Bucket lists, bonus items and …… Brazil nuts

It’s been a little while since I last wrote a blog post and I’m feeling a bit out of the rhythm. I thought I would ease myself back in gently by just updating my progress on The Bucket List. The bucket list is, to some extent, why I haven’t posted in a while – like they say (well, they don’t, but they might start if lots of people read this) “Life is what happens while you’re busy writing your blog”.
So, what follows is a summary of my summer in numbers:

Items achieved off bucket list: 4
‘Bonus’ bucket list items: 4
Fabulous people I have spent time with this summer: too many to count
Embarrassing scuzzy things I feel the need to own up to: 1

On the bucket list front, I kicked off this summer (seems a very long time ago now) by hosting a murder mystery party. I was aided and abetted in this mission by the utterly fabulous ladies of our ‘book club’ (it’s more like Prosecco club, but you have to promise to at least have a stab at reading the book). It was a fab evening, everyone got dressed up, accents were attempted and (much against my predictions) we actually understood what was going on and who had committed the murder! Thank you all so much for helping me tick off #16.

“There’s been a murder”

After that came a few days of attending the most-middle-class-festival-in-the-world. It’s not a bucket list item, but I have to mention it, because I want to say how absolutely lovely it was to spend time with my ‘festival family’ (you know who you are) who have shown me love and support over the years that goes way beyond what I can put into words. Thank you all. If you need any sign of how much I care about you all – remember, I voluntarily go camping in order to see you.

The next 3 items to get ticked off the list all happened over the course of ten days, when I decided to drive about 1000 miles in order to travel around the north coast of Scotland on the NC500 route (item #84). If you’ve ever wondered whether you should spend ten days on holiday, on your own, not really having a clue what you are doing – turns out the answer is ‘yes’. It was great – I saw some truly awe-inspiring scenery, met some interesting people, ate some lovely food (including ticking off #14 – take myself out for dinner) and stayed in some really cool places. In addition to lots of fun things, I also found time to tick off #28 (fire a gun) by going clay pigeon shooting. It was hugely satisfying and, amazingly, I didn’t completely suck. I was going to take photographic evidence, but couldn’t work out a way to have your photo taken with a gun without looking like a total twerp, so I gave that a miss. Driving around Scotland also gave me the chance to rack up 4 bonus items:
1. Walk up a mountain on my own (only a tiny one, but my thighs were definitely counting it as a mountain the next day – I was decidedly un-graceful getting in and out of the top bunk at the youth hostel).
2. Picked up a hitch hiker (I decided that this was completely safe and fine, based on my detailed assessment that ‘he didn’t look like Rutger Hauer’)
3. Slept in a Shepherd’s hut (so, so cute!)
4. Had people pull over on single-track roads so that I could overtake them (ie I was actually driving faster than other people!!)

So, finally, not wishing to disappoint – my confession of scuzzy-ness:
The scene – the kitchen of a lovely, but rather run-down youth hostel in Scotland.
I am preparing breakfast and chopping up Brazil nuts to augment my cereal with. A sizeable chunk of Brazil nut flies off and lands on the floor. Having a PhD in microbiology, I obviously subscribe to the ‘5 second rule’ and pick up the bit of nut and put it in my cereal. I enjoy my delicious bowl of cereal in the ‘comfort’ of the youth hostel dining room before returning to the kitchen (like a good youth hosteller) to do my washing up. It was as I walked back across the kitchen floor that I trod on something hard, painful, round-ish……. Yup, my missing Brazil nut. So, to answer your questions:
1. No, I don’t know what I ate.
2. Yes, I felt fine afterwards.
3. Yes, I will still be eating stuff off the floor, but might start looking at it first.

Until next time…………xx

john o groats
Obligatory tourist photo

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