Each day is a gift.

Lets imagine different scenarios for the question posed by the video title.

What would you do differently with the decisions that you’ve made?

What would you do differently, if?

If today was the last day of your life? If today was the last day of a relationship that has run it’s course? If today was the last night in a house that you’ve lived in forever? If today was the last day in a job that you can’t wait to be rid of? What if today was the end of the life of someone you loved deeply?

Choices are difficult.

You need to pick or choose though.

In the words of Ewan McGregor, Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life.

If you had 24 hours until your life changed forever, what would you do?

Tonight, I ask myself that question and I couldn’t be happier.

What would you wish for?

A wish is a hope or desire for something.

If you said to various people that they could have three wishes, you could be sure that many of the responses would be the same, yet many would be different.

World peace, financial security, to fall in love, to have more wishes. Many of the wish requests would be generic and that’s cool. We’d all like to be happier, richer, more comfortable in our own bodies and to be with that one person that we’re destined to spend the rest of our life with.

Other wishes will likely be more personal.

“I wish my team will win the league”.

“I wish that girl/boy from work would look at me the way that I look at them”.

“I wish that I can give you everything that you want or expect from me”.

The wishes are endless, we all wish for something every day.

Tonight, I wish that someone close to me could get better.

I could really use a wish right now.

Life is an interesting journey.

I’m not a fan of birthdays.

I should quantify that, I’m not a fan of my own birthday. Every year, I get asked what I want as a gift and I never want anything, I don’t want any fuss, I don’t want people fussing over me or spending money on me when they could be spending money on themselves or others. It’s not something that I feel comfortable with although if someone wants to get me Scalextric or Subbuteo tomorrow, I may well change my opinion.

Birthdays are like Hogmanay for me. I look at the year just gone and judge how it’s been. Have I been a good person? Have I made the people closest to me happy? Have I had more successes than mistakes? I make resolutions on the 22nd of March rather than on the 31st of December.

Is it an age thing? As I get older, I worry less and less about how the day will go and what gifts I receive. Tomorrow I’ll be a year older, although I don’t think that it is one of those birthdays where I’m suddenly in a new age bracket for any survey that I might take.

Friday 22nd of March 2013 seems like a lifetime ago. So many life decisions have changed in the 364 days since then. I’ve moved house. I’ve changed job. I’ve committed myself to someone, that barring any unforeseen disaster that I’ll marry.

Voltaire said, “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well”.

It’s a quote I like and one that I fully intend to adhere to. Today, someone that I respect greatly sent me another quote that relates to this.

“Above all, I would like to be remembered as a man who was selfless, who strove and worried so that others could share the glory, and who built up a family of people who could hold their heads up high”

It’s not the full quote but it’s from Bill Shankly and it relates to his time in charge of Liverpool.

If I can do that, especially as I grow older, then I’ll die a happy man.

Live your life.

The only resolution and the only joy.

Apparently, one of the most important choices of your life is deciding who you marry?

I’ve probably only ever been to half a dozen weddings in my life. It’s never been my favourite event or celebration but I can’t really put my finger on why not. It’s likely a male pride or bravado thing and that has got me and my friends into trouble on plenty of occasions.

One of my friends will announce that they’ve got engaged and immediately the cry will go up, “What are you thinking” or “Man overboard”.

In reality, although none of the boys would admit it out loud, we all want that special someone to settle down with and who will share with us the rest of our lives together.

We are now mostly all at that stage where we’ve identified the girl that we want to be with .

That said, truth be told, we’ve all been picked by a girl that has realised that for all of our faults, she’ll know that one of us is the man that she wants to make her husband. Most of my male friends are now married, a lot are engaged and a couple of them are single. The single ones are now jealous of the ones who are with someone, changed days indeed. Some are even saying that they look forward to their respective wedding days!

