running down the hallways, touching the walls

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Have you thought about writing a bucket list? I hadn’t until I heard about the anti-bucket list (Google it, you’ll get heaps of hits), believed I could do much better, and thought I might as well carry on and write a proper bucket list as well. They don’t include popular experiences such as skydiving, trekking in the Himalayas, visiting Macchu Piccu or elephant rides in Thailand, which appear on both bucket and anti-bucket lists I read…

My bucket list ideas up until now existed only in my head. They evolved over many years, and recently similar to Glenda, i.e. whilst sitting in an office in a high-rise building dreaming of retiring. Interesting to capture them in lists and track how they develop.

Anti-Bucket List

  • Subscribe to Pay TV. If all goes to plan I’ll be too busy to watch anything but a few favourites, and free-to-air seems to be sufficient for that.
  • Undergo plastic surgery, botox. I’m accustomed to the face I see in the mirror, and the hints of those it resembles.
  • Cut my hair short. After half a lifetime of shorter hairstyles I realised my fine hair is best tied back in a ponytail or knotty-bun.
  • Holiday on a cruise ship… I get seasick, and loathe being a captive audience.
  • Bus trips, for similar reasons.
  • Even though Australia has amazing locations, go caving… I hate feeling closed in.
  • Deep sea diving… ditto.
  • Lawn bowls. My aunt devotes much time to the sport but I can’t see me joining her.
  • Daytime TV soaps. My M.I.L. schedules her life around being home at 4 pm to watch her ‘show’.

Close to home Bucket List

Woopi (aka Woolgoolga) Beach, NSW, Australia
Woopi (aka Woolgoolga) Beach, NSW, Australia
  • Provide a home to a couple of cats and dogs.
  • Three chooks in the backyard.
  • Vege garden big enough to feed the G.O., me and three chooks, most of the time.
  • Make bread, pasta, preserves, yoghurt, butter, cheese, cleaning products, and any other household arts I can master the skills for.
  • Create stuff with my hands, e.g. sew, crochet, knit, sculpt, restore, upcycle…
  • Enter, and win prizes at Macksville Show.
  • Have a market stall.
  • Cruise the Nambucca River in a flat bottom tinnie, the G.O. at the helm with me mega sun-hatted lounging and pointing.
  • Lose days, weeks, months immersing myself in family history research.
  • Write something.

Further afield Bucket List

Dinosaur footprints_Broome, NT, Australia
Dinosaur footprints, Broome, NT, Australia
  • Walk on as many Australian beaches as possible.
  • Indulge in a mug of billy tea with vegemite toast while camping next to a billabong in Kakadu National Park.
  • Visit the Australian dinosaur sites.
  • Visit the Walls of China at Mungo National Park.
  • Take trips around NSW and Queensland to family history places of interest like the Land of The Beardies History House Museum at Glen Innes where a picture of my mother’s great grandparents, Issac & Clara Danes hangs.
  • Go to as many markets as possible. Top of my list is the weekly community markets on Thursday Island.

Much further afield, and much less likely but you never know Bucket List

  • Follow M. Scott Peck’s journey from his book In Search of Stones a “21-day excursion through Britain–a journey to the country’s mysterious stone monoliths”.
  • Visit Lyme Regis in the U.K., setting of the novel Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier (“the story of Mary Anning, who has a talent for finding fossils, and whose discovery of ancient marine reptiles such as that ichthyosaur shakes the scientific community and leads to new ways of thinking about the creation of the world”). Vic’s Pics post Fossil on the Jurassic features nearby Charmouth, Dorset.
  • Visit Cornwall in Britain also, where I’ve been told I had a past life as a witch.

“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. The most you can do is live inside that hope, running down its hallways, touching the walls on both sides.” 2008 Commencement Address by Barbara Kingsolver

35 thoughts on “running down the hallways, touching the walls

    Glenda said:
    May 12, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Good one Ella. Gee, if only half of those things in your lists eventuate you will have a wonderful life. Go for it.


      EllaDee responded:
      May 12, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      We’re on-track for everything other than the much further afield list, but you have to have dreams, and I’m happy with that 🙂


        Glenda said:
        May 13, 2014 at 11:54 am

        Ella, that is fantastic! So will it be scones cooked in a wood oven?


          EllaDee responded:
          May 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm

          Err, no, I don’t think I have those skills, and although I have fond memories of my grandparents’ wood cooking stove, also well remember the story of one burning down the old kitchen… Our house is timber and quite old. I rarely even burn candles, as the G.O. is a bit paranoid as he is the one who restored it.
          Our woodfire is a [new, professionally installed, Council inspected] combustion woodfire in the living room but you can simmer a pot on the top 🙂


          Glenda said:
          May 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm

          oh well … nearly as good 🙂


    davidprosser said:
    May 12, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    I’ve never heard of the anti bucket list before but daytime TV soaps would definitely be on my list. Does he G.O. share any of the choices on either your further afield or much further afield lists, as it would make bringing them to fruition much easier if he did. Maybe he has a selection of his own?
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx


      EllaDee responded:
      May 12, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      We have a happy balance of shared, complementary and divergent interests. The G.O. is onboard for most of it so long as it doesn’t involve flying. His list would be similar but more motorbike touring. If he keeps his word and buys a sidecar for the motorbike, it will make for some interesting trips 🙂


    Marianne said:
    May 13, 2014 at 12:47 am

    …you forgot to add the Patio Festival in Cordoba, (to your much further afield Bucket List) Ella 😉 xx


      EllaDee responded:
      May 13, 2014 at 6:14 am

      Yes! I could include it with the Camino de Santiago 🙂 I think if I traveled to Spain I would have to spend some time there, and I might feel quite at home and not be inclined to return to Australia.


    ardysez said:
    May 13, 2014 at 7:07 am

    I have seriously disliked the ‘bucket list’ concept until now. You have lifted it to the level of lifetime goals. Well done and entertaining as well. I hope you achieve them all!! (if you want to when you get there!) xx


      EllaDee responded:
      May 13, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Thank you. I was resistant to bucket lists, they seemed to be focussed ‘before I die’ and comprised of trophy aspirations. Whereas I want, for the most part, dreams I can relate to, fulfil, and live. Since posting I’ve thought of another item – we’d like to do a working holiday in Darwin – during the dry season of course… and so it will go on.


    diannegray said:
    May 13, 2014 at 7:54 am

    I’ve never heard of the anti-bucket list and I love yours. I would put ‘taking a joy flight’ on my anti-bucket list – there is no such thing as ‘joy’ in flying (it’s an oxymoron) 😀


      EllaDee responded:
      May 13, 2014 at 11:38 am

      More then half a lifetime ago I had a work colleague who needed to rack up flying time to get his pilot license – I spent wonderful hours as the passenger on joy flights over the Upper Hunter Valley – what now is very classy ‘horse country’, and still prefer smaller planes over larger which I simply endure. But I know how you feel. I’d rather clean toilets than go on a cruise of any kind.


    Bill said:
    May 13, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Before reading this I’d never heard of anti-bucket lists. But if I had such a list, I think I could put on it everything you have on yours. Well, except for the short hair thing. I wouldn’t mind growing mine out, now that I have that freedom, but the wife objects. And I do like not having to spend any time grooming.

    I hope the veggie garden works out for you. 🙂


      EllaDee responded:
      May 13, 2014 at 11:49 am

      I think the anti-bucket list came out as a reaction to certain bucket list cliched travesties. Which are ok if they really do have meaning, like my friend who for her 70th birthday did ride elephants in Indonesia, although I might not have left it that long.
      My hair would be ok cut very short like a man’s but the G.O. wouldn’t be too happy about that I think and mid-length just drives me batty. I’d like the G.O. to grow his long and he indulges me over winter, then wears a #2 clip for summer.
      If I had more space than a house block, I’d seriously entertain thoughts of a goat along with the garden and chooks.


