Which is nice-it’s always good to be your children’s superhero-but her idea is not do-able.Even for me.I say so. ‘What about flying,then?’she says. ‘What,you mean as in a plane?’ ‘No,she retorts,in all seriousness. ‘Like Superman!’ Silly me.I should have know.Of course she means like Superman.I am her hero,just the same way my dad was my hero.It’s almost 30 years now since I lost him-over half a lifetime.And I still can’t believe he’s never coming back. ‘Ah,’I tell Ellie, ‘there’s a problem with that one.I don’t have any red underpants that will fit over my trousers.’ She knows she’s being teased and pulls her ‘Dad,I’m being teased face. ‘Well,’Isay, ‘you started it.What do you expect? But I can sort of fly,’T say,pointing to another item I’ve already added. ‘Indoor skydiving.That’s pretty much like flying.’ ‘What,you can fly?’She looks impressed now. ‘What,with no strings or anything?’ ‘With no strings or anything.The air holds you up.’Itry to explain how it works,but I’m not sure she quite gets it. ‘Come on’I say. ‘What else?Think-what would you like to do,if you could do a challenge yourself?’ ‘Fly a kite,’she says,decisively. ‘I’d like to fly a kite-a big pink one.Hey,but Dad?’ ‘What?’ ‘I’ve got a brilliant one for you.Dye your hair pink!’ She is bright eyed with excitement at this unexpected brainwave. ‘Okaaayyy,’I say slowly. ‘That can go under “maybe”.’ Ellie shakes her head. ‘You can’t do maybes.You have to Definitely promise.’ I try to regroup.How on earth am I going to get out of this one?The plan is to do all this stuff to inspire others,her included:not to look like a complete idiot,for a bet. ‘I can’t promise definitely,’I say. ‘I minght not have time to fit them all in,might I?’ ‘But if you do ….’ ‘Then how about I put it on my “reserve list”?’I suggest.I have my clients to think about,after all.I write ‘reserve list’ on the bottom,followed by ‘Dye hair pink.’Which her expression seems to suggest might have mollified her. ‘Anything else?’ I ask,trying to redirect her thoughts a bit.Which is probably tempting fate,but never mind. ‘What about a zorb ball?’she suggests. ‘Zorbing?’ ‘You know what,Ellie?’I say,already picking up my pencil. ‘That is an excellent idea.Assuming you’ll help me,of course.’ I wiggle my fingers,which are probably cursing me already for the torture I am about to inflict on them. ‘Course I’ll help you,’she says. ‘I’m brilliant at puzzles.’ ‘OK,’I say,adding it. ‘How many pieces should we go for?’ ‘Five thousand,’she says,without a flicker of hesitation. ‘That won’t be too hard for your fingers,will it,Dad?’ ‘Piece of cake,’I tell my daughter.And at that point I Believe it. Mag.Just as Ellie has already said. Number of challenges still to be completed:50. Number of times I have wondered what I’ve let myself in for: Already too numerous to count. Now I’m up and running with this thing,there’s no backing out.No,I know I’m not exactly running yet-my plan is so far little more than a sketched-out idea-but having come up with it,I realize that committing to all these challenges is beginning to feel more and more like a challenge in itself.It’s one thing telling yourself you’re going to be able to achieve all of them,but quite another when you tell everyone else you are as well.Another still when the person you most want to do it for is one of the people dearest to you in the world. As it turns,I have been somewhat beaten off the blocks anyway,in terms of challenges,because only two weeks after formulating the plan,and my subsequent optimistic conversation with Ellie,I had another one lobbed into my lap.And it was a big one.A particularly big one for a man of my age.