Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Five: Visit a nudist beach

Obviously my 60 ideas didn't just come to me in a sudden flash of inspiration, but rather bit by bit over a few weeks, even months. It all started on my 59th birthday, when I received a pretty notebook from my son's girlfriend. The inscription read 'for thoughts. lists and other things that come to mind'.

I started with a few quotations on the first page e.g. 'Enforced rest is hard work!' and ' Hysteria camouflages' and ' Grant that I may not criticise my neighbour until I have walked a mile in his moccasins'.

My all time favourite has got to be:

'If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.'

Mmm, so that was the first page. What about some almost forgotten memories from my childhood, some good ones that is? So I dribbled on for a few pages with these, but it just didn't do it for me.

Mmm, what next? Then it came to me in the middle of the night, when I do most of my important thinking. What would I really like to do this year? To achieve? To gain/ get satisfaction from? What would make me very happy?

And there it was: 'Make a list of 60 things you want to do before you turn 60'.

Why 60 ideas? Well a nice even number don't you think? Why before 60, and not after 60? Because it's so easy to put things off and this just cannot be put off. This is the most important birthday I will have.

Why is it the most important one? Let's just say that the genes in my family are pretty rotten and quite a few people including my own mother and father didn't reach this age. So, in a way I feel I am doing this partly for them too.

My body has undergone many changes and, although everything is rapidly going south, I feel the most at ease with my body now. I want to feel the freedom of walking in a public place amongst others who feel the same as me, to strip away the false facade of clothing and just 'be' for a few hours.

Who knows if I will succeed, but at least I will have wanted to, tried to, and know inside how it felt and what it did for me. Whatever happens, it's sure to be a damned good laugh. Specially if I take my camera!