Anyhoos. The idea is that I list seven things I approve of and then tag selected
- Abingdon. My home town by adoption; by which I mean, I moved there when I was 26 and have now lived there for a little over 16 years. Compare that if you will with the 24 (I think) places I had called home beforehand. Okay, that includes school and university, but even so. If you’re born into that transitory kind of world, as I was, then you think it’s normal – it wasn’t until my late teens that I was crying out (inside) for somewhere I could just be. Until Abingdon. The shops are within walking distance. Oxford is easily reachable if I want anything bigger. I'm not a teenager so am not driven to screaming distraction by the lack of a cinema or bowling alley. Most of it doesn't flood because most of it was built 500 years ago when they had more sense than modern town planners. And I live on the second floor. I love Abingdon.
- Best Beloved. The lady I am proud to call my wife. Wow, where do I start? If I’m going to be out-pouring of the praise then really it should be to her rather than to the 135 unique visitors that Statcounter assures me this blog has had over the last seven days. She took the habits of 41 years of bachelorhood and painlessly turned them on their head. She’s the first person I see each day and the last each night, with a smile that is only for me and fresh and brand new and different every time. As a kind of 2(a) I suppose I should also add the Boy, who with his mother has completed the revolution of my life, and even when tears and tantrums flow (I’m not saying from who because it varies) and I’m on my emotional last legs, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Books. Take away my TV or take away books? TV, please. Take away my car or books? Car, thanks; I can read a good book on the bus. Take away my computer or books? Oh, do what you will with the pile of junk; all it does is cut into my reading time. Books rule. Walls and distances disappear when you have books. No book has ever had an insufficient effects budget; no book has ever been badly cast with actors that aren’t quite as you imagined the characters.
- Cornwall. The southern bit, with the mighty granite cliffs against which the waves endlessly dash, breaking down into seething foam that sucks and gurgles as it runs in fractal shapes back into the sea. A wild and untamed landscape. We had a house in Mullion when I was young. Best Beloved and I honeymooned a bit further along the coast. Land of smugglers and wreckers and Poldark and Jamaica Inn. Nothing but good in Cornwall.
- Dr Who. You may say, from the sublime to the ridiculous? Say away, I don’t care. Please note I’m not talking about the modern series, which smarms its way with witty one-liners and sexual tension and a barely hidden gay agenda into our living rooms. Oh, it’s fun but it’s not like it once was. As Philip Pullman once said, ‘thou shalt not’ is soon forgotten but ‘once upon a time’ lasts forever. At the formative stage of our lives where religion is still a hypothetical fairy tale that may or may not actually be true (thanks to Bookzombie, IIRC, for the sentiment), the Doctor beamed a set of case studies on moral behaviour straight into our forebrains, subversively, at tea time on a Saturday, and no one even noticed. He was never cruel and never cowardly, and he made it safe to be scared (attrib. S. Moffatt). He taught us that yes, there are monsters, and they can be defeated.
- Indoors on a rainy day. When the rain lashes against the windows and it can’t get in, and you’re warm and dry and quite possibly tucked up with a good book. (See (3) above.)
- Outdoors on a blustery day. Maybe just a hint of rain but not too much or you get cold and wet and you can’t see out of your glasses. (I hate raindrops on my glasses.) But mostly it’s the wind, a powerful beast battering against you but the human will prevails, especially if you’re nicely wrapped up, which isn’t hard to do and can be achieved with only a little foresight. Made especially nice with the knowledge that at any time you choose, you can be back indoors.