Friday, September 8, 2006

Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower - one thing to do before you die

Lists of "Things to do before you die" seem to be legion these days. The BBC did one of the early ones of these. It culminated in swimming with dolphins in Florida. The rest of them were also pretty expensive. So if you did the whole lot of 25 things the "26th thing to do before you die" would be to pay off your overdraft or at least gently break the news of your accumulated debt to whoever is handling your estate after your demise.

Country Life recently published a very thought-provoking list of "Ten things to do before you die". In fact they were all very simple: Light a bonfire, ride a horse, catch a trout...that sort of thing. Simple pursuits which we (or at least I) have certainly passed by in the mad dash of everyday life. I have cut out the list and it is prominently displayed in my bedroom to remind me of the sorts of things I should be doing.

Recently I have been compiling my own list. "Catch crabs (the crawly ones in the sea) with a child" is one. We did this recently with our daughter on Cromer pier and it was the highlight of our holiday. We caught 60 crabs (little non-eaters) and then put them back in the sea - carefully. We used squid as bait, which they seemed to enjoy.

Then last Saturday I did another simple thing, along the lines of the Country Life list. We flew a kite on the green near our home. It was a proper kite which we bought in a kite shop (previous attempts using a 99 pence cheapo were unsuccessful).

Then last Sunday we went up the Spinnaker Tower at Portsmouth. It definitely has to be on the list of things you do before you die. On a clear, sunny day like last Sunday, the view is absolutely stunning. You can see the Isle of Wight, the sea, boats, ships, hovercraft and a large chunk of the British Naval Fleet. It gives a better view than the Eiffel Tower and the London Eye. Here is a view from the tower:

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