1001 things to do before I die

1001 things to do before I die (work in progress)

I started this list when I started blogging in 2004. Somehow I figured that if I wrote some of my daydreams, loves, wishes and wants down, then I might be able to push myself to actually do them. Looking at them now, there are some that look mundane, simple and make me wonder why they made it on here in the first place. Others are ongoing, flippant, or otherwise a bit silly, but they’ll stay on here for the time being I think. I might come back to that. As you can tell, I’m nowhere near either a) completing everything that’s here and b) to 1001 things in total, so consider this all a massive work in progress. 

158. Make a proper kawaii bento box for lunch

157. Visit Nagasaki

156. Go to Copenhagen

155. Go to Helsinki

154. Cook from ‘Momofuku cookbook’

153. Cook from ‘Every Grain of Rice’

152. Visit York (England)

151. Make my own macarons

150. Learn to embroider. Weird, but true. Sounds kinda old-fashioned and I suppose it is, but it’s very meditative and I love doing it.

149. Dine at a *** Michelin star restaurant. Have been to 1* and 2** restaurants, now 3*** is the one left on my list

148. Go to Windsor Castle

147. Go to Hampton Court. Done. Easter 2010, lovely day. Loved the live Tudor cooking and period costume dressed actors wandering around. Great place to visit.

146. Go to San Sebastian. Done. Slept in a hotel right on the beach and saw the sun set, had marvelous pinxtos. Highly recommended.

145. Visit Santiago de Compostella. Wow, what a place to end up after a long pilgrimage (ours by car, not foot or bike). The cathedral is magnificent.

144. Read all of Margaret Atwood’s novels. On my way. Read ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, ‘The blind assassin’, ‘Cat’s eyes’, ‘Robber bride’

143. See the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland

142. Go to a cricket match. Done, well kinda. Saw a 2 20\20 matches: Scotland vs South Africa and England vs Pakistan (June 2009)

141. Dine at El Bulli. Won’t ever happen since El Bulli doesn’t exist anymore. But what a dream to have had!

140. See and hear Lyle Lovett live. Did this March 21st 2009. Oh my, oh my, what a treat! In my top 3 of best concerts ever. And my second one: Feb 2010 in Shepherd’s Bush with John Hiatt.

139. See an opera in the Metropolitan Opera

138. See an opera at La Scala

137. Visit Dr Johnson’s house. Done in 2013. Lovely house in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the City of London. Pretty special to see the place where the Dictionary was written.

136. Buy my own webdomain. Done. You’re looking at it.

135. Visit Himeji.  Done. Impressive. Recommended.

134. Read Crime and Punishment. Along with GS, let’s see who finishes it first.

133. See Bruce Springsteen live in concert. Did this 18/06/08, in A’dam. And oh my Lord. Bruce. Rocks. Best. concert. ever.

132. Go to Ireland. Sort of done. Was in Dublin for work and got to spend the morning there. But want to see much more of Ireland so keeping it on here.

131. Go to Greece. Done. Went to Santorini for a holiday and loved Oia. Can’t wait to go to Greece again.

130. See the Taj Mahal in real life

129. Visit all the Dutch waddeneilanden. Got a long way to go on this one, I’ve only ever been to Ameland.

128. Go to the Fotomuseum in Rotterdam

127. Become a fellow of the RSA

126. Go to the Barbican. Been wanting to do this for a long time, finally got round to it in Okt 2007. I didn’t get lost.

125. Read something by Brett Easton Ellis. Anything really.

124. Read War and Peace

123. Get my motorcycle license. I’ve dreamt of doing this ever since I was 10 or 11. One day…

122. Renew my British Library reader’s ticket. Done. I went in, they found my old reader’s number, and within 5 minutes I had a new reader’s ticket. The BL’s one of my favorite places in London, I love the quietness and calmness of it.

121. Become a member of the London Library

120. Drink champagne at the Champagne bar at St Pancras. Done. Very romantic (if a bit chilly), drinking champagne with my beau as I came back from Paris.

119. Go to an opera at the Royal Opera House. Did this March 1st 2009, Rigoletto. And oh man, what an experience. The theatre is beautiful, and the singing so touching, I had tears in my eyes. Highly recommended.

