Friday, 19 February 2016

My Favourite Things

Too often lately, I’ve been feeling kind of negative, so just for fun I decided to make a list of my favourite things. These are all things that help me get through life. A lot of them, I’ve realised, are sensory things, but not all. Anyway, here they are, vaguely grouped but not in any order of favouritism.

The smell of new-mown grass. Even when it threatens to aggravate my hayfever.

The smell of hot pavement after rain, and watching steam coming up off it.

The smell of onions or bacon frying. Or sausages, especially on the barbecue – and the taste of those sausages (gluten free, of course!) in my mouth. Nom, nom!

Lite Licks Dairy Free icecream, with my own (gluten free) sticky date pudding or self-saucing chocolate pud.

Cadbury’s Chocolate, especially Dairy Milk and Caramello, and Whittaker’s Peanut Slabs. Yes, I know, they’re dairy, but they’re still yummy…

Gluten-free hamburgers from Burger Fuel. I so wish they’d open a store in my town.

Roast chicken with roast potatoes, gravy and all the trimmings. Nom, nom again. (Licking my lips here!) (I guess it’s pretty obvious I’m no vegetarian, lol…)

Spectacular sunsets, with all the delicate shades of colour that surround them, and the deep, deep blue of the twilight sky. Actually, the sky on just about any day that’s not rainy and grey. So many people never really look at the sky, if they truly saw it, they’d marvel.

Gazing at the stars and moon, especially out away from town lights, or pictures of space, galaxies, stars, etc – it’s a feeling I can only describe as soul-liberating or expanding.

Our beautiful NZ beaches, especially when they’re empty of people, and especially when pohutukawa trees are in blossom, their brilliant red and green combining with the blue sky, golden sand, white surf and azure sea, to make a treat for the eye. The surge and crash of that surf makes my skin tingle, and I feel so alive.

Standing on a hill or mountaintop, and being able to see for miles and miles, especially if the view is out to sea, and breathing in the clean, clear air.

Trains – ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved the chugga-chugga-chugga of them, it produces a thrilling resonation, deep in my body. I love to ride trains too, the way they rattle and sway along, and how you get to see all sorts of back yards and people’s lives not visible from the street. There’s something slightly mysterious about trains, even the most ordinary suburban commuter ones.

Stationery stores – they make me want to grab those pristine tubes of paint and slather them across the pure white canvasses, or the pencils and crayons and pastels onto the sketchbooks, or write in those oh-so-pretty notebooks… especially if I haven’t done anything creative for a while.

Spending time with my daughter, especially when we joke and laugh so hard we just about wet our pants.

Good times with my family, especially dinners, where there’s lot of yummy food, and we laugh and joke ditto as above…

Joking and laughing with my aspie friends so hard that yes, sometimes I ROFLOL and just about PMSL…

Watching my favourite movies yet again. Basically any of the following –
- The Sound of Music. Yes, I know it’s impossibly schmaltzy, but I love it anyway.
- Fiddler on the Roof, the movie version.
- All the Lord of the Rings movies, but especially the last one. “Don’t you give up Mr Frodo!”
- All the Star Wars movies, even the ones with such wooden acting you’d think the stars were fenceposts.

Playing my favourite music when I’m alone, turning it up loud, and just letting the sound wash over me, till all my tension is gone. Especially I love -
- ‘Time To Say Goodbye’, it really tugs at my heartstrings (we played it at my mother’s funeral), but oh it’s good.
- ‘I Believe in You (Le Crois En Toi)’ by Il Divo and Celine Dion.
- ‘O Holy Night’, by Il Divo.
- Sole Mio singing just about anything.
- ‘Amazing Grace’, by just about anyone, but especially if it has bagpipes. (I love pretty much anything on bagpipes actually, must be something in the blood - all those Celtic ancestors! - they always send a thrill down my spine.)

Monet’s waterlily and haystack paintings. The first time I saw them in an exhibition, I was blown away. Also too many of the Impressionists and ‘Old Masters’ to name here. They make my fingers itch to paint too, though I know I will never get anywhere near their class.

Old houses and buildings, castles and cathedrals and the like, especially if they have soaring arches and lots of ancient masonry. There’s just something about arches…

The thrill I get when I’m doing family history research, and stumble on something – a name, a birth record, a census entry – that is another leap back in time, another ancestor emerging from the mists of the past (family history research is astonishingly addictive).

Doing crosswords and other word puzzles – and the satisfaction I get from finding that last crossword answer that’s been bugging me.

Curling up on the couch with a good book, a tasty snack and a long cool drink. My favourite books are whatever I’m currently reading, something to do with my special interests, or anything (fiction or non-fiction) about those who are marginalised, outcasts, loners and/or ‘different’.

Anyway, this is my list of ‘stuff I like’, just off the top of my head. It’s longer than I thought it would be, which I’ve realised is a good thing. The more things that nourish me, and that help me get through life and endure a world that I find illogical at best and downright crazy at worst, the better.

Do you have a similar list? What makes you feel good? What do you do, to help yourself cope with life and the world? What are your compensations or treats, that make things more bearable?