Arts and Culture Experiences

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

Despite being a Scientist I actually have a really deep love of the arts (I achieved better in my Art and English but played it safe and went down the STEM route...). Art is so very human, it's emotional and passionate. Anyone who knows me personally will confirm I am a bit of a theatre addict who has dabbled in writing, art and photography. Of course what really helps you become great at those things is being inspired by others so it made sense for me to grow and improve as a hobby-artist for me to look at and appreciate the huge wealth of culture our world has to offer.


53. Watch every film on my must-see list.

54. Go to the cinema alone.

55. See a 3D Movie.

I'm of the generation that was old enough to watch Avatar at the cinema, which I did but since then I've seen many 3D movies. Ben was fully responsible for getting me into the Marvel films, which we watched in 3D both at home to catch me up and at the cinema as new ones came out. This photograph is actually me watching War Horse with my friend Emma back in 2011.

56. Go to the cinema every day for a week.

57. Watch a documentary. I love documentaries, I have to say I'm pretty partial to the Crime Channel watching documentaries like "Crimes That Shook Britain". The one that I truly remember watching with my sister was about the Columbine Massacre which really stuck with me even before I became a secondary school teacher. I think it was my first real hint at the importance of safeguarding children and gets me thinking about whether if people had noticed the warning signs of those children whether it's a truly shocking event that could have been avoided...

58. Watch a foreign film (not English speaking). I've not broadened my horizons as much as I'd like to have on this one. In fact the only one I do remember watching is "The Orphanage" a really excellent Spanish horror/thriller with English subtitles. It was at a time where I wasn't really a horror fan and was one of the first to show me that good horror films can have an excellent and gripping underlying plot.

59. Join a bookclub.

60. Read everything on my must-read list.

61. Read a classic novel. I realise this is somewhat subjective, my idea of a classic novel isn't necessarily another person's. However I did a little bit of research and have read the following books generally considered "classics":

  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding

  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - I've only just started reading this one!

Okay, I am being a bit silly here, but I really did read Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar".

60. Read an entire series of books.

I grew up on Harry Potter, I remember starting with the Philosopher's Stone in year 5 (9 years old) I was afraid of the playground and was a bit of a lonely little girl at times. I remember spending a couple of weeks digesting book 1 and 2 in my lunchtimes and at the weekends. I also remember Mum waking me up one Saturday to show me she'd got me a copy of The Goblet of Fire with the food shopping the day it was released and starting immediately to beat Dad and Mum to it. I also remember reading the final book aloud to my Sister and both of us sobbing our eyes out in the last few chapters which we ploughed through in a night. On the right I'm reading the Hunger Games trilogy which I absolutely loved too.

63. Spend a whole day reading a good book. I've certainly not done this for a very long time. The last time I truly remember reading from around 9am to about 6pm stopping only to eat was during our holiday to Rhodes back in 2006. It's something I'm definitely going to spend a day of lockdown doing because not doing so would be a completely wasted opportunity. It might even be finishing Catch 22.

64. Watch all the theatre shows on my must-see list.

This was just one year... I'm working on it!

65. Watch a theatre performance from a box.

66. See a Broadway performance.

67. Watch a pantomime performance.

This was taken back in January 2013 - I felt ill as all hell and spent the evening feeling like I was going to throw up and the following day in bed. So I don't remember too much about this pantomime show other than it being Jack And The Beanstalk run at our local town with one of Mum's colleagues acting in it as the comic relief. I do like a bit of cheese and would like to see another pantomime performance! Oh yes I do...

68. See a Cirque do Soleil show.

69. Watch a Shakespeare play in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

70. Watch a Shakespeare play the Globe theatre.

71. Watch an open air Shakespeare play.

72. Watch a ballet.

This was a bit of a sneaky Christmas present on my part. I bought my sister Emma tickets to watch Swan Lake with me at our nearest theatre as it was on her bucket list too. We had an amazing time and while I still prefer Musical Theatre I'd be keen to go and see The Nutcracker at Christmastime.

73. Watch a performance of The Riverdance

74. See an opera.

75. See live Stand Up.

I've been lucky enough to do this on a number of occasions and have seen the hilarious Ross Noble live on 3 different occasions. I have also had the pleasure of watching Greg Proops, Russel Kane, Jon Bishop, Michael McIntyre and Seann Walsh. There is definitely a real pleasure in watching a comedian live, being part of the the audience buzz and going home with a massive beam on your face.

76. See live improvisation

Again, something I've had the absolute pleasure of seeing on a number of occasions. I've seen the London Comedy Store players 4 times, 2 live versions of "Whose Line Is It Anyway" and this was taken from the front row of a performance called "Set List" which was improvised stand up running at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This is Greg Proops who we'd had the pleasure of watching taping his Podcast and performing his Stand Up comedy during our few days at the festival.

77. Watch a band or artist perform live.

For my 19th birthday my Mum and Dad bought us tickets to watch Lionel Richie, one of my all time favourite artists perform at the O2 arena. What made this an even more magical evening was that we got to watch him from the 2nd row. It was awe-inspiring and wonderful and an experience I'll never forget. I've also had the pleasure of seeing Elton John, Steve Winwood and Billy Ocean perform live too!

In terms of bands I've had the joy of watching Bon Jovi perform live twice and I've also seen UB40 and The Wailers (Bob Marley's band). All amazing evenings and fabulous experiences.

