Pumpkin Soup

a weblog with an allotment attached

27 August 2009

Life List

Getting married has contributed to my recent and ongoing nostalgia (another nostoalgia post is in the pipeline). But it has also made me think about the future quite a lot. This is a factor in some changes that I hope to make around Pumpkin Soup quite soon (for which read ‘the next six months’ or longer). But I have also been inspired by Mighty Girl’s Mighty Life List – a list of 100 things that Maggie, the author, wants to do before she dies. You’ll see that her list includes all sorts of ambitious things and a whole load of smaller, more prosaic, but still meaningful, items.

Part of my motivation for growing vegetables and for writing Pumpkin Soup is to put the worries of work behind me and to be reminded that there is more to life than the daily grind. With this in mind, I had thought that I would start such a list myself. It’s true, I am an inveterate list maker anyway, but a list of pleasurable things to do (mostly!) that I can spread out over the rest of my life (well, you know, assuming I don’t get run over tomorrow…) appeals to the part of me that likes to try to keep some perspective.  As it turns out, I didn’t have much of a choice about whether to compile this list. I woke one morning this week having started it in a dream. I think it best not to argue with that kind of message from the psyche…

The boy Owen - making a good start on list item no.18

So, in case you’re interested I’m going to write about the list and my progress here. A hundred items is rather a lot for one blog post, so I am taking another leaf out of Maggie’s book and posting my list in stages or chapters, with the first 20 today:

  1. Complete my PhD and then enjoy being called ‘Dr’.
  2. Visit Venice & go to the opera.
  3. Learn Russian. No need to be fluent, but I would like to learn that different alphabet and speak a few words.
  4. Be a life model for an artist.
  5. Eat caviar.
  6. Learn to tango in Argentina.
  7. Start and maintain a proper skincare routine.
  8. Finish the work on our house and then enjoy how lovely it will be.
  9. Get into the habit of writing letters (not emails or texts) to the people I love and stay in touch with them.
  10. Make thank you cards and send them at Christmas and birthdays.
  11. Have some success with Brassicas.
  12. Do a kind thing for someone every day (but this can include kind things I do at work that I often overlook).
  13. Hold a black tie event (perhaps for my 40th?).
  14. Go ice skating.
  15. Have ballroom dancing lessons/irish dancing lessons/tap dancing lessons/ballet lessons – dance!
  16. Sort out my shoes, put them in boxes and label them (yes, I know this is terribly anal, but I am so envious of my friend who does this!).
  17. Sort out my teeth – visit dentist regularly and more frequently (once every 10 years is not enough) re-make that appointment with the hygienist, maybe even get the blasted things whitened.
  18. Create a photo montage of friends and family for the living room.
  19. Mount/frame some of my photos and put them up in the house.
  20. Get a cleaner!

    I’d say these might be the most prosaic items on the list so sorry if you were expecting something more exciting.

    Another reason for not posting the full list at this stage is that I have yet to finish writing  it and I would like to ask your help. What ideas do you have for what could go on the list? Any experiences you have had that you would recommend I try? Foods to taste, places to visit, books to read, people to meet? Types of fuit or vegetable that I should have a go at growing? I can’t promise that what you suggest will make it onto the list (it is my list after all), but I’d like to cast the net  more widely than my own limited sphere of imagination.

    So, what would be on your list? What do you think I should try?

    Filed under: Enthusings, Life list — Clare @ 12:17 pm


    6 responses

    1. Amy

      What a fantastic idea, I am going to start my list today. So far I have
      1. Give a rescue donkey a home
      2. Go shopping in New York
      3. Visit Australia
      4. Run a marathon

      I think your list should include visiting Athens and Berlin.

      (28.08.09 @ 9:57 am)

    2. Soilman

      Wow. How weird is this? SO many of the things on your list are things I also want to do or have actually done (following wishlist exercises such as this!). Box nos 3, 5, 6, 11, 14, 15… all vigorously checked or awaiting imminent attention!

      Only a few things I might suggest, and they’re probably irrelevant for you (although they’ve meant a huge amount to me):

      1. Quit drugs. All drugs (cigs, alcohol, the lot). You never know real life and real living until you’re properly clean. I wasted many years not knowing this
      2. Scuba dive with wild dolphins (spiritual experience)
      3. Ask older people (esp family) about the past, in detail; first-hand memories die with them, and they’re SO important

      (28.08.09 @ 3:58 pm)

    3. Clare

      Hi Amy – Glad you’ve been inspired to do the same, though I won’t take the credit – I’m just passing something on I guess. I have been to Berlin already (it was a very memorable experience for not all the right reasons), but not Athens. I had kept that off the list so far as so many of my list items already involve travel (just wait and see..), but I shouldn’t let that stop me from adding it. The whole point is that it’s a focus for aspiration, isn’t it? Good luck with your list!

      Soilman – So maybe I should ask you for ballroom dancing lessons conducted in Russian? The point about quitting drugs is interesting. I don’t smoke, I don’t even drink caffeine any more as a kind of rule, but I do like a glass of wine, though I would say that my consuption has dropped considerably over the last few years. Also, does chocolate count? No way I’m giving that up!

      I also thought about swimming with dolphins but didn’t add it to the list out of (get this!) snobbishness – soooo many people want to do that! And yet, surely part of the point is to try to have some experiences that other human beings say are worth doing? It’s now on the list.

      I’ve also been thinking for quite a long time about compiling a recorded oral history of my family but ummed and ahhed about putting it on the list so thanks for the extra shove to add it.

      PS. I shall be coming to you for brassica advice!

      (28.08.09 @ 6:15 pm)

    4. allotment blogger

      I have a list, of fifty before fifty … and I also have some blanks where I haven’t filled it all up yet.

      On your list I have been a life model (many, many, many times) eaten caviar and sorted my teeth.

      On my list I have to learn to dance a hip-hop routine, to make a celebration meal from another culture (such as Eid or Thanksgiving) and do all the decorations and trimmings too (one could grow all the necessary veg I suppose, that would be more of a challenge!) and to grow Romney coulterii from seed (it’s been defying me for over a decade now!).

      I’d also like to have success with brassicas – think I’ll add that to the ten blank spots at the end of my list right now.

      (01.09.09 @ 1:42 pm)

    5. Kathy Y.

      Hello. I was actually looking for a pumpkin soup recipe to make use of this beautiful pumpkin that someone had only as a decoration and was going to throw out. I just couldn’t let that happen, such a beautiful pumkin coming to an end that way, so I rescued it. Now I’ve got idk how many pounds and was looking for a recipe and found your site. Nice. Thanks. Carry on. Godspeed. Happy holidays!~~~K

      (13.12.09 @ 4:58 pm)

    6. Abiffimisoava

      Good morning
      Sleep problems tyne wear and
      Insomnia yahoo
      Ic er zolpidem tart
      Weight sleep problems losing

      See you later

      (27.06.11 @ 10:52 am)


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