“There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Lisa.” One of my favourite songs from my childhood. I still remember the words and the tune, such as it was. A symbol of unfaltering logic and hilarity, and now that I’ve thought of it again, I can’t get it out of my head. Never mind.
What else does the word conjure up? Ah yes: bucket bag.
Now there’s a memory. In my second year of university, 1973-74, I lived at 95 Brunswick Street, bang in the middle of the red light area of Sheffield. My parents were horrified, as I had spent my first year in a very nice hall of residence, Ranmoor House, but all my friends had moved out and I wanted to too. And it was cheaper! I had met a very exciting and most unsuitable young man, Ralph, who showered me with violets and attention, and had brought me to his most romantic attic. Ahhh, real student life at last. He, however, had been asked to move out (was it to do with the company he kept or the substances he smoked?) ad so very opportunistically I jumped at the chance to move in after him. And so Basia’s Attic was born. I moved in, Ralph disappeared, but not before asking me to contribute to a house he was buying in Stanley for £500 – I wish I had now, – and I was thrilled with my new accommodation.
My landlady seemed to approve of me, and eventually her friend, Bill, who lived in a caravan in the garden, made friends with me. He had travelled a lot around the world and from time to time he would search corners of his caravan and bring me one of his finds. One day he came bearing a gift of a very heavy, very old, leather bag. A bucket bag. I think it may have been fashionable in the forties. I wish I had it now, as it would be very vintage and probably very useful. But then – I was young – and unfashionable – and I didn’t know what to do with it. I think I kept it till I moved out to go to Spain for my year abroad and then got rid of it. I am ashamed, in a way, but more of Bill and his gifts another time!
Most people seem to have a list of things they want to do before they kick the bucket! I’ve never done this before, so off the top of my head, here’s mine, in no particular order:
Read Ulysses – and understand it
Publish a book
Learn to sing
Go to India by train
Learn how to switch my tv on
Buy a tricycle, preferably electrically powered
Walk around the perimeter of Britain (when I was 18 I read a book by someone who had done that, and I have wanted to ever since!)
I don’t seem to have many desires at all. Have to stop for lunch. Much more important!