Week 4: Cuban cigars to half yards of beer

Just one post this week – I’ve been a little disorganised. I know I mentioned this before but I’m afraid I didn’t manage to get on top of things this week.  On a positive note, I did stick to my resolution and experience 1 thing new every day (check out my tumblr page for daily updates).

Day 22: Smoked a genuine Cuban cigar

I kicked off this week’s new experiences by smoking a Cohiba, a genuine Cuban cigar on Sunday, after dinner. Last year we took a family holiday to Havana and brought a few cigars back with us as souvenirs (not many, mind you as Australian customs only lets you bring in 50 grams of tobacco each – so none as gifts for friends!) As an ex-smoker (I quit over 15 years ago) I hadn’t bothered to try the cigars but hubby isn’t too keen on them so we have a few left.

I have always liked the smell of cigar smoke, but I can honestly say, I am not fussed on the taste. After puffing on the Cohiba for about 5 minutes (did you know that you aren’t supposed to inhale cigar smoke?) I passed it over to hubby to finish.  I don’t think you’ll find me puffing on a cigar again, any time soon.

Day 23: Ate calamari jerky

calamari-jerky_yuckMonday was the first day back to school after the Christmas holidays for my little man. Needless to say, with all the running around and organising this incurred, I had not spent much time preparing for my 1 thing new. Luckily, I bought some calamari jerky last week when I visited the Asian supermarket so I had an exotic, never tried before food to hand.

Unlike the kimchi, which was delicious, calamari jerky is not. I am a fan of jerky in general, especially biltong (the South African version of jerky) so it was with great hope I opened my bag of calamari jerky. However, from its unappealing appearance (it looks a little like strips of tree bark) to its unappetising aroma (cat food anyone?) calamari jerky did not live up to my expectations. So Monday’s new experience is another that is unlikely to be repeated.

Day 24: Relaxing stroll

After 2 somewhat unsuccessful experiences on Tuesday I decided to do something that didn’t require me to taste anything.

There is a path that runs alongside a little stream that flows behind the building I work in, and until recently I didn’t even realise it was there. My office is also opposite a busy shopping centre, where I spend my lunch breaks most days. On Tuesday I thought a change of pace would be nice, so instead took a stroll along the river bank during my lunch break.walk

I’m happy to report day 24s new thing was a success. It was so quiet and peaceful down by the riverside, down by the riverside (sorry, getting carried away, carried away… lol). I walked the length of the river and saw only one other person. I did however, see butterflies, more dragonflies than I’d ever seen in one place before and a family of dusky moorhens.walk-3

There is something incredibly relaxing about taking time out in the middle of a busy day, especially when everyone else is running around in the thick of things. I felt like I had a secret that no one else was privy to, as if the riverside path was my own private zen garden. This is definitely 1 thing new I will be doing again.

Day 25: Inspirational post-it notes

post-itMy riverside stroll had left me feeling rejuvenated and motivated to spread the joy, and what better place than work? There have been a lot of changes going on at my workplace lately and morale amongst staff has been somewhat low, so I decided to leave some inspirational messages in random places throughout the office. I’m not sure what effect (if any) my messages had, but hope they gave someone pause to smile. I’m pretty sure I managed to remain anonymous as no-one seemed to guess the post-it messenger was me. At the very least, I injected some intrigue into the working day.

Day 26: Homemade jelly soap

jelly-soapThursday was a public holiday, so with some time to spare I thought I’d try my hand at some homemade crafts. I love the cosmetic and toiletry shop Lush and found a number of seemingly simple recipes online for their jelly soaps. A few inexpensive purchases later (shower gel and gelatine) I was ready to give day 26s 1 thing new a go. It wasn’t until I had made my jelly soaps and turned them out of their moulds that I realised gelatine was not the best setting agent to use in the Australian summer. My jellies started to melt within minutes of being out of the fridge. A little more internet research and I discovered that the melting point of gelatine is way too low for jelly soaps (typically less than 35oC) and I should instead have used agar agar which has a melting point of around 85oC. (Looking, on the bright side I don’t have to edit the jelly soap making video I made, but instead just upload some photos!)

Day 27: DIY – patching a hole in the wall

After the jelly soap fiasco I thought I’d brave some DIY. We have had a hole in a wall in the garage for over a year. I’ll hold my hand up for this one. Yep it was me that made the hole. I pushed my son’s bicycle pedal through the wall when I was trying to park the car and leave enough room for hubby’s car in the double garage. So on day 27 of my 1 thing new challenge I decided to patch the hole.

The job actually took longer than one day, as I didn’t get started until the evening after work. But the job was rather like icing a cake. Did you know you can buy a wall patch from the hardware store? The patch is a metal square, covered with a sticky webbing which you push against the damaged wall. Then all you have to do is use polyfiller to cover the patch, sand and paint. As I left it late to patch the wall, I had to leave the polyfiller overnight to dry. I added a second coat, the next day, because I could see the outline of the metal square through the polyfiller. Now all I have to do is sand and repaint. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Day 28: Half a yard of beer

Time for something fun. Hubby suggested I drink a yard of beer, after he had been up in the attic and found an old 21st birthday present. As a one-time party monster (many moons ago) I thought this sounded like a fab experience to add to my repertoire. It turns out the yard glass was a half yard glass, but, as I had never drank from a half yard glass either, it was still eligible as my daily 1 thing new.


How has your new year’s resolution been going? Have stuck to it this far? Or if you didn’t make one, what new memories have you made for yourself this January? Leave me a message in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.


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