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When Life Hands You Lemons...

Updated: Jan 8

... You Make Freshly Squeezed Lemonade!

Sadly you may have seen that I have recently been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, a huge blow to me, my family and friends. Unimaginable at best. However, the only thing that I know is to search out the positives and to live and enjoy every moment.

So here it is, Sam's Bucket List.

As of 08/01/2023 - 52 complete, 48 to go!

100 moments, experiences and memories that I want to take with me before I go. If you can help in anyway in making them a reality - please do let me know!

  1. Make Fresh Lemonade, of course!

  2. Fall in love - Done! I met my beautiful husband in 2013 and the rest, as they say, is history!

  3. Get engaged - Done! We got engaged on 25 July 2015 in the grounds of the secret garden as the Ashdown Park Country Club Hotel. James proposed with a Haribo ring… how sweet! Geddit? HA!

  4. Get Married - Done! In front of our family and friends, we tied in the knot at Buxted Park hotel on 26 July 2016. A beatnik day that will stay with me forever.

  5. Have a family - Done! Our family became complete when Little Man came home in the Summer of 2020.

  6. Own a dog - Done! Ralph, our beloved Dachshund arrived in 2017 and we’ve been sausage mad ever since!

  7. Go on safari - Done! As part of our honeymoon we spent four days on safari in the Masai Mara, Kenya. We were exhausted most days with the early starts and late finishes but seeing mother nature in all her glory was just stunning.

  8. Ride a hot air balloon - Done! On day three of our honeymoon we caught a very early morning ride to take a ride in a hot air balloon. Nothing can beat watching the sun rise over the Masai Mara whilst you are a few thousand feet in the air watching the world come to life.

  9. See the Northern Lights - Done! We spent several days in Iceland and one night we were lucky enough to see them.

  10. Run a marathon - Done! I have run the London Marathon in 2014 and 2015. I also walked the Shine Night Walk in 2019.

  11. Watch my friends get married - Done! I watched my beautiful best friend marry and it was truly special day.

  12. Forgive someone - Done! I won't say too much about this, but having forgiven someone has given me strength to accept differences and to move on with what really matters.

  13. Donate blood as a gay man - Done! January 2021 saw me being able to donate, finally after many years of gay men not being able to donate blood.

  14. Experience live theatre - Done! My love of theatre has enabled me to see so much theatre over the years, and for that I am so very thankful. I still aim to watch as much theatre as I can.

  15. Visit New York - Done! I visited NYC in 2014 and 2019 - its a city that you just cannot help falling in love with. I still want to return to experience the magic of NYC once more. It will hold a special place in my heart.

  16. Appear on TV to raise awareness of MND

  17. Go to an Adele concert - I have seen my idol Adele several times and this Summer I get to see her again in Hyde Park!

  18. Learn to drive - Done! 2022 saw me passing my driving test, first time, with only one minor!

  19. Watch the sun set in Guernsey - Done. I’ve spent many times in Guernsey on holiday, but I want to return one final time to reminisce about my time there and to watch the sunsets that are like no other.

  20. Fly first class

  21. Raise £50,000 - I will do everything possible to raise as much as I can in the fight against MND.

  22. Afternoon tea at The Ritz - Done! We enjoyed a lovely festive afternoon tea on New Years Day 2023! Take a look at the photos here.

  23. Write a book - currently in progress!

  24. Throw a party for my family and friends

  25. Visit Las Vegas

  26. Meet/speak to Adele

  27. Create my own cologne so I can be remembered once I'm gone

  28. Holiday on a cruise

  29. To have made an impact on others - Done! Apparently my husband said this is done, so I take that means I have made an impact on him. Job Well done!

  30. Take time to appreciate nature - Done! I have found in my darkest days that nature has been very healing and gives a sense of freedom. Definitely never under appreciate Mother Nature.

  31. Go skinny dipping at night

  32. Learn how to play an instrument

  33. Volunteer at a zoo for a day and be a Zoo keeper!

  34. Tell at least one person a day that I love them

  35. Complete a random act of kindness with a stranger

  36. Buy a plane ticket the same day it takes off - be spontaneous!

  37. Sleep under the stars

  38. Climb the heavenly stairs

  39. Let go of the past - Done! As they say, we live and learn and with my diagnosis, it has shown me not to hold onto the past, but to look ahead and that continues to be my focus. What once bothered me, no longer does. Perspective, is a wonderful thing.

  40. Plant a tree

  41. Stay At The Plaza Hotel, New York - Done! We visited NYC from 1st - 6th December 2022, and we stayed at The Plaza! Totally lived my Home Alone dreams!

  42. Be an extra in a TV show or movie - Done! You'll have to wait until Autumn 2022 to find out more!

  43. Ride on a sleeper train - Done! This was so much fun to do, we had a beautiful weekend in Edinburgh.

  44. Set a world record

  45. Go to the ballet at Christmas - Done! James and I went to the Royal Opera House one Christmas Eve to watch The Nutcracker. We had a great time and the atmosphere of the ballet is unforgettable.

