What’s my favourite thing you ask?
Well, I’m old enough to know that ‘things’, favourite or otherwise, don’t really have much going for them. But if you mean ‘what gives me most pleasure’ then we can begin to look at that concept though where you are and who you’re with often determines the pleasure quotient.
For example, I remember as a kid, getting huge pleasure from roaming in the English countryside, sometimes alone and sometimes with friends. But mainly alone.
I was a pretty solitary kid and could spend hours on the windy heather-clad moors chasing butterflies or observing ants’ nests with schoolboy curiosity; or just lying there on my back, savouring the smell of damp grass and gazing up at ragged white clouds racing across the summer sky.
That was my favourite thing – then.
Later, it was hanging out with the gang in The Cave. The Cave was an early version of what was to become very trendy in those days – the coffee shop. Cappuccinos were all the rage! It was so cool to sit around spending our pocket money on endless cups of frothy coffee and smoking Woodbines which we bought from the corner shop. You got four in a white paper bag for the princely sum of sixpence! Ah, yes, those were the days. Days of Connie Francis, Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis belting out our favourite numbers from the juke box in the corner.
Then late teens brought travel opportunities and travel has remained a favourite thing to this day. Who can resist the thrill of exploring new cities and new cultures, trying exotic dishes and new languages? It’s nearly fifty years since I first tasted garlic or calamari or mangoes and yet I still remember where I was when I first experienced each of those taste sensations: Rome, Athens and Quetta, for those who are curious, and mango is still my favourite fruit!
And don’t we all have favourite people in our lives? Some are still with us and some, sadly, no longer are. We think back to earlier days and the heady excitement of young love. One of my favourite things was waking up on Sunday mornings with sunlight filtering through the curtains and bird songs filtering through the dewy air. Rolling over and luxuriating in the smell of fresh bed linen then making love until it was too late for breakfast but just in time for brunch. Buttery croissants, the smell of fresh coffee and a silly purring cat who insisted on licking our bare feet under the table and making us collapse in fits of laughter. Ah, yes, favourite things…
Nowadays my favourite thing is maybe reading a good book or attempting to write a good story. Enjoying a delicious meal with a glass of fine wine in the company of close friends is also one of my favourite things. There are so many things in this life to enjoy and to be thankful for, why should we limit ourselves to just one favourite thing? In the end, it’s the wonderful memories we can enjoy at any time because they are there for the asking. Just sitting quietly and casting our minds back over the years, remembering the people and places, the challenges and triumphs, the highs and the lows. The sum total of life’s experiences – now that’s something to savour; that’s a really favourite thing.