40 at 40

I’m 40 today.  When I was a kid I thought that I’d feel like an old man at this age but I don’t. I still feel like a kid. Like another version of that same kid that found it impossible to visualise what life would be like this far into the future.

Now I’m here and understand a little more of the world, I can see there are so many things I may never understand. And that’s ok. If I could go back and tell that little boy something it would be.. Face your fears, tell those you love that you love them, learn how to be less selfish as soon as possible, and don’t worry, no matter what happens you’ll never forget how to have fun… Oh and don’t expect jetpacks any time soon.

I’m no less hungry for life now, than I was then. I still want to know more, to learn more, to see more. I feel like I’ve been playing a game my whole life and the fun bit is learning. The harsher lessons not so much, but after time you realise that to feel and understand the the highs you need to take a datum from the lows.

I don’t want life to stop being fun. Even when I grow cynical I’d like to be playful with it. To remember that some of the most important lessons I’ve learn’t have come from the most traumatic times. Some of the best stories too.

I guess that’s one of the reasons I created a list of new things I’d like to experience this year. If I can fit in 40 new experiences between February 2012 and Feb 2013, it will not only be a year to remember, it will certainly be one of my best. If I can share some of these things with friends and family then even better.

Below I have a list of more than 40 things. Some silly, some probably difficult without stacks of cash or time, or both. But all do-able and I’ll choose 40 from this bucket list as I move through the year.

If you feel like you want to experience some of these things with me, let me know. Maybe you do this kind of stuff all the time and can help me explore new sports, past-times, food stuffs or cultural idiosyncrasies.

Either way, lets have fun.


Here is a selection of my list. I’ll edit as I go through the year. Adding names and linking the content created as the experiences happen.


Go to a village pub dressed as a Stormtrooper The Star Wars kind.

Eat Ukrainian

Have a Yodeling lesson

Customize a Motorbike

Go to a Sci-Fi Convention (Blog post to come)

Walk in a blizzard

Bake a Sourdough Loaf

Drink a Bellini in Harry’s Bar

Travel on the Orient Express (Blog post to come)

Spend a night in a haunted house (Blog to come.)

Drink in Britain’s smallest pub (Blog post to come)

Spend time in a sensory deprivation (floatation) tank (Blog post to come)

Roast my own coffee (Blog to come)

Drink In britain’s oldest pub

Drive a modern electric car.

Taste wine straight from the barrel. (Blog to come)

(Still to do)

Walk from dawn till dusk.


Go Bell Ringing (possibly with Alex Foster)

Fly in a microlight

Deploy a flood barrier (with @Britt_W)

Book a karaoke booth (with help from @Marthalanefox & @LuckyVoice?)

Kitesurf (possibly with @175viatribunali)

Timber Rafting

Some kind of Cowboy experience. (not Brokeback Mountain.)

A snowshoe hike.

Explore the west coast of Scotland in a powered rib

Ride in a submarine

Try Morris Dancing (possibly with @ChristianHambly)

Have my portrait painted (with @PaulOz)

Fly in a hot air balloon

Go deep sea fishing (possibly with with @ChristianHambly)

Invent a cocktail

Get a Tattoo

Compile a list of achievements.

Celebrate St Patricks Day in Ireland (Missed it.)

Learn to hot wire a car

Drive a tank (possibly with with @Greenape)

Have a go at blacksmithing

Make my own knife

Ride out to the Ace Cafe for pie @SimFin)

Volo dell’Angelo (Flight of the Angels)

Visit a Cider Bar (possibly with with @Jamesmb)

Help man a lifeboat

Drink in the Largest Pub in England

Visit the Triumph Motorcycle factory

Brew my own beer in a micro brewery (With Draycott Brewery)

Learn to play Poker with a professional (arranged by @Ilicco)

Ride the tallest/fastest roller coaster in the UK

Load up a motorbike and go camping

Get a tailor made suit

See the Aurora Borealis

Learn about audio and acoustics in relation to field recording.

Write a letter to someone I admire and respect.

Spend an entire day offline reading a novel

Volunteer for a day

Spend a night in a protest camp

Learn Beekeeping

Make something on a 3d printer

Go Tobogganing 

Go Bat Watching

Blend my own whisky

The Storify showing the roots of how this list came about is linked here: Storify.com/documentally/40-at-40


  1. says

    Happy Birthday!!!

    Your words echo my feelings exactly and I will be 50 this year. I still feel no older than I did when I was in my twenties or thirties, just a little more worldly wise.

    Like you I also have a long list of things to experience, funds and family commitments means that they are ticked off slowly, good luck with yours…

  2. says

    What?? No wine on the list? I am sorely disappointed. You should ensure you add something like tasting straight from the wine barrel, or better still, getting your feet stuck into some foot treading of grapes. I’ve got some contacts if that appeals :)

    BTW, I forgot to wish you Happy Birthday … from one older gentleman to another

  3. N says

    For sensory deprivation I recommend floatworks.com.

    Meanwhile I’m particularly interested in how you get on with “See the Aurora Borealis”….

    • says

      Thanks Nick, I already have the ticket to the floatation tank.
      I have seen the Northern Lights off a plane but never from the ground looking up. I don’t have to do everything off the list. Just 40 of them. :)

  4. Dan says

    Happy Birthday! (a little late to congratulate, but I am sure you celebrate the whole year) :)

    See you in the alps for the yodelling course.
    I mean it. MEAN. :)

  5. Dan says

    btw: I can help you with the paragliding!
    there’s a possibility of having a self made drone fly next to you and film you in the air.
    Let me know.

  6. Nettie C says

    You definitley need to load the motorbike and go camping – can I suggest France?  I did this last year – nearly 3000 miles round France on my Ducati Monster – it was awesome – France is a beautiful country and the roads are made for bikes!!

  7. says

    Listening to your Audioboo about the float tank – I bought that as a gift for my mother a few years back, as she wanted something different. I asked if she fancied it before booking, and she was quite excited about it, but then had a bloody panic attack when shut in the tank! I felt awful, LOL! Apparently she enjoyed it much more with the lid open (dear me). It’s still on my list to try it, I reckon it’ll be fab.