I’m one of those people that doesn’t take to a lot of people straight away. I take time to suss people out, to decide if they’ll play a part in my life or not and I wish it’s something that I could change. Some people mistake it for arrogance but it’s not, I’m just suspicious given the way that some people have treated me in the past. I hold that against potential new friends to be and I hate that, it’s not cool on my part.

Despite that, Jay Z has said something that resonates with me.” I’m a mirror. If you’re cool with me, I’m cool with you, and the exchange starts. What you see is what you reflect. If you don’t like what you see, then you’ve done something. If I’m standoffish, that’s because you are.”

That predisposition of mine can make me a nightmare in social situations. Picture the scene, I get invited to a wedding to a couple that I don’t know. I’m the plus one invite. I’m incredibly grateful for the invitation but I’m immediately scared that I don’t do my female partner justice.

These are her friends. What if I don’t like either the bride or the groom? What if I get drunk and make a fool of myself? What if a bridesmaid comes onto me and I find it difficult to refuse her advances?

I’m kidding about the bridesmaid bit!

I was at a wedding recently as a plus one guest and knew neither the bride nor the groom.

I was introduced to the groom though as soon as I walked into the hotel and I warmed to him immediately. This was someone that I had never met before but I knew from the way he was with me that this was going to be a good day. I took to him immediately, a rare thing for me, we seemed to have the same sense of humour.

The bride was stunning and has the most amazing personality, how could this be a bad day?

The weddings that I’ve been to in the past have been different. As I’ve known at least one of the wedding party previously, I’ve not had to focus on the day and all that has unfolded before me. This time was different and in the best way possible.

I got to sit back and enjoy the day. The family of the bride and groom were absolutely box office and treated everyone magnificently.

As I watched on, I realised that the bride and groom were suited to each other beyond belief. They were clearly in love with each other and every single person couldn’t say enough nice things about them. It was true though, I watched on and was envious about their love and feelings for one another. That should be what we all aspire to.

It’s something that all of us should have.

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your wedding, I’m blessed to have shared your day.

Everyone should have someone that holds them close.

Need something that I can confess.

On September 20th of 2013, I wrote a bucket list of 100 things that I wanted to do before I died. I’m 43 things down, the more arithmetically clever of you, may have noticed that this means that there are 57 to go.

This is number 89.

89. Tell the absolute truth for 24 hours, Liar Liar style.

I haven’t done that yet but it’ll be ticked off by the end of the weekend. It’s probably cheating to include sleep as part of the 24 hours so I’ll calculate it by me being awake for that whole period.

Some people may not understand or get the thoughts behind this but I think about my bucket list on an almost daily basis and I really want to tick those 100 things off. I must get checked for OCD!

Number 89 came into my head today after bumping into an old female friend. After the usual chit-chat was done, the conversation between us turned to relationships and old times. Many of our mutual friends have ended up together, symptomatic of coming from a small town, I guess.

After a major catch up, she then asked me if I wanted to go back to her house to spend the night. If anyone reads this, and they are male, they will likely be screaming at me about my thinking but I said no. I don’t like her in that way and it would be unfair to lead her on. I was bizarrely truthful about this and I told her that. Am I a chump?

This made me think about number 89. It made me think too about confessing about some sorts of secrets or confessions, big or small. Don’t get me wrong, I have loads of secrets but here are a few:

1. CB. In Primary One, I did pinch your yellow miniature NYC taxi car. I’m incredibly sorry. It’s doubtful that you’ll read this but I still know where you live so I’ve already bought a replacement and will post you the new one in the morning.

2. FB. You were my first girlfriend in primary school. I did kiss Claire at the pantomime, even though I said that I didn’t, sorry.

3. CS. You were my best friend and I’ve shared so many experiences with you. We’ve not kept in touch as much as we should have and for that, I apologise.

4. VC. You were the biggest mistake of my life. Mostly my fault, not a lot to do with you.

5. CC. Timing is everything, I guess. It was never meant to be and I wish that I had told you that.

6. EW. I miss you more than anyone in the world.

7. AK. Despite me denying it at the time, your Mum did hit on me. In the words of Brandon Flowers, “It was only a kiss”.

8. JT. I should have asked you out for drinks at the very least.

9. CM. I’m smiling wryly at an opportunity missed.

10. LS. Will I ever get over you?

Secrets no longer, 44 down.

