Monday, 4 March 2013

Listmania Seven: Things I want to learn

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I am gutted that I missed last weeks prompt! A combination of a hideous head cold and Miss Three's birthday extravaganza week left no time for anything else. The cold still lingers but the birthday parties are over and it is back to Listmania.

As a former educator I am an advocate for life long learning but not a great executor of this idea. There is a very long list of things I would like to learn - some mundane and some definitely bucket list material. Here are some of the more interesting challenges ahead.

Knitting : I can knit. I do knit and I love it. I find it super relaxing and I love working with the colours and textures of the yarn. However, I can only knit very basic things and I have no idea how to move forward from there. A good example is the beautiful shrug I have knitted my daughter. I have knitted all the parts but I have no idea how to put it all together. It involves all manner of complex picking up of stitches. As a result all the parts are sitting on my craft trolley unloved and unconnected waiting for me to crack the code that is the knitting pattern. 

While I wait for this miraculous moment I am working on a new project. A simple, knit only baby blanket that requires no joining, no fancy pants stitches and is a soothing project to sit down with in front of the telly. I have no idea what knitters did before YouTube as it has taught me almost all I know!

Japanese : My husband is Japanese. He speaks, reads and writes Japanese fluently. He also speaks, reads and writes English fluently. He values English a great deal more and has no interest in teaching our daughter Japanese beyond reading her some stories in Japanese. We have extended family in Japan who neither my daughter nor I can communicate with. Fortunately, Miss Three's school is introducing a weekly Japanese class so she can start to learn some Japanese language to go with the English and Mandarin she is already learning. I did take a term of Japanese classes when we were first married and really enjoyed them but every time I tried to speak Japanese to my hubby he laughed. My Japanese was not that bad but he just found it hilarious seeing my mouth move and Japanese sounds come out. Needless to say, I did not go back after the first term!

One of my daughter's favourite stories - it translates as What's Inside?

I still feel like I should make the effort to learn some more Japanese as we visit Japan every year and it is hard to get around if you don't speak the language. I also think it would help my daughter gain some appreciation of her heritage. This is definitely on the to do list.

Yoga: Every year I do a list of things I want to try and yoga is always on there and it remains undone every year. My fear of embarrassing myself in front of a group of strangers is definitely part of it. I am not a long, lean, willowy yogi but a round, short, dumpy one and I don't think many classes cater for that. I know all the stretching would be really beneficial and the relaxation component would rock my world . I would love someone to start an absolute beginners class somewhere where the unco-ordinated members of society could feel comfortable falling over and generally making  idiots of themselves. Mmm maybe there is a market niche?

To Apply Makeup : This is actually something I am working on at present. The whole make up thing pretty much passed me by. I tried in high school but my skin was so pale that only Shisedo made a foundation that wasn't five shades darker than my natural skin colour! I was a goth for a while so lots of black liner and blue lippy and I was good to go. After that I just put it into the too hard basket.

Recently, I have decided that perhaps I need to take a bit more care of myself and a made up face does make me look a lot more put together. I have been admiring the make up looks that Danimezza has been sharing on her blog and Instagram. I bit the bullet and picked up a beautiful starter kit from Benefit. The best bit is it comes with step by step instructions. I tried it out on Saturday and while at the time I first put it on I did not think there was much of an improvement, about an hour later, my face looked amazing. I am not sure if it all needed time to settle or what happened but I am determined to apply make up at least once a week and to use the internet to help me get a style sorted.

How could you not buy something with that title?

To Snorkel: I have been very fortunate and travelled to some wonderful tropical spots in my life and to places brimming with amazing coral and sea creatures. I assume that is the case at any rate as I never get to see them. I am blind as a bat. Cannot see anything without my glasses. As a result, without a hefty investment in a prescription snorkel mask, I cannot see anything unless it is inside my mask! I would love to experience the freedom of the ocean. Maybe when I win Lotto.

There are lots more things I could list but these are a great place to start. I would love to know if there are any things you would like to learn. Please link me up in the comments if you take part in this weeks list. Link up with Deb at Home Life Simplified. The weekly lists are always a good read.


  1. If you want to learn to knit then try visiting Rita's blog she has been posting tutorials on them for a few weeks now! They are very easy to understand! I love snorkelling, you should definitely give it a go. BTW - I'm a Kiwi living in Queensland, but our three children are definitely little Aussies and have the accent to prove it! Emily

  2. great the blanket!!! and how cool that you tried to learn Japanese!!! go you!!!

    and the make up bit gets me too!!!

  3. Such a great list! I have lots and lots on my list, actually the list is too long for a blog post :-)

  4. Wonderful list, makeup is bit beyond me too. I use the same stuff for the past few years!

  5. i am amazed how many of us need help on the makeup front!!

    yoga is also on my list!

  6. Awesome list Claire. I have alot of things I want to learn - but whether I'll attempt them this year - I don't know

  7. learn Japanese? make up? wow your list rocks!!

  8. Very cool and interesting list! While I don't have suggestions for most of your list, maybe for learning yoga you could purchase a DVD to show you some basic moves. That's how I've picked up some basic moves that really help in stretching and relaxation!

  9. Love your list! My son is learning Japanese right now...not an easy language to learn, but very rewarding! :)

  10. Yep I've got to learn make up on my list too! My son learns Japanese at school - I wuold love to get some tips from him too.

  11. Love your list...the makeup help is something I could do with too! On the knitting, have you joined Ravelry? When I need help understanding a pattern, I search for help on there, or ask a question. Kind strangers come on & helpfully explain my problem/mistakes in no time!!! It's amazing!!!

  12. I can do the makeup, used to be in charge of a Revlon Department, can knit, was a professional knitter in a previous life, learning a language is something that one day I will do. (hope it's French that accent melts my heart) xxx

  13. You're blanket looks great, love the colours. I've just started knitting again a few months ago but I'm very slow! I'm attempting a beanie at the moment, a very basic one. I also started a yoga class a few weeks ago which I love, and I found a great free app called Daily Yoga that has lots of yoga work outs and breathing exercises you could check out.

  14. Hi, great list. I did 3 years of Japanese at high school and loved it, but found the three different alphabets really confusing. I wish I had've kept it up because you forget it all so quickly if you're not using it. There are some great beginner knitting patterns out there (some of the free ones at Spotlight and Lincraft are good.) The joining together bit isn't that hard, the other commenters are right, look on youtube. And always read through the instructions a few times so it makes sense, because if it doesn't make sense it probably wont turn out right either. Good Luck xoxo