So sang Julie Andrews in the smash hit film Revenge of the Surfboarding Killer Bikini Vampire Girls. Or was it The Sound of Music? I always get those two mixed up. Anyway I thought I would share with you some of my own favourite things. Not all the weird, kinky or illegal ones, but just a few that make me happy.
First of all I just have to talk books. Books are brilliant! as that character from the Fast Show must surely have said in one episode. I am very lucky to have wonderful parents who understood the importance of reading when we were kids. They made sure our minds were exposed to the full wonders of nature, science and children’s classic tales. Works of fiction like the Bible were rather less in evidence, perhaps because they knew even brief exposure could lead to permanent brain damage.
We got to read encyclopedias, a hefty book called birds of Britain (feathered variety, this is pre-puberty) classic stories and fairy tales, and of course the wonderful Mr Men series. (Mr Surrealist was always my fave) Our minds were thus opened to the world of knowledge, great literature and Mr Silly‘s inability to avoid being silly.
My love of books has stood me in good stead over the years, they have always provided joy, stimulation and great stability to wobbly tables. I devour factual and fiction in equal measure, although I’m not the fastest of readers, so perhaps nibble slowly might be a more apt description. Books have surely made me the man I am today – short-sighted, anti-social, but very knowledgeable about tits.
Then there’s beer. The British, like their neighbours the Danes, do enjoy their beer. I’m not one of those real ale snobs or bitter drinkers (although frequently bitter) but I do enjoy the odd lager or three. Never a big drinker, (I’m only 5′ 9″) but I always found much pleasure and relaxation in an evening spent in the pub, arguing noisily with a few close mates about life’s greatest mysteries – the nature of time, the origins of the universe and the correct way to pronounce gif.
Finally there’s chocolate, surely the food of the gods. (although I suspect Zeus prefers houmous). I grew up with the slogan A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play. Clearly those admen knew their stuff, because for many years I did just that. We also had Marathons (now Snickers!) and Cadburys Dairy Milk, Yorkie bars plus all manner of tooth-rotting sweets and sugary treats. We were lucky kids and our dentist seemed pretty grateful too, as every year we’d get a nice thank you postcard from him on his hols in the Bahamas.
My tastes have evolved over the years, I now avoid milk chocolate for the most part and consume only good quality dark chocolate, from carbon-neutral Venezuelan eco-collectives. Well, not always, but I try. Discovering that this yummy stuff is actually good for you was a revelation, although it seems more than a kilo daily might be counter-productive.
There is a shop / cafe we love called Hotel Chocolat, they have branches in London and also one here in Copenhagen. It sells a mind-boggling range of delicious choccy comestibles, in a wild variety of glorious and sometimes bizarre flavours (It was rumoured they were planning to introduce crunchy frog, although I may have dreamed that). On a cold winter’s day, a steaming hot mug of their divine chilli chocolate topped with cream is just the ticket. We always leave the store licking our lips and weeping softly over the wallet-emptying power of this potent South American wonder-plant. All hail cocoa, bitter bean of joy. Our lives would not be the same without you.
So, there you have it, a few of my favourite things. Perhaps another time I’ll share more, but for now I’d love to know, what are your favourite things?
Copyright J.Lennick 2015 All rights reserved.