I like to set myself yearly challenges.

This year I’m mostly doing things linked to the number 33.
The year before, it was 32. The year before that it was 31. With 30, 29, 28, 27, 26, 25, 24, 23 and 22 before that….


33 BBQ Cooks
I’ve got a new BBQ, and I’m determined to cook on it as much as possible. I’m mostly going to try and follow new recipes, but I’m not going to limit myself to recipes only – I want to experiment a bit, and practice different approaches too – including hot smoking and cold smoking. I’ll try to take photos when I can, but I’m no food photographer, and I usually forget. But I’ll try and document it somehow.

  1. BBQ Butter Chicken Wings – Brigadiers
  2. Texas BBQ Brisket #1 – GoodFood
  3. Smoked Chicken #1 – Canteen
  4. Slow Roast Lamb Leg #1 – Big Green Egg
  5. Brisket #1 – Franklin BBQ
  6. Pork Ribs #1 – HeyGrillHey
  7. Pork Ribs #1 – Charlie Vergos Rendezvous Imitation
  8. Smoked Chicken #2 – Canteen
  9. Pork Ribs #2 – HeyGrillHey
  10. Smoked Chicken #3 – Canteen
  11. Slow Roast Lamb Leg #2 – Big Green Egg
  12. Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder with boulangere potatoes – Tom Kerridge
  13. Christmas Turkey – Big Green Egg
  14. Brisket #2 – Franklin BBQ

33 Lectures
I want to watch 33 lectures this year – Ted Talks, Letters Live, Do – that sort of thing. It can be any subject, any platform, live or online. The aim is ultimately to learn something I guess, but I want to try and listen far and wide, and listen to a broad set of subjects.

  1. Russell Davies – Make Things Bigger
  2. Chris & Freya Bramble – Ceramics QPAC

33 Coffee Roasts
I’m a coffee hack. I drink a lot of it, and I know a bad coffee when I taste it. But I don’t think I can tell the difference between blends, or pull out specific tasting notes. And I want to try and change that. So I’m going to try a bunch of different coffee roasts this year, and try and improve my nose for coffee.

  1. Kuli Gap – Hard Lines
  2. Sawana Kebele – Hard Lines
  3. Cetec – Cairngorm
  4. Guilty Pleasure – Cairngorm
  5. El Salvador – Fried Hats
  6. Columbia – Fried Hats
  7. Peru La Danta AA – Hard Lines
  8. House Party – Hard Lines
  9. Neighbourhood Batch – Hard Lines
  10. Burundi Busasa – Hard Lines
  11. Planadas – Cairngorm
  12. Espirito Santo – Santu
  13. Apicuc Washed – Ozone
  14. Mirtly Dalena Reinoso – Ozone
  15. Limoncillo Caturra Natural – Ozone
  16. Chinga Peaberry – Ozone
  17. Limoncillo Bourbon Natural – Ozone
  18. Bulambuli Zinule – Ozone
  19. Beija Flor – Origin
  20. Santa Petrona Christmas Blend – Hard Lines
  21. Yule Brew – Redemption Roasters
  22. La Siberia – Ozone
  23. San Patricio Agua Zarca – Ozone
  24. Cafeco – Ozone
  25. Peru Agua Azul Washed – Ozone
  26. China Banka – Hard Lines
  27. Lugmapata – Hard Lines
  28. Karatu AB – 5 Elephant
  29. Telila – Cairngorm
  30. Nyabirongo – Machina


32 Country Pubs
We moved out of London a little while back, and we’re now camped in the Midlands for a little bit. So I want to take advantage of our time in the countryside by visiting 32 country pubs. I’m not going to put any hard lines around what counts as a ‘Country’ pub – there’ll be gastropubs, old man pubs, village pubs and doggy pubs. I’ll call it with each one – but loosely… its pubs in villages and/or nature.

  1. The Durham Ox, Shrewley
  2. The Warwickshire Lad, Wood End
  3. The Railway Inn, Dorridge
  4. The Royal Exchange, Hartpury
  5. The Saxon Mill, Guy’s Cliffe
  6. The Malt Shovel, Barston
  7. The Bear, Berkswell
  8. The Pointer, Brill
  9. The 8 Bells, Long Crendon
  10. Coach and Horses, Weatheroak
  11. The Bell, Langford
  12. The Howard Arms, Ilmington
  13. The Bulls Head, Earlswood
  14. Ye Olde Saracen’s Head, Balsall Common
  15. The Pheasant, Brill
  16. The Hundred of Ashendon, Ashendon
  17. The Tite Inn, Chadlington
  18. The Bull & Butcher, Ludgershall
  19. The Mole and Chicken, Long Crendon
  20. The Clifden Arms, Worminghall
  21. The Chandos Arms, Oakley
  22. The Akeman Inn, Kingswood
  23. The Five Elms, Weedon
  24. The Bell, Hardwick
  25. The Blackboy, Oving
  26. The Pilgrim, North Marston
  27. The Bell, Chearsley
  28. The Crown, Cuddington
  29. The Seven Stars, Dinton
  30. The Old Fisherman, Shabbington
  31. Duke of York, Berrow
  32. The Farmers Arms, Apperley

32 Zines and Pamphlets
I’ve loved the re-emergence of independent zines and pamphlets over the last few years. It reminds me a bit of what I was trying to do with Subculture Club – exploring niche points of views that don’t make it into mainstream media. People going deep on very particular subjects. I want to search out and read 32 of them this year.

