I’ve gradually learned to weary of bucket lists so I have decided to list the things I will not do, or places that I won’t visit, before I die. An “anti-bucket list” (thank you PY) so to speak.
1. Own a smart phone
Brilliant invention I’ll grant you, but really “get a life”. We are surrounded by information. I have the internet at home and in the office. Do I really need to be online in between or, worse still, on holiday. Look up from that phone.
2. Bungee Jump
An adrenalin “rush” I certainly don’t need. I get the same from seeing for the first time a new Rembrandt and my head is where it should be – the right way up.
3. Read James Joyce’s Ulysses
This is my “albatross”. A more than once new year resolution. I’ve tried, I’ve really tried. I cannot get beyond the first chapter. I just don’t have the application or endurance. There are so many other good books out there and so little time.
So farewell James Joyce I really won’t be missing you.
4. Visit Los Angeles
I’ll try to avoid. I’ve seen enough of LA in the movies and on TV – it’s ubiquitous and nothing I’ve seen compels me to go. Anyway as Peter Sellers used to say you can’t find a decent curry there. Of course I’m cognizant there are people who live there who never want to leave it.
I await the storm of indignation.
5. Visit Las Vegas
I can’t quite decide where I would least like to visit between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. They both seem to compete in terms of superficiality and materialism. Highly prejudicial I know as I haven’t been to either. For someone for who a lonely windswept Scottish loch represents earthly paradise, Las Vegas is the nemesis. I’ll leave its delights to others.
6. Visit Venice
The trouble with Venice is that beauty attracts. I would rather contemplate that beauty on a Guardi or Turner canvass. The reality will be quite different; a city teeming with tourists and touts and with overpriced hotels and restaurants.
A beautiful city doubtless but I don’t wish to add to the crowd. Now could I go to Florence and avoid the same?
7. Go potholing
The thought just makes me shiver. Every form of physical activity or sport carries with it some element of danger but this activity hits more dangerous buttons than most. Death by falling, death by drowning, death by exposure…I don’t think you can die of claustrophobia…can you?
You don’t even get a decent view.
8. Climb Everest
Who in their dreams hasn’t wanted to climb Everest? I have loved climbing mountains and, more lately, hills. Accounts of the Everest expeditions in the 1920’s are riveting not least for the description of splendorous isolation. Not for nothing was Wade Davis’ award winning book was entitled “Into the Silence”. Nowadays you have to queue.
9. Go on a sea cruise
Occasionally there are “fly on the wall” type documentaries on TV on life aboard giant sea cruise ships. I look on these programmes with a kind of horrified fascination. All that enforced jollity and unspontaneous fun. Caribbean ports dwarfed by these monsters.
Romantic it certainly ain’t.
10. Join a golf club
Don’t get me wrong I do like golf. But my kind of course is the “non-member”, honesty box, fairway trimmed by sheep kind of course. The park your car beside the first tee kind off course, golf buggy-free kind of course, and where, OK I invariably don’t make par but the view is great anyway. The kind of course that doesn’t mind if I have forgotten my golf shoes or is concerned about my playing in a shirt without a collar or my sharing of my playing companion’s golf clubs.
I won’t join a golf club.