No, I’m not planning to kick the bucket any time soon, but right now I’m looking at life in a slightly different light and wondering what I should do with my remaining years. Yes, there are many unread books I haven’t got around to, and TV series and films I desperately want to see, but they’re not quite what I have in mind. So here’s a sneak preview of what’s uppermost in my thoughts.
1. Write that book Tom. Yes, this is something I have put off for so many years. Countless times I’ve promised myself and others that I would tell my story. In part I’ve done so in this blog, but there is a lot left unsaid, and even the events I have written about have not been fleshed out properly. I tried writing several times, once getting as far as 30-odd typed pages, only to put them in a drawer and eventually lose them. I’ve run out of excuses, especially now that my wife refurbished one of the spare bedrooms into a lovely office, complete with a beautiful iMac and printer.
2. Take a trip around Europe by car. This would require heaps of money and lots of time. I’d love to take three months motoring around Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Belgium and Switzerland and Austria in my trusty Toyota Corolla, in the company of my lovely wife
Trish. We’d stop at some of the major towns and cities and savour every moment. Will it ever happen? We’ll see.
3. Meet Bono and U2. I can never get their songs out of my head and regret never seeing them play live. Incidentally, my son Daire once had a VIP back stage pass to see U2 at Slane but I wouldn’t let him go as I thought he was too young. He still throws it back at me!! On the other hand, he has met Bono a few times. Is there no justice in the world. A friend (female, I hasten to add) met Bono when she was 18 and kissed him. I wouldn’t go that far, but he and the band might play In The Name of Love for me. Anyone who can arrange that would get a follow on Twitter at least.
4. Meet my pen pals Debbie and Gina. For 40-odd years I have written on and off to my pen pal Debbie in New Orleans but we’ve never met, even though I did get to the city in 1979. There’s a long story involved as to why we didn’t see each other, but we are connected via Facebook. Gina I did meet in 1979 and we have stayed in touch – apart from a long break until we reconnected few years ago. Again Facebook is my main link to her today.
5. Go on safari. This isn’t so much for me but Trish because I have no great desire to get up close to wild animals, or take my chances with snakes and bugs in South Africa, but she has always wanted to go and I’ve kept finding excuses.
6. Learn to build a proper website. My blog could do with a better look. So far I haven’t
explored the available tools to enhance its appearance, something I hope to get around to shortly. Much more importantly, I need to create a real website at hickeysworld.com with links to my blog but also space for enhanced media and links to other websites. That’s something I expect to work on very shortly with a little help (a lot actually) from others.
7. Explore Ireland. You live all your life in a country and yet there are so many places you haven’t seen. I have seen more of Northern Ireland than the Republic, and apart from Garnish and Sherkin, have never been to our other islands. We’re starting with Achill this year so here’s hoping. Three down, loads to go!
8. Take a Nordic cruise. My one and only cruise was part of our 25th wedding anniversary junket to China (see picture above). We left Shanghai for five days, stopping off in Fukuda, Japan, and Busan in South Korea. The food was heavenly, the weather less so, but there was plenty to distract us. Next time we’ll get a cabin with a balcony/sea view.
9. See my children more. Unfortunately, Daire and Sarah Jane have flown the nest. Good for us in some ways, but you do miss them, and FaceTime and phone calls aren’t always enough. With one in New York and the other London travelling isn’t always an option – certainly not to New York. I’m sure they would be thrilled to see us more!
10. Watch a cricket test match at Lords or Old Trafford. Definitely attainable, although Mrs H might need to be dragged kicking and screaming, which means I’ll watch alone. Ah well. I’m a big cricket fans for those who haven’t noticed, and have always wanted to see a match. Failing a test match, I wouldn’t mind viewing a one day county match. It looks like great fun. Anyone want to go with me?
11. Win the Lotto. What else! If there’s any chance of delivering on even some of the above aspirations then I’ll need a few suitcase loads of money. That’s where the Lotto comes in. The only problem is I don’t play it regularly enough. Still, we live in hope.