  1. Potluck Zine, Issue 4: Feast
  2. Enjoying Wild Herbs – Nat Mady & Catmouse
  3. Art is the thing nobody asked you to do – Babak Ganjei
  4. Expressions – The Surrealism of Looney Tunes vol. 1
  5. From Gardens Where We Feel Secure – Susanna Grant & Rowan Spray
  6. Gather – Rhia Cook
  7. West Side Stories – Rough Trade
  8. A month of thoughts: Day – Pirrip
  9. Home is where the artist lives – Laura Moseley
  10. Winter Riding – Pirrip
  11. Stitching our stories – Norfolk Heritage Centre
  12. Getting Better – Pirrip
  13. Finding the Space – Pirrip
  14. Many Hands Make a quilt – Jess Bailey
  15. Spring / Summer – Pirrip
  16. Ennui – Soberland Studios
  17. The Craft, a drinking game
  18. Drunk In My Pants – Penfight
  19. Another Fucking Seagull – Mika Gratzke
  20. Spilling the tea: a poirot fanzine
  21. The Swinny, a Tilda Swinton fanzine
  22. Charity Shopping – Pippy
  23. Shuck: Feasting – Ada
  24. Council – Pippy
  25. ADHD – A zine about mental health
  26. Null Point Concept Zine – 008
  27. Pencil Revolution – Vol 1 Issue 1
  28. Florxl – 002
  29. Scratching the Itch – Tim Lahan
  30. Opt-Out – Guy Field
  31. Birder Beginnings – Sarah Hoffman
  32. Women in Stem – VickyLikesDrawing


31 Online Events
When lockdown happened, Soph and I signed up to a few zoom experiences and really enjoyed ourselves. I’m going to be consciously quite loose in how I define the parameters here, as things keep evolving and changing. But essentially, accessing some element of culture from the comfort of your own home, that was previously reserved for those going out. From bar zooms to ballet, evening classes to lectures.

  1. Campari Reopens 26/06/20
  2. The Long Time Sessions – Future Art Ecosystems 05/07/20
  3. Green Pivot 23/07/20
  4. Field Trip – Deep Work Remote Session 04/08/20
  5. Freigeist Live! – BP&O 11/08/20
  6. The Covid Arms – David O’Doherty 15/08/20
  7. WOH Festival – Marco Woolf 22/08/20
  8. WOH Festival – Auntie Flo 22/08/20
  9. CreativeMornings FieldTrips – Add To Cart 25/08/20
  10. Notting Hill Carnival – Panology Steel band session 30/08/20
  11. Stories for the Wobbly Hearted – Daniel Kitson 30/08/20
  12. Steve Coogan, Shedinburgh Fringe Festival 03/09/20
  13. Scotch & Sofa, Johnnie Walker Deconstructed 05/09/20
  14. New York Brass Band, Meatopia 05/09/20
  15. Scotch & Sofa, Whisky Highballs 05/09/20
  16. Great Dixter Tricks, Fergus Garrett 09/09/20
  17. Pandemic Healthtech, GovTech Summit 29/09/20
  18. Beards, Blends and the Wild World of Whisky, Whisky Show 05/10/20
  19. Whisky of the Year, Whisky Show 09/10/20
  20. Steve Richards presents Rock ‘n’ Roll Politics 19/10/20
  21. You Me Bum Bum Train – ‘Behind The Scenes’ Lecture 21/10/20
  22. Dot. Dot. Dot. – Daniel Kitson 08/11/20
  23. What a Carve Up! – Barn Theatre 15/11/20
  24. A Winter’s Table – Toast 19/11/20
  25. The Covid Arms – James Acaster 21/11/20
  26. Scott Matthews 05/12/20
  27. He used thought as a wife (The Recital) – Tim Key 31.01.21
  28. The Manchester Experiment – Simon Munnery 07.02.21
  29. Off Menu: The Redemption Dinner Party 08.02.21
  30. Knock2Bag: Live from the Moth Club 13.03.21
  31. World’s Loudest Whisky Tasting – Speakeasy at Home 11.04.21

31 Albums from 2020/2021
Something funny happened over the last two or three years. I stopped listening to albums. And I stopped listening to new music too. Both were unintentional – a product of having no time to sit and listen to something from beginning to end, and also the bitesize listening that a platform like spotify encourage. But it’s disheartening, nonetheless. So I’m going to listen to 31 albums released in 2020 and 2021 – from start to finish.

