These is my list of imaginary merit badges that I would like to gain during my lifetime. Some are tangible, some are probably out of reach, and some I have actually already accomplished!
Paddle a canoe up or down the Amazon.
Get fit and feel comfortable in my body.
Open a café.
Become really good at yoga.
Retire to Vancouver.
Live in Paris for a month.
Live in New York City for a month.
Learn to really cook and bake, without a recipe.
Become a really good, non-judgemental person.
Own a designer outfit.
Be happy in my job.
Landscape the garden.
Finish renovating the house and put pictures on the wall.
Help to find a cure for HIV.
Employ a cleaner.
Do something fun together with Marco every weekend.
Learn to play the cello.
Become exceptional at Flamenco.
Sell something that I have made.
Work from home every day (or not have to work at all, actually).
Own a pair of Louboutins.
Have a meal at the Fat Duck.
Properly learn to knit.
Properly learn to sew.
Make a quilt.
Have my house featured on either DesignSponge or Apartment Therapy.
Grow my own vegetables every year.
Get a house by the ocean, with direct access to the beach and big picture windows.
Go storm watching in the Pacific Rim National Park.
Be able to whistle on two fingers.
Be able to sing along to all songs at a Pearl Jam concert.
Go camping at a folk festival.
Play in a professional poker tournament.
Be able to meet strangers and not be self-conscious all the time.
Be part of the film crew during a nature documentary shoot.
Learn to drive a rally car.
Own a vintage VW beetle.
Have a street party with all my neighbours and actually get to know them. DONE! WE HAD A CHRISTMAS PARTY INSTEAD!
Run a marathon. Or a half-marathon. Or a 10k? Or maybe at least start running again!
Go for a hiking holiday in Ireland and visit a different pub every night.
Become friends with a cool band.
Skinny-dip in a lake or possibly the ocean or a deserted swimming pool.
Have a proper picnic with Marco, with picnic basket, champagne, floaty dress and a good book.
Do the Polar Bear Swim.
Win the lottery and buy everyone I love exactly what they need.
Go abroad and help out at a charity project.
Swim with a whale.
Go back to Africa and see more animals in the wild, ideally cheetahs or leopards.
Have regular dinner parties/tea parties/barbecues with friends.
Smile at people more.
Hike up Grouse Mountain in Vancouver.
Win a baking competition.
Be a blonde.
Get invited to an Indian wedding.
See a total eclipse of the sun on a non-cloudy day.
Own an ice cream van.
Learn to sail.
Become famous, but see my star slowly fade. (Only to then be able to go on “Strictly Come Dancing” to dance with James Jordan).
Learn how to ride a horse.
Wear more dresses.
Go wild water rafting.
Visit San Francisco.
Butcher a cow, or pig, or chicken, or any other animal. (Sorry. Gruesome, I know. I would just like to be able to see if I could do it, in order to justify my meat consumption.)
Write letters instead of emails.
Meet Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and be able to have an intelligent conversation with him. Do not behave like a groupie.
Go on holiday to Nepal with Marco.
Do all the hikes in my “Walks In And Around London” book.
Sign up with an extras company and be in a movie.
Own a fish tank.
Ask my grandparents a lot of questions about their lives.
Milk a cow.
Go hunting (for meat, not for fun).
Spend an evening at Bingo.
Have each and every meal at the dining table.
Get a tattoo.
Acquire a disco ball for my home.
Square dance in a roadside bar somewhere in the American South.
Be a backing singer in a soul band.
See a murmuration of starlings.
Take part in a Zombie Walk.
Be able to quit therapy.
Own a pool.
Fold 1000 cranes.
Eat pizza in Naples, see the coliseum in Rome and board a gondola in Venice.
Hike the Camino de Santiago.
This list will probably grow as I continue to realize what marvellous things this life has to offer. I hope that I will be able to keep crossing things out!