In no particular order:
210: What being a grown-up is really about:
209: ’And that’s the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn’t always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn’t even something — it’s nothing. And you can’t combat nothing. You can’t fill it up. You can’t cover it. It’s just there, pulling the meaning out of everything. That being the case, all the hopeful, proactive solutions start to sound completely insane in contrast to the scope of the problem. It would be like having a bunch of dead fish, but no one around you will acknowledge that the fish are dead. Instead, they offer to help you look for the fish or try to help you figure out why they disappeared‘ ~ Allie Bosh of Hyperbole and a Half, waxing brilliantly on Depression.
207: The Patriarchy.
206: Always wear your invisible crown. Always.
205: So proud of New Zealand! Parliament passed a bill allowing legal same-sex marriage, prompting spontaneous singing from the gallery! The song is ‘Pokarekare Ana‘ This law allows same-sex couples to enjoy all the same rights as any married couples, including adoption.
204: David Sedaris on Love & Taxidermy ‘To have your chopped-off head preserved and then wind up in a Tesco bag some 6,000 miles away – that was the indignity. Tesco! At least the arm was in a Waitrose bag’.
203: This is the best Obituary I have ever read: Peter Scott, cat burglar: ‘I gave all my money to head waiters and tarts’.
202: A super happy duckling cuddles a very skeptical owl, and other awesome examples of animal based cuddles.
200. The Bear ’named for his resemblance to a teddy bear, but, the more you get to know him, what he becomes most reminiscent of is a sad owl. Looking into those his eyes, I feel I can see all the world’s pain…’
199: Justine Musk’s 18 principles for highly creative living make me want to shout out my secret fears.
198: ‘It is illegal to handle salmon under suspicious circumstances‘ and other weird laws Londoners are subject to.
197. Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70′s, living in and performing legendary performance art projects out of a van. After 13 years together they felt the relationship was ending, and rather than unceremoniously break up, they went to opposite ends of the the Great Wall of China, walking it alone towards each other, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again. At her 2010 MOMA retrospective ’The Artist is Present’ Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.
196: The Art of Asking: ‘the perfect tools aren’t going to help us if we can’t face each other and give and receive fearlessly, but more importantly to ask without shame’. Amanda Palmer’s TED talk.
195: A gluten-free love story.
194: Kate McGwire is a London based artist who sculpts with feathers. Stunning.
Evacuate, 2010 Photo: Jonty Wilde
193: ‘Glance sideways, into the wings, and you see the tacky preparations for the triumphant public event. You see your beautiful suit deconstructed, the tailor’s chalk lines, the unsecured seams. You see that your life is a charade, that the scenery is cardboard, that the paint is peeling, the red carpet fraying, and if you linger you will notice the oily devotion fade from the faces of your subjects, and you will see their retreating backs as they turn up their collars and button their coats and walk away into real life.’ ~ Hilary Mantel writes beautifully about the monarchy, and its place in our history.
192: ‘Across America, independent coffee bars have developed private vocabularies to describe the intricate beverages they brew and the idiosyncrasies of those who order them‘. Brilliance, from Ben Schott.
191: ‘The church does not own the institution of marriage. It is a civil right’. Alice Arnold writes beautifully about why the Marriage Equality Act is so important.
190: Greys Anatomy is the longest relationship of my adult life. To get a little taste of the awesome that is Grey’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, watch her acceptance speech at the GLAADS.
189: Squam. Beware: you might go for the painting, or the storytelling or even the knitting. But be prepared for life changing stuff to happen: this experience, who you meet, what you notice yourself creating – this is artful revolution in practise.
188: nef (new economics foundation). This UK based independent think-and-do tank aims to create more understanding and strategies for change for people and the planet. All publications are under creative commons licence.
185: Jenny & Shirley:
183: That neuroplasticity explains how neurons can form new pathways in our brains, if we want to change our beliefs behaviours and ways of being in the world, through the power of thought (love it when science meets soul-work).
182: The marketing of ‘spiritual hobknobbery’ by the inimitable Ms Pilloud.
181: Haiku. Its a 700 year old, Japanese poetic form. I love the brain-discipline required to be pithy in 17 syllabi. In an attempt to embrace the morning commute (which was starting to gnaw at my soul) I have invented #tubeku: each morning I choose a fellow tube passenger and give myself 45 minutes to write a haiku about them.
180: Flavorwire. Especially this life-affirming stuff: 20 authors on death and mortality: ‘We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves. I wish for all this to be marked on by body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography – to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience’ ~ Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient
179: How do we decide to become a parent? Beautiful advice from Sugar.
178: ‘Sunshine‘ by Jem Yoshioka. A beautiful tale for anyone who has lived through a Wellington winter.
177: Amazing zoomable views of London from the top of the tallest building.
176: Buckminster Fuller: ’We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living…’
175: ‘More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary. I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter’ from ‘The Busy Trap’ by Tim Kreider.
174: Bad Indians. A poem by Rob Red Corn.
173: Lovely things that CCTV cameras see.
172: ‘Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.‘ ~ C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
171: All 786 known planets to scale ‘This is an exciting time’ ~ xkcd
170: The Hunderwasser Loo, Kawakawa, New Zealand.
169: Vagenda Magazine. Putting the ‘fuck yeah’ into feminism. You’ve subscribed right?
168: The Maestro: ‘He thought her beautiful, believed her impeccably wise; dreamed of her, wrote poems to her, which, ignoring the subject, she corrected in red ink…‘ ~ Virginia Woolf
167: The glorious Paris Review has opened up the interview archive containing a half-century worth of fascinating interviews with some of the greatest literary figures in modern history.
166: Sign Search: a video demo of every word in sign language.
165: Mr P believes the search for extra terrestrial life should begin at home. Exhibit A:
164: Stuff White People Like. Horrifyingly accurate.