I search for the resolution.

Frank Ra, author of the new year’s resolution book “A course in happiness” says that “Resolutions are more sustainable when shared, both in terms of with whom you share the benefits of your resolution, and with whom you share the path of maintaining your resolution. Peer support makes a difference in success rate with new year’s resolutions”.

News to me, I’ve never made resolutions in my life at this time of year. Until today. This year, I’ve made two resolutions that I’ll make sure that I keep. I want to be one of those 8% of people who achieve their new year goals.

Today, I placed £10 into an online betting account and made 10 £1 bets. My aim is to take the winnings from today, large or small and to make another bet or bets tomorrow with whatever winnings are in the account. I’ll then look to make a bet or bets during every day of 2014 so that on December 31st, I’ll then be able to donate what I hope is a sizeable amount to charity.

The other resolution I’ve made is a far more personal one. A friend recently introduced me to the website, 1secondeveryday.com. The basic premise of the project is, “What if you could remember something from every day of your life?”.  It doesn’t seem like one second is enough to remember much, but you’d be surprised what one second of visual and audio information can bring back to your memory. You record something in your life every day and then the app lets you stitch these together to make a video of your week, your month, your year or your life.

I’d do well to be able to remember to do this every day for the rest of my life but I really want to make this happen in 2014. Personally, it’ll be one of the biggest years of my life so I’d like to sit back at the end of the year and look back on the highlights.

Hopefully it’ll be six minutes and five seconds of highlights, fingers crossed.

So this is the new year.

Here we are.

For some of us, we are on the 365th and final day of the year. Some of us have already or are currently enjoying the celebrations as midnight has come and gone depending on our respective locations.

I know for some people the 31st of December is just another day. It’s always been a personal favourite of mine as I think about all the exciting things to come in the year ahead. Not once does the possibility of everything not going completely to plan enter my head, this certainly can’t be put down to youthful naivety!

I’ve only ever experienced the clock chiming midnight on December 31st in three different countries, Scotland, Italy and the USA. All three countries have very contrasting traditions for this most special night.

In Italy, it’s tradition to wear red underwear to ring in luck for the year ahead! This goes for men and women!

Four years ago tonight, my girlfriend at the time and I were sat in a little restaurant in Venice called Bacaro Jazz, enjoying our meal before heading to Piazza San Marco to join in the celebrations. Those who know the restaurant know that it is also encouraged for female diners to donate their bra which is then pinned to the ceiling. Cue the scenes as midnight approached when pretty much every single women in the place undid their bra, red of course, and handed it to a beaming barman to hang up. Let’s face it, all of us men would have had the smile he had on his face at that point!

bacaro-jazz 2963

Two years ago tonight, we were in New York. Probably the most famous tradition in the United States is the dropping of the New Year ball in Times Square, New York City. At 11:59 pm, thousands gather to watch the ball make its one minute descent, arriving exactly at midnight.


It was a great night, although rather bizarre to watch Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Pitbull perform in the flesh. I’m convinced not one of them sang live!

And to Scotland. Whether it’s been quiet nights in watching Scotch and Wry and Only An Excuse or street parties in which ever city I’ve been, each one has been memorable for it’s own reasons.

Tonight will be a quiet one, reflecting on the year just gone and the twelve months that are ahead. 2013 has been a year of change, job, house, relationship status, apparently the three most stressful changes in life. Roll on 2014!

I’ve been fortunate to meet some incredible people this year whether through work, play, even meets that have been instigated by social media.

Things change, some important people to me and a lot of others have passed away. Some new additions to my family and friends have entered the world and I look forward to those boys and girls growing up.

To everyone that has met me, spent time with me or interacted with me in one way or another, I hope that 2014 brings you every happiness and success that you deserve.

