Right first off let me just say this, whoever the person was within the National Trust who first conceived this idea for a “bucket list” for the under 12s wants shooting, at the very least for calling it a “bucket list”, I mean come on. Also I’ve come to the conclusion that if I were a child today I would, judging myself against this list, be a crap one. Seriously. I’ll be surprised if I’ve done one fifth of the things on this list which, quite frankly, was clearly written in the 50s and only unearthed now as the majority of suggestions are laughably archaic. But you know what? I’m proud. I’m proud to have been a crap kid by National Trust standards. As far as I can remember I hated the outdoors when I was 12, I hated the countryside, I hated the National Trust and none of that has changed. City Kid all the way. So now I’m going to tally up just how many of the National Trust’s Suggestions for a Spiffing Childhood (possible name change? I’ll more than happily donate it because hand to God calling it a bucket list needs to cease and desist) I’ve done, this should be an interesting, if altogether short affair…
1. Climb a tree – Start as you mean to go on, I tried. Once. Didn’t end well. Don’t want to talk about it.
2. Roll down a really big hill – Yes! I’ve done this. Although I was drunk so inevitably over 12, I hope. But it counts. No one is telling me different.
3. Camp out in the wild – What and risk being murdered? You’re alright. (One thing I did do as a child was watch Crimewatch, clearly scarred me for life)
4. Build a den – It was built out of sofa cushions, I need all the help I can get right now so yes that counts.
5. Skim a stone – Too complicated for me to ever master. I always ended up just lobbing stones into the water, and killing a fair few ducks in the process probably.
6. Run round in the rain – That’s not fun for me! Why would that be fun for anyone?!
7. Fly a kite – Got a kite Christmas Day. Flew it for 5 minutes in the garden Boxing Day. Never touched it again. Job done.
8. Catch a fish with a net – Don’t you need a licence to do that? Too much effort for someone who can’t even skim a stone.
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree – Everyone knows that if you eat an apple without running it under the tap first. You die. End of.
10. Play conkers – Do ‘Battle Conkers’ count? They were Home & Bargain’s finest…
11. Throw some snow – One of the few sane suggestions, even though it should be amended to “throw some snow *at someone” inevitably a thousand times more fun.
12. Hunt for treasure on the beach – Hands up who’s been to Formby Beach. I found a used condom there once. Suffice to say this one’s a ‘no’.
13. Make a mud pie – Make a what? In all honesty you lost me at “mud”.
14. Dam a stream – I’ve never heard of anyone doing this for their own enjoyment. In fact I’ve never heard of anyone doing this full stop. Ever. If you have please let me know. Bring your pet unicorn too.
15. Go sledging – Does losing control of my car on an icy road count? It was just as exhilarating if not MORESO, I’d wager, than traditional sledging.
16. Bury someone in the sand – What so they can find some beach dwelling treasure for me?? I don’t understand. No, go away.
17. Set up a snail race – Are you messing?
18. Balance on a fallen tree – To be honest this is the only way I’ll ever be able to climb a tree, if it’s been felled.
19. Balance on a rope swing – Clearly fat kids are not welcome to perform the under 12s Bucket List
20. Make a mud slide – Again. Mud. No.
21. Eat blackberries grown in the wild – I’VE DONE THIS! So ‘Robinson Crusoe’ it HURTS.
22. Take a look inside a tree – …and see what exactly? unless it’s Narnia/Wonderland/insert Utopia here I’m not bothering.
23. Visit an island – I live on one. Next.
24. Feel like you’re flying in the wind – Apparently this is where the list gets deep! I can cross this off, anyone who’s been to the Albert Dock in the winter months can cross this off.
25. Make a grass trumpet – My inability to do this when I was young upset me so much. I’m not even messing.
26. Hunt for fossils and bones – Imagine being a kid and finding a bone in your back garden!!!!!! That is NEVER GOING TO END WELL
27. Watch the sun wake up – Ahh the magic of YouTube. (Also, please just say ‘rise’.)
28. Climb a huge hill – Then presumably roll down it and box off number two. Whoever wrote this was clearly running out of ideas by this point, we’re going round in circles. I have done this though. Gained nothing from it apart from a stitch.
29. Get behind a waterfall – Because it needs some moral support? No in all seriousness could you honestly not just get the same effect getting behind a running shower. Plus you’d be naked, just as nature intended. All round better idea.
30. Feed a bird from your hand – Does being practically ASSAULTED by a seagull for your cornish pasty count? It was in my hand, the bird was fed. It counts. Although I gained nothing from this apart from a distrust of seagulls.
31. Hunt for bugs – It’s hardly a ‘hunt’, in fact I can see a spider as I type this, although I’m not complaining, it’s another ‘yes’.
32. Find some frogspawn – That stuff that looks like phlegm? Do me a favour.
33. Catch a butterfly in a net – Not fun for me. Sure as hell not fun for the butterfly. Rubbish idea in every way.
34. Track wild animals – Can I not just go to the zoo and see ones in captivity instead? It’d save a lot of time.
35. Discover what’s in a pond – If there’s bugs and frogspawn in it you can get a hatrick, but let’s face facts, there’s just going to be water.
36. Call an owl – Unless it’s Hedwig I don’t want to know.
37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool – Possibly my favourite use of alliteration in any situation ever. Also, what’s a rock pool?
38. Bring up a butterfly – Set it free, then CATCH IT WITH A NET.
39. Catch a crab – Nice to see the National Trust promoting underage sex. In all seriousness though why would I want to try and capture something with pincers? Again. Not fun!
40. Go on a nature walk at night – Show of hands who went for ‘nature walks’ at night round Liverpool when they 12? Unless it means ‘getting drunk in the park’ a resounding ‘no’ for this one.
41. Plant it. Grow it. Eat it. – F*** it.
42. Go wild swimming – Does this mean when they turn the wave machine on at “Heatwaves”?
43. Go rafting – Now we’re getting somewhere, something worth trying. Only took 43 attempts.
44. Light a fire without matches – Once I accidentally threw a tab-end away while it was still lit. Pretty sure the bin caught fire.
45. Find your way with a map and compass – Both conveniently apps on the iPhone. DONE.
46. Try Bouldering – Apparently a form of rock climbing. Apparently something I will never have any compulsion to try.
47. Cook on a campfire – I cooked on a disposable barbecue once, let’s face facts they’re one and the same, also set fire to the grass with it, another victory for number 44!
48. Try abseiling – Again another decent suggestion, but for the under 12s? I’m not so sure.
49. Play geoache – Apparently a high tech form of hide and seek where you use GPS to find treasure, what is this list’s fascination with treasure? If I find any half of it belongs to the frigging Queen anyway.
50. Canoe down a river – So tempted to try this one on the Mersey just to see the abuse I’d get from the banks.
According to the final count I’ve done eleven, and that is pushing it. Some might see that as pitiful. But I see it as something to be proud of since this list is the biggest load of rubbish I think I’ve ever read.
Crap Child and Proud. Who’s with me?