Aug 30, 2010

Thirty Before Thirty

So despite all of my best efforts and experimentation, time continues to march frustratingly forward.

Mark it: in 44 days' time, I shall turn *gulp* thirty years old.

Frankly I'm not very fond of this fact. I'd much prefer it was a statistic. You can use statistics to prove anything. Believe me, I work in and around politicians. Statistics can be your best friends if you stroke them the right way. Much like dogs. And politicians.

If my forthcoming birthday were a mere statistic, then I could statistically tell you that it is only a probability that I will shortly be leaving my twenties. But no, my birthday, much like my dear mother's labour pains and my dear father's aversion to latex, it is a cold, hard fact.

But hey, enough of the cloying faux-tragic sighing, right? Let's look 30 right in the face, and before it can say "Wrinkles, bee-atch", punch it right in the balls.

I'm going to do 30 new things before I turn 30.

And guess what? (Here's the call to action part of the narrative) I need YOUR help!

I'm going to compile a list. There are a few things that I personally want to do/try, but for the most part I'm open to suggestion. Now the point of this exercise is NOT to do every bogus extreme activity known to man. The point is for me to try things that I have so far avoided - either accidentally or on purpose - for the past 29 and a bit years.

So here are some examples of things I'm going to do:
  • Have Dan make me a cup of tea, and drink it with him (Dan is obsessed with the fact I've never drunk tea).
  • Drink alcohol to the point of legal intoxication (I am not a drinker).
  • Watch an "adult film" in its entirety (The Wah suggested I get DiscoStu involved, and review it, in the style of our Buffy/Xena musical episode review. When I explained to Stu what I was doing, he said "So Dan's the tea guy, and I'm the porn guy?" I replied that Dan's so obsessed with freaking tea that he'll probably prepare the damn stuff in the nude anyway, so really, it's a compliment. Stu then accepted the challenge).
So! Ladies and gentlemen, I hand over to you. You can be as creative or as simple as you like. You could tell me to visit a suburb I've never been to, or read your favourite book. Maybe you'd like me to try an activity you've always wanted to try to report back on what it's like. Perhaps you'd like me to wear a particular item of clothing, or take a lesson in a martial art or dance style.

Obviously, you might suggest something that I have done (such as walk the Great Wall of China, go horse-riding in Mongolia or ask a nice Russian chemist for thrush medication), so apologies in advance for any rejections. I must also say that I won't do anything that will physically or mentally harm another person (unless it's agreed to by that person, for example, boxing etc). Some things will be precluded because of cost and time restraints. However, I AM going to Hong Kong tomorrow night for a few days, so I am happy to look at things over there that I could do.

And before you ask, I probably WON'T get a tattoo, because I'm a big girly girl.

I should say I'm happy to do more than 30 things. But I've got around six weeks to get all this done, so 30 is my minimum. I'll keep track of progress on Twitter, using the hashtag #30before30.

I've actually already done my first activity - being in a flashmob. Yesterday I spent five hours learning a Bollywood dance, then joined about 30 others performing it flashmob style in King George Square. I'll write more about that later when the video becomes available, but for now here's a photo I nicked off Facebook:

That's me in the black pants & grey shirt.
Thanks to Paul for the photo.
Also, I would like to raise money doing this. I am going to work out a way of setting up a donate button, probably through PayPal. Hopefully if you enjoy reading about my adventures, you may consider donating something. I have decided to split any money that is donated between:

1) The Australian Red Cross, specifically for helping victims of the Pakistan floods. My grandmother, Queen Pat, worked for the Red Cross for over 40 years, so it's an organisation I like to support. Also, my great-aunt Monnie lives in Karachi, and has worked for the International Girl Scouts for many years. I know that more help is needed for Pakistan right now.

2) The Brisbane Arts Theatre. Because we never have ANY money. And we're a not-for-profit community group that SHOULD be around in 2011 to celebrate 75 years of great independent theatre.

Please note: Donations are NOT compulsory. I will look at all suggestions on their merit - but hey, maybe cash pledges will sway me.

Thanks again to everyone who reads Girl Clumsy - I hope to provide you with many interesting adventures to read about over coming weeks!


  1. This is such a tops idea that I'm disappointed I can't immediately think of anything.

    Oh I know. Go to a rock festival. Any on between now and then that you could rort/scalp tickets to?

  2. You should eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant ... and luckily I have just the place for you, and it won't cost a bomb.

    There is a dumpling place in Hong Kong that meets the criteria and I would love to go there but alas that is not in my immediate future. But you, my girl, have the perfect opportunity.

    You can read about it here:

  3. Drink a real beer in a real pub.. Like one in Ipswich. You also may want to order a "counter meal..." extra points for getting the Parma with extra cheese.
    Punch someone hard in the face ala Fight Club.
    Pash a stranger.
    Help an old person across the road.
    Drive a convertible to Maleny with the roof down and music loud !
    Appear on TV "accidentally" like standing behind a news reporter during a live cross.

  4. This falls within the specified time period:

    Ever thought about riding from Brisbane to the Gold Coast? I'm considering it but it's the weekend of Cam's birthday.

  5. Do not drink tea.

    It is a corrupt and awful drink I have tasted accidentally, and, in order to have sex with a nice young lady when I was but a boy.

    Do not drink tea.

    bedes xx

  6. Dye your hair a whacky colour :). Raising money is a great justifying excuse for bosses...

    Hot air balloon ride...

    Steve did the v8 hot lap thing and reckons I'd love it too... Do you have a desire to drive fast?

