Back in 2003, before Andy died and before depression really kicked in, I wrote my bucket list – the things you have to do before you kick the bucket. When I got to 2006, the list seemed pointless and worthless – a tick list of things that wouldn’t matter in 200 years’ time. Anhedonia – the inability to get pleasure from anything – is the worst aspect of depression for me. I can’t enjoy stuff. I hate eating. I don’t like anything. It all seems pointless. So to get my bucket list out again and see what was on it and what I’ve achieved now gives me a lovely sense of pleasure – a sign that perhaps the clouds of depression are lifting once again.
Here it is:
1. Learn to rollerblade – check. That very year, I rollerbladed down the Avenida Atlantica in Rio – and it was every bit as fantastic as I hoped it’d be.
2. Kayak on the Charente – check. I admit we didn’t get very far, but kayak we did and I’d even forgotten it was on my list. Thanks to Steve and Jake for making that come true!
3. Read the works of Dickens – still ongoing. In fact, that’s what made me think of my list, since I knew this was on it. And it was Malcolm in the Middle that made me think of this. I’m about to embark upon A tale of Two Cities.
4. See the works of Shakespeare – I’m a good few further on, having seen Julius Caesar, The Taming of the Shrew (best production ever… really made me think!) Twelfth Night, A Winter’s Tale, Macbeth (again!) Measure for Measure, A Midsummer Night’s Dream … And a good few of those have been the most excellent Propeller company! That just makes it even better!!
5. Go to India – still on the list.
6. Get my nose pierced – still on the list. Sorry mum. But it’s got to be done! Last had it done back in Uni, and I’d love to relive those hippy days!
7. Have a hummingbird tattoo – still on the list, although I have added to my tattoos with a cherry blossom. Wisteria, Maple and Snowflakes still to come!
8. Mountain bike in Matlock – check! I biked around the town – cool as anything!
9. Stay in Paris – check. October 2004, I was rich, it was a beautiful autumn. I bought Chanel sunglasses and stayed in Montmartre with my brother.
10. Publish a novel – well, textbooks will have to do!!
11. Run a marathon – check. 34 under my belt. Thanks to Pete Nesbitt for giving me the marathon urge, and sad to say stress fractures put an end to that!
12. Sing – have singing lessons – still haven’t done that one!
13. Learn to photograph properly – check. I have advanced skills and a darkroom of my own : )
14. Climb a mountain – check. Not Kilimanjaro, as I wanted, but Cuba and Scotland will do!
15. Visit Scotland – check. Thanks to Pete Nesbitt for that, too!
Just past Glen Coe
16. Be a size 8 once! – and I was! When I went to Mexico in 2003, I was 7 stone 6! How cute was I??!
17. Learn to speak French properly – underway!!
18. Completely read a French novel – check. Parfum in French was wonderful!
19. Do yoga - check. Didn’t last long though. I call it ‘glorified lying down’ – it wasn’t for me. Tai Chi, though…
20. Go skiing – still haven’t done that… Maybe I’ll make it over to somewhere lovely and French next winter?
21. Snowboard – ditto!
22. Own a pair of ice skates – I obviously had a winter theme!!
23. Bake a carrot cake – I was early in my baking career!
24. See the rainforest – check. It was utterly glorious! Brazil was a thrilling experience
On the Amazon... houseboat
25. Drive down through California - still not done this yet. Still lots of places to visit!
26. Scuba-dive – check. The waters off Cuba were sublime. It wasn’t the Maldives, but it was fantastic enough!
27. See the Maldives – unfortunately, that one never came to fruition, and with Andy gone, it’s a little harder to do this.
28. Own a really expensive pair of shoes – check. Dior – check. Russell and Bromley patent Mary Jane’s – check. Karen Millen pink snakeskin cowboy boots – check. They don’t get much wear on the farm, though!!
29. Own a really expensive handbag – check. My Dior fantasies didn’t pay off, but Longchamp is good enough!
30. See the Red Hot Chili Peppers again – check. Thanks once more to Pete Nesbitt! Boy, we did a lot of stuff together! He was a lovely boyfriend! And he’s still a good friend. God bless Whizzbit.
31. See China
32. Go to Australia
33. Work abroad – check. I guess I’m doing it right now!
34. Get a dog – check. The Molly Dog, Tilly Floss and Saffy Womble are filling that there box!
35. Ride through Sherwood Forest – not quite. But I’ll find a better place to ride a horse!
36. Dance on a bar – check. Kos 2001 saw that!! Everyone has to dance a bar once in their life.
37. Walk in the Alps – not yet. Maybe this summer I should do that! I’m nearer now!!
38. Do something really worthwhile for charity – I don’t think I’ve done as much as I’d want to… I’m still on that one!
39. Go back to Venezuela – not yet.
40. Do something for the community – I’m much more involved now, but I don’t think I’ve really got up there yet!
41. Go to Brazil – see Christ the Redeemer – check.
Looking down from Christ the Redeemer
42. Star in a stage production – it is a little-known fact that I once played Prince Charming in a play. I want to do more theatre. One to stay on the list.
43. Go to an opera - I took my Nana to see Madame Butterfly and we cried the whole way through. Plus, I’ve seen Kabuki in Japan. That’s got to be worth something!!
44. Own a piece of murano glass – not yet. I live and dream. Lalique would do! I keep looking on ebay.fr and Le Bon Coin…
I had 44 things to do and some are ongoing. I’m amazed I’ve done so many of them. I guess I’ve done a whole load more that I really didn’t expect. I didn’t think I’d see sakura and hanami in Japan. I didn’t think I’d hang out in the mountains where Fidel and Che hid from the junta. I definitely didn’t think I’d be going up Chichen Itza, or seeing Land’s End, falling in love with Cornwall or living in France. It wasn’t even in my thoughts I’d achieve that. It’s been an amazing eight years, surely, even carrying depression and mania with me for most of them. I never thought I’d ride a camel in the Sahara or swim in the Caribbean, walk through a souk or meet a million people I’m glad I’ve met.
Some great guys I met in Havana
So… now I’ve done so much on my bucket list, should I add more?
Maybe that’s a thing for New Year’s Eve, when I’m in on my lonesome with all my girls and The Basil.