The one where Andy fails to grow a plant

There’s only a couple of days left, and surprisingly I think it’s all going to be a.ok.  I realize with hindsight that some of the challenge are not best suited for completion in what feels like the coldest 2 weeks on record.  It’s bloody freezing in London town in early February.

Challenges Completed

#number1: Use a fire extinguisher

In order to use a fire extinguisher, there needs to be a fire.  This sounds fun!  I buy a hand-held fire extinguisher from Tesco, along with a fire extinguishing blanket just in case, and set my kitchen ablaze in order to prove the fire extinguisher works.  I can successfully say both me and the house are still here.

Here is my online review of the “Tandra extinguishes fire” fire extinguisher from Tesco.

As the kiwis would say, don't drink and fry.  **DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME** (woops)

As the kiwis would say, don’t drink and fry. **DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME** (woops)


#number5: Brew your own beer

The process is complete.  For now, this is a creation out of a 11 month old pre-mix beer brew pack, created with mostly sterile equipment, using an only ever-so-slightly leaky vat, created located in a series of badly regulated temperature environments, and timed with erractic imprecision.  The result is, understandably, a weak sour acidic brown liquid of minimal alcoholic volume and questionable drinking suitability.  Cheers!

#number13: Bake a cake (chocolate one would be preferable)

As I ponder this one, I think of many impressive cake designs accessible via social media.  Should I create a chocolate hedgehog family, a 5 tier cupcake tower, a ladybird red velvet?  Then a buzzfeed article about terrible attempts to replicate these come to mind (for example – hedgehog cake – nailed it) , so I make a good old fashioned Victoria sponge.

#challengespraguey's delicious Victorian sponge

#challengespraguey’s delicious Victorian sponge


#number16: Grow your own tomato plant (or some sort of vegetable / fruit)

I decide that tomato plants are perhaps not best suited for growing in winter, and anyway, the peptide-x injected tomato’s I can pick up from my local hyper-mart seem to do the trick in a lunchtime ham & salad sandwich.  I decide to try a more hardy plant for this challenge but seeing as my horticultural knowledge is roughly equal to the square root of naff all, I go with small and shrivelled as being an indication of this property.  Accordingly, I go with a chlli plant because, one, it is more interesting than a tomato anyway (there are plenty of pranks that can be set-up with a medium amount of extremely hot food stuffs)., and, two, according to some sources the chili plant is indeed a fruit.

I fill a small pot with 80% compost, poke in 8 seeds of Scott Bonnet Orange, and moisture.  I place on the inside of a south facing windowsill.  I promptly forget to water it for the next 2 weeks.  I am going to pass myself on the completion of this challenge with a score of 6 out of 10 for effort.

Chili's also don't grow very well when you don't water them

Chili’s don’t grow very well in January. Chili’s also don’t grow very well when you don’t water them


number19: Write and record a love song

I had been dreading this one, as I knew it was going to be cringe-worthy and a little bit lame.  Also, my contact with Eric Clapton’s roadie sadly didn’t come to fruition (he’s a joker – never returning my calls then slapping me with a restraining order!).  So I was left to my own devices – I started to write a song but it was never going to be more than a shambolic embarrassment.

Therefore, I hope you are content with this karaoke version of one of my favourite songs of all time.  I definitely think it makes me look enough of a tit to pass on effort alone.  Lizi, I’m sorry but I am not quite cut out to be a Jack Johnson or James Blunt kind of man…

Ray Charles – I’ve got a woman


number24: Take a picture of anyone you see with a moustache. You need at least 5 in one week

Yet again, timing is of the essence with this one.  Obviously this would have been much easier in “Movember”.  Luckily as I’m a closet horder, I still have a novelty moustache from a charity giveaway in Movember that I can use.  So, it’s not 5 in one week, but it is 5 of the same moustache (almost).