118. Go to Exmouth Market. Done. In fact, I know live really close and visit lots. Love Caravan and Morito for food, and Clerkenwell Tales and the kids’ bookstore.

117. Go to a BBC Proms concert. Did this in July 2007 for the first time, and it was absolutely magical. Listened to a French Baroque requiem mass which was angelic, and to the Soweto Buskaid String Ensemble who brought the house down. Then went back with a friend who had tickets for the Last Night of the Proms which was amazing.

116. Dance tango in Argentina

115. Take a singing lesson

114. Go to Teheran

113. See a play at the Globe theatre

112. Take a sculpting class

111. Ride a Harley Davidson

110. Visit the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (again)

109. Go to all 50 states in the US. Working on it. So far: New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Washington, Illinois, D.C., Utah, Louisiana, North Carolina, Illinois

108. Visit Bhutan

107. Take the Creativity and Personal Mastery course. Did it in SUM 07 term. Loved it, this is the elective that will have the most impact in my life.

106. Find my purpose in life. On my way. Maybe that IS the purpose

105. Learn how to draw

104. Put together my family’s cookbook

103. Write a good short story

102. Become an expert in something

101. Go to Spitalfields market. Not quite sure why this made it on here, but there you go. Done.

100. Go to Dallas. Done, Sept 2008. Loved it. Everything IS bigger in TX! Loved the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in Ft Worth, tex mex food, the Kimbell museum, the Half Price bookstores, driving around in my convertible, the Sixth Floor museum.

99. Go to the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg

98. Go to the Tower of London. Did it. Can highly recommend it, especially if you join one of the Beefeater-led tours. So much history I studied centred around this place and it was great seeing it in real life, much better than I thought it would be.

97. Take a trip on the Reunification Express in Vietnam

96. Go on a retreat in a convent

95. Go to the UK Houses of Parliament

94. See the Himalayas

93. Go to El Escorial

92. Interrail through Europe

91. Go to Toledo

90. Go to Salamanca

89. Go to the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris

88. Go to Dulwich Picture Gallery

87. Make my own ice cream

86. Make my own dulce de leche. Tried this, with mixed results. It turned out to be more.. ehm.. solid than it was supposed to be. But tasted good nonetheless.

85. Ride the Shinkansen train in Japan. Done. It’s awesome!

84. Go to Angkor Wat

83. Travel to Vietnam

82. Learn (more) tai chi. Doing it. Love tai chi, great for my mind and body.

81. Go to Iona

80. Run a 10K race. Did it July 15th 2007. Am too embarassed to post a time, but I finished and absolutely loved it, so I’ll train some more and some another one.

79. Watch the London Marathon in person, not just on TV. Did this in 2007, wow, it was amazing! Runners had written their names on their race-tops and people in the audience were cheering everyone on by name. It rocked.

78. Go to Hay-on-Wye. Done, Jan 09. Loved it. Set in beautiful Welsh countryside, it’s bookstore after bookstore, what more could I want! I have to go back and explore some more. Highly recommended.

77. Go to the Tate Britain. Did this in July 2007 for the How We Are: Photographing Britain exhibit and I loved it. What a beautiful museum! I’m quite partial to the Tate Modern building, but the Tate Britain gets a two thumbs up! Great shop, wonderful building, love the Turners.

76. Ride (fly?) on the London Eye. Did this in 2006 and was surprised to find out that the dome above the British Museum is really a dome… somehow I thought it was a flat roof!

75. Go to Books for Cooks bookstore in London. Did it and I was amazed. So many cookbooks, so many recipes, so little time…

74. Have tea at the Dorchester

73. Go to Chile

72. Go to the Frick in New York

71. Go to the Guggenheim in Bilbao. Done in summer 2010 and loved it. The building was mesmerising even if the art inside it left me a bit cold most of the time.

70. Go to Graceland and pay my respects to Elvis

69. Catalogue all the books in my library

68. Go to Sydney

67. Go to Seattle. Did it in Nov 2006 and it was wet!! Some great chocolate shops though (Dilettante and Fran’s were my favourites), the Snoquamie Falls were gorgeous, loved Pike Place Market, and the Elliott Bay Bookstore on Pioneer Square is great (esp the secondhand section).

