31 August 2011


You often see books, newspaper or magazine articles that suggest "things to do before you die". You know the sort of thing - bungee jump, drive a Ferrari, climb Mount Fuji in cherry blossom season and of course - everyone's ultimate dream - to swim with dolphins! Well I was thinking about these lists when I woke up this morning and for your edification I have decided to present my own - alternative list of fifteen things to do before you die.
  1. Check the car's oil level and tyre pressures.
  2. Climb up to the attic and start sorting out all the accumulated crap that has been shoved up there from cuddly toys the kids hugged when they were little to damaged suitcases and old Christmas decorations.
  3. Visit Wolverhampton.
  4. Take the excess plastic you have collected in bins to a recycling centre as, absurdly, the council will only collect plastic bottles - not plastic trays, carrier bags and such like.
  5. Go under the house and sort out all the half-empty cans of paint you possess. Mostly they will just need chucking away as a lot of the paint is over ten years old and has hardened like rock or has developed surface skin that's as impenetrable as a hospital matron's bloomers.
  6. Polish every pair of shoes you possess including the stylish brogues that last saw polish in 1983.
  7. Trim the hair that's weirdly sprouting from your lug holes - not just the aperture entrances but round the fleshy rims as well.
  8. Get the first eye test you have had since you were in primary school.
  9. Lead a team of saboteurs devoted firstly to blowing up Britain's 4000 fixed speed cameras and, secondly, to digging up the ridiculous and ill-considered speed bumps that blight many of Sheffield's suburban roads causing Nissan Micra drivers to slow down to 10mph for each and every bump.
  10. Read the Quran, Curan, Koran or whatever you want to call it to find out what all these mosques and people in funny religious apparel are all about. Who knows - it could be required reading in all British schools by 2025.
  11. Learn to poach an egg perfectly every time - instead of watching the white swirling around like a mist in the pan or the yoke bursting on impact with the boiling water.
  12. Delete unnecessary files, documents and pictures from your computer.
  13. Resurrect your complaint about the outrageous twenty euro airport development tax that is demanded unexpectedly from travellers as they pass through Knock Airport in Ireland. Sheer daylight robbery!
  14. Go to night school to learn the intricate craft of ironing shirts.
  15. Swim with tadpoles.
Any other suggestions?


  1. Love no. 15. No. 8, you should be ashamed of yourself! Why Wolverhampton?

  2. swim with tadpoles

    made me giggle

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. JENNY Simply...I have never been to Wolverhampton. For me it is one of the great mysteries of the universe.
    JOHN GRAY Tadpoles would be a lot less dangerous than dolphins which can be nasty feckers. Did you know that the killer whale is actually a dolphin?
    ELIZABETH I will take your word for it ma'am. I am especially looking forward to seeing the town's Low Level Station which I believe is a real tourist hotspot. I wonder if they have any hotels in Wolverhampton. Seems unlikely but you never know.

  5. Swimming with dolphins is kids stuff. How about wrestling with alligators, flying with eagles, ruminating with cows, chicken rustling with foxes, wallowing with hippos, blood-sucking with vampire bats and hibernating with bears.

  6. It's incredible! My list is exactly like yours, except that I have already done #14, I would change Wolverhampton in #3 to New England in autumn, and in #9 you have finally found something useful to do with those kidnapped whatchamacallits of yours. I have probably done #15 and not known it at the time. I do many things and not know it at the time, but that is a different post....

  7. I didn't meant that I went to night school to learn to iron shirts; I meant I already know how to iron shirts, which I learned at my mother's knee, beginning with handkerchiefs and pillowcases.

    A well-ironed shirt is an awesome thing, which reminds me, in The Waltons, Grandma Walton once said, "A neglected grave is a shameful thing," an observation with which I happen to agree.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I'm not sure I understand #7 but I'm going to beg that you not explain it to me.
    Ditto on 'swim with tadpoles'. It's best I not know.

  10. Anonymous8:06 pm

    Wonderful idea. Many on my own list. I'm still not clear on the Wolverhampton significance -- guess 'cause I'm in US of A.

    Mine? Make sure all my journals are shredded. Don't want to be in the afterlife and find out a tell-all book has been published.

  11. I've been to Wolverhampton. I thought I WAS dead.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. I'd rather swim with dolphins than tadpoles any time!

  14. 16. Throw out all those odd socks that you keep in the vain hope that the lost one will eventually turn up.

    17. Create a document that includes the seldom used ^ and ~ characters on your computer.

    18. Make a meal that looks identical to the 'serving suggestion' on the packet.

  15. SHOOTING P. Or drinking with Mancunians?
    RHYMES WITH... Pleased to see you using the term "autumn" rather than "fall" in relation to the next couple of months in New England. We will make an Englishman of you yet! You will need a deerstalker, a cricket bat and a Bentley.
    DAZE OF WHINE Regarding number seven, I suggest that you closely inspect your "great guy", focussing especially on his ears where you may see evidence of his horticulture or werewolf growth.
    REVISING LIFE Think of an industrial town somewhere in America's north east perhaps - somewhere like Youngstown, Ohio. Have you been there? Are you planning to go? It may be just like England's often overlooked Wolverhampton, a place I have never been.
    MORNING AJ Thanks for calling by. Did you think you were dead because you had overindulged in Wolverhampton hostelries or just because you found yourself in the town?
    ELIZABETH Perhaps you have over-reacted to the light-hearted banter about Wolverhampton? I am sure that many people from the south east of England would put northern cities in the same bag as Wolverhampton - Sheffield, Hull, Huddersfield etc and label them all as dull, post-industrial blackholes that ain't worth visiting. How wrong they would be.
    HELEN Okay. Well why not do it then? Tony can drive the boat and look out for sharks at the same time.
    MICHAEL Great additions sir! But I think the idea of reproducing the exact glossy recipe or packet appearance of a particular meal is totally impossible! Regarding 16 - this wouldn't apply to me as I wear ladies' tights. Fishnets are my favourite.


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

Most Visits