Buckets on my mind

Apparently Marie Antoinette had a penchant for role playing, with the life of a milkmaid being her escapist fantasy of choice. The milkmaid fantasy was played out in suitably fantastic splendour, complete with elaborate costumes and custom built living arrangements and accessories. I’m not sure how much actual milk was involved, but a good time was reportedly had by all. My experiential equivalent is a late 60s Barbie as pneumatically cheery diner waitress. She’s wearing one of those cute pink nylon mini coveralls, frilly apron, pink high heels (what every good waitress needs if she wants to maintain that rictus grin while pampering her bunions) and has a teeny weeny pad with pencil crammed into that rigid space between her thumb and that curiously fused four finger hand arrangement. Of course Mattel has supplied the diner: a pink plastic fold up concoction with a couple of booths, a bar with a couple of stools for Ken to perch on, teeny weeny burgers, hot dogs and milkshakes, itsy bitsy cutlery, crockery, till…

Similarities between Marie Antoinette’s Pastoral World of Milkmaid and Barbie’s World of Diner stop at the use of the colour pink (very popular in the French court at the time) and the creation of a detailed, but peculiarly shiny and sanitised version of the chosen roles. Marie Antoinette’s fantasy world was life sized but, and here at long last we get the buckets of the title, the life sized milking buckets were porcelain, Sèvres no less. Porcelain buckets! And what’s to bet cake was served at elevenses.

This is not a porcelain bucket

This is not a porcelain bucket

The practicalities of death have been preoccupying my thoughts and time of late. Not dying you understand, but death and those ‘where is…?’, ‘what happens if…?’ type questions. Strangely cathartic in a getting-things-sorted type of way, and face it those questions need asking. Anyway what seems to have happened is that in a weird cognitive dissonant way buckets and their accompanying lists seem to leap out from all quarters. Scandi TV sensation The Bridge, radio quiz programmes, blogs and newspaper features, celebrity interviews. Those buckets and their lists are everywhere.  Hunting and killing one’s dinner, climbing up something high, fly somewhere exotic for breakfast, jumping down from something high, alternative sexual encounters, fame- possibly for compiling the best ever bucket list. The 100 Books to Read Before etc. The 100 Movies to See Before etc. The 100 Foods to Eat Before etc, the 100 Beaches to Walk on Barefoot at Sunset Before etc.

Several things occur to me: the average bucket list could not be funded with a payday loan or a quick call to CashWeasel; many seem to involve activities that I’ve satisfactorily avoided up to now because a) they involve ridiculous amounts of physical exertion and b) there’s a necessity to enjoy panoramic views in foreign places; they’re everywhere.

I don’t have a bucket list. It’s not due to any sense of my own immortality (which of course goes without saying).  I don’t even have a wish list on Amazon. Should I have a bucket list? Should one attach a budget to one’s bucket list? Does a budget defeat the object because  a bucket list  is really the ultimate wish list? I think one of the problems is that I’m a worrier, one  who is famed for never having really grasped the concept of fun. And should ticking off items on my bucket list be fun or contribute to a sense of morbid achievement – in your face grim reaper? Who would I want to include/exclude? Why am I such a horrid person by not wanting to include X,Y or ZeZe?

I find decision making near impossible because I constantly worry that by doing one thing I’m missing out on doing the other thing that I maybe should have been doing. Mental nattering to self:  I’m walking through the Grand Canyon. That’s quite nice. But maybe the Great Wall of China would have been better. Oh god my feet hurt and I’m probably missing something Scandi and fab on the telly. Something involving buckets and lists, perhaps?

My conclusions on the subject are: bucket lists seem tiring, both in the compiling and the completing and so I’m remaining bucket list free; and I’d really, really like a Sèvres bucket. Just One Porcelain Bucket to Gaze upon Before etc.


This is very definitely not a porcelain bucket

This is very definitely not a porcelain bucket



  1. H
    Feb 7, 2014

    Currently on EBay Sevres crystal ice bucket, no good for a mop but should be high on the list for any alcohol related activities!

  2. Sue
    Feb 10, 2014

    Mmm… I can see the benefit of having a ‘things to do’ bucket list but not necessarily a ‘places to go’. This may be because my ancestors travelled the grand total of 70 miles in 700 years. We’re not intrepid. However, having recently watched ‘The Tunnel’ (the UK’s equivalent of The Bridge) which you mention, it’s certainly thought-provoking, and not always in a good way.

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