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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at new a career path or additional income stre

Am I right to be encouraging my son to join the Armed Forces?

He's 16, in his final year at high school, is an "average" student and has no future plans for work or college.  He feels that he doesn't excel in anything apart from being utterly brilliant at Call Of Duty (all versions) on the X-Box 360!


He's mentioned on a number of occasions that he'd like to join the Armed Forces, currently favouring the Royal Air Force over the Army, but should I be actively encouraging this decision?


It was always my dream to join the RAF but a change in life plan meant that I had to forego that dream.  I don't want him to live my dream for me but I think it would be a wonderful chance both for the opportunities and the experiences.  However, we hear, almost on a weekly basis, about the soldiers - young and old - that are killed in action in the warring countries, the ones who did follow their dream.  And some of them are still only teenagers.  Is this what I want for my son?  Of course not!  But, in the same respect, I don't want to repress the small glimmers of hope he has for his future.


The recent reports of another young solider being killed brings back memories of this song.  When it was originally released I was 13 years old and it held no emotional connection.  Now, it just seems that history is repeating itself.