We recently spent a weekend with friends in a satisfyingly echo-chamber of our own views and values.
(The food was lovely, the wine was too, the conversation was interesting, the dog was great, the afternoon out was a delight of art and alms houses ( get me on to that in a later blog) and tea in Soho-meets-rural-village was a very nice surprise- and so on and so on.
We left feeling our good friends were doing so much more with their lives – and so much more good – than either of us were.
Peace and reconciliation work, acute mental health work with damaged children, rescuing imploding charities, a pop-up centre for the town’s people who had nowhere else to go, project managing a development for older people to live well to the end of their lives…
We couldn’t compete but then it wasn’t a competition – just a get together – and we left doffing our imaginary hats to our friends and their lives.)
Anyway, a public doffing of hats is not what I was going to write about.
It is (alarmingly and unbelievably) a special birthday for me at the end of the year and I am not gong to have a big party.
(It is too near Christmas, everyone makes an effort to come because it is a big deal and so many people are there that you never get chance to talk to them etc etc.)
Instead I decided that in this year and next year – the run up to and the run into years – I would do six of a variety of things so that at the end of these two years, I would have achieved a good list of things to celebrate.
At the weekend, I told my friends this and explained that so far, I had thought of reading six sci-fi books – not a genre I know.
Seeing six good films – we don’t often make the schlep to the cinema given that it is at least 40 minutes away. And, we have already seen Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri which was fantastic.
Going on six walks to amazing venues with my best friend who also faces this big birthday. The first will be to Hampton Court.
Learning six new things including how best to poach and egg and to throw a pot of some sort ….
And then I left them, with a notepad, to think about what else I could do while I went into the kitchen to help with supper.
Eating supper took over and talk of the fallout of Brexit, the nightmare that is the reality of the planned idyll of co-housing, how you should never, ever, refer to the Sami people of Finland as Lapps, and so on.
In all that, the list they had drawn up of six things I should do, only got examined when I got home.
Yes, to visiting six islands – apparently only to be reached by boat, as a bridge was a cheat.
Yes, to six places important in Brexit terms – Lisbon, Maastricht, Dublin but I am not sure why somewhere called Leibach is – scrawled on the page ( much wine had been drunk…)
No to six premier rugby grounds – I am guessing that other people’s six of the best lists were coming into play here.
And six deserted villages and six leper colonies? Really?
Anyone with good ideas of six things to do is welcome and indeed encouraged to let me know – and anyone who knows of six leper colonies ……