Wednesday, May 04, 2011


I am now in possession of a brand new passport. Ironically, it arrived a day after the announcement of the death of Osama Bin Laden. Why ironically? Because it reminds me why I got the old passport in the first place. It was the summer of 2001, my 40th birthday was coming up, and I had never been to America, something I had always wanted to do. So I decided to spend that particular birthday in New York. I sorted out the paperwork, and then booked up a short stay in The Big Apple (from the 17th of September). Of course, I never got there. On the 11th of September I drove out to Porthcawl for a bit of a day trip. When I got back, I had a phone call telling me to switch on the television. I hardly need to tell you what I spent the next few hours watching.

So the next day was spent cancelling the whole thing. The chances of getting to America any time soon seemed a little remote, but I was there just six months later for the 2002 World Horror Convention (in Chicago). Three years later, I finally made it to New York, and had a great time in a city that had really picked itself up after that terrible day. Now I have renewed my passport, and I'm wondering where the last ten years have gone; and, for that matter, why I didn't make more use of that old passport, which was only stamped three times in ten years; Chicago, 2002 - New York, 2005 - and Toronto, Canada, 2007. Well, I suppose we can't all be globe trotters, but given the cost of a new passport these days, I am planning to get plenty of use out of it during the next ten years.
Mind you, it has been pointed out that the weather, just recently, was a lot better here that in most other countries; which is true, but I am a sight-seer. Seeing the Statue of Liberty was wonderful, as was the view of New York from the top of The Empire State Building. In Canada, a visit to the Niagara Falls really made the trip; and although it was many years ago, I still remember sitting on a bench and drinking a bottle of Coke in the shadow of The Eiffel Tower in Paris. What else do I want to see? The Taj Mahal, The Great Wall of China, The Sphynx and The Pyramids perhaps? Well, I'm not getting any younger, so the next ten years will be as good a time as any to sort all this out; and after suffering a few health problems last year, this is my little bucket list in the making. Hopefully, I'll have quite a few adventures to look back on in ten years time.