The Trophy Board 2012


If my Trophy Board is anything to go by, last year, 2012, was the busiest I’ve ever had.

Whilst I was bashing out the occasional blog post – many of which either apologised for a general lack of blog related activity, or for failing to tick off anything on my Now List – my Trophy Board silently clung to the wall as a testimony to just how much was actually  going on in my life. And much of it, if I may be allowed to say so, was absolutely fabulous!!

By October I’d run out of space and was pinning new stuff on top of old stuff. Quite an achievement as I’m using an A2 board  (that’s approximately 3ft x 2ft). When it came time to emptying the board and consigning the contents to the attic, I discovered that my papery mementos wouldn’t fit in one A3 padded envelope . At this rate I’m going to need a bigger attic.

If you’re a fan on facebook then you’ll know that I uploaded a picture of my board every month. I wasn’t going to bother this year but the comments have been so positive I decided what the hell – I will if you will! I’ve created a gallery for Reader’s Trophy Boards.  Tag me (or the page) in your photos or send me your pictures via facebook messaging (there’s an ‘add files’ option just under the box where you write your message).

Meanwhile, here’s how the 2012 progressed

(If you’re reading this post in an email, click here to visit facebook to view the trophy board photos)

You can find out how my 2013 board is progressing here.

Read about what got pinned to my 2011 board here

The Trophy Board 2011

business cardsSo that was 2011, and I have to say my Trophy Board has never looked so impressive!! I’m quite amazed that the thing stayed on the wall under the sheer weight of the stuff pinned to it.

(If you have no idea what I’m talking about you can get up to speed here – opens in a new window).

Click any of pictures at the bottom of this post and use the arrows to see how the board grew during the year (or click here to do that on facebook if you’re reading this in an email).
If I were a more patient man it would have been fun to create some sort of stop-motion animation but… hey, you have to draw the line somewhere!

It being December 31st it’s time to take all the items off, carefully slide them into a padded envelope, then throw that in the loft to join the other twenty or so envelopes.

Here’s what I’ve carefully squirrelled away for my relatives to go through in many years to come.

54 x business cards
33 x tickets
14 x postcards
12 x thank you cards / notes
6 x clothes tags
5 x intineraries / programmes
4 x badges
4 x bank cards
3 x photos
3 x hotel passes
2 x city maps (Rome & Paris)
2 x “certificates of achievement”
2 x party invites
2 x leaflets
2 x pieces of paper cut into heart shapes
2 x packets of chili seeds
2 x key rings
2 x odd things my niece has given me
2 x membership cards
1 x bookmark
1 x lottery ticket
1 x gift tag
1 x playing card
1 x gift bag
1 x valentine card!!

It would be great to see how your Trophy Board develops during 2012.  Feel free to share pics of your Trophy Board on the facebook page.

Here’s the story of my 2011 Trophy Board.

Keeper for a Day

Back in June, and thanks in part to the generosity of my family, I finally got the opportunity to tick an item off my Now List which had been there since the very start – I was keeper for a day at Colchester Zoo.keeper for a day Jun 2011 (23)

I spent the day feeding small-mammals (lemurs, meerkats  , etc), training leopards, sweeping up lion-urine soaked hay (the lions themselves were outside at the time – obviously), and petting sleeping aardvarks.

Here’s what I learnt

  • Meerkats like shoelaces. They’re also prepared to let you take a turn at lookout duty
  • Lemurs are the most awesome creatures on the planet. Forget what Douglas Adams said about mice or dolphins. Lemurs know exactly what’s going on, have figured it all out, and have manipulated us into being their personal butlers.
  • Wild Boars shop at Sainsburys.
  • Zebras are scary.
  • Rhinos are the loveliest, most gentle creatures you’re ever likely to meet. They’re also surprisingly warm and soft.
  • Giraffes are as cool as they appear.
  • Aardvarks really know how to sleep
  • I want to do this AGAIN!

