Up until today, I didn’t have a bucket list. But one thing was certain; I would never go to Glastonbury. That’s not my idea of fun. I like hotels. I like a concierge. I like peace and quiet. I like middle of the road music. I hate the very idea of camping. Clearly, me and Worthy Farm are not a match made in heaven. But the appearance of Glastonbury on the horizon and a discussion I overheard about bucket lists got me thinking.
I have been very fortunate to already have done some once in a lifetime things – well, for me in any case. I have watched Liverpool lift the European Cup. I have played golf on the Old Course at St Andrews. I have been to No 10 Downing Street. I’ve attended open-air Mass in St Peter’s Square with Pope John Paul II and 30,000+ others. I watched baseball at Fenway Park. I’ve stood for Parliament. I’ve watched live music in the Sydney Opera House. I’ve met Kenny Dalglish. I’ve been to JFK/RFK memorial at Arlington. I became an Irish citizen. I’ve watched Ireland win a test match in Dublin, travelled to my favourite US cities; San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Boston and DC and been in the pavilion at Lords. Most importantly, I’ve held my newborn daughter in my arms and I married the love of my life.
But now, as I am thinking about what else I would like to do in my life I realise there is more work to do. As someone who is prone to making lists and getting organised – read, is incredibly anal – I have devised three categories for my bucket list. People I would like to meet. Places I would like to visit. Things I would like to experience. Here goes…….
- President Obama
- Michelle Obama
- President Carter
- Paul McCartney
- Jack Nicklaus
- Tom Watson – we did meet once. Well, by meet I mean I said “good shot” at the 1995 Open and he said “thanks”!
- Tony Bennett
- Jurgen Klopp – this is more likely the others as he lives near me – my concern is what I would do if I met him – I’m afraid to say that a big hug (eine große Umarmung) is odds on!
- Hillary Clinton
- Gareth Peirce
- Visit the White House
- Go to Berlin
- Go to the Giant’s Causeway – it is to my eternal shame I haven’t managed that yet
- Visit Auschwitz
- Go to Wexford town – where my most direct Irish roots were laid
- Go to Jerusalem
- Go to the opera in Verona
- Go to Sicily
- See Liverpool win the championship again – yes, yes, I’m leaving myself wide open here to ridicule here but I was there the last time in 1990 and I know it’s possible, isn’t it?!
- Have an article or Op-Ed piece published in the New York Times or FT
- Read Samuel Pepys diaries – I have a copy so not much excuse there!
- Play all fourteen Open venues – four down, ten to go!
- Play golf at Pebble Beach, Waterville, Royal County Down and Royal Portrush
- Go to the All Ireland Final at Croke Park
- I would like to have a hole in one – I had one once but on a winter hole – not the large bucket holes but on a winter course with a winter tee going to another green
- I would like to finish the book I am writing and get it published – or have any book published!
- I would like to co-write a song which is used in a film
- I harbour ambitions to lift one of the following; an Oscar (for said song above!), the Nobel Peace Prize or a Pulitzer Prize
- I would like to represent Ireland at something, anything
- I would like to run a marathon
- I would like to have a break of more than 9 at snooker!
- I would like to throw the first pitch at Fenway Park for a Red Sox game
- Appear on the Today Programme
- Go to an Auld Firm game at Parkhead
- Stay at the Hay Adams in Washington DC
- Go to the Arc
- Own a horse – happy to part-own one with Sam Williams!
- Own a horse that wins the Cheltenham Gold Cup
- Break 70 at golf – my current best round is 71
- Live in Boston for six months
Now I have an emerging list, I better get cracking on ticking things off it. I will keep this list updated and publish it again soon with any updates. In the meantime, I’m off to hang around Formby to give Herr Klopp a hug!