In 2014 - the year of trying something new I decided that I wanted to try new things, as inspired by Danny Wallace in Yes Man. I felt like I was in a bit of a rut and it was time to inject some excitement into my life. Or at least some more fun. I was rather ambitious and set myself the goal to try one new thing a week. I wasn't quite that successful; but I did try lots of new things. Here is how I got on...
New Things 2014
1. I made horseradish from scratch - it was terrifying and didn't taste the way I expected; but it was also a lot of fun. Terrifying Trials of Horseradish - 2014 New Things
2. I went to a surprise party - the best part was the anticipation of when to say "surprise!"
The Art of a Surprise Party
3. I finished the first draft of my novel. It was a huge achievement; but really the start of all the hard work as I'm now discovering.
5. Script writing - I decided to follow my passion for TV and do a course on writing for TV. We created our own soap opera set in Norfolk. It was fun; but my novel kept calling me and I decided I couldn't take the extra time the course needed to continue.
6. Mustard TV Debut - as a result of doing the course I was filmed for Mustard TV. Sadly I missed the actually screening of it as nobody knew when it was going to be on air; but that might be a good thing.
8. I became an Auntie - that's probably the thing I'm most proud of, not that it took too much effort on my part; but I absolutely adore my niece and love being around her.
9. Dirty Nappies! - Being an auntie brings its fair share of new experiences, including nappies. I was a little reluctant at first; but I'm getting used to it now.
10. Felt Flowers - I've always fancied trying wet felting, so I was pleased to get the chance with my Craft Club. It was fun; but inexact and a little frustrating. I was pleased with my flower but it's not my new craft obsession.
11. Pub Quiz - I'd never been to a pub quiz before, so this was my first time and I loved it.
12. Disco Bingo - a little like a pub quiz; but completely unique. Disco tracks, a manic DJ/Quiz master called Silvano. I can whole heartedly say I have never been to anything like it before.
13. Self editing course - I learnt how to edit my novel. It was enlightening and exciting, I've got a much clearer sense of what I need to do.
16. Discovered gluten-free food tastes good - I cut down on gluten during 2014, while I didn't notice any amazing health benefits, I did discover that gluten free food can be really yummy.
24. I went to the opera - turned out it was all in English, accessible; but maybe not authentic. I enjoyed it though.
25. I made Quince jelly and used my jam sieve. It turned out really well, tasted delicious, a bit like Turkish Delight. I love it on toast.
26. I stopped doing digital virtual experiences - this was the most unexpected first. The changes in EU law turned everything upside down and I had to close Live in Love in Laugh in. It was sad; but I've got a very special, new project I'm working on and can't wait to launch in the next few weeks, so watch this space...
Looking back on all the things I've tried for the first time in 2014, I'm amazed at just how many there are. It adds up to one every two weeks. They've brought new challenges, new experiences and new skills into my life. Most importantly they've been a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing what New Things 2015 brings.
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about women who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.