My life list (also known as a Bucket List) is simply a list of those "I've always wanted to's". Why? Because I want to set myself a series of goals and ambitions to give me something to aim for.
I can look back in a years to come and see how many of these things I have accomplished and use this as a measure of how "successful" I am. It's also an undocumented fact that things happen when you write them down.
This is my life list, and it's quite possibly the most important collection of words I've ever written.
You can click the green tick next to completed items to read more information and view the pictures!
There are currently 106 items on my list and I've only done 13 of them!
Get a professional close shave from a barber.
Buy or rent a place of my own and move out of my parents' home.
See one of the many unique small town events that are hosted in many towns and villages in the UK. I'll see more I'm sure, but this will be the first.
To be self-employed, be your own boss, working from home. All things most people talk about but never actually do anything about. Well, I'm starting by putting it on my life list.
I have my compulsory basic training (CBT) and a bike, now all I need to do is take three tests to get my full bike licence. Didn't quite do it before I was 30, but what are a few days?
Don't really mind what. A star, comet or asteroid would be cool but I think I'll pass on having a disease named after me.
It doesn't have to be a big one, maybe Snowdon to start off with, but then progress to more challenging targets.
I've done quite a bit of landscape photography, macro, animals, cars, events and so on but never any photos of people. I am going to start photographing people by taking a portrait photography course.
I used to play the piano, but after a few years I got bored with it. A few years later I picked it up again, but could not read music so I learned to memorise the keys instead. A few years later again, and it's all forgotten! Well, I want to learn a different instrument properly. Saxophone? Guitar? I haven't decided what yet.
Having lived in Bristol all my life, its quite sad that I don't know that much about it's history. For this item I will learn about the history of Bristol through photographing the historical sites and buildings and getting some first-hand local knowledge.
Experience high speed driving and the challenge of driving on track, with tuition at Castle Combe circuit. Not decided whether to use my car or one of theirs... probably one of theirs!
In Paris, France
Things to Try
I like hot food, but it never tastes hot any more. Even the "three chilli" hot foods aren't that hot, so I want to eat a whole chilli just to see what hot really is.
Way, way, way back in 1992 I was participating in a charity abseil down the Avon Gorge. I was standing on the edge of the cliff kitted up ready to go, but nerves got the better of me and I couldn't do it. But I will someday.
- Just a fear of heights...
To complete the CAT Advanced Driver Training program based at the Millbrook Proving Ground. This course will cover track driving basics, vehicle handling, over limit handling and performance driving. I am hoping this will boost my confidence and ability, make me a safer driver and give me the starting steps for track days with the GTROC.
The art of glass blowing is an old one, and one of the trades that helped make Bristol great. I'd love to learn the art and give it a go, maybe make my own glass or tankard!
Or implode as the case may be. I think it would be a great experience to be involved in a controlled demolition and blow something up!
Craft my own home brewed beer
Ice climbing is a challenging sport which I would like to give a go, especially if it involves spectacular ice walls!
The A4069 winds its way through the Brecon Beacons and offers breath-taking views over the Welsh valleys. It is also a fine driving road and has been featured on Top Gear numerous times. View on Google Maps
Hehehe! Drive a big armoured tank around in the mud, possibly firing the main cannon. Boys and their toys!
Meet up with leaders of the main religions to discuss their faith, to learn more about religion and its role in life.
Walking across hot coals, or fire walking, is all about finding the courage to do something that seems small, but does involve a lot of courage. I'm not looking to do this one alone!
Not sure how I am going to sort this one out, but I've always wanted experience supersonic flight and high speed aerobatics in a fighter jet and push the physical limits of my body. Thinking something along the lines of a Tornado.
- Not sure how an untrained civilian can fly in a military jet, or even if its at all possible.
Find a nice girl, marry her. Easy as that.
Technically I have already done this, two photos in Japanese Performance magazine reader's rides section, however this item is aimed at "professional" level photography.
What is says really. Can't do this for a while though, as I underwent surjury a few years ago.
