Before I Go


I love Bucket Lists. All human life and folly is in them. A recent report I read suggested that the reasons most people realise only 10 percent of their ambitions are lack of time and fear of injury. To which I give the following soberly considered reply. BS.

Boil down any bucket list and you end up with two categories: things that require money and things that require dedication. And what has any of this to do with me? Well… writing a novel appears on many people’s lists, as does learning to play an instrument or speak a foreign language. These are all long-haul projects. Unlike visiting Harry Potter World or riding a Segway, two other equally popular bucket list items.

It unsettles me somewhat to find that my profession is the object of people’s dreams. Writing a novel is a pretty dull business, trust me. You don’t get out much. You develop shoulder hunch and hip spread. Adrenalin rush? Only when your publisher tells you how little you have to live on for the next year or an annoying reviewer gives away the entire plot in his review of your latest book.

My advice to anyone who has novel writing on their bucket list is to shut yourself away in a small soundproof cubicle and have meals delivered on a tray slid under the door. Otherwise just go bungee jumping. You get to tick the box much faster.

One item on a recent Top 50  that caught my eye was Travel Around New Zealand in a Winnebago. Weird. Isn’t that what old people do? Isn’t that like saying, ‘before I die I want to wear shoes with Velcro fasteners?’  I can only think this item cropped up because the list was compiled by a company that makes parkas. So there’s an item for my bucket list. I want to reach the end of my life without ever wearing a parka. No, not even a sequinned one. I don’t want to travel anywhere in a Winnebago either. Furthermore, I don’t want to bungee jump. I don’t need to. I’m self-employed. My life is already one gut-lurching leap into the abyss after another.


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