Telling the truth about SME life today

101 things to do before you die.

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Everyone should have a bucket list. A menu of enriching, exciting, inspiring and happily debauched experiences you want to try before you kick the bucket (die). Like a filofax for the soul.

I think you need one because without it, there’s a risk of not realising what you want to do with your life until the opportunity has gone. Then what are you going to tell the grandkids”

I mean, it’s nice to say you’ve built a successful business and made some money, but after that the conversation tends to run a little dry with 6-year-olds…

So, recently, ignoring my family’s view that I am clearly in the grip of a full-blown mid-life crisis, I started scoring a few items off my own list on boys’ trip to California. Certain legal technicalities prevent me from revealing all, but I can heartily recommend riding a Harley through the Mojave Desert, skydiving into Vegas dressed as Elvis, insisting that: "Yes! Absolutely! I can still walk!" at the Napa Valley wine tasting and driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles in a convertible mustang.

All in all it was a good start but if I’m honest I’ve had a bucket list for years and I’ve packed a lot in, from watching three babies being born to making friends with both my parents AND the in-laws (the ultimate challenge!).

Many of my life’s most memorable experiences have been about personal growth and development. But let’s be honest: it’s the thrilling, adventurous, frivolous and morally questionable stuff that people really want to hear about and that I’d therefore be more likely to talk about.

With that in mind, I’ve compiled a selection of the bucket list moments that might not exactly be good for you, but certainly make for brilliant memoir material. Take a look, and I’ll send a bottle of quality malt whisky to the person who comes closest to guessing which ones I’ve already ticked off.

1.) Spending the night in a Russian jail with ones father

2.) Singing on stage in a West End Abba tribute

3.) Firing various automatic small arms and rocket launchers under the influence of a great deal of alcohol

4.) Fishing with dynamite

5.) Flying a jetfighter faster than the speed of sound

6.) Crash landing an aircraft into a nuclear power station

7.) Milking a cow

8.) Getting shot at

9.) Picking marijuana in Morocco’s Atlas mountains

10.) Being electrocuted whilst fire fighting in a gay sauna

11.) Apearing on the front cover of a magazine

12.) Sleeping with two sisters at the same time

13.) Getting stabbed in Africa during a carpet buying incident that goes horribly wrong

Even when they’re all done, there’ll still be plenty to do. I don’t know why, but somehow I feel like my life will have been wasted if I die before tasting the world’s hottest chilli, streaking at a major sports event, running a marathon, travelling into space, being questioned by the CIA or meeting my grandchildren.

Whatever floats your boat, I strongly suggest getting your own bucket list. Jot down the people you need to meet, the places you still have to go, the foods you have to try and the things that will stretch you to your limits and remind you that you’re alive, then start work on ticking them off.

Just don’t be surprised if in the end, it turns out that you can experience the things that matter most without leaving home.

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