The Twenty Seven List

1990 – the year when Nelson Mandela was freed from prison, the year when Homer Simpson first graced our TV screens, and more importantly for this post, the year when I was born.  In 2017, I celebrated my twenty seventh birthday. I had always pictured myself at twenty seven as having a clear sense of purpose in life and no longer needing to ring my parents whenever something went wrong in my flat. Yet in the weeks preceding my twenty seventh birthday, I found myself drowning in a pit of existential dread with thirty a looming reality. Twenty seven is famously the age when many celebrities died, including some of my teen idols (Kurt Cobain, Sid Vicious, Hendrix…) though at least they had achieved something.

I made the decision to do something different this year. In years gone by, I’ve dreamt up unachievable New Year resolutions which are usually all but forgotten by February. This time, I created a list of twenty seven things I wanted to achieve. The intention is that they are everyday, achievable activities. Some are new experiences I’ve always been intrigued by, such as sensory deprivation, while others involve returning to an activity I loved when I was younger, like horse-riding.

One of my favourite aspects of travelling is the power it has to change your perception. Seeing the familiar in an unfamiliar context forces you to slow down and take pleasure in the small, everyday things. The idea behind the twenty seven list was to bring this approach to my everyday life and thereby stave off any post-holiday blues or existential dread.

So this is my twenty seven list. Setting fire to guitars onstage is noticeable by its absence – I need to save something for when I’m 28.

  •  Travel solo somewhere exotic
  •  Buy an entire outfit from a charity shop
  •  Take silly photos with a friend in photo booth
  • Leave a message in a book for someone
  • Make a candle
  •  Write a short story
  •  Fly a kite
  • Do a park run
  • Grow own vegetables
  • Get a henna tattoo
  • Plant a tree
  • Have fortune told
  • Go on a dawn chorus walk
  • Go fruit-picking
  • Climb one of the three peaksBuy a cashmere jumper
  • Make own sourdough bread
  • Watch the Godfather in full
  • Relax in a sensory deprivation tank
  • Watch the sunrise and sunset in one day
  • Have a conversation in another language
  • Sketch outside
  • Go open water swimming
  • Have a massage
  • Go climbing
  • Make an origami animal
  • Have a show-jumping lesson

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