Tomorrow – 30 May – is national Hole in My Bucket Day in the US. Well, there is a hole in my bucket list.
What is Hole in My Bucket Day?
Hole in my Bucket Day is observed nationally in the USA on 30 May each year. While the origin is not entirely clear, it honours the children’s song “There’s a Hole in My Bucket”.
The song originated in Germany in the 1700s (I did not know that) and it is a conversation between ‘dear Henry’ and ‘dear Liza’. Henry has a leaky bucket and asks Liza for advice on how to fix it. He has a reason why all of her suggestions will not work. In the end, he needs water to wet the stone… and to get the water, he needs his bucket.
Did your Mum sing it to you when you were a kid? Mine did. I’m not sure whether she wanted me to take Henry’s position, who came across as pretty helpless but had obviously thought things through to the end, or the more decisive Liza’s, who was perhaps a little too hasty.
There is no clear connection between 30 May and the song.
What is a bucket list?
Your bucket list is the list of experiences or achievements that you would like to have or accomplish during your lifetime. It is a way to track your goals and the steps you are taking to achieve them.
In my case, my bucket list is a travel bucket list. Basically, it is a list of things I want to see (or sometimes do) before I die. And there is a hole in that bucket list.
Why is there a hole in my bucket list?
Many of the things on my bucket list still things I had planned to do or see with Mum.
We had a number of places we wanted to see (again) in Europe – anywhere I liked was instantly on her bucket list. We also often talked about meeting somewhere in the middle, like Singapore or Thailand or Vietnam, and seeing a country together.
Now Mum is not there to see them with me.
There is a hole in my bucket list and that hole is my Mum.
I have tried to list all the things I remember from Mum‘s bucket list and now have them added to mine. It means my bucket list is very long!
Many of the things I had wanted to see with Mum, at least in Europe are now part of my “See with Miss M list”. I figure we’ll just change the generations. Perhaps it will help me plug the hole in my bucket list, at least a little bit.
I know how hard it will be to see the things on Mum‘s bucket list without her. Venice was on her bucket list for a long time. Going there for the first time after her death with Dad and Miss M was very difficult at times.
Sunday was Mum’s birthday
Sunday would have been Mum’s birthday. While I might not repurpose an old bucket for Hole in My Bucket Day on Saturday, I will be doing something on Sunday to remember my Mum.
Her birthday is also apparently Macaroon Day. I have macaroons on my list of things I want to bake but am trying to decide on the flavour. Perhaps I will bake some macaroons for Mum’s birthday.
One of the things on Mum‘s bucket list was to eat macaroons and pastries in Paris. We did eat crepes in Paris for her birthday one year before starting our tour of the south of France. Another year, we had chocolate cake from Mum’s favourite chocolate shop (for cakes) in Brussels.
So here are some of the highlights of my bucket list, at least some of the things that we were hoping to do in the near future before the coronavirus hit. Hopefully, seeing some of these places will heal some of the hole in my bucket list.
What’s on my bucket list?
Local stuff (Europe)
My Mum, Grandma and I had actually planned to go to Prague while I was studying in Mannheim. A mix up at the embassy with my visa meant that we didn’t get there. It was still on Mum’s bucket list. I have been a couple of times, but we hope to take Miss M soon. We had actually planned to spend a few days in Prague in July. For obvious reasons, this trip has been postponed.
We wanted to spend time in the old town, but also in the castle district and at the old Jewish synagogue and cemetery. The zoo was also on our list – we were going to add it to our growing list. Mum was amused by the story of the sea lion, which escaped the zoo when the Vitava River flooded. She also wanted to try some of the Bohemian dishes and buy some crystal, too.
We are no strangers to Berlin. Still, my bucket list includes going to Berlin to be a tourist, not just for a concert or football game, or to see family (though those things can happen, too).
There is still much that I want to see in Berlin but have not yet, or have not for many years. In fact, I would like to use a trip to Berlin to practice my photography.
I’d like to go back to the Berlin Wall, perhaps to some of the areas that are less well known, and to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe to catch in in different light. It has been decades since I visited Charlottenburg Palace. I think Teufelsberg would be a great place to practice my photography, as would the now-abandoned amusement park, Spreepark. We’ve also only seen one of the two zoos in Berlin and didn’t make it to the Aquarium either.
Of course, we couldn’t leave Berlin without having some currywurst.
We’ve visited Copenhagen numerous times. Mum was in awe of our photos and stories. We even considered getting married there (the paperwork was easier than Germany). For some reason, we haven’t visited with Miss M yet. I plan to remedy that soon.
We’d like to show Miss M the Little Mermaid, Christiansborg Palace (and the tower for the view!), the changing of the guard at Amalienborg Palace, the animals at the zoo, ride the roller coasters at Tivoli Gardens, and go shopping (there is a reason it is called Shopenhagen). I know Miss M would love the hotdogs and ice cream.
Budapest was high on Mum‘s bucket list after my brother married a Hungarian. However, it had been on her bucket list for many years after her aunt also married a Hungarian.
This was one hole in my bucket list that was going to be filled this year. We were meant to go to Budapest for my Brother’s and Sister-in-law’s “second wedding“ but the event had to be postponed.
Mum wanted to see Buda Castle and the Parliament building, take a boat tour, visit one of the baths, eat lángos, visit the flee market and see the communist sculptures at Memento Park. I also want to take Miss M on a hunt for the mini statues. I am sure Kata of Budapest Connection and my Sister-in-law will have a lot to suggest when we do get there!
Things to see with Miss M
Miss M and I had planned a trip to the Netherlands during the Easter holidays as a rerun of our mother-daughter trip to Amsterdam last August. Unfortunately, we then had to cancel.
