Top of the retirement wish list is to see the Northern Lights. These are shafts or curtains of polar lights in the night sky which can be spectacular. I watched them from the deck of a relative’s house on Lake Washington on the north west coast of America.
Second on the list is to laze on an exotic beach which is a bit old hat in these days of Ryanair and all-inclusive holidays in Mexico.
Third is to take a world cruise, an idea which is anathema to me. To be trapped on board a ship with a load of people you might not like? I’ll stay at home.
Fourth is a trip on the Orient Express or do voluntary work, two options which don’t really have much in common unless you do voluntary work on the Orient Express. I’ve never travelled on the Paris to Istanbul train but I did take the Khyber Mail Express from Rawlpindi to Karachi, a journey of 700 miles. Does that count?
The fifth ambition is to buy a house abroad, something I wouldn’t recommend. I have a friend with a house in Spain she can’t sell for love nor money.
Number six is to drive Route 66, which is close to the hearts of all rock and roll enthusiasts. The road originally ran 2,448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles and became famous because of the 1946 rhythm ‘n’ blues song of the same name. Since then, everybody from Chuck Berry to The Rolling Stones have got their kicks on Route 66.
Seventh is to learn a foreign language, which shouldn’t cost a great deal. Trouble is, once masterful in French, Spanish or Tagalog, pensioners probably won’t be able to afford to go abroad to try out their new linguistic skills.
Eighth is to publish a book (done that) and ninth is to swim with dolphins. I can’t swim but I did wave to them as I paddled in the sea in Florida.
I’ll pass on the 10th ambition, which is to learn a musical instrument. Being a keyboard player for the Examiner is more than enough.