Friday, 8 March 2013

A really quite absurdly random list

Was just going to do some more random pictures for you when I came across this on the internet.

Of course I am so insanely competitive that if one person puts up a Things I Like list, I have to do one too, even though it is a stupidly busy day and I do not really have time for distractions.

(Talking of distractions: the Five-Year-Old has just come up beside me and said, in her most charming voice: ‘Oh, I like watching you write.’

She goes quiet for a bit. Then she says: ‘Have you tried potato chips before? But really, have you?’

She is the mistress of the non-sequitur.)

Here are the THINGS I LIKE:



People who are good at things.

The semi-colon.

Love and trees.

Mares. Especially slightly duchessy mares who can do Spanish Riding School of Vienna tricks in the middle of a muddy field just for the hell of it.

Working dogs, of all stripes.

Black dogs.

Mongrel dogs.

Blue hills.

Church bells.

White china.


The glorious anticipation in the days running up to Cheltenham, when each morning one wakes like a child counting down to Christmas.



Did I say trees?

Racehorses. And pretty much the thoroughbred in general.

Typing fast.

Reading books. Not all books, obviously. Good, true books, where the writer does not show off too much.

Things that smell nice in the bath.

Chicken soup.

Leonard Cohen.

Friends who make me laugh so much I don’t know what my name is.

The English language.

Those really bright green olives the size of walnuts.


People who say interesting things.

Radio 4.

Black and white photographs.





Olive oil.

American politics. All politics really, but the Americans have the most dramatic and interesting and sometimes incomprehensible kind.

The colour green.


A very dry martini with three olives.


A really good font.

Those very delicate engraved glasses that the Edwardians used to drink out of.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.


The National Portrait Gallery.

The Repeal of the Corn Laws.

Blue sea.

Eggs for breakfast.

Moleskine notebooks.

F Scott Fitzgerald.



Good manners.

Hoar frost.

The smell of woodsmoke.

The memory of summers on the coast of Connemara.


And on and on it goes. I’m not even half finished. (Did not mention italics, sand, Bach or Mrs Woolf and Mrs Parker. Or the scent of warm asphalt after rain, a really good hotel bar, Persuasion, and the paintings of Rothko. Or Chinese food, boat rides, Scots pines, red patent leather handbags and lichen.) How anyone can get it down to a list of 14 I shall never know.


Now for your random archive pictures:

8 March 2

8 March 3

8 March 4

8 March 5

We haven’t had a darling old Duchess for ages. This was when she was old and her heart was going, but it is a rare picture of her smiling. She normally affected the most de haut en bas gaze:

8 March 6

8 March 10

Haven’t had Dad for a bit either. Here he is in his favourite Dave Dick coat. I don’t really know why it was called the Dave Dick coat, except for the fact that Dave Dick had one and liked it. Also, top flat cap action in its field, you must admit:


My God, what a pair they were:


8 March 12

8 March 14


  1. Ooh, LISTS! Can we all have a go? I'll strick to 14

    1 Old photos
    2 New shoes
    3 The NHS
    4 Dog Kisses
    5 The fact that I fit just under The Husband's chin, and The Daughter fits just under mine, for stand-up cuddles
    6 Knitting socks for people I love
    7 Candles on winter evenings
    8 Cold wine + hot sun
    9 People with consistently pleasant manners, whomsoever they are addressing
    10 The word "nevertheless"
    11 Singing in a well-rehearsed concert with orchestral accompaniment
    12 Buying stockingfiller presents
    13 Feeling contented
    14 Occasionally feeling very, very lucky indeed

    1. LOVE lists. (That would be on my list. :))

      Goldenoldenlady I just had to say your list is wonderful too.

      And just from today (Saturday where I am) I would add late summer days, the smell of the sea. the sound of the sea and any view of the sea. Guess where I've been!

    2. The Sea! The Sea!

      We are 45 minutes from Aberystwyth through the Cambrian mountains, we go there a lot. Do a weekly shop, walk the dog on the beach, have a drink in or outside our favourite hotel on the prom. The Cold Wine + Hot Sun often happens there.

      Just remembered another huge favourite of mine;

      15.The sound of a good orchestra tuning up (even if I am not singing in the concert) = excited anticipation.

  2. My goodness I love this post. How does anyone limit themselves? I too could go on all day. Life certainly is beautiful. I'll name a handful just from my morning here: the peace of snow falling outside my window, the excitement on my boys' faces when I tell them there's no school, cranberry-orange marmalade on my toast, a message from a friend, and Joshua Bell playing the violin.

  3. I'd have to put it this way: there's very little in my life that I don't like. It looks like you are that way too.
    And I must say I especially like and look forward to reading your blog every day. Keep on keepin' on. Zen Hugs

    1. Oh, yes, Laura! It's part of the great compensation of getting older that one can work out just what DOES not work and avoid it as far as humanly possible...

  4. The smell in the air just before it rains.
    The smell of newly cut grass.
    The smell of the ocean.

    Don't know why smells sprang to the fore!

    The Sistine Chapel.
    Dark chocolate.
    Clean sheets.
    Coffee from freshly ground beans (preferably Brazilian).
    "Broken in" blue jeans (boot cut).
    My daughter, a genuinely nice, funny, creative, intelligent person.

    (And much of what is on your list...woodsmoke, Leonard Cohen, wit, woods....)

  5. Always glad to see Mr. Stanley.


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