I love a list. (Me too, Niki. Ed) They are everywhere in my life. On the fridge, on the desk, in my diary, in my car and thousands are now breeding in my handbag I’m sure. My lists had sub-lists. And then I go and find an app that creates a multitude of colour-coded tickable lists. Pure heaven. But I’m not alone. Since entering the realm of 40-dom I regularly hear the phrase ‘bucket-list’ being bandied about. And I read the most incredible lists of hair-raising feats that people are planning to accomplish. I admit I too created a most achievable 40 in my 40th year list (obviously I’d forgotten about the job, the kids, the fella and the housework when writing it). So what a pleasure and relief to read this calm, personable and realistic six things to do before 60 list. I’m intrigued about the outcome and wish her all the best. Niki, Education Editor

Yet another birthday as I hurtle into my mid 50s. It’s shocking how fast they come around and how much less they mean. The only constant now is how much less time is ahead of me and the need to make every day count.

There will be few presents – I can’t think of anything I want or need that can be neatly wrapped into a small package and tied with a bow. The big things I desperately want – health and happiness for my family and friends and their loved ones – sometimes seem like an impossible dream. For myself I’d like a measure of contentment and acceptance of my situation, but without losing the drive to change things, make things better, make a difference while I still can.

Today I will indulge myself. Just a small bit. Angel made a few suggestions: getting my hair done, eating out, but none of them appealed. I was surprised to find that the only thing I really want to do today is write…

Read on | Looking for Blue Sky