Bucket list

I am not dying. Not that I know of but someone suggested to me the other about writing a bucket list. I have never thought about doing one and thought it was a great idea. Why not when I have the opportunity to do so?

I have always wanted to go to America maybe New York. I want to see the sights and craziness of Las Vegas, although I am not a gambler, and wouldn’t have a clue about placing bets. Just to see some of these renowned tourist spots.

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I have another on my list and that will be revealed later. But I cannot get past two. I am trying to think of others. I don’t like heights so I am not going to be bungee jumping. I am not too happy about going up in a helicopter. I have no ambition to swim with whales, dolphins or other marine life. Dancing with a squid or something.

So what the options? I did what every paranoid person does and turn to google. One was to go “Fat biking” whatever that is. I am fat and I could ride a bike. Lots of jumping of cliffs and waterfalls or skiing down a mountain like an idiot. Walk on coals? Oh come on you are taking the piss.

The best one I found was ‘light a fire without matches’ that’s easy I will use a lighter.

So suggestions … keep them clean.

impatient

Oh. I like that word. It describes a lot of people and a lot of situations. We want things now. A generation has grown up that has had access to the internet. No longer do we have to wait a week or two for something to be delivered to our down we can purchase something and have it delivered the next day, the next hour or (depending on our broadband) instantaneously.

I have had a bad cold over the past week and I wish it was gone. I am still mourning for the loss of my mother and I wish that was gone. I am wanting a new job and I wish I started tomorrow. But all of things I have mentioned take time to resolve.

All this combined with super fast communication has left people stressed worried and sometimes mentally ill. It has been reported that girls in Britain are more likely to be worried and stressed more than other similar developed countries.

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Can you put down your phone for more than thirty minutes? (apart from when you are sleeping) I know I am addicted to social media. It’s FOMO syndrome. The fear of missing out. I woke this morning worried as my phone was set to silent, thinking that I might have missed an important phone call. I hadn’t.

So I will try to be a little more patience. Stop beating myself up about things I cannot change. And perhaps leave the phone on silent a little more often.

Bookshop

I have always thought it would be nice to work in a bookshop. My trip to London has reignited in me the love for books and the fact that these places are really needed especially now in this age of the sterile and banal dominance of internet giants that sell books.

I would love to set up my own bookshop in Chester-le-Street. But is there a market for it? Who would buy books from a small bookshop? Or would it be something that would offer other stuff combined. In our obsession for coffee and places to relax could something be combined?

I know NOTHING about setting up a business and making it work. I don’t know squat. What I do know is the town I live in has a number of people who are crying out for a quality place to sit, read, socialise and be a part of something.

I know that a good percentage of businesses do fail in the first year and it’s about putting in 100% and working seven days a week.

My goal? Get more people reading. More people interested in talking with each other and not just online and an odd word or two on Facebook.

My vision and dream? To see a local bookshops discuss not just reading and local issues. People not being forced to attend. Not bogged down in politics and keeping things light and in perspective.

Easter as a Humanist

My religious past is there for all to see. Majority of the friends I have were met at church and youth events related to church. I have known some for over thirty years and count them as closer than my actual family. But when it comes to religious events during the year it’s a different thing.

During the 80s and some of the 90s I used to take part in a walk of witness on Good Friday which was a silent walk from the Catholic Church in the town to the bottom of the front street to the market place. I took part in music and drama during this time as a witness to my Christian beliefs.

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As a humanist I see these religious events in a different light. I don’t think someone should be ridiculed for any religious belief that they hold but I myself have no belief in them. I still like to listen to music of The Sixteen¬†as it is has beautiful, calming, relaxing feel and much like reading a book provides escapism.

London again

Been away. Yep. Another time away for Philip. This time I am hoping when I come home I am not ill again. Just thought it was an ideal time to get a break from taking s break. This time I was a lot more relaxed and able to enjoy the sites and sounds of London.

London is crazy. The people are crazy. Every day I hear car horns blaring and a constant stream of emergency vehicles sirens screaming down past the hotel at all times day and night.

I was able to have a quieter moment in Green Park on Saturday afternoon as the weather had turned from nice to Mediterranean. Coming from the north east and unable to feel the cold it was a little unbearable at times especially travelling on the tube at temperatures that would have rivalled my oven at home. Plenty of water and patience.

I decided to have a less “touristy” visit and take in some of the bookshops that London has. It was a great time although my suitcase now looks like I have done a Hatton Garden on a local library.

The good thing as well is I don’t have to justify these purchases to anyone when I return. Why have you bought all those books? My mother would have asked.

It was a time of reflection given the horrible terrorist attacks on Westminster Bridge. Seeing all those flowers and dedications somehow made something I just saw on the news very very real. It was difficult not to shed tears for those innocent people who had been caught up in it and those left behind asking the question why.

I did make an important journey to Marchmont Street to the home that Kenneth Williams grew up in. It was an important pilgrimage. I cried uncontrollably for while when the reality hit that I was in a place where he frequented. It was a place of heartache and sometimes laughter for him. I was moved by the fact that he was honoured with a plaque in 2009 commemorating the place.

I did stop by Downing Street where there was a Stop the War protest of Trump’s bombing of Syria. I made conversation with a lady as I wanted to get their point of view in the matter. Her simple message was forget all the complications and points of view and see the violence for violence as not the solution. That’s a stand point to start from. I saw her simple view as intriguing as well as frustrating. What is the solution?

Time to come home after a great few days away. I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life. Looking for work and moving on from the past few years.

Brexit

ERGHHHHH. So it’s happening tomorrow. Some letter is going to be sent to someone else and that starts something else which means eventually we as a nation will leave the European Union. The majority of the people in this country voted for it so like a decent democratic society we accept that decision. People were given the information about the vote there is no denying it. People had the responsibility to know what they were voting for.

I think given the past events now is the time to be more together as a nation. Ignoring the revolting voices that often get reported in the media like Hopkins. She is there for one person only and that’s herself.

The younger generation will have to deal with this. The majority of those who voted to remain were in their twenties. Those who wanted a drastic change in immigration will be disappointed. There will be still free movement of those in the EU and there will might be some reduction maybe in 5-10 years but certainly not in the next two.