The 30 Things Of Kate

Portal CakeIt’s my cake day, and I’m thirty! Insert obligatory worry about age, generic ‘Argh’, and possibly also a glass of bubbly. Also, ALL OF THE CAKE.

Have you seen the “30 things to do before I’m 30” lists that are going around? I quite like the idea, but I don’t want to join in; it both seems like a fantasy wishlist and I’m actually 30, so it’s rather impractical for me. However, I did come across a lovely idea from my friend at Pastry & Purls:

So, though I didn’t make a list of things I wanted to do before I turned 30, I would still like to make a 30 before 30 list – things I have accomplished or am proud of in other ways. Some are funny, some random, some serious, but all are important to me. I’ve found this a great way to put my life in perspective, and I hope it might inspire you to do the same.

I’m going to put a slightly different twist on this (mostly because my brain can’t find thirty things I’m proud of…hi, depression!) So I’m going to do three lots of ten; things I’m proud of, experiences I’ve had, and weird facts about me.

10 Things That I’m Proud Of:

  1. My MSc Information & Library Science degree, and in particular my dissertation on tagging in social media – really hard work, and I’m proud of it.
  2. My writing – primarily the GreenSky series, but everything else too!
  3. GM’ing; I’ve gone from complete novice to someone who can give GM advice and plays good games in just two years. I want to get better, but I really love that I can do this.
  4. The pub; we own our own house and we’re renovating it. It’s such a weird, wonderful and character-filled building!
  5. Surviving and living with depression. I struggle with this every day; it’s not an illness that I can ever get over, but I’m really proud of myself for getting through five bad episodes, and for still being here at thirty.
  6. I can sing! After being told as a teenager that I couldn’t…I can. So there.
  7. I make decent cakes – and I like eating them. Nom nom nom.
  8. My web development work. I’m mostly self-taught with HTML, CSS and web design, and I’m now also learning PHP and javascript.
  9. My editing work. I love being able to read other people’s writing and help them improve; I love being able to spot the weak points, make them stronger, and then apply that to my own work. I love copy-editing and proofing (for all that it’s really hard work) and love being given the chance to edit!
  10. My friends and family. I’m really proud of the people around me; I’ve surrounded myself with some of the most wonderful, amazing, brilliant and loving people that I could ever want.

10 Brilliant Experiences That I’ve Had:

  1. A thunderstorm at Seal Rocks in Australia; it rolled right overhead as we were in the camper van…
  2. Bats flitting around at Angkor Thom.
  3. Sailing over to Guernsey and doing The Race.
  4. Driving the Frog in the rain! I got absolutely soaked and it was brilliant fun.
  5. Walking round the pub for the first time.
  6. Running around Barbury Castle with my Swindon friends and squeaking at all the features (history nut ahoy!)
  7. Walking through Salisbury Close on my way to school for two years.
  8. London at night…
  9. Chesters Fort at Hadrian’s Wall – and the bath-house particularly!
  10. Edinburgh – just all of it. I love that city!

10 Weird Skills or Things Wot I Has Dun:

  1. I own a replica 16th century battle crossbow. It’s definitely replica as the trigger’s made of Bakerlite…
  2. I can tile a floor!
  3. I also know how to skin a rabbit. Pro tip; don’t shoot them with a shotgun. The pellets don’t add to the subsequent flavour.
  4. I’m a fairly competent potter. I did pottery for about ten years, and I can still throw – admittedly usually it’s a wonky pot, but hey, I haven’t done it for a while.
  5. I can read a hydraulic pump diagram and talk engineering fairly happily. Tensile strengths, bar pressures and o-ring materials all make some degree of sense…
  6. I’m pretty good at military history; my favourite areas are Second World War and classical history, but I can also talk Napoleonic Wars and First World War in a scary amount of detail.
  7. My wedding ring is made of titanium. The party trick is to get people to try to squash it 😉
  8. I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was younger. I’ve dug up a skull, helped excavate a Roman villa, thatched a replica Bronze Age hut, learned to knap flints, met Phil Harding, been on Time Team and I can do archaeological find drawings.
  9. I read at about 850 words per minute – so not a speed reader, but pretty fast!
  10. I like snakes, and spiders are ok…my phobia is being trapped underwater, mostly thanks to a lot of sailing as a child (it never happened but it’s a reoccuring fear).

There y’are! I’m a third of the way (hopefully) through my life, and I’m doing pretty well. Here’s to another thirty years!

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.