  1. Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud
  2. J Hus – Big Conspiracy
  3. Laura Marling – Song for Our Daughter
  4. Ashley Monroe – Rosegold
  5. Foo Fighters – Medicine at Midnight
  6. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – Carnage
  7. Dehd – Flower of Devotion
  8. Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, LSO – Promises
  9. Ghetts – Conflict of Interest
  10. For Those I Love – For Those I Love
  11. Greta Van Fleet – The Battle At Garden’s Gate
  12. Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band – Dance Songs for Hard Times
  13. Julien Baker – Little Oblivions
  14. Squid – Bright Green Field
  15. Sons of Kemet – Black to the Future
  16. Joanna Connor – 4801 South Indiana Avenue
  17. Cassandra Jenkins – An Overview of Phenomenal Nature
  18. Black Honey – Written & Directed
  19. Jane Weaver – Flock
  20. Scott Matthews – New Skin
  21. Bachelor – Doomin’ Sun
  22. Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God
  23. The Staves – Good Woman
  24. Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
  25. St. Vincent – Daddy’s Home
  26. Royal Blood – Typhoons
  27. Kings of Leon – When You See Yourself
  28. The Black Keys – Delta Kream
  29. Fred Again… – Actual Life (Apr 14 – Dec 17 2020)
  30. Pale Waves – Who Am I?
  31. Chloe Moriondo – Blood Bunny

31 Bread Bakes
I was right out of the gate on this one, but I fell behind, and in the end I only managed about ten. One for another year.


30 Markets (Covid-19 extension)
The plan is to visit 30 markets – of all types and flavours. Antiques markets, food markets, car boot sales, street markets and indoor markets. All sorts. If I buy something, I’ll make a note of it here too.

  1. Baltic Market, Liverpool
  2. Independent Label Market, Kings Cross
  3. Canopy Market, Kings Cross
  4. Piccadilly Market, St James’s
  5. Vinegar Yard Market, London Bridge
  6. Princess May Car boot, Stoke Newington
  7. Islington Farmers Market, Angel
  8. Sclater Street Market, Shoreditch
  9. Rare Birds Market, Brick Lane
  10. Backyard Market, Brick Lane
  11. Sunday UpMarket, Brick Lane
  12. Petticoat Lane Market, Spitalfields
  13. Brixton Village Market, Brixton
  14. Market Row, Brixton
  15. Brixton Market, Brixton
  16. PopBrixton, Brixton
  17. Market Hall West End, Oxford St
  18. Seven Dials Market, Covent Garden
  19. Essex Street Market, New York
  20. Union Square Holiday Market, New York
  21. Winter Brooklyn Flea, New York
  22. Bloemenmarkt, Amsterdam
  23. Bermondsey Antiques Market, Bermondsey
  24. Sunbury Antiques Market, Kempton
  25. Chrisp Street Market, Poplar
  26. New Covent Garden Market, Battersea
  27. Billingsgate Market, Blackwall
  28. Roman Road Market, Bow
  29. Oval Night Market, Bethnal Green
  30. Netil Market, London Fields

30 Soups
I don’t have soup very often. But whenever I do, I always think “Why don’t I have soup more often?” So here we go. No real rules around it – equally accepting of canned soup, just as much as restaurant or café. Hot, cold, it doesn’t matter. But I need to get a breadth of flavour – it can’t be the same Pret tomato soup every time (although that is delicious.)

  1. Pea and Leek – Soupologie
  2. 5 a day Red – Soupologie
  3. Pea, Coconut and Turmeric – Tideford
  4. Spanish Gazpacho – Alvalle
  5. Carrot and Butternut Squash – Soupologie
  6. Carrot and Ginger – Soho House
  7. Carrot and Star Anise – Cafe Du Marche
  8. Butternut Squash & Rosemary – Shoreditch House
  9. Winter Greens – Tideford
  10. Winter Spiced Parsnip – Tideford
  11. Spooky Spiced Pumpkin – New Covent Garden
  12. Red Lentil and Vegetable – Broomhall Castle
  13. Japanese Rainbow Miso – Glorious!
  14. Chicken Katsu – Pret a Manger
  15. Lobster Bisque – Coco di Mama
  16. Autumnal Chicken broth – Coco di Mama
  17. Carrot – Soho House
  18. Celeriac and White bean – Soho House
  19. French onion soup – Brasserie Zedel
  20. Rustic Vegetable Broth – Yorkshire Provender
  21. Hearth Minestrone – Brodo
  22. Re:nourish Calm – Tomato and passion flower
  23. Red lentil, apricot and chilli – Tideford
  24. Spicy Chipotle – Press
  25. Mushroom Soup with truffle – Daylesford
  26. Rocket and Pea Soup – Daylesford
  27. Brocolli, Pea and basil – Souplogie
  28. Spicy Corn Chowder – Daylesford
  29. Warming Parsnip Pilaf – Glorious
  30. Chicken Minestrone – Daylesford

30 Health challenges didn’t get finished (it wasn’t even close!) One for another year perhaps.


29 Folk Traditions and British Rituals
My grandad was a morris dancer. To the members of Lassington Oak, he was the accordionist, the foreman, and more often than not, the squire too. I knew him as Grampy. When I was much younger, we went to see him dance at solstices, wassails, and other traditional festivals across the cotswolds. But when he died, we stopped. With this challenge, I’m going to attempt to revisit that world – and see 29 traditional folk festivals, rituals and customs across the UK.

