I cannot pretend that I face and regard my 30th birthday today with unfettered glee, but as a man wiser than me once said: ‘if you can’t stop it, enjoy it.â€ So in the spirit of looking forward and not back here are some things I want to do in the next three decades. These aren’t targets, or forecasts, but aspirations and some are more attainable than others. (Yes, I know this a complete act of vanity, but please crave my indulgence.)
In no particular order of priority:
1) I have been rattling on about writing a novel for years. My desk drawers are full of scribblings, notes, snippets of dialogue, synopses and even some hefty chunks. Just get on with it Wilson!
2) Take more satisfaction from my professional achievements.
3) Learn Italian.
4) See and speak to my family more. They’re great and the older I get, the more I appreciate them.
5) Be a better friend to the clutch of people I truly adore and unconditionally celebrate the ones who nourish and put up with me. You know who you are.
6) Spend more time with my politics. I am a political animal and it’s one of the great passions in my life. This essentially means that I want to be more active in the Labour party and stand for election for something. I’d love to serve as an MP for at least one Parliament. There is not greater calling than public service. And apparently the pension’s awfully good. But I’ll settle for the council. (I think this one also means a bit more old-fashioned activism: you can’t beat a good march or demo… maybe even a spot of direct action. We’ll see.)
7) If politics is one great passion, then Doctor Who is another. I’d like to add to the Doctor Who canon. Maybe a book, or an episode or something: I’d just like to be part of it.
8) This one is absurd. But I really want to win an Oscar. I always have, ever since I was a kid. I guess, given my particular skills, that this won’t be for Best Actor.
9) Rebuild the bridges I have so comprehensively burnt in the last few months with someone I care very deeply for.
10) Actually get it right, just once, with a love affair. (This feels more tricky than the Oscar.)
11) Drive a steam train. Which boy doesn’t want to do this?
12) Take a turn on Desert Island Discs. My eight records? Wait and see.
13) And while we’re on a Radio 4 vibe, I’d like to appear on the Today programme. More than once if possible.
14) Be more discerning about beer and pubs. I compromise too easily when it comes to having a pint. Beer is a brilliant thing: why settle for the mediocre? Oh, and join CAMRA.
15) Learn how to cook gravy properly.
16) Spend more time in the country and more time by the sea.
17) Be more of a geek. Learn about technology, computers and the how the things I use and talk about everyday work.
19) Go to gigs and concerts. I used to love music festivals and a good rowdy concert and now I hardly ever go. So my pledge here: more new bands, more new music and more over-priced beer from plastic pint glasses.
20) Dance more. I like dancing and have happy memories of grooving like a loon in the Basement, PavTav and Zenons in my heady days as an indie kid in Brighton. When I dance I’m enthusiastic rather than expert but that doesn’t really matter, ehh?
21) Learn the laws and terminology of cricket and stop pretending that I do know them.
22) Not be late so much. (Although my inner eBay Manager asks ‘How is this measurable?â€)
23) Go back to school. My education continues every day, but my schooling has been a bit slow this past decade. It’s time to get on with that MA.
24) Travel round the world by land. I’ve got the route planned already and I think I can do it in less than 80 days. Across the Pacific from Japan to San Francisco aboard a cargo ship anyone?
25) Sing. I love singing. I’m quite good at singing. I want to sing more.
26) Visit New York, Egypt, St Petersburg, Venice and Pompeii.
27) This one is censored to spare my blushes.
28) This one is censored to spare someone else’s blushes.
29) This one is just not fit for public consumption.
30) This is one is secret. You’ve got to have secrets. (It’s also the best one.)