The Bucket List:
Mine contains four items, two of which require further lists.
This lockdown has been a great opportunity for list-keepers. Firstly, it has been possible to review, examine and tidy up all the lists. More importantly, it has given me time to reflect on whether any new lists are necessary. One glaring example stems from the very first days of the lockdown. People went wild panic buying and stocking up on the most amazing items. Banchory supermarkets were full of people who had nothing to do with Banchory (the badges on the children’s blazers are the giveaway) raiding our shelves to the detriment of Banchory residents. The supermarkets began rationing products. What rôle can a list play in all this? To be ready, just in case, for the next lockdown (which I hope never to see) a list is needed of those items which flew off the shelves at the end of March in order always to have a stock of these. And a strange list it is. Toilet rolls (naturally?), canned tomatoes, rice, flour, yeast (for the bread-makers amongst us), tonic water (yes, honestly) and lots more. The fact that there was also a run on baked beans does not worry me. They will not figure on my list of necessities – ever.
I am often asked “What is the point of all these lists?”. Way back in the age of steam, it was a question put to all those enthusiastic trainspotters (males of all ages – apparently the hobby did not appeal to the ladies). The point is that there is no point. They can, indeed, provide innocent fun. For example, choose an exotic ingredient (turmeric, for example) and find on the recipe list something which includes it to be cooked for supper. The lists can stir memories. Reading them I remembered the excitement of landing in America for the first time forty years ago and the ten-year-old boy who was enthralled to see England and France for the first time sixty years ago. Or that book I remember reading on a particular beach one summer. Using the book list, I avoid buying books I have already read (though clearly they did not leave a great impression!) Yes, sometimes my lists can be useful but if you are not a list-keeper it is impossible to explain to you why we list-keepers find list-keeping so enthralling.
As I finish writing this, I have realised how I will spend part of the rest of lockdown. I will draw up the ultimate list. A list of lists.
Did someone say OCD?
Banchory East Church
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