That bucket list

boy-1300397_1280Last week felt huge. It was like the world had tipped on its axis. So many changes all at once – from the assassination of Jo Cox to the resignation of Cameron. The EU vote shining a light on the cracks in our society so they were laid bare and unflattering.

We had younger generations blaming older generations for scuppering potential opportunity and prosperity. There were self-professed educated people sneering at the working-hard classes. Bigots and racists took the opportunity to stir further the hornet’s nest. Anarchy felt frighteningly imminent.

Life felt unsettled, different, precarious.

Meanwhile, in a house with a beautifully stripped staircase in a Yorkshire town with a funny name, the world had tipped on its axis in a more private, yet no less cataclysmic way. As people ranted and raged on social media and egged each other on, a couple took out a piece of paper. At the top they wrote “bucket list”.

For on the same day in the same hospital where they battled to save Jo Cox, doctors began to break the news to my friends that the renal replacement therapy that was keeping their five-year-old boy alive was not a possibility anymore.

As they reeled at the thought of only having weeks before they had to say goodbye, they tried to rally and plan. They began to list how best to spend the days left with their precious child.

But what should be on that list before time ran out? Who to see, where to be, what to do?


I felt the itchy panic on Friday as I woke to hear the news that we were leaving the EU, the widespread outrage intensifying my sense of doom and foreboding for the future.

But then I remembered that bucket list.

I wanted to shout at the radio when our prime minister announced his resignation – effectively picking up the ball and going home half way through the game as players, muddied and adrenaline-fuelled, watched from the football pitch.

But then I remembered that bucket list.

I watched with a growing distaste as people tore into each other across social media – the remain voters demanding to know who the “stupid” and “prejudiced” leave faction were.

But then I remembered that bucket list.

I shook my head when the Labour party took the chance to attempt a Caesar-style coup at a time when they should be presenting a united front, the country already lurching from in-house Tory power jostling.

But then I remembered that bucket list.

I read the online news over the weekend and felt those ever-rising niggles rear their heads – you know the ones about spending and not saving, of job safety and the career/child care tightrope.

But then I remembered that bucket list.

I sighed as people shared news of racist actions, examples of intolerance and sheer hateful behaviour – things that happen every day in some shape and form – but now under the media spotlight due to the political agenda.

But then I remembered that bucket list.

As I went about the following days with the usual mundane groans and gripes – the endless summer rain, the garden that needs weeding, the broken diet, the sibling squabbles – I kept on coming back to that bucket list.

And none of it mattered. It all melted away.

The world may tip and sway, but more often than not it steadies itself in time. People adjust and go about their day. Things that seem life-changing fizzle and drift away.

Then there is the stuff that is monumental. The events that are huge. The things that alter lives and shape all future actions.

Like a heart-broken set of parents trying to write a bucket list for their child whose life is ending before it has chance to begin.

Because if any of us were faced with the same, your life would suddenly be stripped down to its basics. Shelter, food yes! But it is all about the people in your world – the connections, the love, kindness, those that touch you and leave a lasting impression.

Too often we are looking over the fence at all that is greener – a better job, a bigger car, skinnier hips, new kitchen, holidays, a cooler crowd.

Often we forget all that we do have.

That is until it is cruelly snatched away.

I really hope that every time I get cross, jealous, bitchy or greedy, or when I feel fed up because life is not living up to some mythical exacting standards, that I remember that it is in the ordinary moments that we find the extraordinary.

I don’t want to keep running an endless race to acquire all the things I think I need, not when I actually have everything I have ever wanted.

I’m all for reaching for the stars, but sometimes we need to marvel at the gleaming items we’ve amassed at our feet, not just keep reaching for the next sparkly thing in the sky.

Because one day we might have to write this list. I’m sure we would fill it full of wonderful ideas, exciting experiences, amazing places to see. We would include everything we have ever desired and plan to make all our wishes come true.

But in that moment I’ll bet we realise that the one thing we truly want…  is the only thing we can’t have. Not anymore.



*Enjoy every moment  of your list our sweet little man – our lives are infinitely richer for having you in it. God bless you Mr Professor*




9 Comments on That bucket list

  1. Ali
    June 29, 2016 at 7:36 pm (6 years ago)

    You usually put things monumentally in perspective. Thank you.

    • Alison
      June 30, 2016 at 10:58 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks Ali xx

  2. Moira Senior
    June 30, 2016 at 8:40 am (6 years ago)

    Hace been reading your b;og for ages, so sorry to hea this and my thoughts are with you x

  3. Moira Senior
    June 30, 2016 at 8:41 am (6 years ago)

    HaVe been reading your blog for ages, so sorry to hear this and my thoughts are with you x

    • Alison
      June 30, 2016 at 10:57 am (6 years ago)

      Hi Moira
      It is not my little boy but my friends’ little lad – so very sad xx Thanks for the lovely wishes though x

  4. Pam
    July 1, 2016 at 5:29 am (6 years ago)

    Chin up step forward one step one day one tear one smile at a time.
    Make your memories for they will help you to remain strong when the time cones and your world collapses.
    Love and hugs Pam xxx

    • Alison
      July 1, 2016 at 9:48 am (6 years ago)

      Hello Pam – I will pass on these lovely wishes to my friend. Her blog is if you would like to follow their story. Thank you xx

  5. Natalie
    July 3, 2016 at 6:16 pm (6 years ago)

    Such beautiful words and so true – nothing else matters does it? Sending so much love to your friends I can’t even imagine what she is going through. X
    Natalie recently posted…Coldplay, H&M and New Babies #littlelovesMy Profile

  6. Jillian
    August 3, 2016 at 9:55 pm (6 years ago)

    You both write so beautifully. One month on I dare not guess how things are now, but I’d like to send you and your friend all the love in the world. Jx


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