MY LIFE LIST


This is a list of memories and possibilities and dreams.


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MEMORIES

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Watching summertime movies and reggae bands in the tiny village square at Takaka

 

Finishing my Year 13 Scholarship project, in the holidays, at school, and dancing around the sewing department to Florence and the Machine

 

Joining the throngs of would-be-wizards for the final screening of the Harry Potter Series

 

Having bonfires with the neighbours

 

Getting my article and a few pictures of my artwork published in Bride and Groom magazine

 

Reading The Return of the King in ONE DAY

 

Driving only by the light of the moon

 

Hearing Elton John play Benny and the Jets live

 

Visiting Queen Elizabeth's tomb at Westminster Abey with mum, and realising that this icon I had studied was once a living, breathing being

 

Sneakily trying to get photos inside St Paul's cathedral with mum.

 

Feeling pure joy all the while in Florence, as I studied the paintings of Fra Angelico, Filippo Lippi and Botticelli

 

Reaching my goal of a full year of University A-pluses, nothing less

 

Running full-tilt across a grassy hill singing the theme tune to the Sound of Music

 

Visiting Steamboat hotsprings at night, the snow on the trees formed into weird shapes by the steam, and skinny dipping after dark

 

Cooking a dinner of sausages on a hotel coffee-maker.

 

Grabbing the tire-tubes, and going sledding on fresh powder that graced the big hill near Oliver's place in Colorado

 

Listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, in the complete darknes, while taking a shower

 

Sneaking into the inhabitant's only area of a castle-strewn French island

 

Walking the length of the Catedral de Cordoba with Uncle Jason, and marvelling at the twists of history

 

Steaming, showering, lathering, getting thoroughly scrubbed and very nakey, and making friends with a Parisian and her elderly mother at the Hammam

 

Sketching the boats moored on the Seine, from that small jardin that Hemingway used to visit

 

Running all those stairs from the metro to Sacre Couer, at 6am, to see the sunrise. Then watching the patterns of light dance from the windows inside the church

 

Watching the sun rising over the rooftops of Paris, everything in a pink haze

 

Gazing upwards at Sagrada Familia with Rita, tears in our eyes

 

Laying down in a graveyard, and feeling at peace

 

Performing a Haka with Penny in front of the Notre Dame

 

Sneaking Maylena, and then Rita, into that one hostel in Paris, when they had nowhere else to stay

 

Giving the full tour of Versailles to the gang, and lazing on the meadows of the Petit Trianon in the afternoon

 

Dancing in the deserted streets of Lyon at 4am

 

Being skint and sleeping at the only 24/7 Macdonalds in Paris with Rita - one of us on bag-guarding-duty as the other slept. 

 

Laughing with Rita over smashed easter eggs at the supermarket

Always taking the long walk home, past the flowering lilac-strewn houses in Oullins

 

Racing through a fountain, barefoot

 

Getting to know Paris like a second home

 

Receiving a standing ovation upon entering class, from all two hundred of my class-mates, for writing up and sharing my notes before the final test

 

Going doubles on a Velo'v bike with Nicole, careening down the Croix Rousse with a smile and no helmet

 

Knowing all the metro stops on the Gare D'Oullins line in Lyon

 

Sketching the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims, and listening to the advice of a religious nutter 

 

Practicing yoga with nimble French countrymen in an old barn

 

Meeting a new friend on the train home to Lyon, hanging out, drinking a spot of absinthe (for the first time) and finding myself with a group of Irish people at the end of the night

 

Joining in with an improvisational singing group, on a whim, in the beautiful Roman Amphitheatre of Lyon

 

Skinny dipping with Oliver in the camp pool, at night, during a wild lightning storm, just outside the forest of Fountainebleau

 

Gazing, mouth ajar, at the size of the dome at St Peter's. It gets me everyime

 

Getting completely lost in the Tuscan countryside, walking between small villages, and looking for water before taking a dip in a bright blue pond amongst the grape vines

 

