112. The bucket list

by | Sep 14, 2016 | Bulgarian life, Writerly stuff | 0 comments

God, I hate the term ‘bucket list’. In terms of annoying things people say, ‘bucket list’ is right up there with the likes of ‘nom’ and ‘cheer up love, it might never happen’.

But I fully embrace the idea of a bucket list. Something about this time of year always gets me thinking about what I really want to do with my life. Work is going really well and I love being a freelancer but I sometimes feel like I’m killing time before getting to my ‘real’ career. I don’t even know what my ‘real’ career would be – publishing/editing/writing is all I’ve ever known and all I ever wanted to do (apart from that brief but intense pre-teen phase when I wanted to be a firefighter. Don’t laugh).

Anyway, it’s at this time of year, and the period between Christmas and New Year, when my imagination starts hammering on the door of my real life. Case in point: yesterday I was helping Rob chop apples for cider and that led to a whole new, and very intricate, fantasy about setting up a microbrewery. I don’t know what it is, I just get antsy around this time.

Maybe it’s because we’ve already done the whole ‘moving abroad’ thing, which is a major item to tick off the old wish list. Perhaps this makes me invent new things to aspire to. Which brings me onto the, *shudder*, bucket list. Mine is as follows:

  • Publish a book. Every now and then, kind friends or readers will say something like, ‘you should write a book’ or ‘you should turn the blog into a book’. I always nod wisely and say, ‘hmmm, maybe one day’, like it’s the first time I’ve ever considered such a thing. The truth is I consider it all the fucking time. I just haven’t done it yet. My inertia is really starting to bother me. I mean, I’m going to be 40 soon (in four years). I’m not sure why being 40 (in four years) has anything to do with it, but it does.
  • Go trekking in Nepal. Sorry, I know this is a dreadful cliché. The thing is, I really want to see Mount Everest. Not climb it, obviously, not with my asthma and vertigo and congenital weediness. But I would love to see it with my own eyes. From a distance is fine. Even from a plane will do.
  • Hike across Bulgaria, taking in some of the trails in Walking in Bulgaria’s National Parks. I’ll be just like Reese Witherspoon in Wild. Except I’ll make Rob carry all the heavy stuff and I won’t have quite so many saucy/sad flashbacks.
  • Drive across America. All across the top, from New England to Seattle, takes my fancy, followed by a trip down the Pacific Coast. But then I’d also like to see the Deep South, and Miami (party in the city where the heat is on), and wherever Bloodline was filmed. It’s not a very streamlined itinerary, is it? I may as well just say, ‘I want to go to ALL OF AMERICA PLEASE AND THANK YOU’. And don’t even get me started on Canada…
  • Learn to dive. I’m one of those awful breast-strokers who bumble along keeping their chin out of the water. I have never dived, or even jumped, into water because I am too scared of getting my face wet. I’d love to be able to dive gracefully into a pool, but, to be honest, I’d settle for a comedic belly flop or cannonball.
  • Be fluent in Bulgarian. While my Bulgarian is fine, it’s not up to scratch for someone who’s been here five years. I should invest in a residential course or something. Or, I could just lie when people ask how long I’ve been here. If I tell them I’ve been here two months they’ll think I’m a GENUIS.
  • Learn to play the banjo. Or piano. Piano is certainly less ridiculous for a British woman in Bulgaria. But I am, inevitably, drawn to the ridiculous. And I do love dungarees.


I’ve even got the book. True, I haven’t opened it yet. Nor do I own
an actual banjo. But I think we can all agree I’ve taken an important first step.


There, I feel better just writing it all down. What’s on your bucket list? Go on, do tell…


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