  1. The Election of the Mayor of Ock Street
  2. The Knollys Rose Ceremony
  3. The Procession of the Worshipful Company of Vintners
  4. The Cart Marking Ceremony
  5. Sandwich Bartlemas Bun Run
  6. Doggett’s Coat and Badge Wager
  7. Pearly Kings and Queens of London Harvest Festival
  8. London Bridge Sheep Drive
  9. Braughing Old Man’s Day
  10. Harvest of the Sea Festival Service
  11. The Tar Barrels of Ottery St Mary
  12. The Lord Mayor’s Show
  13. The Festival of St Cecilia
  14. The Boar’s Head Ceremony
  15. The Lighting of the St Paul’s Christmas Trees
  16. The Ceremony of the Keys
  17. The Boxing Day Mummers Play
  18. The Blessing of the Throats
  19. Sir John Cass Founder’s Day
  20. Olney Pancake Race
  21. Atherstone Ball Game
  22. Tichborne Dole
  23. The Butterworth Charity Sixpence
  24. The Widow’s Son Bun Ceremony
  25. ‘Obby ‘Oss
  26. The Weighing of the Mayor of High Wycombe
  27. The Cheese Rolling
  28. Beating of the Bounds
  29. Beating Retreat

29 Hot Sauces
I get through a lot of sriracha. Whenever a meal needs spicing up, I use it. And I put it on plenty of meals that don’t need it too. This year I want to change it up a bit. Try some new hot sauces. They won’t all be blistering heat – I’m not challenging myself to try the hottest sauce. But it’ll hopefully help me escape the repetition of the flying goose.

  1. Lingham’s Chilli Sauce
  2. Tapatio Hot Sauce
  3. Valentina Sauce
  4. Barnfathers The O.G. Pineapple Sauce
  5. Dalston Chillies Original Hot Sauce
  6. Peckham Sauce Co Batch One Hot Sauce
  7. The General’s Hot Sauce
  8. Son of Satan’s Sweat
  9. Asskickin’ Original Hot Sauce
  10. Blair’s Heat Chipotle Slam
  11. Devil’s Revenge Hot Sauce
  12. Spontaneous Combustion Hot Sauce
  13. Blair’s Heat Habenero Mango Sauce
  14. Ass Blaster Hot Sauce
  15. Hot Sauce from Hell
  16. Blair’s Heat Jalapeno Tequila
  17. Tropical Sun Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce
  18. Asskickin’ Cajun Hot Sauce
  19. Palo Alto Fire Fighter’s Pepper Sauce
  20. -Rick Stein Hot Red Chilli Sauce
  21. Pain Is good Batch #37 Hot Sauce
  22. Cornish Chilli Company Barracuda
  23. Howl at the Moon Sound System Hot Sauce
  24. HBB x Slow Richie’s Despacio Sweet & Hot Harvest
  25. Marie Sharp’s Hot Habanero Sauce
  26. Burning Desire The Classic Hot Sauce
  27. Peckham Sauce Co Batch Two Hot Sauce
  28. Slow Richie’s Blenheim Black & Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce
  29. El Yucateca Habanero Green Hot Sauce

29 Salads didn’t happen. I did about 6 and then lost interest – the weather turned, and I figured I’d start up again when the summer rolled around. But I didn’t.


28 Great works of art

I’m planning on hunting out 28 masterpieces over the next year, to try and improve my knowledge of the history of art. Some will be famous, some will be chosen because they speak to me.

  1. The Sistine Chapel Ceiling, Michelangelo
  2. Ognissanti Madonna, Giotto
  3. The Birth of Venus, Botticelli
  4. David, Michelangelo
  5. The Inspiration of St Matthew, Caravaggio
  6. Dance (I), Matisse
  7. Broadway Boogie Woogie, Mondrian
  8. The Persistence of Memory, Dali
  9. The Vision of St John, El Greco
  10. Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies, Monet
  11. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Picasso
  12. The Starry Night, Van Gogh
  13. The Dream, Rosseau
  14. The Lovers, Magritte
  15. Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, Vermeer
  16. Campbell’s Soup Cans, Warhol
  17. The Fighting Temeraire, JMW Turner
  18. Ophelia, John Everett Millais
  19. Pelagos, Barbara Hepworth
  20. Bathers at Asnières, Georges Seurat
  21. Sunflowers, Van Gogh
  22. Bacchus and Ariadne, Titian
  23. William Shakespeare, John Taylor
  24. A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, Manet
  25. Mona Lisa, Da Vinci
  26. Venus De Milo, Alexandros
  27. The Ambassadors, Hans Holbein the Younger
  28. Taddei Tondo, Michelangelo


Building highlights of London

I’ve recently read Nairn’s London: a punchy and unapologetic view on the architecture of London in the 1960s. It’s a book of emotion over theory – in Ian Nairn’s own words, “a record of what has moved me between Uxbridge and Dagenham”. Full of sharp, pithy reviews, it showcases all of London’s highlights, including churches, markets, pubs, cinemas and stations.
This year will probably be the last I live in central London. So I’m going to tick off 27 of Nairn’s city highlights. And then construct my own record of 27 buildings, that have moved me between Uxbridge and Dagenham.

