Friday, 28 May 2010

Bring on the next two tasks!

One down and 39 to go. Well I have now arranged the next two tasks and am truly excited!!!!!

The first task is "No.7 Watch a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre in London".

I have booked up to go and watch Shakespeare's "A Mid Summer Night's Dream" at the Globe Theatre in London. To make it even more memorable, I have got tickets to watch it at midnight on a mid summer's night (2nd July 2010). What could be more perfect?

The current Globe Theatre is a reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre that was build in the same location in 1578 by a gentleman called James Burbage. William Shakespeare joined the resident troupe in 1580's, putting on many of his plays that are still widely enjoyed today.

After the event I'll write a post to explain a little more about the theatre and, for those of you who haven't seen or read the play, I will also explain a bit about the storyline and the main characters too.

The second task is "No.12 Watch Cirque Du Soleil live"

I have booked 2 tickets to go and see Cirque du Soleil! I am going in just a few weeks time and am soooo excited! The you-tube clip below is from the actual show that I am going to see.

Cirque du Soleil began when a group of street performers in Quebec (Canada) decided to create a new venue for their passion. Under the guidance of Guy Laliberté, Cirque du Soleil has used its passion for creativity and innovation to redefine the entertainment landscape, and thrill audiences all around the world.

I hope you continue to join me on my journey, as I will be undertaking more of my challenges over the forthcoming weeks and months.

Warmest wishes to you all,

Thursday, 20 May 2010

No.29 - Be a member of the audience in a TV show - Part 2

I can now proudly announce that I have completed one of the 40 things that I have to do before I am 40. Pop that champagne bottle, it's time to celebrate!!! Yippee!!! :D

It all started with a usual Thursday morning. Waking up, showering and going to work. The usual morning briefing with my team, checking my emails, a couple of meetings, a cup of coffee, more meetings... then the day became less ordinary. Lunchtime came but instead of wandering into the canteen to eat my packed lunch, this day I changed out of my white uniform, back into my jeans and shirt and jumped into my car. Within an hour I had picked up my friend and was on the road heading for London.

After driving in circles several times when arriving in Hammersmith, we finally found the NCP car park and jumped on the underground tube! For those of you that know me, you know that I have a ritual when visiting London. There is one place that I just simply have to go to first. So, after about an hour of tube hopping (with hindsight,I should have caught the Piccadilly line rather than the Circle Line), we arrived in Covent Garden. A place that feels like home from f home. We headed directly for the nearest out-door Italian restaurant. Unfortunately as I was the driver for the day, I was on diet coke (you can't even begin to imagine how much I wanted a big glass of red wine! lol!). I ordered and devoured a rather delicious spaghetti carbonara whilst we watched the street performers entertaining the crowds.

A couple of hours later, we paid the bill and wandered over to South Kensington and headed for the Royal Albert Hall. Below are a couple of rare photographs of me, both stood outside the impressive structure of the Royal Albert Hall.

It is the kind of building that oozes with grandeur even from the outside. You know you are going to have an amazing time before you even walk through the impressive entrance hall. Drinks were ordered along with our pre-order for the interval drinks (the one I was most looking forward to, as it was going to be alcoholic!). We were soon then greeted by the usherette who showed us to our balcony box.... let the show begin!!

As the show was being filmed for TV, nobody was supposed to take photographs whilst anything was happening. So, I took the opportunity to grab a few snaps from my seat before the fun started. Here are a few that I managed to grab.

Unfortunately, the quality of the pics aren't that great, but hopefully it gives you a flavour of my view. I have also added some of the moments from you-tube of the actual show itself.

The show was a spectacular, surpassing my expectations. The atmosphere was electric, for those few hours I actually felt like I was living somebody else's life. At the end of the day, I am somebody who is more at home in hiking boots and a lumberjack shirt, wading through fields, forests and rivers. However, this night I was dressed in a suit and tie, supping champagne, sat in a very expensive balcony box, listening to some of the worlds greatest opera singers and musicians perform the most beautiful pieces.

So, here endith my first of 40 challenges before I am 40. The purpose of setting myself those said challenges was to broaden my horizons, improve my knowledge of the world, live more, and ultimately enjoy myself. Well, looking back at this first challenge, if all the others are even 5% as enjoyable, educational and fulfilling as this one, I am going to be the happiest person on the planet on the day I turn 40.

The fun doesn't stop here. I am already in mid planning for another couple of challenges. I will reveal more soon!

Monday, 10 May 2010

No.29 - Be a member of the audience in a TV show

Now things really get exciting. My first big challenge.... To be a member of the audience in a TV show.

My choice for this challenge was quite easy. Very late one evening in 2000, I was flicking through the channels on the TV whilst waiting for tiredness to creep up on me. Mildly fuming that there was nothing on any of the channels, I was suddenly confronted with the most energetic piece of violin playing imaginable. My finger froze, my feet started tapping on the floor, my eyes opened wide and my jaw dropped.....

The piece of music I was listening to was "Storm", the artist was "Vanessa Mae" and the TV show was the Classical Brit Awards 2000.

Much to my delight, I was searching the net in preparation for writing this post and actually managed to find that very clip of the show. So without further ado, here is that piece:

Ever since watching the Classical Brit Awards on that summer night in 2000, I have wanted to be part of the audience, put on my suit and tie, sit in one of the boxes and sip champagne whilst enjoying the spectacular. Every year since, I have sat in front of the TV set yearning to experience the electrifying atmosphere, absorb the splendour, feel the vibrations of the music and the voices resonate through my body.

Below is just a small handful of my favourite moments from previous Classical Brit Awards....

I have just had a peek at the attendees at this years show, and am going to be spoiled with what lays ahead. None other than Andre Reu will be performing, along with Rolando Villazon, Angela Gheorghiu and many more.

And of course, the lovely Myleene Klass will be hosting the show ~ another reason I wanted to go ;)

If I happen to bump into her backstage I'll be sure to offer her my!

So, the big night is Thursday 13th May 2010, the venue is the Royal Albert Hall in London, England and one person in the audience will be no other than.... Moi!!! Hurrahhhh!!!! :D

I'll be sure to post a report of the evening soon!

Bye for now!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

No.16 Read 25 Best Selling Novels That I Haven't Read Before - Book One

So on with the challenges. The first one for me to commence is reading the 25 Best Selling Novels. Initially this challenge was going to read 25 books from the BBC Big Read Top 100 list. However, after reading through the list, I realised that I had already read most of them at least once. The whole purpose of this "40 things to do before I'm 40" list is to do things that I haven't done before, and for this challenge was to broaden my literary knowledge. So, to this end, I decided to adjust challenge #16 to be "Read 25 Best Selling Novels That I Haven't Read Before".

Without further ado, the first book I am going to read is the Man Booker prize winning 'Life of Pi' by Yann Martel

I'll be back soon to let you what I think of it!

Bye for now!