In the words of one of my favourite film ladies – Fraulein Maria – if I’m ever feeling sad, ‘I simply remember my favourite things and then I don’t feel so bad’. It’s a great song from an excellent musical, and it’s actually pretty good advice. Things aren’t utterly dismal at the moment, but it’s still helpful to remember and be grateful. Also, it will give anyone reading a chance to get to know me better. Some of these things change from time to time but some are great enduring loves.
Actual living beings, like God, my husband and my cat Henry, aren’t included in this list. They’re on a whole other scale of love. Keeping it light-hearted, these are a few of my favourite things.
I’m the sort of person who doesn’t like lots of milk or sugar in my tea because I actually want the flavour of the tea. I love the whole ritual of boiling the kettle, infusing the tea and pouring it out. I love getting stuck into my work with a cup of tea by my side, and connecting with a friend over a cuppa. There’s something so classic and old-school about tea, especially if it’s in a beautifully decorated teacup. My favourite is Earl Grey, but I enjoy all types. Incidentally, I like the smell of coffee but it generally gives me a headache so I don’t drink it. I do take a deep sniff of my husband’s coffee when he has it, though.
I think there’s a reason that God created us not only with a talking voice, but a singing voice. For me, singing is one of the best ways that I can connect my heart and mind with God’s. I love singing hymns, singing modern worship songs, singing old folk songs. I like trying to reach the high notes even if I don’t always get there! When I was younger and still living with my parents, Mum and I used to sit at the piano almost every night. She’d play and we’d both sing. That’s one of the biggest things I miss now that they live a few hours away.
I have always loved reading, ever since I could read. The types of reading material has varied throughout the years but in recent times I’ve become a fan of long novels. At least 600 pages, taking about a month to read, they can be a big commitment. But I love the journey these books take me on, from the first impressions all the way to the dramatic end. I do enjoy shorter books as well, and often after reading a big fat epic I’ll balance it out with something lighter. I haven’t completely outgrown young adult fiction and I find myself much more tolerant of romance than I once was.
Flowers are among the loveliest of all God’s creation. At the moment I live in a unit with a tiny balcony, so I can only have a very small selection of plants. But I dream of the day when we’re in our own home with a backyard, so I can plant a proper garden! I love looking out at flower gardens, all the colour and beauty. So relaxing and inspiring. This love of flowers also translates over to floral print. In summer, I’m nearly always wearing a floral dress of some kind, and my handbag is covered in roses. Nearly any flowers will do, but my favourites are roses, hydrangeas and daisies.
History (especially English medieval history)
Despite never formally studying it, I’m a big history nerd. Most histories will find at least something to interest me, but my great love is English medieval history. All those Plantaganets and Tudors, Yorks and Lancasters. The Anglo-Saxons, the Normans, the Vikings. I love reading historical fiction about these people, and occasionally I’ll branch out into reading an actual history book. Historical documentaries are also fun to watch. I’m most interested in getting to know what historical figures were like as people, what motivated them and how they lived.
So, there are a few things I love. There are many others, there are so many things to be thankful for in this world. But these are some of the big ones.