    Eha said:
    May 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Late on the scene I must admit you have given me a fuzzy-warm feeling for the rest of the day 🙂 ! I have never thought in terms of an anti-bucket list and oh so agree with most of yours ! ! Now must admit to a pre-Christmas cheap-as-chips Foxtel subscription of 22 of the most ‘serious’ channels – well I love wandering around Brit homes with AGA stoves and am thoroughly enjoying the current late night Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Ultimate’ series with all four of his children taking part. Not a four letter word in sight and the recipes are great enough for me to break my book buying moratorium!! A few in the biography lot have been worth watching also!!! Have to study your ‘bucket’ lists of various levels . . . methinks we would find hopes and desired in common 😀 !!


      EllaDee responded:
      May 13, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      In the past I’ve been part of a Foxtel subscriber household – loved the comedy & music shows, and also had a TV in the bedroom. From time to time I get nostalgic about both. But I never have enough time to do everything I want to do, and I just get so sick of paying for things – home phone line at Taylors Arm (TA) because there’s no mobile coverage, antenna to try to get mobile and internet reception at TA, satellite dish & decoder to get free-to-air TV at TA, and in the city – mobile phones and internet. In the city, we should use ABC iView, SBS on Demand, etc more when there’s nothing on free-to-air for the bare hour a day we want to watch… I have been known to watch Desperate Housewives and Offspring online during my lunch hour…
      Thank you – you’ve inspired me to look at it differently. And that’s what I love about blogging – finding commonalities and sharing of ideas 🙂


    Eha said:
    May 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    EllaDee, after a long day unpacking a month’s on-line groceries [well, we all have our ‘circumstances’!] , am glad I got back!! I live semi-rurally in the Southern Highlands, only have a landline [and rarely hanker for more 🙂 !], work on line almost fulltime – so cuddle my pillow nights watching TV [am the Q&A, Dateline etc kind’of watcher + heaps of cooking shows 🙂 !]. Thank God, all wanted reception good . . . . have not been long enough with you to know whether you live at TA permanently now . . . . hope you can get the needed and wanted sorted out! Oh yes, commonalities . . . . . a delight . . . .


      EllaDee responded:
      May 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Taylors Arm is where we plan to execute the Close to home Bucket List, and currently spend long weekends and holidays there. Until we ‘lived’ in an area with no phone coverage or TV reception, we took it for granted. What is most annoying is that within our line of sight are other properties that get it just fine.
      Despite living mostly in the Inner West of Sydney I also order groceries online every month or so, as shopping for them and the logistics of getting them into building into the lift then into apartment but not having a car space in our apartment building defeats me… and the G.O. currently commutes daily to Undanderra which I think would be closer to your home than it is to our apartment.
      Both the G.O. and I watch cooking & food shows – I love Gourmet Farmer, so yes, there’s that commonality too.


        Eha said:
        May 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm

        Sorry for the ‘extra’ – would not miss the ‘Gourmet Farmer’ for quids [have thought of sending the series to Celi, but he may be a bit too far ahead by now?] . . . . now the local Woollies-on-line works well for me, especially as I can access both food and wine at the same time [I believe mine comes ex C’town, but they SO make up for any shortcomings in a great way!!] . . . . Unanderra is on the coast if I remember – quite a commute – I am about 40 kms inland from the Gong as the crow flies!] . . . . . Milady would be rather pleased about this ‘connection ex the farmy 🙂 !!!!


          EllaDee responded:
          May 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm

          I think Celi could teach Matthew Evans a thing or two but she might enjoy his book The Dirty Chef which I recently read and enjoyed.


        Eha said:
        May 14, 2014 at 11:27 am

        Thanks – stupid me had missed the book!


    Richard Guest said:
    May 13, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Love the idea of the anti-list. What has always put me off bucket lists (apart from the irksome name), is the feeling that you have to cram as many grandiose and empty (out of your life’s context) gestures in there – like some kind of desperate fairground ride. Anyway, I love your list!


      EllaDee responded:
      May 13, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Thank you 🙂 Urban Dictionary should adopt your definition of the bucket list officially. I’ve never heard it more aptly described.


    Vicky said:
    May 13, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Firstly thank you for the ping back 🙂

    I’ve never thought about doing a bucket list, in fact, up until recently, I’d never heard of them and a bucket was a container.
    Stopping T from throwing out some surplus buckets we’d acquired a while ago, I announced in quite a broad Yorkshire accent ‘Dont chuck them, you can never have enough buckets’ it’s a bit of a joke now, whenever the word bucket is mentioned! So I had a bit of a chuckle there.
    Sorry, I digress.

