I Love…

Do you ever, like me, fall into the habit of being a bit of a moaner? Harping on about the things than annoy you, what you don’t like, things that could be better? I’m not necessarily complaining, but I’m defining myself by what doesn’t float my boat rather than what I love. It’s not a very interesting or inspiring way to be, so I’m turning a new leaf, or at least I’m trying.

Tim Minchin – he’s an Aussie comedian who wrote the music and lyrics for Matlida, the musical – made this great speech [you can find in online] to the graduands of the University of Western Australia in 2013. In it, he presents the nine most important life lessons he reckons are worth sticking to. I think it’s worth a listen. He’s funny and unassuming, he’s not at all self-important the way some of these valedictory speeches can, and he’s a little unexpected. At the start he even says we’ll forget all he has to say, which I did, apart from one of them. The one I remember, the one I try – not always successfully – to do is: ‘define yourself by what you love.’

Here goes. I love…

Waking up early, like this morning, still really tired and then falling back into a deep sleep

Digestive biscuits

Eating really good, oozy mozzarella cheese with my fingers

Moleskine notebooks

The last paragraph of James Joyces’s The Dead

Pendants shaped like shells

Apples, goldfinches, and silk scarves

Lying in a bath in the middle of the day

Dreaming that I can fly

The haunting call of a loon on a Canadian lake on a summer’s night

Pilot juice gel ink pens (0.38mm-black)

Freshly painted toenails (especially metallic blue)

My computer

Cracking the top of a crème brûlée with the back of my spoon

Dancing (even on my own)

Babies in pushchairs wearing one sock


The smell of honeysuckle

Thursdays, the colour orange, and candlesticks

Blowing the seeds off a dandelion head

Katharine Hepburn’s accent

Trampling a sandcastle that I’ve spent hours building


Seeing a kingfisher on the Water of Leith

Embroidered fabric

Singing along to the opening verse of Carly Simon’s Coming Around Again

Cutting the grass

Eating sandwiches outdoors on a big walk when I’m really hungry

Leather soled shoes

The ringing of York Minster’s

Getting soaked to the bone in torrential summer rain close to home

My gold, lustreware, crackle-finish teapot

Holding a buttercup under someone’s chin


Hearing a story from the past that I had forgotten

Picking a single foxglove bloom and making it pop in the palm of my hand

The poetry of Patrick Kavanagh

Cowboy boots (proper ones)

Playing hide and seek

High tide when the sea is flat calm that it makes the ocean look twice as big

Opening cards and letters

Jackson Browne

Fireflies (I’ve only seen them once)


Those seconds before I fall asleep, when everything is loose, when I know the answer without knowing the question, and life is perfect…


The Great Lover, by Rupert Brooke (excerpt)

These I have loved:

White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,

Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;

Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust

Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;

Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;

And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;

And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,

Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;

Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon

Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss

Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is

Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen

Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;

The benison of hot water; furs to touch;

The good smell of old clothes; and other such –

The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,

Hair’s fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers

About dead leaves and last year’s ferns.


6 thoughts on “I Love…

  1. You are NOT a moaner and this post set me thinking about all the things I love – like eight people round a dinner table all talking at once! It made my day happy! Thank you.


    Liked by 1 person

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