Having our flight canceled, then spending 19 hours on trains, through three countries, to get to Barcelona. Sleeping on the floor of the train station with many other vagabonds

 

Dancing with Oliver to Cuban Music among the sure-footed locals of Barcelona

 

Hammocking in the Parc de la Ciutadella, buying beer and samosas from the hawkers, and watching the hippies slacklining

 

Sleeping in the car in Annecy, after arriving too late to find a campground; waking and walking to the market, buying fresh food, then picnicing, boating and swimming on the lake

 

Driving with Ollie all over Europe, but especially on those hair-pin bends in the Swiss Alps, with Monsters and Men blasting from the little car stereo

 

Breaking into Spree-Park, that most popular of abandoned theme parks in Berlin, then getting caught within the first fifteen minutes

 

Sneaking into that abandoned sanatorium on the outskirts of Berlin

 

Spending two days at Europapark, camping for free on the grass in a spare lot, and then rattling our brains on the rollercoasters

 

Having the whole top-deck of the night bus in Edinburgh to myself

 

Having a heart to heart over a simple meal with a homeless woman named Sarah

 

Seeing the Orca Whales with Nicole, who could not stop gripping my arm with excitement

 

Watching an NBA game in Denver, popcorn and pretzels, and putting a penny on the tram tracks

 

Hiking to the arches in the desert lands of Moab, till the sun set 

 

Walking into the Grand Canyon

 

Swimming with sea turtles in their own wild underwater environment


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LEARNING AND CREATING

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Learning Bellydancing in a small studio by St Kilda

 

Learning to make all kinds of origami creations

 

Slowly but surely learning to paint, to draw, and to create what I envision

 

Teaching myself to write with my other hand

 

Baking a steamed Christmas pudding from scratch

 

Teaching myself to sew, then slowly perfecting the art till I could sew a couture wedding dress by hand

 

Building a nine-story card tower

 

Learning to at least get the basketball in the hoop

 

Sketching in front of my favourite paintings at the:
Musée D'Orsay - Musée du Louvre - Musée de l'Orangerie - National Gallery, London - Uffizi Gallery - Sistine Chapel - Vatican Museums

 

Learning enough French to hold a five-minute conversation with strangers over the cheese course

 

Learning enough Spanish to understand simple dinner conversations at Oliver's house

 

Learning history at the top-ranking University of Edinburgh

 

Learning more about my family and my ancestry by going back to my roots

 

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Building a ten-story card tower

 

Creating an igloo all by myself

 

Being able to distinguish wines by taste... and the same for beers!

 

Catching a fish, by myself, and cooking it

 

Using an original medieval manuscript in my history research

 

Building our Hobbit Hole of a house

 

Expanding our Hobbit Hole into a Hobbit Village

 

Building my very own Lothlorien-esque city of treehouses

 

Learning enough Spanish to speak with Oliver's family

 

Learning to cook all kinds of world cuisines

 

Learning the art of calligraphy

 

Learning to speak Latin

 

Continually learning from the wisdom of others


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EMBRACING THE OUTDOORS

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Painting en plein air

 

Keeping my grass plant alive

 

Camping on the tippy-top of Montserrat, Spain

 

Hiking to Hohenzollern Castle, through the Black Forest, and meeting some lovely Swiss strangers

 

Swimming on the salty Coast of the Cinque Terre, and narrowly missing a swarm of jellyfish

 

Boating in the eery light of the Blue Grotto

 

Romping through fields of flowers, wherever I find them

 

Dipping my bare toes into brooks and streams and lakes

 

Hiking the five hours to the beautiful Crystal Mill, CO

 

Scrambling behind the waterfall at Hanging Lake, CO

 

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Living in a cave in India 

 

Tagging along to the annual Pilas family camp-out at Lake Powell

 

Working on my 'green-thumb' and growing my own veggie garden

 

Walking the width of New Zealand

 

Making a long and nerdy pilgrimage to all of the Lord of the Rings movie locations in New Zealand, and finishing with an arduous trek to 'Orodruin'

