These birthdays are a real nuisance aren't they? Just think, if we didn't have birthdays we wouldn't need to get any older - not that the numbers really matter though, how old you feel is just all inside your head, isn't it? Today I'm having what is very aptly described in our house as a dopey day, I've spent an entire weekend with my ancient mother, who is fast losing her mental capabilities and I think maybe she has leached mine as well and despatched them off to Fairyland with her own. So I'm feeling a bit oldish today, although thankfully still nowhere near to feeling as old as the number of candles which will be appearing on my birthday cake (should I be lucky enough to have one!) fairly soon. Given that the number of years I've been on the planet ends with a nine (yes, you've guessed it, I'm nearly nippety nine), next year's birthday will be a biggy.
With this in mind I've decided to spend the next twelve months completing a bucket list of things I'd like to do before I'm nippety ten, so here is that list, and my reasons for it. (To be completed in no particular order, but just over the coming twelve months)
No. 1. Many years ago when the younger two sons were little more than toddlers we spent a week in South Devon, and one of the places we visited was Budleigh Salterton. I liked it there. In fact, I loved it there, and I always vowed to myself that one day I would return without a pair of toddlers in tow. So, now the time has come, sometime during the next twelve months we'll return to Budleigh Salterton for a childfree break.
No. 2. Back in 1970 GM graduated from Newcastle University, and ever since we've been together he has wanted to go back to see how much (if anything) has changed. So I've promised him that this is the year he'll return to Newcastle, with me, so I can see it for the first time, AND what's more, we'll fly there.
No. 3. I'm a Fulham Football Club supporter through and through, but I also like to support a Premier League team, and with my historical connections to the area I've chosen to support Southampton while Fulham are in the lower division. The last time we went to a Premier League match in 2012 it was Southampton v. Fulham, and now there is distinct possibility that Fulham will be promoted back to the top flight league so this fixture might well happen again during the 2017/18 season. I very much want to attend another Premier League football match, obviously if this could be at Craven Cottage to watch Fulham then no-one would be happier than me, but if they miss out on promotion this year then instead I should like to make another trip to St. Mary's to cheer on the Saints.
No. 4. I'm a very lucky lady, in that while I have four sons I actually have five lovely ladies that I call my daughters-in-law, four of whom are current partners and one of whom is an ex partner (the mum of my grandson and one of my very dearest friends). I would love to have a DiLs day, a day when the six of us would all meet up and have a great day together. This might take a bit of planning, so be warned girls.
No. 5. I love drawing and painting but have had no formal training, so I think it's time I did. I'll see what I can find.
No. 6. GM and I have always loved walking, and whenever we've had the chance we've climbed the highest hill available at the time. Recently moved to Hampshire, I find that the highest hill in Hampshire (Pilot Hill) is less than ten miles away from where we live, so it is on the list.
No. 7. A hot stone massage, a real treat, just for me (and, in fact, already booked for 12th May - watch this space).
No. 8. Despite living in the London area for more than 85% of my lifetime, I'm ashamed to admit that I've never attended a promenade concert. This will be remedied before the summer of 2017 is out.
No. 9. I would very much like to try either pole dancing or line dancing, just the once. I have two left feet so dancing doesn't come easy to me.
No. 10. I have a friend who lives in Sussex who calls is a Mentor to Passionate World Changers, she's also known as a Happiness Experimenter, and I belong to a group that she runs called Dancing in Your Soul Shoes, so you get the general idea of the sort of person she is. I'm so looking forward to attending a weekend retreat that she intends to hold later in the year. She lives in the middle of a forest and will hold the retreat and activities in her recently acquired yurt. Sounds wonderful.
No. 11. My dad came from a large family, so I have lots of cousins, mostly girls, and all within a 15 year age range. We don't get together nearly as often as we should, it's so much fun when we do, so I'm hoping we can get something organised for this year - maybe I have to arrange this myself to make sure it happens.
No. 12. I intend to spend this coming year eating well and healthily - plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, enjoying the odd glass of wine or two now and again, drinking lots of water and a good dose of kefir on a daily basis, and also to increase my daily step count quite significantly - these measure will, I hope, lead to my body becoming more shapely and slender than its current condition and will incentivise it to stick around with me for many more years to come.
So, my twelve month bucket list, please come back next May to see how well I've done. If this catches on I might possibly do it every year.