10 Things Before I Turn 40

(original version written in an email October 2007, revised for website March 2008)

I was once asked by someone a really difficult question, and that was what would be the ten things that I'd like to do before I turn 40. When I thought about it, it was actually really difficult to narrow it down but it was based on what I'd like to see achieved, a bit of fantasy but also a bit of reality crept in as well (well with me being Taurean, that definitely was the case). So here goes:

1 - Fall in love with a beautiful woman
Seriously. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and everyone's attractive in their own way and because they're themselves. People who are themselves I get on with, and notably if they feel comfortable and feminine. I think too that I'd really like to love someone and cherish them for who they are, and be able to make her happy and give her a Ready Brek glow in the morning, as well as the little things which make all the difference. Well I've still got four and a half years left, so it might be achievable, and I don't think it's an unreasonable wish either.

2 - Travel a fair bit more
And maybe go over to Canada for a week or two - always wanted to go there. Also on my wish list in terms of travel is the highlands of Scotland, Monaco (so I can walk round the F1 track!), Sweden, Chicago and New Zealand. So much to see but I know that because the mortgage doesn't cripple me and I'm progressing nicely at work, things are becoming more able to be done. In fact, I recently did a weekend in Cornwall which was of course rather lovely.

3 - Run a marathon
I used to do 10Ks when I was younger and was pretty decent in terms of time, but always thought that a marathon would be a good challenge to do, and of course raise money for charity at the same time - always a plus. I've always wanted to do one but never had the time - maybe I should make it.

4 - Write a novel or short story collection
I believe that I can write when the mood takes me (sometimes, as you can see here!) and I've got plenty of ideas in my head for writing what could be a good novel, it's just having the time and the motivation to do so as well as find something original which hasn't been done before, or doing an alternative slant on things. I do have a great idea though but obviously I'm sworn to my own secrecy (and of course I don't want to give anything away either you know!), suffice to say that I get inspired at odd moments and something that happened to me last year was a catalyst of thinking about one novel idea I had. It's having the time and the motivation to do so and that is of course a tricky plot to course.

5 - See a band or artist tour from start to finish
I've actually achieved this one as well, as those of you who've read the diary will know that I went to Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol in the space of three days, watching MJ Hibbett solo acoustic in those places - it was a short tour to promote the new album "A Million Ukeleles" (pic gallery here). Also, the next time Kristin Hersh tours solo or as her current band 50 Foot Wave, I'm determined to see all the tour dates if I can. I saw her at Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester in the space of a week last year and it was utterly brilliant, plus I got to meet some nice fellow fans along the way which was lovely. In fact I hope to hook up with some of them in March for the Paradoxical Undressing show.

6 - Do stand up comedy
I can make people laugh and my dry Northern to the point humour might just tickle some people. I do know that they have open mic nights at either The Comedy Store or the Frog and Bucket, so if I get past my shyness and manage to go on stage, I've got plenty of material lined up which would tickle the funny bone, I'm sure of it. One of my female friends told me that I'm very dry but I make her giggle loads, so that's a good thing. Probably more just for fun, but I'd really like to do it. I guess the other thing is having the material as well to be able to do so, and I'm sure there's plenty that I could rant about. And I do mean rant.

7 - Meet Henry Rollins for coffee and bang the world to rights
If you don't know who he is, he's a musician, writer, actor, performer and now a talk show host, and his witty monologues and spoken word tours are great stuff - he usually does 3 hours when he plays the Academy 1 in Manchester. He's just really intelligent and knows what he's talking about, but delivers his stuff in such a really individual way that it makes his tours worth going to. I'd love to speak to him one to one and be able just to put the world to rights and generally see how things are. I guess too because there's so much of what he talks about that makes sense in my head.

8 - Remain happy and contented throughout my formative years
I've not always been the happiest of people in the world (long story really) but over the last year and a half or so I've really rediscovered myself in a lot of ways and feel a much better person for it. And now that I've found a happy medium of being myself and being contented, I want to keep that up and going for as long as I can - and that also means I feel more settled inside myself.

9 - Watch Man City win a trophy
Okay, possibly the most unrealistic thing to achieve of all 10, but I can hope can't I? I went to Wembley to watch the rugby league Challenge Cup Final, and it was a great occasion and game - but I kept thinking that I wish it was City there in the FA Cup final or something. It would just be great to be at a final or indeed the last league game of the season (yeah, as if!!) and see the mighty Blues get some silverware for once. You have to remember that I was a mere four years old the last time City won anything (the League Cup) so it'd be a personal wish! On the positive side, at least City have finally won at Old Trafford and beaten Man U in the league there, first time we've done that since 1974 and the first time we've beaten them home and away since 1970. Far too long in my view, but glad that it happened.

10 - Lose a little more weight
I have lost a fair bit in the last two years which I'm happy about, but I'd be even happier if I could just get to the 12 stone mark really. I'm hovering at a certain point now, which does mean that I feel much more content about myself and my body, but I'd love to get to that mark and hold it there. Realistically I know it'll take work but with the marathon idea, the training would definitely help I reckon!