front end developer from lancashire

Budget Bucket List

OK, so hardly anything on my bucket list can be done on a small budget, but I’ve been invited to enter a competition run by moneysupermarket to write about something on my bucket list that wouldn’t cost the Earth but would give me lifelong memories. I thought it seemed like a good excuse to write a post so here goes..

Budget Item: Learn Japanese

I was going to go with ‘have a baby’ for this as technically that costs nothing, but I guess it gets expensive after you’ve had a the baby so I don’t think it counts. Every since I first played Pokemon on my Gameboy years and years ago, I’ve loved Japanese pop culture. I started reading manga, watching anime and listening to Japanese music. All of which is fine, but it’d be a lot better if I knew Japanese. I’d love to be able to watch anime before it’s been translated, or be able to sing along better to Gackt. This is my budget item because while I’d probably learn better if I had a teacher or went on a course, there’s plenty of free, teach-yourself resources on the Internet and there’s even free apps that I’ve used in the past to try and get started. The only thing stopping me is having the time to do it.

Not-so Budget Item: Visiting all 50 US states

I love the US and try to visit as much as I can (and I feel very lucky to have been able to go so mnay times), but it’s going to take a lot of summer holidays to tick off every state. I’ve already been to a few of the harder to reach states (Hawaii & Alaska) so I’m hoping that gives me a greater chance of actually doing this, but it’s definitely not going to be cheap. Even so, I do think something like this can be done on a budget, and whilst it might not be the smallest of budgets I think it’s easy to control your spendings when it comes to holidays. Just things like buying your plane tickets when they’re more likely to be cheaper, staying at budget hotels, visiting the local tourist information office on your first day to grab their offers/vouchers for accommodation and food, it all helps.

As part of the rules for this competition I need to tag three other bloggers, so here goes: Dean, Vuong and Saki.

Christmas Tree

We went to Cheshire Oaks to do some Christmas shopping this afternoon and they have their tree up already~

New layout again

I’ve made a new layout for my blog! It uses a full width background image (that should resize no matter what resolution you’re using) of Badlands National Park in South Dakota, which is a photo I took on our holiday last year.

I wanted to get the US National Park sign in somewhere but wherever I put it, it looked out of place. I might add it in somewhere else.

Hopefully having a new layout will motivate me to blog a little more! (I think I say this every time I change it..)

Horse riding!

I started horse riding lessons 6 weeks ago. I’ve always wanted to learn to ride and don’t know why I’ve never started sooner. I’m learning at a riding school just around the corner from where I live. I’m really, really enjoying it so far. The horses I’ve ridden so far don’t really want to listen to me, but apparently this is because I’m not being bossy enough. >_<

I’ve been learning the rising trot, which I think I’ve just about got the hang of. I’m having trouble with keeping my toes up/heels down – I’ll get them in the right place and then as soon as I start thinking about something else, they’ll be back facing the ground. I think I will eventually get the hang of it but it may take awhile!

Vince came with me last week and took a quick video of me trotting on Ginny. This is the first time I’ve been able to keep going for more than one lap…