List ideas just bring that bucket closer

You may not know this, but we’ve got a lot to thank Patty Hill and her sister Mildred for – and Preston Ware Orem and Mrs. R.R. Forman, too.

If they hadn’t been born, just imagine this scenario . . .

It’s your birthday, you have a houseful of friends and relations knocking back the Prosecco and scoffing party goodies like mini-pasties, sandwiches, crisps and vol-au-vents – which is French for vomit-filled tarts.

You even have those little things on sticks. What are they called? Pensioners!

Calm down. It’s an old joke. Move on . . .

Someone dims the lights, a cake complete with lit candles is produced, the cake is cut into slices . . . and then everyone goes home.

The more astute among you will have noticed something important was missing from that cosy picture.

Nobody sang “Happy Birthday To You”.

Fortunately, the four people mentioned in the first paragraph were born, because in 1893 the Hill sisters composed the melody for a song they called “Good Morning To You” and in 1935 new lyrics were penned by Orem and Forman.

Since when, their combined effort “Happy Birthday To You” has been sung at millions of birthday celebrations and it’s still in copyright.

I only mentioned “Happy Birthday” because today, July 22, is my birthday.

I’ll pause a moment while you sing the song to me.

I’m not saying how old I am, but if I had a candle on my cake for every year I’ve been alive, fire alarms would go off for a two-mile radius.

As I get older, birthdays come around quicker every year.

It’s an illusion, of course, fuelled by the fact I lead a very busy life and make the most out of every day.

Maybe time would slow down for me if I lounged around watching reality TV shows featuring Z-list celebrities every night?

Nah! I’d rather not take the chance.

At my age, birthdays are a time for reflection. What have I achieved since the last one? What amazing thing can I do before the next one – if I make it to the next one?

Which brings me to bucket lists . . .

Exciting things people want to achieve before they kick the bucket, like sky-diving…shark-hunting…running with the bulls at Pamplona…and climbing Everest.

Ironically, they don’t realise that every time they engage in one of those dangerous activities, they bring that bucket a little bit closer to their foot!