Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Bucket List

I've been putting some thought into a bucket list, lately. You can't put some thought into an actual bucket - it just spills over the edges and makes the idea of a mess on the floor.

I have actually done a lot of the things which might be on the average bucket list: I've performed in Vegas, done stand-up, written a novel (ok, I haven't had one published - picky, picky!). I've back-packed, flat-packed, rat-trapped. I've had several interesting jobs... and I just walked away from some of them. I've set up a charity, had an expense account, been offered food by beggars near the Alhambra. I've been on a camel, in a helicopter, lost at sea in an open boat. I've swum with dolphins, heli-hiked on a glacier, walked on a volcano... all hate me now, don't you?

The trouble is, I can't think of anything much I am burning to do. World peace? Yeah, but I'm realistic. Win a million? Yeah, but I'm not really sure what I'd do with it. (I wouldn't say 'No!' - that would be churlish - but I don't want it enough to get off my bum and go and get it.) I mean what's the point of anything?

Maybe it isn't that I don't want anything in the world, I just rationalise myself into thinking I don't. I know people who do this really well and it's certainly a strategy to avoid disappointment.

But I respect the idea of a list as an impetus to provoke action, so here it is so far:

The List

  • see the Northern Lights
  • jump out of a plane ... preferably with a parachute and someone attached to me who knows how to use one
  • fly a plane
  • drive across the USA
  • write a best-selling novel
  • go on some kind of retreat
  • get invited to the Oscars
  • win a major writing competition
  • eat at a Michelin starred restaurant
  • jump fully clothed into a swimming pool
  • get thrown out of a pub for bad behaviour (I'm not nearly bad enough)

What's on your list that I could steal for mine?


  1. Mine's on the blog.

    I've done a few of yours:

    Northern Lights (I've been the Blackpool).

    Parachute jump (without someone strapped to me). Much more fun. Not that I'd object to someone strapping themselves to me, you understand.

    I flew a glider once.

    I go on retreat once a year. it doesn't do a lot for me, but maybe I'm not doing it right.

  2. to blackpool, not the, obviously.

  3. Well, there are lots of places I want to see, some of which are actually within the bounds of possibility, as all I have to do is get motivated and jump on a plane (not OUT of one like you). I’d like to see Naples (but without the dying bit), Florence, Venice and Pompeii. Nothing too challenging there. I’d also like to live to a grand old age (whilst retaining all my faculties) and see my grandchildren, and possibly great-grandchildren grow up and make something of themselves. Living in Lanzarote means I get to walk round round volcanoes whenever I want (it’s the 'island of 300 of volcanoes’) and I can jump fully clothed (or completely naked if I so wish) into my swimming pool, so those are ones I won’t steal from you, but I’d love to win a writing competition...the trouble is you have to be in it to win it and therein lies the problem. So I’d better get cracking!

  4. If I were to write a blog-post now, and then Vicus snuffed it, I'd feel terribly guilty.

  5. Dave - I know yours is on the blog. Ordinarily I would have linked back but as you've packed it all in to go and be grumpy on Facebook I didn't bother. Oh and 'I've been the Blackpool' is perfectly acceptable phraseology around here... as in 'I've just been the Asda.'

    Little Nell - I backpacked around Italy 20 years ago but was very distracted at the time, having just parted from the love of my life. But will worth visiting - especially Venice. I like Lanzarote too.

    Vicus - You're not sulking are you?

    Dave - Are you sure you're not Catholic?

  6. There is a hotdog stall in Reykjavik (you won't miss it, everyone goes there) that is arguably as worth the visit as the Northern Lights. (I'm basing this on the fact that I would 'love' to see the Northern Lights again but I would happily sacrifice a finger from my left hand to have that hot dog stall relocate to Manchester)

    Also - eat duck hearts (they are like delicious little thumbs) read Shakespeare (all of it) and visit the Museum of the Americas in Madrid (mind-boggling collection of pre-Columbian art)

  7. Benjamin - They're pretty bloody specific things. Are these yours or suggestions for me? I'm not chopping off any of my fingers. I mean, I like my food, but chopping off my fingers is where I draw the line.