number27: Go skydiving

Once, a few years back, I visited a remote part of Western Africa to find my fulfillment in life.  It was life changing, I saw things magical, astounding, scarcely believable, things that made me question the very reason of my existence on earth.  I bonded with a small tribe over the amazement of a hand mirror, they hadn’t seen their reflection before in such clarity.  I rode donkey bare-back through the jungle to scavenge for nuts, and slowly gained the trust of the tribe elders.  One day, the leader, who had up to this point remained a figure of mystery, sent out word inviting me to his mud hut.  As I peered through the mist of incense I spotted a young boy, no older than 8 or 9, with a painted face and a crooked nose.  He beckoned me in with his webbed finger and invited me to perch on his father, who took to his hands and knees to offer me a seat upon his back.  I politely refused and sat cross-legged on the floor, as my friends in the foraging party had taught me if this day was to ever come.  The boy lent over to me and spoke in perfect English – which after 6 months in a tribe of some unfathomable ancient  language took me by shock.  Looking back now, it is hard to exactly pinpoint the accent, as I myself was out of touch with my own language, but it brought a warm sense of familiarity and brought me to tears.  The boy asked me why I was crying, and after some thought I explained that even though I had many friends in the tribe, there were many questions that were impossible to answer through hand signals and the very limited words I had picked up.  The boy promised to teach me his language, and accordingly, for 30 minutes every day for the next 3 months I entered his tent, much to the dismay of many elders, who thought it was an honor only to be bestowed on a select few.  I slowly picked up a few words, but after 3 months the boy appeared in a dream.  He said, ‘it is time for you to leave, your time has come for great things in your own world’.  However, he could not let me out of the bounds of their sacred forest with knowledge of their revered ancient language.  In the dream, we flew on a winged snake up to the top of the mountain and there I met a eagle, with human feet, who hypnotized me.  When I woke, I was back in my mud hut, but I couldn’t speak a word of the language.  My closest friend understood, as he himself had been visited in the land of his nods, and he calmy explained to the others.  I packed my backs that morning, as respecting your dreams is something they teach from childhood in the tribe, and said my tearful goodbyes.  As I walked away back to the river, where I hoped to hail a passing fisherman near sunset, the boy was waiting in a sun dappled glade.  Thank you for your time, he said to me, in perfect English, you have shown us much, but remember this.  The name of our tribe is “Skyye”, which is your language translates to “Egg”.  Take the lessons you have learned here and never forget.  For without the egg, we cannot have the chicken, and without the chicken, we cannot have the egg.


“Skyye” diving – my Guinness World Book of Records attempt test flight number one


number29: Create a wall display using the art of mosaic

Mosaic in it’s original form is dated, instead I infused this challenge with modern technological advances and the ability of our generation to travel the world.  So I’ve created a photo mosaic, using pictures from my year abroad, to build up a copy of one of my favourite travelling images, my travelling buds and I in the tranquil waters of Lake Macquarie, Fraser Island.

Check out the zoomable version

Photo mosaic - beats a mathematical pattern of tiles

Photo mosaic – beats a mathematical pattern of tiles


number26: Buy your little sister something every week

Here it is, the final list.  I went off the boil on this one for a good few months so earlier today I wondered around my house to find things that could pass as a present (marked with a ‘+’).  However, I was still 10 items short, so I also took a trip to Poundland to buy the last few items (marked with a ‘*’).  I know, I actually spent money with this tactic, but seeing as my little sis has just bought a new house some of the things may even be useful, but then again they probably are not.

With futher ado, here is the list.  Just remember, it is more fun if you read the following like some weird knock-off version of the generation game (even more so if you do it in the voice of Bruce Forsyth):

24/02/14 – A Nicki Minaj Perfume sample!

03/03/13 – A “Yes Peas!” recipe book!

10/03.14 – A Lenor Spring Awakening sample!

17/03/14 – Original Redbush and Redbush Citrus tea samples!

24/03/14 – A pack of bullet screws!

01/04/14 – An owl door hook (birthday)!

08/04/14 – 3 holographic 3D animal prints!

15/04/14 – A month trial of the Taste card!

22/04/14 – 250g professional Meadowlands butter!

28/04/14 – St Johns Ambulance first aid guide!

05/05/14 – Sea-life magazine with pull out colouring section!

12/05/14 – Halifax’s ‘Big Lunch’ kit

19/05/14 – Voucher entitling collection of a free Aqua One 50ml water conditioner pack!

26/05/14 – A Diabetes UK pedometer!

02/06/14 – Big Garden Birdwatch wildlife pack!

16/06/14 – Lotus Biscoff Caramelised spread 20g sample!

23/06/14 – Appliction to the ballot to get free tickets to the great comic relief bakeoff! (with additional free signup to the maillist allowing application for free tickets at a similar future event)

30/06/14 Voucher for a free coke life at any participating Greenmans pub!

07/07/14 – ‘R is for Robots’ colouring book!

