There’s a hole in my bucket list

My keys have gone missing. We are quite relaxed with keys, Mr Mason being unable to find his on a regular basis, so when he can’t find his, I give him mine and then he forgets he has my keys, despite the fact they have a distinctive key ring from San Marco in Venice. My keys are not used that much, though, and are most often found in my bag as Mr Mason usually does the locking and unlocking. Then comes the day he cannot find his keys and asks for mine. They are not in my bag – not in any bag I’ve used in the last 6 months. They are not in jacket pockets or pockets of jeans. They have just vaporised. Mr Mason ploughs on, looking through coats I’ve not worn since last winter and gamely looking at mutual backpacks we took somewhere a long time ago. They are not to be found. We do have spare keys, we discover, sitting in a little pot the vendors left. When Mr Mason goes out, if I am not in the sitting room, kitchen or garden, I like to be locked in because I can’t necessarily hear anyone coming to the back door and it is rather a long way away. This used to alarm Mr Mason before I lost my keys but now he is doubly worried that some catastrophe will happen and I’ll be locked in with no way out. I point out that I can get out of the front door (bolted shut) or the downstairs toilet which has a door into the garden. He still worries and we have the same conversation each time.

Today it’s the car service in Boston. Put a search in Google for anything in Boston without specifying UK and you get all the results from Boston, Mass. If I have time, it’s quite interesting to compare how many fishmongers there are over there and how they ever get their hands on a nice fillet of smoked eel, I will never know. No fish smokeries at all. Talking to a visiting friend at the weekend, I mentioned that I would like to go to Boston as one of my final trips and for just a split second, I could see he though I meant Boston, Lincs. Philip, our friend, is the dogs’ new best friend. For a gift he bought them a pack of finest Lincolnshire sausages, all to themselves. Dogs really do go crazy for a sausage; it’s not a myth. He also bought us humans some lovely presents, including a mug with a giraffe as the handle to perpetuate the online debate that if a giraffe drank a cup of coffee, would it be cold by the time it got down its neck. What do you think? Yes, we do have too much time on our hands sometimes.

I’ve been thinking a bit about the old bucket list idea. I find it hard to get up each morning and spend the day appreciating every moment. Another of my online friends died this week. She had been to the USA with her family just having a good time when she fell ill and died within 2 weeks. That’s the sort of thing that really scares me. I picture a gradual decline because, I suppose, it would still allow me some modicum of control but of course, it’s not like that for all of us. Clearly going from being well enough to travel to the USA to dying is far too fast for my liking and for those who knew and loved her, I extend my deepest sympathies. Incidences like this pull me up short and I then do try to appreciate each day, if not each moment. It’s still hard though, because it does still rain and computers do silly things (never their operators) and you run out of milk or bread or rice. Yes, there was an amazing cluster of dragonflies in the garden this morning (yep, that’s the official collective noun) and the sun is shining and we’re not impoverished or at each other’s throats but there is enormous pressure to love everything and everyone when you know you are terminally ill. Unless you are like a nurse I spoke to when I had had a poor prognosis who recommended I told everyone I didn’t like a) that I didn’t like them and b) why. She thought it should be used as a time for revenge.

So, back to the bucket list idea. I’d like to go to New England. I’d like to see the Northern Lights. These are 2 big trips and I don’t know how many I’d be able to fit in. And I have to be selective. I’d like to spend some time away with my family. Thailand, Norway, South Africa and France are high on my emotional trips because there are people there I love and would like to see more of but I’d also like to discover more places. I don’t want to jump out of a plane or start a new hobby. I’d like to dress differently in clothes I wouldn’t perhaps usually buy. That’s easily done. I’d like to have something published – not so easily done, I suspect. I’d like to be thought of as kind and helpful and hopefully funny but that’s where I slide away from the whole bucket list idea. I don’t think I’m going to get very far with concrete ideas although there is a part of me that would like to have that list – to be that organised and controlling. Because that’s what it all comes back to – control – and that’s the one thing we can’t have. With the diagnosis of secondary cancer, it’s been brought into much sharper focus although we’re all really in the same position. Maybe there’s just a hole in my bucket list.

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