78. Visit a Madame Tussaudes.

79. Pose with a wax figure.

80. See a live TED talk.

81. Go to a theme park.

Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Legoland Windsor, Walt Disney World (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, MGM/Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom), Universal Studios, Universal Islands of Adventure, Busch Gardens, Disneyland Paris (Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios), Efteling and Futuroscope... I'm a bit of a theme park addict. Here's a small selection!

82. Go to a water park.

I love a water park too! We've had the pleasure of going to a lot of the Orlando ones, Typhoon Lagoon (pictured), Blizzard Beach, Volcano Bay, Aquatica and Discovery Cove.

83. Visit a museum.

I love a museum visit and have done ever since Mum and Dad took me and Emma to the Natural History Museum in London when we were small. I've had the joy of seeing The Science Museum (London), V&A museum (London), St Fagan's National Museum of History in Wales (one of my absolute favourites), The Tank Museum, Eden Camp and lots of smaller city museums such as Derby Museum and Art Gallery (see number 82 as well), The Shoe Museum in Street, The Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum which are just the ones off the top of my head...

84. Visit an art gallery.

This is something I am overdue doing. I love an art gallery and haven't been to one in what seems like a long time. In London I've seen the Tate gallery, Tate Modern (pictured), The National Portrait gallery (London), York Art Gallery and Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (Barcelona, pictured).

85. Complete a video game 100%

I'm a geek at heart and have always loved gaming. The first PC game I remember completing was The Jungle Book because it took me weeks with lots of tough levels, I remember defeating Shere Kahn and running downstairs to tell Dad because I was so excited (see below for a screenshot of the game). Update: (Excited) You can by this on I get to relive my childhood!

I remember completing Spyro year Of The Dragon 100% on the PlayStation 1 (I was really excited when they brought the reignited trilogy out on PS4). Finally in terms of PlayStation trophies Ben and I worked together to completely finish Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 (which I did originally complete 100% on the Wii with Emma in addition to Lego HP Years 5-7 and Lego Lord of The Rings).

86. Play BINGO at a bingo hall.

87. Go to a board game café.

88. Play a board game that lasts longer than 2 hours.

Just to add to my geek image I'm also a massive board game fan (we literally have around 50 at home!) Some of my favourites are long-haul strategy games and this in one of my favourites. Solar Trader takes approximately 3 hours and requires careful thought about collecting and trading resources to try and beat opponents to completing a rocket which is able to leave the solar system. I have a high win rate which helps my enjoyment of it.

89.Play Scrabble.

My friend Emma and I got bored at the party we went to (which is why we're dressed up in jungle attire) so we returned to my flat and played Scrabble instead!

90.Play a card game with playing cards.

I love card games and taught my friends a few while we were away on holiday. I think we're playing sevens here (one of my favourites). I do like pontoon, rummy, crash, cheat, solitaire and old maid.

91. Play twister. Less of a favourite, I'm not all that supple but we do have a copy. Perhaps once the lockdown is over I'll blow the dust off it and give it a play! It was a staple at teenage sleepovers.

92. Win a game of monopoly.

The less I talk about this particular incident the better. To say I'm competitive would be a tiny bit of an understatement and therefore finding people willing to play Monopoly with me can be a challenge. Matthew was eager to try out his Liverpool FC verstion on New Year's Eve 2018-2019 so I did agree to play (although we didn't have enough time to finish this particular game). The time I truly remember winning was a several hour saga in which my Nanna was knocked out after an hour and a half, my sister owned Park Lane and Mayfair and I owned the rest of the board. Emma waved the flag of defeat but I hadn't won properly so I made her play until the bitter end, squeezing every last penny from her and all the fun out of our afternoon... I'm vicious.

93. Try Dungeons and Dragons.

It's something I spent years convincing myself I didn't have the time for and now we absolutely love it! We've reached level 3 with our first characters, Ben is getting into building dungeon tiles and we're both now into miniature painting. Pictured is my druid, Abnoba the firbolg (and her bear form behind) also right in the background is Ben's miniature a tiefling warlock called Maleth.

94. Finish a crossword puzzle.

I'm a bit addicted to the Crossword app I have on my phone and have completed lots of crosswords both alone and with Ben.

95. Finish a Sudoku puzzle. I'm less mathematical in terms of my thinking but at a stretch can finish a medium difficulty Sudoku puzzle unassisted.

96. Complete an 1000 piece jigsaw.

97. Go to a comicon.

98. Go to a circus. I remember seeing one in another country on holiday but the details are sketchy. It's something I'd like to do again as an adult now.

99. Attend a carnival/funfair.

Our town gets visited by a pretty big funfair every year and we used to be taken by Mum and Dad regularly where we would meet my friend Lisa who was a much better dodgems driver than I was. When I went to University in Nottingham we discovered the goose fair in my final year there which made me feel at home right down to the feet numb with cold!

100. Win a stuffed animal (preferably a giant tiger) at a fun fair.

101. See a fireworks display.

I've seen a number of fireworks displays in my time, but none of them were quite as special at seeing the final year of EPCOT: Illuminations the day I got engaged to Ben. It was such a magical end to an amazing day.

102. Participate in a scavenger hunt.

103. Try an escape room.

104. Get a caricature drawing done of me.

We had this done by an entertainer at a wedding! Myself and Emma (he's definitely captured my glasses, hair and chin!)

105. Visit an Olympic Stadium

I was lucky enough to visit the stadium used in the 1992 Summer Olympics held in Barcelona. Obviously I didn't see the events taking place but seeing the sheer size and scale of the stadium was a sight you don't forget quickly.

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