27 Nairn’s London Highlights

  1. French Ordinary Court
  2. St James Palace
  3. Red Lion, Duke of York St
  4. The Economist Building
  5. Law Courts, Strand
  6. All Saints, Margaret St
  7. Long bar, Henekeys, Holborn
  8. Soane Museum
  9. Chiswick House
  10. Shepperton Village Square
  11. St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, West Ferry Rd
  12. The Gun, Coldharbour
  13. Spiegelhalters, Mile End Rd
  14. St Barnabas, Shacklewell Ln
  15. Cutty Sark
  16. Dulwich Art Gallery
  17. St Michael, Poplar Walk
  18. Red House, Bexleyheath
  19. 39 Frognal
  20. All Souls, Station Road
  21. Harmondsworth Tithe Barn
  22. Granada, Tooting
  23. The Ritz
  24. The Wellington
  25. Westminster View
  26. The Hoop and Grapes
  27. Kingston Upon Thames Marketplace

27 My London Highlights

  1. Avery Row, Mayfair
  2. Sweetings, Mansion House
  3. Leysian Mission, Old St
  4. Smithfield Market, Farringdon
  5. St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell
  6. Underwood St, Old St
  7. The Captain Kidd, Wapping High St
  8. Fifteen, Westland Place
  9. BBC Television Centre, Wood Lane
  10. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Rd
  11. Thomas Briggs Building, Southgate Rd
  12. Barbican Complex, Silk St
  13. The Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Rd
  14. Lloyd’s Building, Lime St
  15. Liberty, Great Marlborough St
  16. 30, St Mary Axe
  17. Leadenhall Market, Leadenhall Pl
  18. Borough Market, Stoney St
  19. Selfridges, Oxford St
  20. The Wenlock Arms, Wenlock Rd
  21. St Pancras Hotel, Euston Rd
  22. The Three Crowns, East Rd
  23. Kings Cross Station, Euston Rd
  24. The Shepherdess Cafe, Shepherdess Walk
  25. Hatch, MacKintosh Lane
  26. Tate & Lyle factory, Factory Rd
  27. Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley

27 Japanese Restaurants

Over the last few years, I’ve grown to love Japanese food. This year I’m going to try 27 different Japanese restaurants. I’m going to try for a mixture of proper restaurants, street food vendors and lunch takeaways.

  1. Sexy Fish, Berkeley Sq
  2. Roka, Charlotte St
  3. Shackfuyu, Old Compton St
  4. Yoobi, Lexington St
  5. The Japanese Canteen, Middlesex St
  6. Tonkotsu, Mare St
  7. Bone Daddies, Old St
  8. Maki, Old St
  9. Sushi Tetsu, Jerusalem Passage
  10. Ten ten tei, Brewer St
  11. Feng Sushi, Stoney St
  12. Shogun Ramen, Prince Albert St
  13. Pham Sushi, Whitecross St
  14. Sosharu, Turnmill St
  15. Kulu Kulu, Brewer St
  16. Anzu, Norris St
  17. Uchi, Clarence Rd
  18. Shoryu, Denman St
  19. Kanada-Ya, St Giles High St
  20. Zen Mondo, Upper St
  21. Tokyo Diner, Newport Pl
  22. Hare and Tortoise, Chiswick High Rd
  23. Flesh and Buns, Seven Dials
  24. Koya Bar, Frith St
  25. Ippudo, St Giles High St
  26. Jidori, Kingsland High St
  27. Nobu, Old Park Ln

27 Homemade Cocktails

I’ve worked with a number of booze brands over the years, which has provided the perfect excuse to try lots of different cocktails. But I’ve never had to make them. So this year, I’m going to learn how to make 27 cocktails – from the classics, through to some more obscure and new-age twists.

  1. Bloody Mary
  2. Old Fashioned
  3. Manhattan
  4. Negroni
  5. Margarita
  6. Corpse Reviver #2
  7. Black Russian
  8. Martini
  9. Tom Collins
  10. Whiskey Sour
  11. Singapore Sling
  12. Sidecar
  13. Algonquin
  14. Cosmopolitan
  15. Long Island Iced Tea
  16. Brandy Alexander
  17. Mojito
  18. Daiquiri
  19. White Lady
  20. Zombie
  21. Sazerac
  22. Brooklyn
  23. Aviation
  24. French 75
  25. Martinez
  26. Vieux Carre
  27. Gin Fizz


26 Mini Pilgrimages 

This year I’m aiming to make 26 mini pilgrimages to graves and memorials of people that have influenced the way I think. All have contributed significantly to culture, creativity, art and science. (I’ve got a slightly longer list than the one below, and will swap in and out if the opportunity arises.)

