So the beautiful wife dobbed me in for a bit of a list, not a bucket list just somethings i'd like to do before i'm forty. So in no particular order here they are.
40. Learn the piano. (Oh man I can see how corny this list is going to get) I have always wanted to play an instrument (I don’t count the recorder) and I think the piano is probably my favourite sound and hell it might help me with my touch typing. Hoping I can squeeze this in with one of the children learning.
39. Read one book per year. Sad I know, unfortunately my reading is mostly motorcycle & home building magazines with the odd technical book thrown in. I am already 3 books behind (Richard Hammond’s auto biography, Sydney Poitiers auto biography & the Ducati story) from consecutive birthdays so I better get started.
38. Buy a welder. As A child I grew up watching my father making all sorts of things from trailers to sidecars in our garage, I have always loved working with metal and would like to buy a MIG and possibly do a short course or two and make useful things for the new house like a fancy front gate.
37. Grow A Full Beard. I'm facial hair inept, I have tried growing a beard several times but I just cant seem to shake the 3-4 week mark, the itchyness drives me nuts.
36. Buy a kayak. I grew up canoeing up and down the ovens river and have always wanted a kayak. I hope as the children get older and their swimming is up to scratch it could become something we all enjoy
35. Organise my tools. Moving house and not having decent storage is partially to blame but it’s still a worthy “to-do”. I have all my tools spread across 3 large chests so I’d love to be able to organise them in one easy to access spot.
34. Speak Publicly. I’ve done numerous presentations in front of CEO’s and entire departments at work but with the exception of a wedding speech I’ve never spoken publically outside of work. I would love to do like a guest speaker talk, not sure what on though. Maybe first time dads.
33. Go back to school. I’ll never go back to the field I originally studied in but I would like to do some further studies, maybe business or accounting. Or maybe even something that sets me up for a career change when the house is completed and I want to be closer to home.
32. Go camping at least once a year. To date its been once with Mamma Bare EVER. I miss around the camp fire under stars with no sign of civilisation, I used to camp and hike and have all sorts of fun in scouts and would also camp for 6 weeks at a time with my family every Christmas - maybe when the children express interest in it (I know mamma bare probably wont).
31. Buy motorcycles for my children. It pains me that B is 10 and hasn’t ridden. By age 10 I was on my second bike and had been riding for 6 years. Granted this has been hindered by not having anywhere to ride; this will change when we build our house.
30. Shirk Technology. Not fully, just a little bit each day. As much as I’d love to go feral I still gotta pay the bills. Obviously in today’s world it’s near impossible not to be connected but I can see myself in the new house in a room only lit by open fire with a glass or red chatting with friends and family. No technology in sight.
29. Save & Restore something. It may be an old car at the wreckers or a piece of furniture left out for hard rubbish collection. I’d like to take something that someone has or is about to throw away and make it useful and appreciated again.
28. Repay my wonderful In-Laws. They own a butcher shop and in 10 years of marriage we have never had to pay them for our meat. Its such a saving and I really appreciate it. I have taken off a week in December this year to help out at their shop. It’s the busiest time of the year in the week leading up to Christmas and they don’t know that i've booked holidays to help out. I may not be able to do it every year but its something.
27. Do a track day down at Philip Island. Hearing my Ducati at max RPM without fear of a speeding ticket, need I say any more?
26. Lose some more weight and get fitter. I’m sticking 6 months on this one. I hate how unfit I am at the moment and need to do something about it.
25. Take up a new sport. Following on from #26 I’d really like to get more flexible, I have been over 6’7 tall since I was about 16 and cannot remember being able to touch my toes since primary school. Something like Brazilian Ju Jitsu would be awesome but who knows, I’ll re-address this when I’m closer to my goal weight.
24. Catch up with my school mates more. I see my three oldest school friends on average once a year. It would be great to make it a little more regular. They are several years behind on the whole “married with kids” thing so its honestly my fault I don’t see them as often as I’d like.
23. Practice patience every day. I work in a stressful job but always keep my cool. I deal well with the chaos of 6 children but often feel its at the side effect of having less patience for them. I hope to be able to take a deep breath and not lose my cool (even if it’s the 15th time I’ve been told a fact about Lego, or Star Wars or Harry Potter)
22. International Travel. Ok just an NZ ski trip for starters, we want to do a trip with the whole family in a few years. Other international destinations can wait.
21. Go to Tasmania Twice - First with the family (driving), then again with mates (riding).
I’m impressed that I am half way already. I was stuck at 37 for like 2 hours
20. Get Some Pets. Firstly a dog, I always had a dog growing up, it hasn’t been feasible for us to date as we were always either fixing up the house or moving. Hopefully soon though, I don’t want an average dog, it has to be me-sized so it will be a great dane. I’d also like chickens. But definitely not cats, I’m allergic.
