As today is my 44th Birthday, I was reminded of this article that appeared in the DT a couple of weeks ago – 44 things to do before you are 44.
So I thought I’d have a look down the list and highlight a few things;
A few easy ones;
1) Left home – Check, after a couple of false starts!
2) Got a proper job – Check
3) Gentlemen: Worn the flashiest shiny suits and gaudiest Hawaiian shirts, and trousers that hang half-way down your backside and t-shirts with daft slogans and the very snuggest of budgie-smugglers. Because, mate, they’re all off to the charity shop – Never been one for budgie smugglers, but yep to all the rest.
Now some that are more tricky;
5) Discovered who and what you are. You’re halfway through your life. If you haven’t worked yourself out by now, you’re leaving it a little late – Maybe not completely, but more-or-less.
8) Mastered the mixing of at least one classic cocktail. No one who can make a really good martini or champagne cocktail will ever be without friends – of course.
10) Dyed your hair a daft colour, or got a tattoo, or a piercing. None of these are necessarily smart moves, but we should all make at least one dumb mistake – None of these but I did have a tight curly wet-look perm in the late 80’s which definitely counts.
11) Gone to a music festival. Because mud, dubious ethnic food from a van and appalling toilet facilities are part of growing up and being British – Yes, but “Prestatyn 7” Soul Weekender was held at Pontins Holiday Centre in Prestatyn so no mud and tents for me.
14) Mastered the art of delegation. Don’t be a stress puppy, just let others take the strain. That’s what young people are there for – Not quite there yet.
18) Discovered the joys of gardening. You’re a hardy perennial yourself these days, so get out there and start digging – No, no and no. Gardening – a waste of time, effort and money.
19) Gone to the Chelsea Flower Show. It really is England at its very best – See above.
22) Found a masterpiece. It’s that painting or sculpture that you simply have to visit whenever you can, and stand and gaze and bathe in its beauty – Yes, the Seagram Murals by Mark Rothko at Tate Modern are the closest I’ve come to a religious experience.
23) Bought an artwork you love. It cost more than you can afford, but you love it. And it’s waiting for you when you get home – One or two pieces [photos above is of a Jeff Koons Balloon Dog and a Marcel Duchamp Bicycle Wheel and Stool]
26) Learned to enjoy your own company. Sometimes you’re on your own, but you can still be at ease and enjoy yourself. There’s no shame in a table for one. – Yep.
27) Made a difference. It’s good to look at yourself and know you’ve done something that changed even one person’s life a little bit for the better – Yes.
29) Ridden a motorbike. Or just hung on to the rider for dear life. Either way you’ll have hit the road in a way no car can match. Provided that you didn’t actually hit the road – No, and no real desire to, either.
30) Done your own laundry. A washing machine, a bit of detergent, read the instructions on the clothes-label. Honestly, it’s not that hard – Honestly, I don’t think I ever have *shamed expression*
31) Learned to cook at least some of these absolute basics passably well: spag bol, macaroni cheese, roast chicken, chilli con carne, grilled fish, a Full English breakfast, a basic stir-fry, a dish of grilled or roasted vegetables and a sponge cake – yep to all except macaroni cheese.
32) Gentlemen: Bought lots of proper, good quality shoes. You’re getting too old for trainers – On the cusp here, but I don’t go for fashion trainers, sensible ones.
34) Visited at least three of the following cities: New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Berlin, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Sydney. And done more than shopping and clubbing – Only two of these done. But I did also like Madrid and we’re off to San Fran this year.
35) Gone on an adventure. Trek, go on safari, ride the train across Siberia or a boat up the Mekong River, or a truck across the Outback. Just let your inner explorer go walkabout – Nope – Mrs C likes her home comforts too much. Does standing as an MP count as an adventure?
39) Learned a little about wine. No need to be a snob, but you should be able to tell a chardonnay from a sauvignon blanc, or a mellow merlot from a stonking shiraz – Not very good at this, more practice needed I think.
42) Manned-up to your prostate. Of course you don’t want your backside probed, but it just has to be done, before it does for you – Nearing that time, Prostate Cancer killed my Dad so I’m not going to be taking any chances.
43) Understood the point of qualified tradesmen. DIY is all very well when you’re young, broke and foolish. But grown-ups prefer people who actually know what they’re doing – Absolutely, I’m a DIY disaster area so always happy to pay for expertise.
All in all, I’m not doing too bad.