What is a bucket list?  Well simply put it is a collection of goals, dreams and aspirations that you would like to accomplish during your lifetime.

How I started mine was when I was celebrating my 50th birthday and a work colleague suggested that I make a bucket list.  At first I thought what a depressing thing to do thinking about things to quickly do before I pop my clogs!  I think the problem was I had already been thinking about my mortality as my Neurologist had just told me that he was referring me to a Cardiologist as there was a possibility that my Muscular Dystrophy may now be affecting my heart.  As it happens my heart was fine, it was 2 years later when I was given the bad news that I was in the early stages of heart failure and that there was no cure.  Thankfully I was given medication to slow down the deterioration and 4 years on the medication appears to still be working.

Anyway, getting back to my bucket list, after a bit of persuasion I decided to go for it. After all what did I have to lose, plus it would be good to have something to aim for.  At first I couldn’t think of anything exciting to put on my list especially as I thought I would be limited in what I could achieve due to my health conditions. However I soon started adding things which you can see as follows:

Eating my first Subway sandwich. Yes, you heard right, I had never had a Subway sandwich and had always fancied trying one, so a work colleague took me out for lunch one day to the nearby Subway at Longbenton. We sat inside the window of the shop on leather sofas which was so much better than sitting in the canteen at work. That is until a group of surveyors, who I used to work with, walked past the window and started shouting “That’s not your husband!” The funny thing was my work colleague was also married but to a man! Of course the surveyors didn’t know that Andrew was gay and seeing he is such a good looking man I let them continue to think that I was having some kind of illicit affair ha ha!

Visiting a Gin Bar I don’t know about you but I have never particularly been attracted to drinking gin especially when my Mam used to describe it as Mothers Ruin. Anyway, a couple of years ago I did visit a Gin Bar in Newcastle with a group of girls who I used to work with.  They were all excited to go, however I’ve got to say that gin and tonics do not do anything for me and apart from a raspberry flavoured gin I was much happier drinking my usual Pinot Grigio! In fact I was more attracted to the good looking barman who was serving us however he was young enough to be my son and also I wasn’t very ladylike when descending from my tall bar stool so I wouldn’t have stood a chance of impressing him anyway!

Blogging for Gateshead Carers Now this is something which I would never had considered doing in a million years however Claire Parker and Nikki McCann from Gateshead Carers can be very persuasive so here I am!

Glass Painting Again this is something which I would never have tried had it not been for Gateshead Carers. I have always been interested in getting involved with any form of artwork but have never had the confidence to do anything about it.  However last year when I was at a Ready Steady Grow session at Gateshead Carers I was shown by Carol Redpath, one of the Carer Wellbeing Facilitators, how to paint a glass bottle.  I love spending time in the countryside and especially enjoy views that contain rivers and lots of trees and flowers so I decided that was what I would paint. It wasn’t perfect but as it was my first time I wasn’t too bothered.  I couldn’t believe how relaxing it was to do and how I totally forgot about any cares or worries that I had.  Since then I have painted two vases at home and a couple of glass storage jars.  I now have one vase and eight glass jars in a cupboard at home waiting to be decorated so I definitely have plenty to keep me going.

Learning a new language Again, this is something I would never have thought of doing had it not been for Gateshead Carers.  I had been thinking of learning a new language for goodness knows how long but had never done anything about it.  Then when volunteering I met a gentleman who is a Carer and a Volunteer who was born in Syria.  When this gentleman first arrived in the U.K. he could speak no English however within one year of learning, his English vocabulary is absolutely amazing.  He has been so inspirational to me that I decided to learn Arabic even if it was just a little bit of conversational content.  I have now had three online lessons and I am thoroughly enjoying myself even though I was told on my second lesson that Arabic is one of the hardest languages to learn.

So what is next on my bucket list?  Well I would like to think something adventurous such as climbing Everest or abseiling down the Shard. Unfortunately climbing the stairs at my Mam and Dad’s is enough for me to reach dizzy heights!  Thankfully my parents recently had a stairlift installed for my Dad and we now race each other to use it especially when we are both anxious to get to the bathroom in a hurry.  Actually it is quite exciting to use as it reminds me of a rollercoaster which I once went on with my daughters at Flamingoland many, many moons ago.  Ok it was a one for small children but it was still a rollercoaster!

Well folks, this is the end of this week’s blog I hope that I have inspired you to start your own bucket list. 

Take care of yourselves and make sure you make some time to do something you enjoy too!