Biography

I’m Louise. I’m a Londoner collecting adventures to tell my grandchildren all about one day!

In 2013 a lump suddenly appeared on my throat, out of nowhere. Needless to say, it scared the living shit out of me.

The next 6 months were filled with hospital tests. Prodded with ultrasounds, jabbed with needles, and stuffed with a camera down my nose. The C-word hung over my head like a dodgy fart. The doctors were reassuring that it was a cyst but made it clear that they needed to surgically remove this carefully to ensure the contents weren’t anything sinister either. I made jokes out of everything but going to bed at night I would feel might chest tighten with the thought of “what if..”

Finally, I was out of surgery with an 18 month recovery ahead of me. The relief was huge but I was also grateful that it was nothing more than a scary lump. The surgery felt a bit brutal but what I wasn’t prepared for was the emotional kick back of 6 months of anxiety, powerlessness, and vulnerability.

lumpy

I would find myself bursting into tears out of nowhere, overwhelmed by feeling so fragile. It was as if I was experiencing that moment you accidentally burn yourself while cooking, when you quickly pull back, gasping in shock, and realising you aren’t always invincible – but I was feeling it as a whole body experience. I wanted to rush and hide, maybe peek out from somewhere safe but find quietness. Yet, at the same time, I still knew it could’ve been so much worse and it was time to really appreciate that. It magnified how little I was taking advantage of. My health, my energy, my days ahead until they may not be many ahead anymore.

There is a little voice in my head thinking.. it was only a lump Louise, people have much worse. That’s why I didn’t want to underestimate just how fortunate I am. That it’s time to leap into my own life. Stop just making lists… and start some of these adventures.

Towards the end of 2013 I decided instead of 2014 new year’s resolutions I would give myself something to do every day. Something I would have to put my mind to, varying in easy little goals to bigger adventures. I’m not trying to change the world by doing this or make any massive point. I just realised that it’s all too easy to keep doing the same thing every day without pushing yourself to do or try anything new, or fully appreciate what you’re doing now!

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Don’t forget to follow!

 

365 challenges is a pretty hard to think up. Here’s the list so far. Any more suggestions are welcome, if you can help me with any of them I will love you forever, and all experience will be added here.