Go out armed only with a 35mm film camera and 36 exposures, limit myself to only 36 exposures and develop the film myself.
Explore the usually unseen cave sections of Cheddar and Wookey, hopefully photographing them in the process.
Having just seen a large group of people make their way to a party in 5 stretch limos (yes 5!) I thought it would be pretty cool to do something like this for a party (Christmas?) or night out.
Zorbing is the sport of putting yourself in a giant inflatable hamster ball and being pushed down a big grass hill.
A lucid dream is any dream in which one is aware that one is dreaming.
With my camera!
With my camera!
'Tis there's the stone that whoever kisses
He never misses to grow eloquent;
'Tis he may clamber to a lady's chamber,
Or become a member of Parliament.
"A noble spouter he'll sure turn out, or
An out and outer to be let alone;
Don't try to hinder him, or to bewilder him,
For he is a pilgrim from the Blarney stone."
- Francis Sylvester Mahony
Over the years I have taken well over 50,000 photos. I desperately need to sort these out, get rid of the duff ones and organise the rest into albums. I would also like to create a scrapbook of memories with these photos.
(a REAL one!)
To play pool on, obviously!
What is it about these novels that causes so much commotion? Only one way to find out...
In school it was always forced on us, and because of that we all took a dislike to it. I would however just like to read some of his plays at my own leisure and make my own mind up without the cross examination of the classroom.
Something I want to do but always thought it was out of reach. One of those "I'll do it next year" type events. Well, I'm running out of time...
Currently at 13 minutes per mile, so lots of work to be done!
Go scuba diving and explore a ship wreck or discover marine life. Only problem is that I can't swim, so I have to tackle that first.
What better way to conquer a (mild) fear of heights than to jump out of a plane at 12,000 ft.
- A fear of heights and possibly flying!
As it says above really.
Experience things that go bump in the night by staying in a haunted house overnight. Preferably on Halloween!
Out in the open sea, their natural habitat. Must learn to swim first.
Looks fun as a precursor to an actual skydive.
The Vomit Comet a NASA program that introduces astronauts to the feeling of zero-gravity spaceflight. Recruits climb aboard a specially fitted aircraft that dips and climbs through the air to simulate the feeling of weightlessness in 20- to 25-second intervals.
Something I have wanted to do for a long time now, but an unfortunate car accident got in the way a few years ago. Now I am fitter, I'm feeling I would like to give this a go again.
- I hear it is very tough on the knees, so it's something I need to be careful of.
Visit a planetarium and experience the stars, planets and solar system in a virtual tour in Glasgow's brand new 4k HD 3D experience.
3 epic films, over 9 hours long in one marathon sitting! Can I endure it?
Just want to go on a winter ski holiday to the Alps, Canada, Switzerland (or similar) with the girlfriend/wife. Need to get one of those first!
I'd like to write a game for the internet like those on MindJolt and MiniClip. Maybe it will go viral and make me a millionaire, or maybe it will just amuse a couple of people. Who knows?
And be published
Everyone has a song inside them; I just need to find a way of letting my creative musical talent flow.
Things to Learn
I missed out on going to university as my grades weren't quite high enough, and when I did my software engineering course I carried on in my placement job rather than going back for the final year. Now I'm looking to finally get that elusive degree. Progress: I'm currently enrolled on Astronomy Bcs degree with the University of Central Lancashire.
Learn the lost art of calligraphy and in the process reconnect pen with paper.
Incorporate yoga techniques and breathing exercises for relaxation, exercise and the social aspect.
Dancing tango means lifting your heart toward other people, so it's a chance to let go of what you have been hiding in the curve of your shoulder.
Learn to ride a horse and explore the countryside on horseback
Having spent about 7 years trying to learn how to swim I gave up. I need to learn how to swim before I go scuba diving, so this is quite an important item to do.
A useful skill to have
Learn more about how cars work and how to perform routine service and inspection tasks in order to save money performing self services and perform my own repairs when things go wrong.