  1. Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. Edward Ardizzone
  3. Isaac Newton
  4. Oliver Postgate
  5. Spike Milligan
  6. Rudyard Kipling
  7. Winston Churchill
  8. Henry Tate
  9. Charles Darwin
  10. Emily Davison
  11. Bert Jansch
  12. Heath Robinson
  13. Janis Joplin
  14. Brian Epstein
  15. Bill Bernbach
  16. John Bonham
  17. William Shakespeare
  18. Amy Winehouse
  19. Frank Pick
  20. Ian Fleming
  21. John Venn
  22. BB King
  23. Buster Keaton
  24. John Peel
  25. Robert Hooke
  26. Christopher Wren

26 New Recipes

I used to be quite a good cook. At one point, I even wanted to be a chef. And one look on my instagram will prove to anyone that I love my food. But the last few years, I’ve got quite lazy in the kitchen – and I must admit that Wist ends up cooking more than I do. This year I’m going to try 26 new recipes – and try and rediscover my love for cooking (rather than just eating…)

  1. Zucchini, Basil and Parmesan Salad, POLPO, Russell Norman
  2. Spring chicken in a pot, BBC GoodFood
  3. Fish Pie, St John (The Complete Nose to Tail)
  4. Chicken Cacciatora, Delia’s Complete How to Cook
  5. One-pan salmon with roast asparagus, BBC GoodFood
  6. Chicken, Goats Cheese & Tomato bake, BBC GoodFood
  7. One-pot Chicken and Chorizo, Nathan Outlaw
  8. Roast Chicken and Lemon Bombay Potatoes, Jamie Oliver
  9. Pickled Celery, Pitt Cue Co.
  10. Mediterranean-style lamb chops, BBC GoodFood
  11. Mighty mackerel salad, Jamie Oliver
  12. Cheat’s pappardelle, Jamie Oliver
  13. Chicken with thyme salad, Angela Hartnett
  14. Steak tartare, Spuntino, Russell Norman
  15. Roasted whitefish and leeks, Jamie Oliver
  16. Super-speedy steamed salmon, Jamie Oliver
  17. Tabbouleh salad, Delia Smith
  18. Chicken with coconut and apricot, Nigel Slater
  19. Rhubarb fool with lemongrass and lemonade, BBC GoodFood
  20. Patrick Leigh Fermor’s moussaka, Rick Stein
  21. Lemon drizzle traycake, Mary Berry
  22. White chocolate and pistachio cream, Ferran Adria
  23. Lamb Peka, Rick Stein
  24. Chicken and chorizo jambalaya, BBC Goodfood
  25. Lamb with Rosemary & Port and hasselback potatoes, Nigella Lawson
  26. Smoked haddock, mustard and saffron, with deconstructed piccalilli, St John

26 Independent Coffee Shops

Less boozy than last year. I’m hoping this will be better for both physical and mental health. Ideally I’ll experience something similar to society’s jump from the middle ages to the enlightenment. That was just swapping mead for coffee – right…?

  1. Appestat, N1
  2. Workshop Coffee Co., EC1
  3. Dose EC1
  4. Ozone, EC2
  5. Origin, EC2
  6. Relax, EC1
  7. Saint Espresso, N1
  8. Sightglass Coffee, CA94110
  9. Four Barrel Coffee, CA94103
  10. Slate Coffee, EC2A
  11. Barbour and Parlour, E2
  12. Climpson and Sons, E8
  13. Workshop Coffee Co., W1U
  14. Fuckoffee, SE1
  15. BL-NK, EC2
  16. White Mulberries, E1W
  17. Association Coffee, EC3
  18. Caravan, EC1
  19. Notes, EC2
  20. MacIntyre Coffee, EC1V
  21. Fernandez and Wells, WC2H
  22. Lowdown Coffee, EH2
  23. Dept. of Coffee and Social Affairs, EC1N
  24. Intelligentsia Coffee, CA90291
  25. Two Hands Coffee, TX78758
  26. Stumptown Coffee, NY10011


25 Comedy Acts

I’ve read quite a bit online and in the trade press about planners nicking insights from comedians. It’s no surprise – comedians are great at uncovering the real truths behind people’s behaviour. It therefore seems only right that I make comedy gigs one of my challenges this year. Rather than plan all 25 and then try and tick them off throughout the year – I’m just going to see if I can complete the list before next year.

Here’s the list so far:

  1. Stewart Lee @ The Soho Theatre, Work-in-progress show
  2. Steve Richards @ The Park Theatre, Rock & Roll Politics
  3. Adam Buxton @ Kings Place, Work-in-progress show
  4. Tim Key @ Union Chapel, Invisible Dot
  5. Josie Long @ Union Chapel, Invisible Dot
  6. Joshua Ross @ Leicester Square Theatre, New Comedian of the Year
  7. Mark Thomas @ Tricycle Theatre, Cuckooed
  8. Comedy Store Players @ Comedy Store
  9. Tim Key @ Invisible Dot KX, Father Slutmus
  10. Stewart Lee @ The Bloomsbury Theatre, Robin Ince’ Christmas Ghosts
  11. Josie Long @ The Bloomsbury Theatre, Robin Ince’ Christmas Ghosts
  12. Festival of the Spoken Nerd @ The Bloomsbury Theatre, Full Frontal Nerdity
  13. Alan Davies @ Comedy Store, Stand up for Stand up
  14. Sean Lock @ Comedy Store, Stand up for Stand up
  15. Joe Wilkinson @ Bloomsbury Theatre, Joe Wilkinson & Friends
  16. Rhys James @ The Pleasance, Work-in-progress show
  17. Lloyd Griffith @ The Pleasance, Work-in-progress show
  18. Stewart Lee @ Cheltenham Town Hall, Room with a Stew
  19. Mark Thomas @ Finchley Arts Centre, Cuckooed
  20. Ellie Taylor @ The Good Ship
  21. Andrew Maxwell @ The Good Ship
  22. Ninia Benjamin @ The Bedford, Banana Cabaret
  23. John Moloney @ The Bedford, Banana Cabaret
  24. Tom Wrigglesworth @ Udderbelly, Best of the Comedy Store
  25. Sean Collins @ Udderbelly, Best of the Comedy Store

