading. Classics that go un-read owing to joyless analysis of the Greats in school. Take the fear out of returning to the literary fold by expanding your definition of a classic. Try to resist turning the pages of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird. Delve into Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim for a taste of 1950’s Britain and find out why he was the best comic novelist of his generation.
Travel by Public Transport
Try getting about by public transport. It’s a real eye opener and gives you a sense of why public transport is such a big issue in rural communities.
Go to the Movies
Not the multiplex. Seek out a proper cinema. One really worth visiting, no matter what you’re going to see. Where the hot dogs are safe to eat and the seats feel good to sink into. Most regions of the UK have an independent movie house – perhaps not as spectacular as Mareel in Shetland (above) – but nonetheless a venue worth supporting. Find a list of UK independent cinemas here.
Travel Somewhere New
Yes, holidays are few and far between. And it is tempting to re-visit favourite spots where relaxation is assured. But would you ever have found those favourite places if you hadn’t summoned up the curiosity to visit them for the first time? The spectrum of what’s considered a step into the unknown is broad and varied. For one person that brave step means visiting a golf resort in a new region of the same country. For another it’s booking that cruise to the Galapagos. Who cares – nobody’s judging. Just go on try something new. If that golfing or the Galapagos don’t tempt you how about a weekend at the Ritz, Paris. The legendary hotel forever linked to the death of a princess, now re-open after several years of renovations.
Pop into a Pop Up
Those of us living in the country should be especially grateful for the advent of the pop ups for they offer us a taste of the whimsy and variety urban folk take for granted. And they really are everywhere – pop up shops, pop up restaurants and pop up cinemas. Just keep your eyes peeled and your ear to ground. Remember what your Mum said to you when you were a stroppy teenager – there’s no excuse for boredom. If you’re bored, you’re boring.
We included this one in our list of things to try 2016 but it is worth repeating because the work volunteers do for our communities is invaluable. Do-it Be More is a website that brings together volunteers with organisations looking for help.
On this site you’ll find opportunities with RSPB, Riding for the Disabled, charities working to help Syrians, gardening as therapy – over 46,000 charities looking to fill 1.5million volunteer vacancies.
Wool has fallen from favour since the arrival of fleece. Yes, if asked we all know the insulating properties and the ability of wool to breathe and wick away moisture. But still most people still opt for a fleece or synthetic gilet. That was until Noble Wilde broke new ground with their stylish, super-warm gilets. Quite honestly, they’re a revelation; made from possum (yep, that’s right – big eyes, furry tail, cute, bit of a pest) and merino wool. You’ll never look back.
If you enjoyed this post and know of any adventurous (or not so adventurous) types looking to expand their horizons in 2017, please ‘like’ and ‘share’ this post using the social buttons. Thank you.