Like a Rohrschach test, these responses are straight off the top of my head. Let's hope you find them interesting, Shakey!
Seven things to do before I die - not that I expect this to happen - I think I'm immortal, ineffable and so on. Still...
- Get back to playing the piano.
- Travel through the Congo.
- Ditto the Savannah. Kenya, here I come.
- Also Latin America.
- Learn to play the saxophone. Alto sax a la Boots Randolph and Fausto Papetti.
- Win a Booker. Or similar. (Modesty is not my virtue. Practicality and realism are not my mores.)
- Swim with dolphins. Or whales (though preferably not Orcas)
Seven things I can't do:
- Abide cruelty to animals
- Make small talk
- Play bridge (despite years of begging people to teach me)
- Listen to music - any music - without tapping my feet or trying to sing along
- Deal with dishonesty / a particular brand of smarmy sucking-up
- Refrain from making cooing noises when faced with puppies
- Fall asleep without reading for a while (unless excessive alcohol renders me unable to see straight, and even then, I try, while my crossed eyes try in vain to follow my finger across the words)
Seven things that attract me to Europe (really? Does it have to be Europe, or can it be any place that fascinates one? Oh well, going with the flow)
- Language. Spanish, specifically.
- Old looming cathedrals
- My colonial roots
- Wine & cheese
- Adventure, or the hope of it
- Je ne se quois
Seven excellent books:
- To Kill A Mockinbird - Harper Lee
- One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
- The Great Indian Novel - Shashi Tharoor
- The English Patient - Michael Ondaatje
- Impossibility - John D. Barrow
- The complete Winnie-the-Pooh (OK, so it's not "a" book and I'm cheating. Still.) - A. A. Milne
- Falling Off The Map - Pico Iyer
Seven good movies:
- Jungle Book (Disney animated)
- Brokeback Mountain
- The Usual Suspects (speaking of which, almost every Kevin Spacey movie I've ever seen)
- Monsters, Inc. (yes, I'm an animation freak)
- The Untouchables
- Those Magnificent Men And Their Flying Machines
Seven people on whom to inflict this!