    Climb the Story bridge (or Sydney Harbour Bridge)

    Deliberately take time to watch the sun rise and set on the same day.

    Plant a tree.

    Volunteer for something you don't really want to do.

    Read a story to a child.

    Spend an entire day in your pjs.

    P.S. In my experience, turning 30 sounds scarier than it actually is.

  7. So far you've got one challenge involving sex and two involving drugs. Plus Monster Yuppy has suggested violence. That's probably enough of that sort of thing. But if not, you could consider a Brazilian Jujitsu class, if you want to learn how to kill a man with the crushing strength of your thighs.

    There are a few good schools in Brisbane.

    However there have got to be all sorts of things you can do other than hurt people, take drugs or go on sexual adventures. You could read a philosophy book, or paint an oil painting, or write a love poem. You could play a computer game from the early 1980s all the way through, or write a chapter of a detective novel, or spend the whole day riding backwards and forwards on the Gold Coast line train. You could listen to heavy metal until you can distinguish different subgenres. You could go to Dick Smith's for parts and try to personally repair any and all broken electrical items in your house. You could go on a personal search for the most disturbing thing you can find on the internet in 60 minutes.

    I'm out of ideas but we're nowhere near thirty. Oh well.

  8. I'll try to think of something. Its a great idea.

  9. I took off for a weekend, flew to Qld and got on the turps with my old mates on the Gold Coast and at our old uni haunt of the RE in Toowong. Anything's got to be grander high-level concept than that.

  10. Make pasta.

    Catch public transport to your work.


    Drink tea in the nude.

  11. Hey guys - wow, thanks for your comments!

    I really appreciate your ideas.

    Firstly, I will repeat, I won't be doing anything that involves physical harm. I also don't want to do anything that could be seen as "exploiting" other people for my own personal gain.

    I'd ask that you please be specific too! For example, if you want me to read a book, please name it, it will be so much easier!

    And already in there are a few things I've already done, so I hope you will forgive me for turning them down.

    Thanks again guys, you all rock. Natalie.

  12. Swim with the dolphins. Go somewhere and tip 100% of the bill. Spend a whole day naked. If you see beggers or buskers, give them all something for one whole day, and talk to them. Donate a week's worth of shopping to charity. If you have always lived in Brisband, go to all the significant places of your life (your old house, your old high school), take photos and tell us about something weird or funny that happened in these locations. Plant a tree. Read an entire newspaper (every printed word). Read a book from a genre that you have never read before (or have purposely avoided, like Sci-fi, Fantasy, Erotic, and ask a friend what they would recommend that you can borrow). Prank call your boss.

  13. Okay - I have a couple of different ideas:

    - Go mustering (it's the only way to REALLY experience the bush properly, plus you get to be on a horse - bonus!)

    - learn to find and name three star constellations

    - ride a steam train

    - swim naked at midnight

    - walk on hot coals.

    Good luck - great idea!

    PS I have done all these (okay, I suck at the star thing, but I SHOULD do this!).
    PPS 30 is fine. 40 is amazingly okay too!

  14. You'll hate this, but I thought you were past 30 already. Oops! You don't look it, I just thought you were already there.

    Going into your thirties isn't so bad. You've still got some youth, but now you have some life experience to go with it.

    Maybe soaring? Go find a place that has gliders and do an unpowered flight. It's an amazing and awesome thing to do.

    If you want to do that in the nude, hey, whatever. I don't need to see that (again, no reflection on you, but if that's what the reading public wants...).

    30's OK-trust me. And it beats the alternative.

  15. Learning to play the theme song from 'Angel' on cello! I could teach you. I'll see if I can find the music for it. If not, I'll find something nice for you to play. :D

  16. While you're travelling, do some street photography! Take candid pictures of folks in their own environment. Mostly because I'm too chicken to do so... Maybe while you're in HK!

    Let this be your guide:

    Murray Gray is awesome at this, eg

  17. Shoplift something. From a corporation you don't approve of, to minimise guilt.

  18. Find a bloke to wrong you in some way (kill your daughter, ruin your family, frame you for espionage etc), then spend the rest of the week hunting them down to clear your name and exact revenge.

    I've seen enough action movies to know it'll be greatly entertaining, and think of all the one liners you'll come up with!


  20. Burst into song at a crowded moment like the train station or shops.

  21. I promise $10 to the Red Cross if you youtube it and post the link :)

  22. $20 if it's "The Final Countdown" :)

  23. Skate a half-pipe on a skateboard.

    Or does this fall under the self-harm category?

  24. eat a whole pack of tim Tams.
    Drink a bottle of Moet at MacDonalds.
    Find a tree and carve in "Nat hearts the Wah"

  25. Why do you have to turn 30? When I got to the birthday after 29, I declared to all and sundry that I was 29-ish. I have done so for a substantial number of years since. Everybody smirks knowingly when I say this, but Hah! They can smirk all they like - I get the last laugh because they DON'T know. And they never will. Just as I will never know what it is like to be thirty.

    So if there is just one thing I can recommend for your list, it's this:

    Oh, o.k. One more thing for your list:
    Carpé Cakem.

    Actually, I'd advise EVERYONE to do that, as often as possible.

    Now, repeat after me, Nat:
    I am twenty nineish.

    See? It's not that hard, is it?

    Now. Go and seize the cake.

  26. How about singing at an open mic night?

    We could do a duet of this.

  27. Buy and eat a piece of fruit you've never eaten before. Like a dragon fruit or something.

  28. I found these posts completely enthralling. You have inspired me to organise an event similar to this, I hope you do not mind and I hope that you too will follows these events (even if only a semi interest in the whole thing)