66. Become financially independent

65. Design my own house

64. Fall madly in love again. Swept off my feet. Magic. And reader, I married him!

63. Live in a house on the beach

62. Live in New York. Did it in autumn 2006 and loved it. What a city!

61. Visit the MoMa in New York. Did it for the first time in Oct 2006, on Target Free Fridays (between 4 and 8pm). Loved it, but it was too crowded. Was esp impressed with the Andy Warhol paintings and the photography section.

60. Go to Boston and see a Bruins game.

59. Go to Montreal. Did this in Dec 2010 and loved seeing Moshe Safdie’s Habitat ‘67.

58. Visit Toronto

57. Visit Sir John Soane’s Museum. Did this Feb 2010; it’s my favourite museum in London by a country mile. What a magnificent, impressive, jaw dropping place.

56. Visit Vancouver. Done, during the 2010 Olympics. Great city. Am going there again for sure.

55. Take a photography course and learn how to properly use my SLR

54. Own a Le Creuset pan. Done, bought as part of our wedding gift. What a joy to cook with!

53. Visit Berlin

52. Visit Savannah

51. Take the train across Canada

50. Learn how to surf

49. Visit the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg

48. Start my own company. Done. Kinda.

47. Drive across Canada

46. Visit Capetown

45. Learn how to play guitar

44. Learn how to play bandoneon

43. Own an espresso machine

42. See the Northern Lights

41. Drink champagne in Champagne

40. Visit India. Dec 08, went to Delhi, it was love at first sight. Can’t wait to go back to India.

39. Visit Andalusia

38. Go to the North Sea Jazz Festival. Did this in the summer of 2005 with a dear friend and it rocked. Jamie Cullum and Solomon Burke were my favourites.

37. Be part of the audience on an Oprah show

36. Visit New England in autumn

35. Visit Tibet

34. Learn how to sail

33. Take a writing course

32. Grow herbs from seed

31. Bake the perfect (or pretty good) chocolate cake

30. Publish my travelbook (see 29)

29. Write a travelbook

28. Travel on the Orient Express

27. Eat a Thai meal in Thailand

26. Visit the Guggenheim museum in New York. Did this in December 2006. Loved the building, although the lack of places to sit was a downside.

25. Visit Pierpont Morgan Library in New York. Done it, liked it, brought back many happy thoughts of my book historian days, his study and especially library are uber-tacky ;-)

24. Visit Glasgow

23. Visit Venice. Done, on our honeymoon in Autumn 2011. My beau took me there and for that alone I love him to bits.

22. See the Dutch queen in person. Did this on April 30th 2005, with my parents, and our queen looked fab.

21. Visit the Keukenhof. Did this with my friend M and was impressed. So many flowers, so little time to photograph ‘em all…

20. Take an arthistory course

19. Drive an Audi TT

18. Drive a Dodge Viper

17. Walk to Rome from my parents’ house

16. Take a photography course

15. Take a silkscreen printing course

14. Visit the Louvre. Did that in April 2006 and loved it!

13. Visit every Rubens painting in public collections. Working on it…

12. Teach a part-time course or class

11. Travel from Moscow to Beijing on the Transmongolian Express

10. Visit all London zone 1 tube stations in one day. Done. 11 hours and 58 minutes (including a few short breaks), and here’s the write-up.

9. Visit Kyoto June 2009. Stayed in a proper renovated machiya, saw geiko and maiko, amazing stuff.

8. Visit Tokyo again June 2009. It’s a few weeks later now and I’m homesick for Tokyo.

7. Visit the Forbidden City in Beijing. Did it in Spring 2011 and it was amazing.

6. Learn to speak Spanish

5. Take a pilates class. Done, and liked it.

4. Take a yoga class. Done, and liked it.

3. Visit the Prado Museum in Madrid. Done. And loved it, esp the Velazquez paintings. It was busy though!

2. Learn how to cook Thai food properly. On my way there, have bought a very good Thai cookbook, now to summon up the nerve and time to actually cook from it.

1. Eat a Michelin star meal. Done. A lovely, wonderful tasting menu at The Square in London. Definitely got a taste for Michelin stars :-)


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