  1. Go to a Sikh temple
  2. Go Wassailing

  3. Get Mehndi

  4. Learn to do Mehndi

  5. Learn to do a spin on ice

  6. Create a YouTube channel

  7. Spend quality time with my little brother

  8. Find out your personality!

  9. Eat jellied eels

  10. Do Chill Swim (1st Feb in Lake Windermere)
  11. Do 50 sit ups in one go

  12. Learn to fold a napkin

  13. Bake a loaf of bread

  14. Make my own lip balm

  15. Write a children’s story

  16. Go to an Art Exhibition

  17. Go Wine Tasting

  18. Hold a plank for 2mins

  19. Play the Lottery

  20. Try nasal douching
  21. Write someone a handwritten letter
  22. Buy something off an Infomercial

  23. Apply for XFactor

  24. Learn how to be a TV Presenter
  25. Eat a Grasshopper

  26. Write to my FutureMe

  27. Go salsa dancing

  28. Create a portfolio blog

  29. Start my pension

  30. Try Origami
  31. Eat a Persimmon

  32. Eat no refined sugar
  33. Try ice sculpting

  34. Make a slow cooker lunch at work

  35. Learn to Meditate

  36. Try Swedercise (Swedish Aerobics)

  37. Be present at a marriage
  38. Go to the Circus

  39. Do a detox
  40. Make sushi
  41. Attend a random free seminar
  42. Go to a free tutorial
  43. Go to a free lecturer
  44. Add name to bone marrow list
  45. Spend no money for a whole day
  46. Start a Youtube channel
  47. Order a martini shaken not stirred
  48. Do a mixology class
  49. Go foraging and cook with it
  50. Be present at a birth
  51. Become ordained
  52. Go to a synagogue
  53. Set up my pension
  54. Compose a piece
  55. Go trapezing
  56. Go trampolining
  57. Write a song
  58. Write a poem
  59. Paint a picture
  60. Be a part of a flashmob
  61. Eat a raw diet
  62. Get a body piercing
  63. Send a message in a bottle
  64. Send a message in a balloon
  65. Write a letter to someone
  66. Sing out loud on public transport
  67. Get my fortune read
  68. Eat a deep fried mars bar
  69. Have a psychotherapy session (Thanks Sarah Akwisombe)
  70. Go to a hindu temple
  71. List 10 things I’m grateful for
  72. Climb scarfell pike
  73. Sleep on the street for a night in the city
  74. Make something out of chocolate
  75. Listen to the blues
  76. Get a tattoo
  77. Go zorbing
  78. Donate blood
  79. Sing in a choir
  80. Climb snowdon
  81. Take an IQ test
  82. Surprise someone
  83. Go to mosque
  84. Climb ben nevis
  85. Enroll on a course
  86. Go to the circus
  87. Host a dinner party with completely different people
  88. Do a live painting class
  89. Make an origami animal
  90. Be a live painting model
  91. Bake a loaf of bread
  92. Do glassblowing
  93. Participate in an open mic
  94. Start a fire without a match
  95. Go dog sledding
  96. Go to Buddhist temple
  97. Wear coloured contacts
  98. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  99. Try TV Presenting
  100. Start a personal blog
  101. Ride on a bicycle made for two
  102. Rollerskating in park
  103. Experience Vietnamese new year
  104. Go to Vienna
  105. Holi festival of colours
  106. Spend time with someone really inspirational
  107. Buddhist class
  108. Skydiving
  109. Get Henna
  110. Learn to do Henna
  111. Go ceildh dancing
  112. Go salsa dancing
  113. Go samba dancing
  114. Learn ballet
  115. Go to see Ballet
  116. Go to a networking event on my own
  117. Make a piñata cake
  118. Make Bacon Jam
  119. Blend tea
  120. Learn the Ukelele
  121. Create a Shortbread masterpiece
  122. Calve a pumpkin
  123. Learn to tap dance
  124. Go somewhere where you can sing around a piano
  125. Go to a musical/theatre
  126. Take the UK Citizen’s Test
  127. Go to a vaudeville theatre experience
  128. Make Street Food
  129. Try Reiki
  130. Go wine tasting
  131. Go whiskey tasting
  132. Go beer tasting
  133. Facilitate a workshop
  134. Swim in the sea
  135. Live truly in the moment for 10 minutes
  136. Clay pigeon shooting
  137. Paintballing
  138. Take Afternoon Tea
  139. Speak to a stranger
  140. Avoid cracks all day
  141. Do a Youtube Haul
  142. Register to donate platelets
  143. Donate platelets
  144. Sugar free day (refined)
  145. Avoid all hot drinks
  146. Dance wildly somewhere completely sober
  147. Dress up as as many tube stations as possible have take a picture next to the station sign
  148. Go to an art exhibition
  149. Attend a film screening
  150. Go to a free event in London
  151. Make a fun documentary with my little brother
  152. Go to a museum exhibition
  153. Attend a burlesque night
  154. Go to the world’s smallest police station
  155. Try Burlesque dancing
  156. Teach someone the piano
  157. Take people on a walking tour (my Pub Tour)
  158. Be a tourist for a day
  159. Do a Mok-Bang South Korean style eating video
  160. Make a slow cooker lunch at work
  161. Turn my phone off for the day
  162. Avoid social media for the day
  163. Learn to whistle with my fingers
  164. Be silent and contemplative for a day
  165. Run 10k
  166. Cuddle a piglet
  167. Witness a New Born Lamb
  168. Make macaroons
  169. Cuddle a Llama
  170. Try on a really expensive dress in Harrods
  171. Go to deckchair cinema
  172. Attend a poetry open mic
  173. Learn to Yodel
  174. Go to a Biodanza class
  175. Get acupuncture
  176. Have a free lunch
  177. Learn to skateboard
  178. Do 50 sit ups
  179. Do bikram yoga
  180. Try touch rugby
  181. Try golf