25 Whiskys

As beers was so much fun last year, I thought it might be quite a nice challenge to take on a spirit instead. So I’ve decided to try whiskies. I’m going to make sure I get a pretty good split from around the globe, but rather than tick them off, I’m going to take them as they come:

  1. Yamazaki 12yo, Japan, Barbecoa
  2. Nikka From The Barrel, Japan, L’Enclume
  3. Glengoyne 12yo, Scotland, L’Enclume
  4. Gentleman Jack, USA, BA Lounge T5
  5. Compass Box Hedonism, Scotland, Flat N1
  6. FEW Rye Whiskey, USA, Flat N1
  7. Caskstrength & Carry On Cutty Sark, Scotland, Flat N1
  8. Nikka Yoichi 20yo, Japan, Flat N1
  9. Goldlys 12yo Manzanilla Finish (1st release), Belgium, Flat N1
  10. Glengoyne, 10yo, Scotland, John Gordons
  11. K5 Himalayan, Bhutan, Virgin Clubhouse T3
  12. BenRiach 13yo 1999 Virgin American Oak Finish, Scotland, Flat N1
  13. Rebel Yell Kentucky Bourbon, USA, Flat N1
  14. Tincup American Whiskey, USA, Flat N1
  15. Caol Ila, Scotland, Hotel Du Vin Cambridge
  16. The Peatmonster, Scotland, Hotel Du Vin Cambridge
  17. Reference Series I, Scotland, Skiber An Hyli
  18. Dalwhinnie 1996 Oloroso finish Distillers Edition, Scotland, Skiber An Hyli
  19. Togouchi 12 Year Old, Japan, Flat N1
  20. Glenburgie – Batch 1 That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Scotland, Flat N1
  21. Breckenridge Bourbon, USA, Flat N1
  22. High West Campfire Whiskey, USA, Flat N1
  23. Old Pulteney 17 Year Old, Scotland, Flat N1
  24. Strathmill 12 Year Old Flora and Fauna, Scotland, Flat N1
  25. Lagavulin 16 Year Old, Scotland, Goodmans Mayfair

25 Breakfasts from around the world didn’t end up getting finished. I didn’t commit to it properly – despite the help from Wist with various dishes (including Akuri at Dishoom and Grits at Jackson & Rye.)

To see my 25 Photos from the year, click here.


24 Museums

This year, I’ve decided to visit 24 of the lesser known museums in London and review them. Everyone knows about the Science museum, the Natural History museum and the V&A. But what about Pollock’s Toy museum, or The Stephens Collection?

Here’s the list:
1. Cartoon Museum
2. Churchill War Rooms
3. Cinema Museum
4. Dennis Sever’s House
5. Dr Johnson’s house
6. Design Museum
7. Down House
8. The Geffrye Museum
9. London Film Museum
10. London Transport Museum
11. Mansion House
12. Brunel Museum
13. Museum of the Order of St John
14. Musical Museum
15. Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret
16. Pollock’s Toy Museum
17. Rose Theatre exhibition
18. Fashion and Textile Museum
19. Royal College of Music Archives and Museum of Instruments
20. Sherlock Holmes Museum
21. Twinings Museum
22. V&A Museum of Childhood
23. Bank of England museum
24. The Stephens Museum

24 Beers
This year, I’m trying 24 new beers. Christopher Howse said real ale fans are just like train-spotters, only drunk. Well much like a trainspotter, I’m documenting and reviewing them as I go.

1. Kohinoor, Windsor & Eton
2. American Pale Ale, Long Man Brewery
3. Hadouken, Tiny Rebel Brewing Co.
4. Oscar Wilde, Mighty Oak Brewing Company
5. Hophead, Dark Star Brewing Co
6. Green Shoots, The Marlow Brewery
7. Titfer, A Head in a Hat Brewing
8. Bitter & Twisted, Harviestoun Brewery
9. Swallow and Swift, Trumans Brewery
10. Guzzler, York Brewery
11. Lapworth Gold, Byatts of Coventry
12. Badger Golden Champion, Hall & Woodhouse
13. Billabong, Tiny Rebel Brewing Co.
14. Eton Boatman, Windsor & Eton
15. God lager, Nils Oscar
16. New World IPA, Northern Monk Brew Co
17. Windermere Pale, Hawkshead Brewery
18. Long Blonde, Long Man Brewery
19. Notting Hill Red, Moncada Brewery
20. Lion, Hook Norton Brewery
21. First Light, Hook Norton Brewery
22. Summer Meltdown, Dark Star Brewing Co.
23. Scurvy Bitter, Greene King House Ale
24. Aviator Ale, Dent Brewery