Enjoy the celebrations tonight, I’m excited to see what 2014 brings for all of us.

Bliadhna Mhath Ùr.

We could stay young forever.

It’s been a crazy week, one full of changes.

I’ve started a new job and feel it’s going well unless my employers want to tell me otherwise?! As big of a change as that is though, I’ve just made a bigger one. Today I tendered notice on the lease on my flat that I’ve lived in on my own for nearly ten years.

Scary stuff for me personally but a quote that I read about change tempered the fear a bit.

Paulo Coelho said “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”

He was right, a week was enough time to make my mind up, decision made, time to move on. Although not the biggest test or challenge that anyone will ever have to undergo, it’s still a huge thing for me.

No more nights of just doing what I want all the time. No more video game or film posters adorning the walls. No more wall to wall bookcases filled with books of all of my favourite authors. Goodbye to the fridge that was permanently full of beer.

This was the first place that I ever thought of as mine. Whilst I’ve lived here, I’ve changed jobs. Girlfriends have come and gone. The swing has been retired. It’s an in joke with friends, it’s probably best left unexplained!

The one constant that I’ve had in the last ten years is that I could always come back here and know that I was home. Things change though and within a month, I’ll call somewhere else home.

It’s difficult for me to get my head around but I know that it will be amazing, it’s time to finally embrace all the changes in my life.

I can’t stay young forever.

Live on and be yourself.

Someone once said that in everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

I’ve never been one of those people who have had dozens of friends. I have a small circle of really close friends who I would do anything for. Due to circumstance, I moved house a lot when I was younger and to very different geographical locations within Scotland and beyond. In hindsight, it was a good thing because I managed to meet some people who I managed to connect with and build a friendship with.

Still though, I’ve managed to retain contact with the people that matter most. That’s how it should be, right?

There are four of us boys that are incredibly close and those boys have always been there for me when I’ve needed them. No questions asked, they always have my back if needed and I’m the same for them. We’ve shared good times, some bad times, some secrets and pretty much anything that you could think of.

Today, one of our band of four, shared the biggest secret yet. He told us that he was gay and that he’d met someone that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.

Massive news to us but more massive for him. He explained that he’d wanted to tell us for years but was afraid that we’d discard him as a friend. Proud is not the right word but I’m glad that we all told him in unison that we liked, respected and loved him no matter what.

The other three of us had no idea.

We went out as a foursome as teenage boys and did what teenage boys did. We hit on girls that were way above our league. We were unsuccessful more times than not but our friendship and banter more than made up for it.

We’re good friends and I’m so proud of all of them. Especially proud of one of those people tonight. I’ll stand there at your wedding and will be as proud as punch.

Congratulations to you both!

Each breath that you take has a thunderous sound.

The expression “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” first appeared in 1911. It was in a newspaper article quoting Arthur Brisbane, who was one of the best known American newspaper editors of the 20th century. It’s a saying that I’ve always liked but what I like more are pictures or art, that contain only words. Today someone showed me this.


Needless to say, I love it and and agree with the words entirely.

It’s easy to take things for granted and that is something that I have been guilty of recently, something that I’m ashamed of. Just those words have made me think about how lucky we all are, life is truly magic.

It also made me stop and think about my bucket list. There are 100 things on there that I want to do in my lifetime and I intend to make sure that every single one of them happens. They’re in no particular order and I’ve never shared these before with anyone at all but here goes.

1. Get a tattoo.

2. Make a toast at a stranger’s wedding.

3. Accept a dare.

4. Go on a blind date.

5. See a dead body.

6. Ask out the girl of my dreams.

7. Attend a film premiere.

8. Visit Alcatraz.

9. Look out from the crown of the Statue of Liberty.

10. Run across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise.

11. Run across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset.

12. Parachute jump from a plane.

13. Sit on the H of the Hollywood sign drinking Jack Daniels.

14. Lift the Champions League trophy.

15. Take in a game at the Nou Camp.

16. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

17. Write a book.

18. Go to the top of the Empire State Building.

19. Go to the Top of the Rock observatory deck.

20. Watch an NBA game at Madison Square Garden.

21. Watch an MLB game at Fenway Park.

22. See a band live in New York.

23. Visit the Library of Congress.

24. Visit Chicago.

25. Visit Boston.

26. Take a boat ride on the Bosphorus Strait.

27. Run across the Golden Gate Bridge.

28. Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

29. Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge.