  182. Try a martial art
  183. Become a member of something
  184. Learn to say hello in 15 different languages
  185. Make lip balm
  186. Go to a Blues music night
  187. Attend the Ceremony of the Keys at Tower of London
  188. Be a busker for an afternoon
  189. Shuck oysters (Thanks Nancy Hammond)
  190. Order a Rob Roy – and drink it
  191. Ask if I can help those people that build sand art along the Thames
  192. Hold a snake or large spider
  193. Fly a kite 
  194. Make a time capsule and hide it in london
  195. Watch a film from my childhood
  196. Go to a film by yourself
  197. Comment on an article in every major online newspaper
  198. Make sidewalk chalk art
  199. Learn how to point out all the constellations
  200. Organise a posh picnic in the park
  201. Make a bauble
  202. Cheer Mo at the Marathon
  203. Wake up early and watch the sunrise
  204. Go horseriding
  205. Drink mead
  206. Go ice sculpting
  207. Walk over the 02
  208. Go Star-Gazing
  209. Have a canal boat trip
  210. Visit a farm
  211. Go on a rollercoaster
  212. Go to Chess Boxing
  213. Go to Rebel Bingo
  214. See a play at The Globe Theatre
  215. Eat jellied eels 
  216. Visit Billingsgate Fish Market
  217. Go to a launch of something
  218. Make fresh pasta
  219. Eat 30 McChicken Nuggets in 30mins
  220. Take part in the Zombie Run
  221. Apply for xfactor
  222. Invite a neighbour over for tea and biscuits
  223. Get a strike in bowling
  224. Learn to change a Bicycle tyre
  225. Make a harvest box and donate it to an elderly lady
  226. Create a decoration for my flat by hand
  227. Do a carboot sale
  228. Go to a flower market
  229. Visit an early antiques market
  230. Sing karaoke all by myself
  231. Decorate a cake
  232. Go geocaching
  233. Make sausages
  234. Do Thanksgiving
  235. Read a Classic in a day
  236. Create a Personal Budget
  237. Give a homemade gift to someone not expecting it
  238. Place a bet on The Grand National
  239. Get off at a random stop and explore
  240. Do the colour run
  241. Send a balloon message
  242. Learn to hula hoop
  243. learn to Meditate
  244. Celebrate Diwali in London (23 October)
  245. Hug everyone I meet
  246. Sing a song with my brother
  247. Dye my hair lilac
  248. Write a Children’s story, send it to a publisher and frame the rejection letter (story in a day, obvs!)
  249. Play roulette and act like a don when I throw my chips in (or whatever you do there)
  250. Wear a moustache all day
  251. Go to all the high places in London (Tower Bridge, St Pauls, The Shard, The OXO Tower and The Tate Modern Gallery
  252. Brew alcohol
  253. Eat Dolsot bibimbap
  254. Attend a retreat
  255. Host a creative event at my home (13th Sept)
  256. Host a brunch party
  257. Go swing dancing
  258. Tie dye something I can wear
  259. Have leech therapy
  260. Visit the cat cafe
  261. Eat haggis, neeps and tatties with whisky with a real scotsman
  262. Eat an insect
  263. Get colonic irrigation
  264. Get Chinese cupping
  265. Get a fish pedicure
  266. Buy an extravagant beauty product
  267. Go to Trooping the Colour (14th June)
  268. See live comedy
  269. Sit on Henman Hill
  270. Cheer at The Lord Mayor’s Show (November 8th)
  271. Try Swedish Aerobics
  272. Volunteer at an old people’s home
  273. Milk a cow (or an animal..maybe a goat?)
  274. Learn Chicago footworking (
  275. Make a souffle
  276. Drink the recommended daily intake of water (2litres)
  277. Watch the sunset
  278. Meet a member of the Royal family
  279. Learn something from every person I meet and talk to
  280. Go strawberry picking
  281. Try a floatation tank
  282. Go on a Pedalo on the Serpentine
  283. Go Punting
  284. Visit the place I was born
  285. Learn to paper cut something cool
  286. Learn to screen print
  287. Make something and sell it for charity
  288. Make a gingerbread house
  289. Try Haleotherapy
  290. Climb a climbing wall
  291. Go to confession
  292. Work on a stall
  293. Take a singing lesson
  294. Find out a family fact
  295. See a fringe show
  296. Play the Lottery
  297. row on the Thames
  298. Try Zumba
  299. Film a ridiculous music video
  300. Do a future me email http://www.futureme.org/
  301. Go to Voga http://youtu.be/o95BA21FjxY
  302. Eat a Persimmon fruit
  303. Make something with a fruit/vegetable I’ve never tasted or used before
  304. Gurilla Gardening
  305. Wear a Burka
  306. Make a new recipe for dinner
  307. Nasal douche
  308. Get Hopi ear candling
  309. Hold a plank for 2 mins
  310. Go to a Speakeasy
  311. Sleep in a tent/caravan
  312. Dance in the rain
  313. Go to Ice Bar
  314. Start my Business Plan
  315. Sit and listen to buskers in Covent Garden
  316. Eat in a restaurant on my own
  317. Learn to eat/breathe fire
  318. Learn to knit
  319. Go to Drunch – http://www.designmynight.com/london/bars/fletcher-canalboat-hackney/drunch-gin-on-a-speedboat-saturdays?from=autocomplete
  320. Go on a Gin Tour
  321. Find my inner fashionista
  322. Try out Flow Theory
  323. Go to a performance restaurant
  324. Kiss at the top of a Ferris Wheel
  325. Order a secret special
  326. Wear a ridiculous Christmas jumper
  327. Try a Zentangle
  328. Wear a ridiculous Hawaiian shirt
  329. Watch close up magic
  330. Learn a magic trick
  331. Sit on the floor and eat Moroccan food with my hands
  332. Travel in a Wheelchair all day