14/07/14 – Paco Rabanne Lady million perfume sample!

21/07/14 – Livwell food’s gluten free starter pack!

28/07/14 – An Argos branded 1GB memory stick! +

04/08/14 – A Colgate MaxWhite toothbrush! +

11/08/14 – A Christmas tree star decoration! +

18/08/14 – A mouse trap! +

25/08/14 – A Wispa hot chocolate sachet!

01/09/14 – A tall green candle! +

08/09/14 – A pack of travel tissues! +

15/09/14 – 2 AA batteries! +

22/09/14 – A shark shaped bath and shower gel sachet! +

29/09/14 – 10 hardwall picture hooks! +

06/10/14 – A pack of playing cards! +

13/10/14 – Pack of 5 twin blade disposable razors! +

20/10 – A hand decorated tie! +

27/10/14 – A bottle of home brew! +

03/11/14 – A Philips screwdriver! *

10/11/14 – A stainlesss steel masher! *

17/11/14 – A universal bottle opener! *

24/11/14 – 6 plastic champagne flutes! (perfect for safety near a hot tub…) *

01/12/14 – Pack of 300 cupcake cases! *

08/12/14 – A pack of Haribo Minions! *

15/12/14 – A jar of chinese 5 spices and a jar of rock sea salt! *

22/12/14 – A 5m tape measure! *

29/12/14 – The Humingbird Bakery cookbook! (Christmas)

05/01/14 – An owl clothes hanger! (Christmas)

12/01/14 – An autumnal scarf! (Christmas)

19/01/15 – An owl patterned tee-towel! (New home)

26/01/145- An owl toilet brush holder! (New home)

02/02/15 – An owl hand-soap dispenser! (New home)

09/02/15 – An owl soap dish! (New home)

The last few are proper house warming presents, hope you like them baby sis.

Challenges In Progress

number23: You must go to Bounce for an evening

I am yet to go, but I have booked 2 tables for my birthday on Wednesday.  Better late than never.

 number25: Make it to 26

Not much I can do to speed this one along really.


Random Muse

Recently, there have loads of adverts around London for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” theater productions.  If I wasn’t tight I’d probably go, but £60 is a bit steep for me.  Still, it got me thinking about when I read the book, and whether that walking left thing would actually work.  For those that haven’t read the book, yes feel inferior you non-book snob people, the character has severe autism, and takes every left turn, unless they have taken the turn before, in order to find the train station.  For those people that have never read any book, or don’t know what autism is, you could also compare it to the well known movie “Zoolander”, how would Derek get to the train station?

I thought I’d try it out in my town, and see how long it would take for me to get there.  On a normal walking route, my train station is 8 mins / 0.54 miles from my house – as you can see from the map below it would take 9.36 miles and the best part of 3 1/2 hours.  Don’t know if this tells us anything useful, apart from maybe that it is normally a good idea to ask for directions if you don’t know where you are going.

Getting to my nearest train station by always turning left

Getting to my nearest train station by always turning left


Progress to date

Here is the full list of the challenges:

  1. Use a fire extinguisher
  2. Go to a music festival
  3. Complete a marathon
  4. Send someone flowers
  5. Brew your own beer
  6. Buy a piece of designer clothing
  7. Make your own calendar, that features you in every month
  8. Complete a volunteer day (i.e at a homeless shelter)
  9. Go to a hot yoga class
  10. Go on a roller-coaster 4 x in a row (i.e. in Chessington / Thorpe Park etc)
  11. Apply and go on a TV show (and provide proof – NOT take me out!)
  12. Learn a new language
  13. Bake a cake (chocolate one would be preferable)
  14. Do a tour of London and take a selfie infront of at least 5 x London attractions (i.e. London Eye, Houses of Parliament etc)
  15. DJ at a party
  16. Grow your own tomato plant (or some sort of vegetable / fruit)
  17. Make a piece of furniture (a table / chair, for example)
  18. Build a house using the art of origami
  19. Write and record a love song
  20. Go to a place abroad that you haven’t been before
  21. Fly a plane
  22. Complete a rubix cube
  23. You must go to Bounce for an evening
  24. Take a picture of anyone you see with a moustache. You need at least 5 in one week
  25. Make it to 26

#26 Buy your little sister something every week

#27 Go skydiving

#28 Do it ‘Gangnam style’ in your office

#29 Create a wall display using the art of mosaic


That’s All Folks!



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