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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Black and white photographs.
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.
Eggs for breakfast.
F Scott Fitzgerald.
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:
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:
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: