Week 2: Days 9, 10 & 11

Well it’s the second week of January and back to work for me. Work and family commitments mean I won’t be able to make daily posts anymore.  Instead I’ll be making two posts a week. I will however be making micro-posts to my tumblr page, so you can follow my journey there.

Day 9 saw me go stand up paddling (SUP) for the first time. I was a bit anxious about getting onto the board without falling in the water, but with the help of my long suffering hubby (what would I do without him?) to steady the board (and me), I managed to stand up on it first time. From there it was a pretty simple process to paddle and manoeuvre the board. I did, of course fall in, but I am actually quite glad. I learnt to get back on the board from deep water and fairly quickly (hoping in vain no-one noticed me flopping around like a panicked seal!)

I thoroughly enjoyed my SUP experience and will definitely be giving it another go. Lucky for me, we live on the Gold Coast where there are loads of SUP board rental companies, and plenty of places to go paddling. Who knows, maybe I’ll try stand up paddling in the sea? I could benefit from a bit more practice first, though.


Winston Churchill once said “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm”. In that case I must be a success, as my failure to make a prison lighter on day 10, has not dampened my enthusiasm to try something new each day.

I’m an avid fan of the TV series Orange is the New Black. And while I may not have been as wild as the main character, I do identify with Piper whose somewhat risqué behaviour in her twenties comes back to haunt her in later life. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the series, it follows the lives of inmates in a women’s prison. Although smoking is banned, many of the women do smoke and they use lighters fashioned from AA batteries and foil backed chewing gum wrappers to light their contraband.

A little research online resulted in a number of YouTube tutorials showing how to make said prison lighter. While most of the tutorials recommended using chewing gum wrappers, some of them suggested using the foil wrapping paper found cigarette packets. This was fortunate as chewing gum in Australia no longer comes in foil paper, but waxed paper instead.

So I gathered my supplies: 1 paper backed foil cigarette paper and 1 AA battery.

AA batteries, burned foil paper but no light!
AA batteries, burned foil paper but no light!

Unfortunately, after numerous attempts, following the directions of a number of different YouTube videos, I could not get my prison lighter to work. I did manage to burn the paper, but it smoldered rather than flamed. I even tried kitchen foil and toilet paper as one video recommended, but no joy. After an hour of frustration I threw in the towel. Actually, I ran out of foil backed paper, so couldn’t continue anyway. The ease with which the YouTube video makers (mostly from the US) lit their lighters makes me think that their paper is substantially different from the paper we have here in Australia.  In any case, I did try something new. And reinforced an important lesson­ – you are not going to succeed at everything you try, but that is no reason to give up.

Day 11’s new thing was perhaps the easiest one I have attempted yet (let’s face it, I needed a win after the previous day’s dismal showing) – I signed up to be an organ donor. It took me less than 5 minutes to complete the online form to donate my organs and tissues, and my donation could potentially improve the lives of more than 10 people.

Did you know in Australia, your family has the final say on whether or not your organs are donated? Even if you have signed up to be an organ donor, your family can override your wishes in the result of your death. The Australian Government Organ & Tissue Authority recommend discussing your decision with your family to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

I’m halfway through my day 12 task. This is my first all day one and so far I have been successful. I’ll have more on today’s challenge not to criticise anyone (not even myself) or anything for 24 hours, in my next post.

Until then, don’t hesitate to comment on my blog and keep following me on tumblr.

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