This time, we were going to visit the Keukenhof, visit Trix the T-Rex at her new home in the recently reopened Naturalis Museum, and go to the Gouda cheese market. If time and weather allowed, we may have also visited the windmills at Kinderdijk, taken a boat tour in Giethoom, visited the traditional town of Volendam, and watched porcelain being made in Delft. We may have gone back to Burgers Zoo on the way home and we would have to eat some poffertjes and fries.
Miss M is getting old enough to understand more about history, so that a trip to Rome makes sense. We want to show her the eternal city, where we got engaged, and some of the wonderful sites. We can visit the Colosseum and go cat hunting in some of the ruins. And there is a lot more food to try, such as some more spaghetti carbonara.
A visit to Paris will really show how big the hole in my bucket list is. Miss M has been to Paris, but we want to go again, even if it will be difficult. And we’re not just going to try the macaroons.
We have a plan to glide around Versailles like princesses, and sit in little cafes and watch the world go by. The dinosaur museum and zoo are meant to be great – Miss M is itching to go.
Mum and I visited Monet’s garden at Giverny, but I would like to take Miss M to see his waterlilies. Mum never got to see them, though the Museum de l’Orangerie was on Mum’s bucket list.
We’d also visit a little market or two, some of the more unusual sites in Paris and possibly a town or two just outside of Paris, such as Provins or La Roche-Guyon. Miss M would also like to go back to Disneyland to see her favourite princesses, Leia and Anna – in her princess tiara of course.
Baking lesson in the south of France
At some stage, I am going to take a week off from everything and take a baking class in the south of France to learn how to make some French specialities. Some of the courses can be quite expensive, so I will probably have to wait a while as we have just put our money into our patio. Maybe it will be a birthday present to myself for a major birthday or a gift for making my first decent money from this blog. A girl can dream.
Sipping tea in Morocco
Morocco is still a hole in my bucket list. Peter went for a day for a soccer match, so I will have to work on him if I am going to get there anytime soon.
I am not a huge fan of the film Casablanca, so I don’t want to go and see where it was filmed. I just want to experience life. I want to visit the markets and compare them to Dubai. I want to wander aimlessly though quiet courtyards and admire the architecture. Mostly, I want to find a quiet place to sit and have tea and watch the world go by.
Things to see in Australia
Perth is a hole in my bucket list. I have never been to Western Australia (or Tasmania, but it is lower down on the list at the moment). However, I don’t just want to go to tick it off my list. I have wanted to go to Perth since I heard Mum and Dad‘s report of their trip.
Of course, no trip would be complete without a trip to Rottnest Island to see some quokkas.
A trip to Queensland is on the cards for one of our next trips to Australia. One of my best friends lives in Brisbane with her family while another family friend, who was a close friend of Mum’s, lives in Cairns. I would love to see both friends and show Peter and Miss M some of the places in between, like Fraser Island. The timing just depends on the weather.
Things to see on the way to Australia
Angkor Wat in Siem Reap
I have wanted to visit Angkor for a long time. I find the temple complex both beautiful and fascinating. We are hoping to do it sometime on our way to or from Australia. That will help fill one hole in my bucket list.
Just to clarify – my fascination with the City of Temples supersedes Angelina Jolie and the Tomb Raider franchise.
We’ve been to Dubai a few times now (we have a series of posts coming soon!), but we haven’t managed to cross the border into Oman. We plan to remedy this! There is a boat trip I am particularly interested in.
I have been to Singapore before, but not for a very long time. Some major changes – notably the whole Gardens by the Bay – mean it is now back as a hole in my bucket list. I would love to take Miss M to see the gardens, as we as to the zoo to have breakfast with the orangutans (one of our favourite animals). If we have time after visiting Chinatown, going to a Buddhist temple or two, eating, eating and more eating and taking a trishaw and bumboat tour, we might go to Sentosa, too!
The rest of the world
Every time I almost get a chance to go to Egypt, there is a bombing or uprising or something else that makes it inadvisable to go. Someday, I will get there and that hole in my bucket list will be filled. Until then, the list of things I want to see continues to grow. I won’t just be sitting on a beach or going snorkelling!
We had a substitute teacher for a term while I was at primary school. This coincided with the Tiananmen Square Massacre. We learnt a lot about what was happening, censorship, places and history of China and watched The Last Emperor. Since then, I have wanted to see Beijing, especially the Forbidden Kingdom and the Terracotta Warriors.
I nearly got to go to Beijing for work. I even had my Chinese visa ready. Unfortunately, plans changed at the last minute and the trip was cancelled for me. It is still on my bucket list.
Mum spent a year studying in America and met one wise woman while she was there. Peter has family in the States and did some of his legal training in San Diego. His Dad did quite a bit of business there, too. He and I have been to New York 3 times, and to Philadelphia and Atlantic City together, but not with Miss M.
We were planning on taking a longer vacation to the States sometime before Miss M starts school.
Just to clarify: Schooling is compulsory here. If you take your child out of school to leave a day or two early for a vacation and take advantage of a special offer, you will basically be fined the amount of money you thought you would save. Homeschooling is not allowed. Legally, therefore, closing schools for the coronavirus is much more difficult than it is in other countries.
We had not decided exactly which parts to see – New York, friends in Pennsylvania and family in New Jersey, or the West Coast with San Diego, Oregon, Yosemite and Seattle. Or perhaps we will just tour Florida and hit the Parks? Unfortunately, it is now not clear whether or when this will happen.
I need to fix this hole in my bucket list
I will never be able to totally fix this hole in my bucket list. There is simply no way to replace my Mum. However, ticking off some of the items on my bucket list and creating new memories as I do might be a way to make the hole less prominent.