AFTER retiring from his teaching job in July Malcolm Blunstone is making the most of his life of leisure by embarking upon a mountain of tasks.
Malcolm decided after a year of celebrations, which include his retirement as a geography teacher at Brooksbank School, Elland, his 60th birthday and his pearl wedding anniversary to wife Susan, both in April, he would set himself a challenge - to complete a list of 60 items in just over 12 months.
“I wanted to do something different and decided to do a series of events which fitted in with a theme of 60 because it was my 60th birthday and I was celebrating 30 years of marriage,” he said.
“I like going outdoors and other things like eating foods I have never eaten and visiting famous restaurants, so I worked that into the challenge. Other ideas include seeing a football match in every single league,” said Malcolm, who lives in Daisy Street.
He has visited Daffy Caffy Farndale, Magpie’s Cafe in Whitby, went to New York and visited Central Park and the strawberry fields and the Hard Rock cafe in Times Square. He visited the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and went to Central station, London. He has also taken part in a sponsored walk, Snowden 500, which is a charity walk over two days which raises money for prostrate cancer.
“I wanted to raise £600 which I did so it was in keeping with the theme and my wife and I celebrated our pearl wedding at the top,” he said. “The walk was about five miles up and eight miles back down and we found out about it through a country walking magazine. The walk itself wasn’t too physical but it was the driving wind and the rain which just soaked us through and made it very difficult.
“To celebrate our pearl wedding anniversary our two daughters, Rachel and Hannah, bought us two nights in Paris back in April which was lovely and tied into the challenge.
“For my 60th as well I bought 80 tickets and gave them to people for a party at The Ritz Ballroom for one of their Motown nights.”
Malcolm is half-way through his list and is currently working his way through trying 60 different beers and looking for different types of birds.
“I am finding it a struggle to find 60 items. You think it is a great idea and start of very quickly naming a few dozen then it starts to slow down. And some ideas are not economic. But now I am retired I will have a lot more time to fit stuff in.
“It is pushing me to do things I possibly wouldn’t have done because I would have just said I will do it later but now it has more of a purpose.”
Malcolm is hoping to finish his challenge with his 60th pint at the Brighouse beer festival at the Old Ship, Brighouse, if they hold it again next year.