30. Have a meal at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant.

31. Take a train journey throughout Europe.

32. Get lost in Venice with a girlfriend.

33. Live in a different country.

34. Visit Niagara Falls.

35. Stand on the glassdeck of the Willis Tower in Chicago.

36. Gamble in Las Vegas.

37. See the Northern Lights.

38. Spend the night in a beach villa in the Maldives.

39. Visit the Red Light District in Amsterdam.

40. Walk the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

41. Learn a foreign language.

42. Fire a gun.

43. Get drunk at Oktoberfest.

44. Drink Guinness in Dublin.

45. Sleep under the stars.

46. Watch the World Cup in the host country.

47. Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

48. Visit O Cristo Redentor in Rio De Janerio.

49. See a play on Broadway.

50. Donate blood.

51. Cross the Equator.

52. Wake up on Christmas morning in New York. Preferably in the style of Home Alone 2 at The Plaza Hotel!

53. Visit Arlington Cemetery.

54. Ride the Cyclone at Coney Island.

55. Ride the Rocky Mountaineer.

56. Take a cooking class from a professional chef.

57. Go to the Rio Carnival.

58. Go to the airport and take the next flight to somewhere random.

59. Complete a Man v Food challenge.

60. Ride the Ferris Wheel in Toys ‘R’ Us in Times Square.

61. Pay for a stranger’s groceries.

62. Take a train journey from the west coast of the US to the east coast.

63. Drink mescal in Mexico.

64. Try oysters.

65. Buy someone a first edition of their favourite book.

66. Take one second of video every day for a year.

67. Have a drink in the hidden bar in Grand Central Station.

68. Stand on the pitch at Celtic Park.

69. Join the mile high club. Absolute coincidence that this is the number it is!

70. Buy a drink for everyone in a bar.

71. Fly somewhere first class.

72. Start a blog.

73. Complete a round of golf in under 100 strokes.

74. Spend a night in jail.

75. Crash a wedding reception.

76. Go on holiday to Las Vegas with the guys.

77. Treat my girlfriend to front row seats to New York Fashion Week.

78. See the Hoover Dam.

79. Kiss a female celebrity.

80. Spend Christmas Day on a beach in a hot country drinking cocktails.

81. Write my will.

82. Take a holiday abroad alone.

83. Invent a cocktail.

84. Visit Harvard.

85. Order a pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Delicatessen.

86. Look for the Loch Ness Monster.

87. Visit Tokyo.

88. Go to Carnival in Venice.

89. Tell the absolute truth for 24 hours, Liar Liar style.

90. Attempt the Centurion Challenge, 100 shots of beer in 100 minutes.

91. Slide the Jumeirah Sceirah waterslide in Dubai.

92. Take the Edge Walk at the CN Tower in Toronto.

93. Send a woman a drink across the bar.

94. Eat the hottest chilli pepper in the world.

95. Dance on the piano from Big.

96. Eat at the best restaurant in the world.

97. View the hidden subway station in Grand Central Station.

98. See the Berlin Wall.

99. See the hidden City Hall station.

100. Practice 365 days of gratitude, do something nice for someone every day.

I’m 36 down, 64 to go.

There are many things that are much more important to me than this list which require my focus and attention but I think this is a fun thing to do. Needless to say, everyone that I’ve spoken to who has such a list, has differing things on there and that is how it should be. It’s an individual thing but I’m thankful that many different people have shared the first 36 things to be ticked off.

I’m incredibly excited to see who will share the experiences still to come.