And that’s something I’ve discovered about Now Lists. Sometimes, even when you can tick an item off, you don’t – you leave it on there to do again.

You can see more pictures from the day here – and whilst you’re doing so, don’t forget to Like the How To Do Everything And Be Happy Page

The need for speed

safari_mainAt the weekend I got to tick another item off my the now list – Quad Biking! I think it’s fair to say that in my head I had this image of thundering through the British Countryside on a massively powerful four-wheeled machine, the wind in my hair, the smell of farmland, scorched jeans, and sizzling leg hair in my nostrils. As there were two places available I dragged along me ol’ pal Rob. Never one to miss an opportunity to set me straight, he warned me that the reality might be a little different. The word ‘sedate’ may have been used. Possibly even the word ‘boring’. The truth is though, I’ve never been a big fan of fast moving vehicles or any activity that has the possibility of being my last. Whilst Rob can’t wait to hurtle round in circles on an engine that sounds like it might explode under him at any moment – I’m quite happy to take my ‘speed’ on the ‘sedate’ and ‘boring’ side, if I can have it mixed with something a little more interesting than tyres or bails of hay to look at. To me that nudges the experience nicely into the category of ‘fun’. Which is exactly what the morning turned out to be. An hours ride, across fields and through woodland, on the back of a machine that had aspirations of growing into a tractor. Which reminds me, I still want to drive a tractor. ANYWAY, here are a few pictures from the day – if you’re reading this in your email just click the link to view them on facebook.

Free Badge! : Updated

You too can have one!

UPDATE Feb 2012 – I’m afraid I’m all out of badges folks, so if you’re one of the lucky 100 or so people who have one it’s officially a collectors item! Keep it safe! Wear with pride! You can still send me your pics (via facebook) but I haven’t anything I can send you. Other than HTDEABH pens. Fancy a pen?

So, in a moment of madness I decided to have a dozen or so How to Do Everything and Be Happy badges made up – here’s me sporting one.
See how it enhances my whole ensemble?
See how it makes me me appear more confident, more friendly, more attractive to the opposite sex?
Who wouldn’t want to own one of these superb personality-enhancing accessories?

Answer: no-one!

So, you’re asking yourself, can you get your grubby mitts on one?
Answer: Yes. Oh yes.

To own one of these limited addition badges simply post a picture of yourself holding your copy of How to Do Everything and Be Happy on our rather spiffing facebook page and I will send you a badge, for FREE!!

Doesn’t matter where in the world you are – after posting your pic just send me a message with your address (which I promise will stay between you and me) and a shiny new badge will be winging it’s way to you. I may even start a rogue’s gallery, (update: infact I did and you can see it below) with special mention for the funniest picture, and/or the reader furthest away from me (I’m near London). I may even create a map! Goodness where will it all end?

A couple of readers have asked whether they’re eligible for a free badge as they read the book on a Kindle or iPad (see Sally’s comment below) – so after a few seconds careful consideration I’ve decided YES! ABSOLUTELY! Post a pic of yourself reading the book in whatever format you have it, send me your address, and a shiny new badge will find it’s way to you in the next few days.


Up Up and Away

Last weekend I had the chance to check another item off the Now List – I went up in a glider!

The flight lasted all of ten minutes – and believe me when I tell you, that was more than enough. Having handed me a parachute (!!) my ‘first‘ glider flight lasted about 30 seconds – the tow rope broke and we had to make an emergency landing! Five minutes later however we were back in the air, and if, like me, you imagine gliders being towed sedately into the air behind an old fashioned bi-plane, nothing could be further from the truth. They launch them using a fast moving winch (a little like a huge elastic band) and the glider rockets into the stratosphere at a million miles an hour and at 45 degree angle.

Having said that when you’re up there it’s exhilarating and truly wonderful. That smile on my face is 100% genuine. And more to the point I keep smiling each time I think about it. Want to see more? 


To post a comment on any of these photos, click here.