19. Renew Our Wedding Vows. I wonder if she wants to do it at the same kind of place I do though? On a beach with our children present. (Hint - Cape tribulation)
18. Swim in the Crystal Cascades with my wonderful wife. These are a series of rock pools that a river flows through in far north Queensland at the base of the Kuranda ranges. We both swam there at different times in our high school years but I’ve always wanted to go back there together. Possibly at night, and hopefully naked. ;)
17. Nude up (Building on from #18). Maybe not pose for an art class or streak at the tennis but do something in the nude. I don’t know why, I cant see Spencer Tunic coming back to Melbourne anytime soon so I’m open to suggestions. I once skinny dipped in the main beach at Noosa under full moon light. The water was so clear and it was awesome, it could have been romantic but I was with the 3 mates mentioned in #24 (read male) so although strictly non-sexual it was still invigorating. Maybe a nude beach perhaps….
16. Complete My five bike dream garage:
Primary Bike – Aka my Ducati Hypermotard
Sport Bike - Paul Smart LE My Favourite bike ever
Trail Bike – Something like a husky 610
Cruiser – Some sort of Harley tourer
Chopper – Oh where do I start, I hope to integrate this with #38 & #29
15. Complete a straw bale house building course & build our dream house. I’m keen to do as much as possible with our dream house and really get a sense of building it with my own two hands. While I’ll probably leave the frame, roof & electrical to the professionals I want to do the straw bale walls, carve out niches, integrate reclaimed timber myself. In 20 years time I want to see my finger prints in the render and remember the work and perspiration and the jopurney our family took to get there.
14. Attend both Moto GP & World Superbike Races at Phillip Island – Not necessarily in the same year, I was suposed to do one this year but time ran away from me, I’d love to do the Ducati experience where ui get to sit in a special marquee and go through the pits.
13. Tattoos Tattoos Tattoos – As mentioned by Mamma bare we have talked about getting matching tattoos for years. I currently have an arm band and the children’s names up my inner forearms but I’d like some more. I’d love a full sleeve but it might not be feasible in my white collar workplace. All my current tatts are black so I’d like some colour too.
12. Build my own spit roaster. Again tied in with #38 this would allow me to do more catering gigs and not borrow the father in laws. And have one at home for use whenever I see fit.
11. Volunteer for a charity. Corny I know but seeing Mamma Bare rally for birth choices inspired me. I am not really passionate on any political issues so the next best thing is helping a charity I’m interested in. Not sure which, maybe I need to also put “Get interested in a charity”
Wow top ten already, I did from 20 to here in like 5 minutes
10. Take better care of myself. I plan on being here for my great grand children, while I have never smoked and I drink probably once in 6 months unhealthy snacks and coke are my enemies. I do not like my current size and realise staying at this weight will shorten my life.
9. Build a gaming PC. I know at #9 this seems sad but this is in no particular order so I have put it here. I used to play Call Of Duty and thoroughly enjoyed it but blew the video card in my laptop twice so I have stopped for about a year now. With so many cool games out I really need a decent PC with at least a 30’ hd screen. I plan on involving my oldest son B in the build as he is very tech-savvy and would benefit from it immensely.
8. Get a helmet cam. 6 children doesn’t allow for all that much seat time on the bike so I’d like to get a Go Pro and start recording some of my misadventures. I enjoy editing videos, adding music and the like so it would tie in nicely with #9.
Ok I’ll admit I got stuck here and almost emailed the list home to continue filling it
7. Stay overnight in the city in a nice hotel with room service. Believe it or not we have never done it, We have stayed in motels and hotels around the place but never gone into the city child free and stayed in posh hotel. If there is a pool and health spa this is also an added bonus
6. Get Mamma Bare Drunk. In 16 years together I have seen her tipsy once and drunk once, both were at least 15 years ago. It’s a small hurdle that she doesn’t drink, but I’m sure I can over come this with the right choice of alco pop.
5. Try new foods. I tried pickled chickens foot last Friday, it was positively disgusting, it tasted like cleaning products. I washed it down with durian ice-cream which was as expected (I had Durian 15 years ago and hated it) also equally disgusting, but at least I tried them. There will be more of these tales to come
4. Get back into swimming. I used to swim at district level, I mainly stopped to focus on basketball, which was inevitably ended by breaking both my arms so I have always missed it. I get a fix each Saturday at the pool with the children but I’d really like to train and be at a point where I could compete again in events like the Lorne pier to pub or something similar, hold off on the English channel just yet.
3. Learn to play poker. I don’t know why, it could be fun, I may even hate it. At the moment my card repertoire is pretty much Uno & skip bo so a traditional card game would be a welcome addition
2. Introduce as many of my childhood interest to my children. We already do this with movies but there is so much more out there, I hope living in the country serves as a doorway for them to enjoy their childhoods as I did.
1. Spoil my wife more. She is without a doubt the most selfless person I know and is so easily pleased. She always puts other before herself. If putting up with my motorcycle habit isn’t enough there is the countless bike gear I have occupying the entire spare wardrobe not to mention the fast cars (2), 4x4’s (2) that I have had over the years and the added costs of building & maintaining them. She has put up with my expensive clothes (its not buy choice though - you try finding nice shirts with French cuffs for a 1 meter long arm under $180) yet is content buying a $20 pair of trousers from an op shop or waiting a “few more months” for that digital SLR she has wanted for years.