I want to take up a martial art; however my wrist and knee injuries give me a slight cause for concern. I'm particularly interested in the Japanese samurai and katana's, so Iaido and Aikido are of primary interest, however Krav Maga is also of great interest as it teaches reality based self-defence.
Places to Go
I have a feeling I would love the climate in Iceland. I'm also fascinated with volcanoes and I love photography, so one day I will spend a few weeks hiking around the volcanoes of Iceland with my camera, and hopefully dive the tectonic plates.
Growing up I always wanted to be an astronaut, but some things are just not meant to be. The closest I can get to outer space is to fly right up to the edge of the atmosphere in a jet. Having seen James May recently doing just that in a U2 I really, really, want to do this now. I was looking at flying a MiG-31 Foxhound out of Russia to the edge of space! This one costs quite a bit, so I will start saving now!
- Save some money. Ok, a LOT of money
- Travel to Russia
- Complete high altitude training
Go behind the scenes on a tour of one of Scotland's iconic whiskey distilleries, my favourite of which is Strathisla, the oldest continuously operating distillery in Scotland.
Go exploring on an African safari and photograph Lions and everything else. Don't know if I can take the heat, but I'll give it a go.
I love thunder storms, the electric atmosphere and the noise. But the English thunder storms are quite tame compared to those in the States, so storm chasing through tornado valley with thunder, lightning, tornadoes, a guide and my camera.
Due to the unique location of the runway, you can watch as huge jet aircraft take-off and land over the beach a mere 30ft above.
The Mach Loop is a set of valleys in Wales, between Dolgellau in the north, and Machynlleth in the south, which are regularly used for low level training by the RAF and USAF for fast jet aircraft, attack helicopters and transporters.
Another of my photographic holidays, I've been told about the beautiful scenery in New Zealand and that I must go there to see it for myself, so one day...
Bag camera trophies of elephant, lion, rhino, cheetah, giraffe and whale; all in the wild.
See Easter Island and visit the Moai statues.
The Horsetail Fall, or firefall, phenomenon appears when the angle of the setting sun sets the waterfall ablaze with reds and oranges, like a fire was falling down the cliffs on the shoulder of El Capitan. The stunning visual display happens every February when the light hits a waterfall tumbling down El Capitan.
I've never seen it with my own eyes... Off to Norway, Sweden or somewhere "up north".
- Travel to Iceland
- Remember Camera
- Fingers Crossed for Clear Skies and Aurora!
Explore our underwater world and see the Great Barrier Reef. Quite a big item as I'll need to learn to swim first!
The Ice Hotel is a hotel built each year with snow and ice in the village of Jukkasjarvi, in northern Sweden. I think this would be a really unique experience to share with someone special.
I've always been interested in Japanese cars, but more recently I have become interested in the language, culture and history. I would love to travel and explore Japan one day; see the ice sculptures in the festival of snow and sample fugu - the deadly puffer fish - from a top sushi chef.
The only eclipses I have seen were from the UK and mostly shrouded in cloud. I'd like to travel abroad and see one in perfectly clear skies.
I've already done London and Paris but there are many, many more to go...
Visit the Space Centre in Florida and see the shuttle, museums, and maybe even catch a launch as well!
Chichen Itza which means "at the mouth of the well of Itza", is the 2nd most visited archaeological site of Mexico today.
Built over 2000 years ago, the Great Wall is still the only man made structure that can be seen from space. At just under 9,000km (~4,100 miles) long I doubt I will walk the entire length, but even a small section I will be happy with.
Things to Build
I've got a few good telescopes, but I want to make my own custom telescope, to get the best understanding of how they work and the principals of optics.
Well, not actually build it myself, but design and have it constructed for me. This is a tricky one because I have lots and lots of ideas, most of them conflicting.
Trying out blacksmithing with the aim to make a useful tool.
I would love to forge my own Katana using traditional techniques. From forging and folding the steel, polishing through to casting and carving the furniture, saya and tsuka. Start to finish.