  46. Ask those who know me, what are there favourite memories of our time together? Done! I asked my family and friends to share some of their memories of our time and whilst most of them appears to relate to my younger 'drinking days', it was a lovely wander down memory lane.

  47. Get to know our neighbours - Done! We consider that we're very lucky to know our neighbours well.

  48. Have a family photo shoot - Done! We've very kindly been gifted three photography sessions.

  49. Fly a kite! - Done! We recently spent a week in Devon and I got to fly my kite up on Dartmoor. I loved it, what an experience! See my pictures here!

  50. Make a scrapbook with mementos and souvenirs

  51. Plan my own funeral - Done!

  52. Ride in a limo

  53. Play a prank on someone

  54. Get a makeover!

  55. Get my upper ear pierced - done!

  56. Have a bonfire at night, with my people sat around singing songs or recalling memories of their lifetime

  57. Have a song request played on radio

  58. Watch a film with a live orchestra - Done! My friend Claire booked us in to see Titanic at the Royal Albert Hall and we loved it, with a live orchestra playing.

  59. Go to an open air concert - Done! It's been a busy month but we got to see Six The Musical performed at Hampton Court Palace. The last weekend I saw Adele perform at Hyde Park!

  60. Leave a message in a random place for a stranger to find

  61. Give an heirloom to somebody I love

  62. Watch the sunrise in a beautiful place - we have been lucky to have travelled well, to countries including Antigua, Zanzibar, Kenya, St. Lucia, Dominican Republic, New York and Mauritius.

  63. Have my 15 minutes of fame!

  64. Pay for a strangers drink

  65. Say yes to everything for a day

  66. Write to 5 people that have inspired me

  67. Donate to an animal shelter

  68. Have Christmas Day in the Summer

  69. Wish upon a star

  70. Complete a 365 day photo project

  71. Eat fish and chips on a seaside pier - Done! We went for a day out to Hastings recently and so I got to enjoy my fish & chips. A memory savoured!

  72. Go to a night at the Proms at The Royal Albert Hall - Done! James & I saw Cynthia Erivo at the Proms and she didn't disappoint. What an experience!

  73. Watch a Christmas Panto

  74. Get driven round Brands Hatch or Silverstone - Done! Huge thanks to the MND Association for organising a track day, so I got the chance to be a passenger in a racing car at Brands Hatch!

  75. Try a battered Mars bar - Done! I enjoyed this whilst in Edinburgh, what a delicious treat!

  76. Visit John O' Groats and Lands End - Done! We had lots of family holidays when I was a child and I was lucky enough to visit both ends of the UK!

  77. Go to a silent disco

  78. Watch a theatre show every day for a week! Done! I had a very busy week in June and saw 8 shows in a week, loved it!

  79. Have a movie, snacks and PJ night with friends

  80. Pick a fun thing from my childhood to do with Little Man

  81. Eat homemade burgers (you know who you are!) - Done! 19/3/22 - I got to enjoy my lovely burgers, made by my dear friend. Loved them many moons ago and love them still. Take a look at them here!

  82. Have breakfast in bed with Hubster

  83. Make a bucket list - Done!

  84. Recreate a childhood photo

  85. Visit my childhood homes - Done! A walk down memory lane one afternoon with Little Man, showing him where I grew up. A nice memory to keep hold of.

  86. Travel on the Orient Express

  87. Have a self portrait

  88. Climb the O2 - done! Along with my chums we climbed The O2 and had a great time. Although in true style I fell over after coming off and hit my head cutting my head open! A trip to A&E and 4 stitches later I was good to go!

  89. Go to a theme park for the day - Done! We took Little Man to Legoland for the weekend and we had a fantastic time away!

  90. Create a blog - Done! I’m so very proud of the blog that I created to document our adoption journey, and also life with Little Man.

  91. Feed the ducks with Little Man - Done! 19/3/22 - we spent a lovely day at Leeds Castle with friend and beautiful boys. Little Man loved feeding the ducks!

  92. Write a poem inspired by my life - Done! My poem 'Memories' is available to read here.

  93. Go fruit picking

  94. Have a Christmas movie marathon

  95. Adopt an animal - Done! I had some lovely this post this week (16/3/22) and it was a lovely surprise when I saw that I had very kindly been gifted an adoption a WWF Panda by somebody. Thank you!

  96. Write a letter to somebody I haven’t spoken to in 5 and 10 years

  97. Change my hair colour!- Done! I'd always wanted to dye my hair but never had the confidence. 19th December 2022 changed all that - we both went platinum!

  98. Leave an unexpected tip for someone - Done! Whilst in Edinburgh I was blown away by the service of a waitress and so I chose to give her an unexpected tip.

  99. Help someone tick something off their bucket list - Done! James always wanted to dye his hair, so we both went platinum!

  100. . Finally...... complete my bucket list!

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