Thing 1: Biting into Black Pudding

40thingsat40
This post is part of my #40thingsat40 project to celebrate the fact that I turn 40 this year

My brother loves black pudding and for many years he’s tried to persuade me to give it a try. The first time he asked me to try it, I poked at it and said “Why’s it black?” To my utter disgust, he answered “Blood, mainly.” Since then, every time he tried to get me to try a bite, I’d pull a face and respond “Ugh, no.”

On December 9th 2016, before heading into Kew Gardens, my mother and I decided to grab a breakfast at Tap on the Line, a pub located right at the Kew Gardens Station of the London Underground. It was one of the prettiest-looking pubs I’ve ever seen. It had a domed glass roof and extensive outdoor seating. As it’s right on the train platform, from inside the pub, you could see trains come and go, passengers embarking and disembarking. I could sit there the entire day, sipping tea.

img_20161209_102906
A lovely place to sit outside in the summer with a pint

We perused the simple breakfast menu and I immediately knew what I wanted to get –

img_20161209_103224
The breakfast menu

Full English, pork sausage, Mrs. Owton’s bacon, Hampshire black pudding, beans, tomato & mushroom, free range eggs to your liking, toast.

I was famished and couldn’t wait to try my first bite of black pudding. “Why do you suddenly want to try black pudding?” My mum questioned as she’s perfectly aware that for years, I’ve resisted. “Well, at least once I try it, if I still think it’s ugh, at least my future protests will be an informed one.” To my ears, that sounded like a perfectly logical and reasonable reason. My taste buds were getting ready to be ugh.

My breakfast came and without wasting another minute, attacked the black pudding. I somehow thought that it would be crumbled but instead it was served sliced, like two hockey pucks. I broke off a little piece and popped the black pudding made mostly with blood into my mouth.

It was DELICIOUS! 

Like sausage, slightly game-y and the edges of the black pudding, which were toasted (I think), tasted crisp. Yum!

So, I tried black pudding – yay me! – and I definitely will again!

(I polished the entire plate)

Project #40thingsat40

This year I turn 40 years young! Yes, 40. Forty. Empat puluh*.

Mostly, I’m okay fine coming to grips with it but there’s a not-so tiny part of me that’s still in denial.

The tendency, when you hit one of those landmark ages i.e. 18, 21, 25, 30, 35, is either to celebrate it in a big way or pretend you’re not celebrating a landmark age. I’ve done both.

For many years, I was 29. The year I turned 30, I convinced myself that I was turning 29 Part 2, and the next year was 29 Part 3, the next 29 Part 4, etc…By the time I turned 35 29 Part 7 35, I’d come to my senses and said “Fudge it! I refuse to be ashamed of my age any more!” and since then, I’ve tried to do something memorable every time my birthday rolls around – drove cross-country alone, traveled to Siem Reap.

So it’s June 2016, and feeling a little glum that in 6 months I’ll be turning 40, I thought perhaps I’ll just pretend again that I’m not hitting another landmark age and instead tell people that I’m turning 39 part 2. A voice inside me shouted “No! Don’t be so pessimistic! Embrace this age!” I told that voice to shut up.

Seriously though, that voice kept coming back and that’s when Project #40thingsat40 came to life. I somehow convinced myself that instead of being depressed at turning 40, why not commemorate this year by learning, experiencing, doing 40 new things and then tell the world (realistically, those handful who read this blog) about them!

Thus, the journey begins.

40thingsat40

*Malay for forty