I have retired to embark on what I call “my second life”.
I have a “bucket list”, i.e. a list of all the things I want to do before I die -
and I’m going to do them!
I refuse to be on my death bed saying “I wish I’d.....”
If you have read Eat, Pray.Love, then you will be familiar with the concept of summing
up everything in one word. My second life word is “experiences”. There is a long,
long list of places to visit / adventures to be had (Peru, Burma, Trans-Siberian
railway, Everest Base Camp etc etc) as well as other things such as: write a book,
have my ears pierced, be a movie extra, dye my hair blue, and so on......
The list broadly covers experiences (or stuff to do!), travel aspirations and writings
I would like to complete. Each page not only lists “the stuff”, but also gives updates
I don’t want to run out of experiences, so you can suggest things you think I should
add to the list on the “suggestions for Susan” page. As I have different experiences,
I’ll no doubt come across services, suppliers etc that I would recommend to others
- hence the links page.
If you would like to be kept informed of my “second life” as it develops - then please
sign up to receive updates. Just type in your email address in the box and click
It is a while since I updated the web site, however I have been waiting until I had
a few things to report. My second life is all about having experiences, and sometimes
I can go weeks or even months without having a new experience of note. So in chronological
In March I learned to make sushi at Yo Sushi in Leeds. It was a fantastic evening
and I made sufficient to keep me in lunches and dinner for 3 days.
Also in March I published my first book: Vietnam: Journey of Unexpected delights.
I am writing a series of books under the umbrella "Travelling Solo" and they are
based on the dairies I have kept during my travels. Their aim is to inspire people,
not necessarily singles, to just try things on their own, whether that is going out
for a meal by yourself, going to the pictures or taking a holiday. It is available
on Amazon as a hard copy or in Kindle format. To date I've received pretty good reviews,
so if you have yet to read it - then please do. If you have already read it but not
got around to leaving a review then please do! The second one, which is about my
travels through Brazil and Argentina is currently going through its final edit and
I hope to get that one out by the end of October / beginning of November. It was
quite tricky self publishing and I had to create a publisher - so enter Pip & Tinks
publishing. However after negotiating some tricky areas, I eventually got there.
The second time will be much easier now I know the ropes.
In April I eventually found a tap dancing class that suited me. I started tap dancing
about a year before moved to Yorkshire, but had struggled to find a suitable group.
I tried 3, but they were more "keep fit in tap shoes" than learning proper dance
steps. Anyway, I have now found a great teacher so I can continue with that ambition.
In May I started doing talks about my second life to organisations such as the WI,
and as it has gone down so well, I am now offering myself as a speaker. See here
for subjects I can talk about should you be looking for a speaker..... http://www.diannemannering.co. uk/Rogers-Susan.html
At the beginning of May I clocked off something else from the bucket list, and I
was an extra in Coronation Street. It was aired in late July and my appearance lasted
about 4 seconds. It was fascinating finding out what happens behind the scenes. Before
I arrived however, I had two fears, both based on the fact that I had never watched
Coronation Street, and therefore knew nothing about the characters or plot. The first
was that the director may say "Susan, can you just walk behind George" at which I'd
have had to reply "Who's George?" and the second that I would get chatting to someone
and say "How often do you do this extra work?" only for them to be one of the lead
characters.... Anyway, neither happened and it was a great experience. I have been
back once since to do a second stint which will be shown sometime in September. It
was filmed on a rundown council estate and I was asked to think "Shameless" when
I selected my wardrobe. So look out for a lady walking past in a red plastic coat
(absolute bargain for £5 at a charity shop!), hair tied up and my fringe greased
There was then a quiet period when nothing new happened, so I spent the summer getting
my vegetable plots restored and up to scratch which involved wheel-barrowing somewhere
in the region of 20 tons of manure from my bottom field to the veg plot!
The experiences don't have to be big expensive ones, and in the past few weeks I
have learned how to do Iris folding and make a birthday card, so watch out if I send
you a birthday card as they are likely to be all handmade from now on.
I don't usually watch the Bake-Off programme, but I caught one where they were making
pork pies and I thought "I've made a pork pie" ... so I made one.
Having two hairy dogs who seem to moult an extraordinary amount of hair, I decided
that is hold do something with it, so took a one day spinning course, and of course
became hooked. It was mainly using sheep fibre, but at the end the trainer said I
could spin some of Pip's hair to see how it came out, and it's going to be similar
to mohair - soft and fibrous. Of course my first attempts were extremely amateurish,
and the only way to crack it is to practice, so now I'm on the lookout for a spinning
I am also in the process of achieving the “to be a spy or at least a private investigator
…. But for obvious reasons I can’t tell you more…..
Finally, I've made a couple of changes to the bucket list. I had wanted to learn
to brick-lay, but living in Yorkshire it is more appropriate to learn dry-stone-walling.
I also had a desire to make my own dinner service, but having taken up playing Mahjong
this year, I've changed dinner service to making my own Mahjong set. I have a plastic
one that I bought at an auction about 30 years ago, but it would be great to have
a wooden made with the characters burned on using pyrography, and I now think that
my standard of pyrography is good enough to attempt the challenge. Here is an example
of one I did a couple of months ago.