In the absence of a fictional muse at the moment, and slightly confused by feeling unwell and taking lots of medicine, I started to think about things I really like. I suspect this happened in my mind to offset the doldrums of thinking about being ill. Whatever the reason, it cheered me up. So here is a rare ‘top ten’ from me, and a very personal one at that. It is not in any order of preference.
1) Red Wine.
I like it a lot, and will drink any red-coloured wine, even Cabernet Sauvignon. My favourites are Pinotage, Chianti, Burgundy, and Shiraz. I also enjoy Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, Dao, and Rioja.
2) More red wine.
As above, but more.
3) Watching good films again.
I love to re-watch a film I enjoyed, and realise why I loved it so much in the first place. Some random examples of this would include ‘The Duellists’, ‘Goodfellas’, ‘Donnie Brasco’, ‘The Hunger’ (1983), ‘Zulu’, and of course ‘Blade Runner’.
4) Eating Out.
I don’t mind cooking. I cook most of our meals, and I am happy to do so. Some of them amount to little more that ‘hotting up’ something bought already prepared, and adding a few vegetables. But I do cook some things from scratch, and when I am in the mood, I serve a very good roast potato, if I say so myself. Despite that, eating out in a restaurant is something I have always enjoyed. It doesn’t have to be a fancy, or expensive place. As long as the atmosphere is convivial, and the food is cooked and served by someone else, I am usually very happy indeed.
5) Watching foreign films with subtitles.
Most of you already know that I rate foreign films highly. In most cases, I enjoy them more than films in my own language. There are various reasons for this, but I would say that the dominant one is that it is good to not know who the actors are. This stops any preconceptions based on previous roles, or earlier bad performances. An imaginary example of this might be an actor like Bruce Willis appearing in a 19th century epic costume drama. Given his reputation, I would already be thinking ‘This is not going to work’. However, put the Danish equivalent of Bruce into a similar historical epic, and I am none the wiser.
6) Listening to sentimental old songs.
This has got worse as I get older. I love nothing more than to hear a really old song, and wallow around in the sentiment of it. I’m not talking the 1960s or 1980s here. The songs that really get to me are much older than those. You might never even have heard of most of them, but when you get to my age, look them up, and feel your eyes moisten. ‘We’ll Gather Lilacs’, ‘Pennies From Heaven’, ‘The Very Thought Of You’, ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’, ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’. And many more…
7) Wandering about with Ollie.
Having such a good companion as my dog Ollie means that I have to go out. And when we are out walking, even on the most familiar routes, I relish the fresh air, and contact with nature. But even more than that, I welcome the chance to think. Out on those walks, I think about a lot of good stuff, including most of what I write about on this blog. If not for Ollie, I would probably be watching 24-hour rolling news, and writing nothing at all.
No surprise of course, but I do love my memories. The best thing about them is that I still remember them, good or bad. When I stop writing about memories, you will all know something is badly wrong with me.
I have mentioned this before, but I get a lot of pleasure from time spent alone. I am aware that this is a choice, and if it was not a choice, it might not be so enjoyable. But solitude is something that can be studied. It can be developed, almost like a trade or a skill. Once you have mastered the basics, it is really very good indeed.
This had to be included, didn’t it? Since starting out, somewhat reluctantly, in 2012, blogging has become my ‘other life’. What I do with certain hours of the day, how I keep in touch with so many people, maintaining an active mind, and developing friendships in that great community. It wouldn’t have been a list of things I really like, without blogging being featured.
There you have it. Feel free to dislike any of the things I really like. I won’t mind.
And if you want to add your own ten, or even just a few, please leave a comment.