It seems, these days, everyone has a ‘To Do Before I Die’ list (or bucket lists, I believe they’re called). Magazines are full of them; even TV programmers have got in on the act. These lists are supposed to inspire us to visit new and exotic places, or to try crazy new pursuits that some demented man has thought up whilst off his head on Acid. Have you noticed, that’s it’s always men who think up these lunatic sports. I mean, can you imagine a group of women meeting-up and one of them saying, “I’ve had this really great idea! Let’s get a giant plastic ball, strap people in and push it down a hill. Yeah, I know it will make people want to throw-up but that’s part of the fun. They’ll love it and I’ll make a shed load of money from it!” Mm… perhaps he’s not so demented after all.
These lists seem to have to come in multiples of five or ten. Mine doesn’t. In fact mine is really short. I have no desire to visit some far-flung spot of the globe where I will eat some authentic food which will give me the runs, or sleep in some run-down shack. I also do not want to risk life or limb jumping off some bridge in New Zealand attached to a giant elastic band. I know there are many that would condemn me for this. They would accuse me of having a very narrow and restrictive view of life. They would tell me how much I am missing out on by being this way. They would say I cannot truly understand and appreciate the world without experiencing all it has to offer. And they would be perfectly right. But I would say to them, I know my limitations and there is no way on earth you would want me as a travelling companion. Seriously, after forty-eight hours with me you would be personally be putting me on the next flight back to the UK because you wouldn’t be able to stand my whining and complaining any longer.
Anyway, my list has three things on it. There are (in no particular order): (1) to go back to San Francisco. I visited San Francisco in 1996 with my husband (who was then my boyfriend). It was our first time in the States and we just fell in love with the city. It was such a great place to visit. It had a laid-back vibe and everyone seemed so friendly. There was so much to see and do – riding on the cable cars, eating in ChinaTown (where somehow or other I managed to take a photo of a deserted street. If you have visited SF’s ChinaTown you will know this is no mean feat), driving across the Golden GateBridge, seeing the stinky sea-lions at Fisherman’s Wharf. The list goes on and on, and we didn’t get to do all we wanted to so another trip is definitely in order. Besides which, there was a rather nice Irish bar that sold Strongbow cider on draught.
(2) To take the girls back to Disneyland. We visited Disneyland Paris in 2011 when my daughters were three years old. I wanted to take them whilst they were young enough to still believe the characters were real; which of course they most definitely are. It was a crazy old three-day break made up of smiles and laughter, tears and tantrums, in-your-face, saccharin-sweet, over-the-top, glitz and glamour, razzmatazz that Americans do so well. And I……..LOVED IT! It may have given me a headache. I may have been relieved to leave the damn place and get on the plane home, but do I want to go again? You betcha! I may not have abseiled down Big Ben but I do have a picture of me with Pluto and how many people can say that?
(3) To see a live Eddie Izzard gig. For those of you who don’t know, Eddie Izzard is a British comedian who is a bit of a legend. His comedy shouldn’t really work. If you met a man in the pub who talked about how Charles I wore a dog on his head or how Mark-Anthony was a chicken you would walk away shaking your head in disbelief whilst shouting, “Stick to the day job!” But Eddie is funny, I mean really funny and I have wanted to see him for years. And last Friday I, at last, got my wish.
So, that’s one thing I can cross off my list. My list is now down to two, quite frankly, incredibly achievable things. Perhaps, now I should be thinking of adding more things to my list – things that would be much more exciting, daring, challenging and ambitious. But I’m not going to. I quite like the fact that my list is so mundane and boring because, unless I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I know that there is a pretty good chance I’ll do all of mine.