    Your anti-bucket I could have written myself, especially the claustrophobic feeling I get at the thought of a cruise, a coach holiday, caving or diving.

    You’re close to home ones are interesting.
    I recently bought a yoghurt maker, ok it’s electric but the best thing I’ve bought in a long time. I’ve made ricotta cheese from the left over whey.
    Bread, mmm delicious, but homemade I tend to eat it all straight away, with obvious weight gain 😉 so I stopped making it.
    Preserves, I made a load of green tomato chutney from last year’s I ripe crop.

    Your interest in prehistoric sites echoes my ideals too.
    Have you read Smacked Pentax blog about the stone circle around his home?…..very interesting.

    Sorry for the long reply, but your post has triggered a lot of thought.


      EllaDee responded:
      May 14, 2014 at 6:21 am

      The digression was entertaining… I think I’ll adopt that thick Yorkshire accent for one of my favourite sayings… “just chuck it in the f%ck it bucket”, a response to something stressful 😉
      Your Jurassic post has stuck in my head. And I love Smacked Pentax’s posts 🙂
      I’m all for gadgets to help my household arts along. Hmmm, a yoghurt maker. I returned the found bread maker to the recycling pile – it wouldn’t work after the first time, but I’ll be getting another. The G.O. slices the bread and we freeze it so it’s not so tempting to eat it all at once.
      I think we’ll enjoy the sights and experiences of the road, like you and T do.


    Kourtney Heintz said:
    May 14, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Very cool. I did a bucket list during my back injury–but it was more of a reasons to keep going list. I’ve managed to get to several items on it. LOL. Never thought of an anti-bucket list. Clever concept. I’m wish you on the cruise and the cave. I hate being stuck anywhere.


      EllaDee responded:
      May 14, 2014 at 6:12 am

      I think the name [kick the] bucket list is what’s unappealing about the concept. The idea of plotting our goals and dreams, note OUR, rather than adopting what’s trendy gives us a roadmap with detours optional at any time. And the anti-list is the nup, definitely don’t want to go there list.
      As you’ve ticked off some items, you can add more…


    Miss Alister said:
    May 15, 2014 at 4:03 am

    The title of this piece is genius, EllaDee. And of course I loved your lists – I only had to read two lines of this post to know that was a given. Your response to ardysez resonated bigtime – hear hear I say! Very exciting all of this, certainly makes getting out of bed in the morning a treat : )


      EllaDee responded:
      May 19, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      I’m so sorry the Spam got your comments, but pleased you emailed me 🙂 Thank you for persisting.


    ChgoJohn said:
    May 15, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Like so many others before me, this is the first I’ve heard of an anti-bucket list, EllaDee, but I do agree with much of yours. The idea of being trapped on a ship with strangers is not at all appealing to me. Your bucket list is a good one, too. Climbing Mt Everest, sky diving, and all such endeavors are vastly over-rated, IMO. I’ve never really made a bucket list, either, though I have done and seen many things I once dreamt of doing. At the time, I don’t think there were bucket lists. Now, I’ve goals and work toward them. No lists required. 🙂
    What a great quotation to end this post! How very well-suited.


      EllaDee responded:
      May 19, 2014 at 6:14 am

      If I never had a reason before to decry bucket lists, on the radio last week there was a caller whose bucket list items # 5, #6 were naked skydiving and streaking at a sports events… I’ll make space in my anti-bucket list.


    Miss Alister said:
    May 16, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    The title of this piece is genius, EllaDee. And of course I loved your lists, I only had to read two lines of this post to know that was a given. Your response to ardysez resonated bigtime. Hear hear I say! Very exciting all of this, certainly makes getting out of bed in the morning a treat : )


      EllaDee responded:
      May 19, 2014 at 6:18 am

      Thank you. I didn’t really need a bucket list but I love that quote, and thinking it just evokes that feeling of joy when you’re a kid and everything’s possible. Important to hold onto that.


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