I have been writing a blog for almost 20 years (albeit rather infrequently), that’s a very long time! Last year was the first year, however, that I didn’t manage to record anything in writing. Unintentionally. But then again, 2020 was a period in history I don’t think anyone will ever forget, and documentation of its extraordinary happenings won’t ever be difficult to come by. It was certainly a game changer, and I certainly learnt a lot.
I continue to have an uneasy relationship with social media. I don’t like the idiotic things it can encourage people to do for attention, I don’t like that someone’s ‘highlights reel’ can make someone else feel demoralised by comparison, I don’t like showing off. I especially don’t like moaning or groaning about children, or especially sharing things that may later embarrass them. I don’t like that children are unlikely to have ever been asked if they minded their private lives being made public. I have fallen foul of this in the past, but realise how selfish this is. Children’s lives are not our own to make these sorts of decisions about.
I am however going to turn myself into a big fat hypocrite (although never regarding The Small One – her privacy and the sharing her life without consent is non-negotiable). 2021 is my 40th year on this planet, and if last year has taught me anything, it’s you don’t know what is around the corner, we don’t have long on this earth, so do what you can to be happy now.
As I write this, we find ourselves in a national lockdown due to the ongoing effects of a hideous global plague that has been with us for almost a year now. We are permitted to leave our house once a day for exercise/shopping, we are unable to see anyone outside our immediate household ‘bubble’ (excluding the cat – lucky git), and anything ‘non-essential’ has its door shut. Now is a rather inconvenient time to be feeling gun-ho about getting out and living life to its fullest, but why start being convenient now, when this has never been a personal leaning.
I have drawn up a ‘bucket list’, if you will, of 40 things I would like to try and do in my 40th year, and I am going to blog about them (as per item 31 of ‘The List’). Yes, it will be showing off, it will be a highlights reel, it is so horribly self-indulgent given the state of the world and the incredibly privileged life I still am so fortunate to lead, even following this crappy time, and it will represent everything I hate about social media, and feels sickeningly narcissistic, but I figure no one reads this blog anyway, and just in case something did happen to me, a few dreams may have been fulfilled. And I’m also going to try and be so kind this year to offset any bad karma (although that in itself can feel so damn good, it’s hardly altruistic).
- Zip along/down a Welsh Quarry
- Make a sourdough starter (who hasn’t by this point, except me!).
- Find out where the footpaths go along the Tidmarsh/Pangbourne meadows.
- Visit the Barbican Conservatory
- Feel more comfortable with my body
- Learn to crochet
- Try a latte
- Any clothes I have to buy this year should be second hand
- Do a murder mystery
- Have a yard sale
- Open a Tap Room
- Sing in a choir
- Paint an egg and attend an egg rolling event
- Walk across the roof of the O2
- See a dark sky
- Come up with the idea for a book
- Try metal detecting
- Make a bake-off worthy cake
- Have an adventure with my London friends
- Canoe part of the Thames in central London
- Help arrange a community carnival
- Set up a Craft Cafe
- Learn more about floristry
- Find an enjoyable form of income
- Start a cutting garden
- Fly a kite
- Go sledging
- See a play
- See Simon and Garfunkel (if still on)
- Write a letter
- Keep a journal of this list
- Go in a plane
- Overcome a fear
- Brunch with the wise people
- Ride a horse
- Try more seafood
- Make something out of pottery
- Learn how to draw digitally
- Book onto a sheep husbandry course
- Learn to cob
- Learn to lime plaster
- Attend a Forest School course
- Design some fabric
- Learn how to spin wool
- See a dolphin
Ok, so it appears that this list does, in fact, contain 45 things, which is a tad ambitious considering we don’t know when ‘normal life’ might resume again, and I am working with fairly limited funds, but nothing has made much sense recently, so it’s a serendipity bandwagon that I shall, in this instance, hop upon.