  333. Tape my eyes shut for the whole day
  334. Speak on Speaker’s Corner
  335. Learn to stand on my head – yoga style
  336. Write a personal manifesto 
  337. Speak in another accent for a whole day (it is acceptable to make one up)
  338. Try and break a world record
  339. Make a complete list of your favourite films, songs and books and laminate it.
  340. Invent my own cocktail
  341. Write in wet cement
  342. Create a product jingle and post it to the manufacturer
  343. Buy something from a late night tv infomercial (not the one with the girls)
  344. Make a pie from scratch
  345. Show an animal at a country show
  346. Sheer a sheep
  347. Map out my week
  348. Learn to butcher something
  349. Go bin raiding
  350. Go to an open dinner party http://www.eatwith.com/
  351. Go to Santa Con
  352. Find an alternative route home
  353. Run around a park like Phoebe in Friends
  354. Do a bookshelf makeover
  355. Paint my bathroom
  356. Learn to fold a napkin
  357. Do a financial plan for my whole year
  358. Go to The Geffrye Museum
  359. Make vegetable crisps
  360. Take the first big step in building #youngandproud as a brand
  361. Learn how to wire a plug
  362. Lobby MP about something I’m passionate about
  363. Prank the hell out of Dwain Lucktung
  364. Play a 100k piano
  365. Completely disengage for an hour
  366. Go to a spa
  367. Film as many party tricks as possible
  368. Don’t wear make up for work
  369. Walk over all the Thames bridges in London
  370. Learn a song in Italian
  371. Run through a fountain
  372. Dress as a goth
  373. Pay respects at Postman’s Park
  374. Let go of a floating lantern
  375. Attend Summer Solstice
  376. Send a thank you card to the top 5 people who have inspired/helped/influenced me who wouldn’t be expecting it
  377. Mentor someone
  378. Write my will
  379. Sleep under the stars
  380. Learn to juggle
  381. Get a pie in the face
  382. Learn to pick a lock
  383. Spend the day with my G-ma and learn all about her life
  384. Make a sugar flower
  385. Try flower arranging
  386. Find a place to completely relax in London
  387. Eat street food
  388. Try graffiti
  389. Make a Pledge for Time To Change 
  390. Be a citizen scientist for an evening – https://www.zooniverse.org
  391. Visit The Chocolate Museum
  392. Try Brian Eno’s oblique strategies
  393. Drink absinthe then write a poem about sex and death
  394. Do my make up on the tube
  395. Ride a unicycle
  396. Rollerskate to work
  397. Visit every tube station on a tube line
  398. Take part in an archaeological dig
  399. Visit the Zoo
  400. Hire a metal detector and look for treasure
  401. Go mudlarking
  402. Teach an old dog a new trick
  403. Learn some nail art
  404. Make a cushion out of an old jumper
  405. Paint someone’s face
  406. Fit in all the cupboards in my house (without breaking myself/or the cupboard)
  407. Make a finger puppet
  408. Make a Juicy Lucy
  409. Learn the flags of 10 countries I didn’t know before
  410. Learn the alphabet in British Sign Language
  411. Learn the alphabet in Braille
  412. Go Carol singing
  413. Dance around the Maypole
  414. Cycle in a Velodrome
  415. Gut and fillet a fish
  416. Let someone inexperienced cut my hair
  417. Be dropped off somewhere in London and find my way home without public transport or my phone.
  418. Attempt the Happy Meal challenge
  419. Answer all theForbes 35 questions that will change your life
  420. Go to the Gingerline
  421. Find the middle of a maze
  422. Skip everywhere
  423. Hang out by a waterfall
  424. Make a beauty treatment
  425. Go to Shabbat
  426. Attend a Debating Society event
  427. Perform at a poetry open mic
  428. Make a list of triumphs
  429. Explore a cave
  430. Do a personality test
  431. Learn the basics of Final Cut Pro
  432. Learn to film
  433. Make a logo on Illustrator/Photoshop
  434. Make a Mandala
  435. Buy the person behind me a coffee – pay it forward
  436. Go grape stomping
  437. Take part in Lights Out
  438. Learn to beatbox
  439. Learn scratch
  440. Learn to scat
  441. Get voxpop for an episode for the #youngandproud YouTube channel
  442. Plan an event to get great people together
  443. Do a motivational speech
  444. Cuddle a baby
  445. Hold a baby bird
  446. Find the best nachos in London
  447. Do something for the community
  448. Go skinny dipping
  449. Be in the presence of a real prodigy
  450. Take a cable car
  451. Find great street art
  452. Visit an underground city
  453. Get a weave/wig done
  454. Go up Big Ben
  455. Watch an entire trilogy in one day
  456. Explore a part of London I’ve never been to
  457. Learn how to explain String Theory
  458. Visit a prison
  459. Listen to someone’s total opposite point of view and understand it
  460. Find out someone’s ambitions and help them in some way to realise it
  461. Give a stranger a bouquet of flowers
  462. Be someone’s reference for a job/uni
  463. Sign a petition
  464. Join a protest
  465. Help someone create something they’re passionate about
  466. Go somewhere I’d never normally go
  467. Do something I’d never normally do
  468. Wave at a train driver and give them a bar of chocolate when they come into the station
  469. Be an audience member of a TV show
  470. Do morning pages
  471. Try Interior Design
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