 

Climbing Mount Elbert, the highest summit in the Rocky Mountains

 

Making friends with a dog-sledder and hitching a ride

 

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

 

Boating and reading poetry on a lazy day

 

Hiking to Angel Falls, Venezuela

 

Seeing midnight sun in the North of the world

 

Gazing at the reflections of the sky on the salt lakes at Salar de Uyuni

 

Standing behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall

 

Camping at both Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks

 

Sleeping:
in a hammock - and on a beach - and under the stars in Arizona

 

Wild Swimming:
- in the blue pools and limestone caverns on the Côte d'Azure - in the Dead Sea - in the Devil's Pool atop of Victoria Falls - in the fairy pools on the Isle of Skye - in the Reykjadalur valley, in Iceland


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SPIRIT & SOUL

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Spending a week in mindfulness with the wonderful Sangha at Plum Village

 

Listening to Thich Nhat Hanh speak about happiness

 

Hearing the Dalai Lama speak in person


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DAY-DREAMING

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Getting my PhD in the study of French and English Gothic and Neo Gothic Cathedrals

 

Living in Spain for a while

 

Living in France for a while longer

 

Living in Paris till I get sick of it (and that won't take long)

 

Traveling with Nomads, anywhere 

 

Undertaking the pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela
- to walk, to think, to learn

 

Attending a TED Talk, or better yet, giving a TED Talk

 

Road-trippin' through the U.S. of A. with only my friends, and a car and some clothes in a backpack

 

Working at Disney World for a short time

 

Joining an expedition

 

Hearing Eric Clapton play live

 

Chasing a wild storm - seeing a tornado with my own eyes

 

Publishing an article in an academic journal

 

Reading all the books on my reading list

 

Journeying into the Peruvian Amazon

 

Seeing Uluru on a day when it is raining

 

Experiencing the flavours, sights and sounds of the grand bazaar in Istanbul

 

Getting lost in the back streets of Morroco

 

Traveling through Russia

 

Seeing both the Northern and the Southern Lights

 

Undertaking a pilgrimage to the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assis

 

Walking to the very bottom of the Grand Canyon

 

Traveling on all seven continents


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EXPERIENCING RANDOM INTRICACIES

Committing a petty crime (and getting caught too)

 

Getting well and truly lost in a new place (many times over)

 

Listening intently to the ramblings of a religious nutter

 

Driving the wrong way on a one-way road (twice)

 

Making a gingerbread house every Christmas

 

Reading Lord of the Rings every year, without fail

 

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Getting kicked out of Walmart for causing a ruckus

 

Participating at a nudist beach

 

Finding and logging in my first geocache

 

Busking for my dinner

 

Finding new friends while couchsurfing

 

Help X-ing and WWOOFing all over Europe

 


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A RUSH OF ADRENALINE

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Sneaking into the abandoned Cargill's Castle (twice)

 

Bungee Jumping at Kawarau, NZ

 

Jumping into the Shotover Canyon, NZ

 

Driving at over 140km/h on a German Autobahn

 

Laying down in the middle of the road, at night, when it is quiet

 

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Bungee Jumping the Verzasca Dam, Switzerland

 

Taking the Polar Plunge in Dunedin, NZ

 

Surviving white water rafting with Oliver's family

 

Sky-diving, anwhere, anyhow

 

Finally undertaking the Nevis Bungee, NZ

 


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CELEBRATE LIFE

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Holding a Harry Potter party, in true nerdy fashion

 

Watching the Nutcracker ballet at Christmastime

 

Celebrating a white Christmas in snowy Montreal

 

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Experiencing Diwali - a festival of lights in India

 

Traveling to Lapland and to the Santa Claus Village

 

Making my own lantern for the Pingxi festival in Taiwan

 

Participating in Burning Man, in Nevada

 

Getting into the spirit of a Hogmany New Year's party, in Scotland

 

Throwing tomatoes with abandon at La Tomatina, in Spain


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A MOVABLE FEAST

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