24 Frames a Second

There’s 24 frames a second in your average movie.
And I remembered an old quote from Dylan Williams saying that planners should try and get a strong grounding in the art of storytelling through film – as it can teach you so much about advertising, creativity and life in general.So off the back of that, this year, I’m: 1) Starting to experiment with film, and have something to show for it at the end of the year. 2) Watching some of the many critically-acclaimed films that I haven’t got round to seeing yet…

Here’s that (embarrassing) list:

1. American Beauty
2. The Birds
3. The Empire Strikes Back
4. The Fog
5. The Godfather
6. King Kong
7. Up
8. The Mark of Zorro
9. The Shawshank Redemption
10. Goodfellas
11. Se7en
12. The Usual Suspects
13. Casablanca
14. It’s A Wonderful Life
15. Reservoir Dogs
16. Singin’ In The Rain
17. Some Like It Hot
18. The Graduate
19. The Untouchables
20. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
21. Memento
22. Donnie Darko
23. Fargo
24. A Clockwork Orange

To see my 24 Photos from the year, click here.


23 new foods

1. Jellied Eels
2. Pig Cheeks
3. Sweet Meats
4. Bubble tea
5. Dried Insects
6. Quails egg
7. Creme De Menthe
8. Frogs legs
9. Snails
10. Kangaroo
11. Nettle tea
12. Oysters
13. Steak Tartare
14. Dandelion Wine
15. Gazpacho
16. Pea Soup
17. Root beer float
18. Gnocchi
19. Ox Heart
20. Squirrel
21. Spotted Dick
22. Souffle
23. Kumquat

23 photos

Russell Davies has talked in the past about the importance of documenting the things that you see and the people you meet every day.

I took photos on a daily basis (thanks to my blessed iPhone) and saved my favourite 23 from the year here.

Take a first aid course
Nothing to do with ’23′ but I really wanted to do a first-aid course…!


22 Gigs

1. Ryan Adams
2. Kings of Leon
3. Goldfish
4. Scott Matthews
5. Willy Mason
6. Nizlopi
7. Hanson
8. Duke Special
9. Andy Oliveri
10. The Great Last
11. Jake Morley
12. Rich Robinson
13. Andy Oliveri
14. Willy Mason
15. The Staves
16. Scott Matthews
17. Duke Special
18. Ryan Adams
19. Alabama Shakes
20. Johnny Parry Chamber Orchestra
21. POB
22. Lunar Festival

 22 New London Pubs

1. The Prince Regent, Marylebone
2. The Apollo, Marylebone
3. The Globe, Baker St
4. 1888, Marylebone
5. The Masons Arms, Marylebone
6. The Woolpack, London Bridge
7. The Globe, Covent Garden
8. The Lyric, Soho
9. The Ship, Soho
10. The Island Queen, Islington
11. The Kings Head, Angel
12. The Green Man, Great Portland St
13. The Eagle, Old St
14. William IV, Old St
15. The Swan, Chiswick
16. The Punchbowl, Mayfair
17. The Castle, Pentonville
18. The Edinboro Castle, Camden
19. The Bull, Islington
20. The Rocket, Kings Cross
21. The Grand Union, Wandsworth
22. The Hope and Anchor, Islington

22 New books

1. Awkward Situations for Men
2. Perfect Pitch
3. The Fry Chronicles
4. Truth, Lies and Advertising
5. Life (Keith Richards)
6. The Advertising Concept Book
7. Hegarty on Advertising
8. Treasure Island
9. Catcher in the Rye
10. How to Live on 24 hours a day
11. Friends like these
12. Dear Coca Cola
13. The Art of Client Service
14. Yes man
15. Danny Wallace and the centre of the universe
16. The Love Letters of Dylan Thomas
17. Steve Jobs Biography
18. Cutting Edge Print Advertising
19. Catch 22
20. Animal Farm
21. A Clockwork Orange
22. The Upright Piano Player

22 New Albums

1. Jake Morley – Many Fish to Fry
2. Andy Oliveri – Sing Mercy
3. Farm Dogs – Last Stand in Open Country
4. Scott Matthews – Live in London
5. Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight
6. Scott Matthews – Into the Firing Line
7. Turin Brakes – Live at the Palladium
8. The King Blues – Punk and Poetry
9. The King Blues – Save the world, Get the girl
10. Frank Turner – England Keep my bones
11. Anchor and the Wolf – The Cinema Suite
12. Whiskeytown – Strangers Almanac
13. Alexi Murdoch – Time Without Consequence
14. Fionn Regan – 100 Acres of Sycamore
15. The Watson Twins – Talking to you talking to me
16. Feist – Metals
17. Sam Brookes – Sam Brookes
18. Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam
19. Treetop Flyers – To Bury the Past
20. The Staves – Mexico
21. James Blake – James Blake
22. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

  1. Laura said:

    Sometimes WILFing at work is productive… I love your yearly challenges – definitely trying the recipe one for 2016. 🙂

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