163: England’s Fourth Estate, where ones choice in daily reads becomes a marker of ones values; political and cultural. As explained by the rather spectacular Bernard of Yes Minister: ‘The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country, the Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country, the Times is read by people who actually do run the country, the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country, the Financial Times is read by people who own the country, the Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country, and the Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.’ Sir Humphrey: ‘…what about the people who read the Sun?’. Bernard: ‘Sun readers don’t care who runs the country, as long as she’s got big tits.’
162: The saddest image in the world:
161: The Daytime-Nighttime Bird:
159: The Fluffington Post. Real fluff. All the time.
158: Coldplay’s beautiful tribute to mark the untimely passing of Adam Yauch:
157: Bertrand Russell wrote a 1951 piece for New York Times Magazine called ‘The Best Answer to Fanaticism: Liberalism‘. The original article is subject to the NYT paywall, but is totes worth the read. The article includes what could be termed a secular 10 commandments (reprinted here) which is, like most of Mr Russell‘s writing, brilliance. ‘When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory’.
156: ‘All time-saving devices, amongst which we must count easier means of communication and other conveniences, do not paradoxically enough, save us time but merely cram our time so full that we have no time for anything. Hence the breathless haste, superficiality, and nervous exhaustion with all the concomitant symptoms – craving for stimulation, impatience, irritability, vacillation, etc. Such a state may lead to all sorts of other things, but never to any increased culture of the mind and heart‘ ~ Jung, on Nature, Technology & Modern Life. More pearls here. Also somewhat paradoxically, it is not clear if reading Jung via the interwebs is part of the problem or solution).
155: The Secret Pet Society ~ the surreal imaginings of Travis Louie who paints in the style of vintage photography. And there is a story behind each creature and their person.
154: ‘So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past’. The best last line of any novel, ever. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
153: Zen Threads: beautiful eco-friendly tees custom screen printed to order by hand.
151: Archbishop Rowan Williams and Professor Richard Dawkins have a chat.
150: During his 2010 TED talk, Sir Ken Robinson quoted Abraham Lincoln thus: ‘The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise – with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country’. Or as the uncommonly brilliant Jo would say: ‘New shit has come to light’.
149: Jack Kerouac’s letter to his first wife, Edie, 1957: ’It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing.’
148: Kristine Noelle’s lovely Letter from the Universe.
146: Beekeepers. Mr P is currently embarking on his lifelong dream via an urban beekeeping course at Regents Park. This little movie (via Made by Hand) shows Megan Paska extracting honey from her rooftop hives in Brooklyn at sunset. Stunning.
145: Huit Denium David & Clare Hieatt, who founded Howies, are back making beautiful denium, beautifully: ‘I think the important thing is to be yourself. That way you don’t have to act, you never get found out, and you don’t have to lie to yourself or anyone else. It is much easier this way. I want to create one of the most creative denim companies there has ever been. I want to change how business models work not just which brand of jeans you buy. I want to put our energy into that and not trying to get people to believe we are cool, or the next fad. We will be judged by how great our ideas are. I want to be transparent about our dreams’.
144: Gabourey Sidibe: ‘People always ask me, ‘You have so much confidence. Where did that come from?’ It came from me. One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl….It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see. Your body is your temple, it’s your home, and you must decorate it.’
142: The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, Nailsworth. The loveliest bookstore in the universe.
140: Banksy on advertising:
139: ‘x=y’ / ‘it is what it is’ : mathematical translations of popular refrains. Genius.
138: The serious drawings of Marc Johns:
137: Theoretical physics as interpreted by Lawrence Krauss ~ ‘Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.’
136: Coffee people. They is mah peeps (Future Soul Job Business Rules note to self: one member of the team must sport a spectacular ginger mo).
135: The Universe: photographed. A 360-panoramic view of the sky taken by Nick Risinger who trekked 60,000 miles across the western United States and South Africa. The final image is composed of 37,000 separate photographs, has a zoomable view and info about constellations. And here is the scale of every known thing in the universe. Just awesome.
134: Infographics. Making stats fun and accessible for those of us without a maths degree.
133: Mrs Cameron’s Diary.
132: The Pale Blue Dot: this photograph of planet Earth was taken in 1990 by Voyager 1 when they were about 6 billion kilometers from Earth. Carl Sagan provides poetic perspective: ‘That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam’.
131: Lucian Freud and the way he painted people: ‘his subjects could scarcely be more palpable, more awkwardly or inelegantly there’.
129: Quantum theory. Using proper science to prove what the mystics have claimed for centuries: we are all connected to each other and everything else in the universe, because we are all made of what Sagan called ‘star stuff’. Prof. Brian Cox explains why everything is connected to everything else in 100 seconds.
128: ‘Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart’ ~ Mr Jobs
126: The Do Lectures. Specifically this one.
124: Muriel Rukeyser ~ ‘The universe is made of stories, not atoms.’
123: Ms Jeanette Winterson ~ ’Love demands expression. It will not stay still, stay silent, be good, be modest, be seen and not heard, no. It will break out in tongues of praise, the high note that smashes the glass and spills the liquid’ (from Written on the Body).
122: Crop circles. The ‘Mowing Devil’ was first documented in the 1600′s in England and we still don’t really know what creates these beautiful patterns. I especially love the Wilton Windmill circle, based on Euler’s Identity where the pattern of partly concentric rings is partially incorrect and one part of the formula translates as ‘hi’ rather than ‘i’. Its no doubt they are created by intelligent beings: human or otherwise.
121: Will Self’s cheeserimage: ‘Someone had told me that the slang name for cabrales in Asturias was ‘the Devil’s shit’. It fitted: there was something dangerously sinful about a forkful of this excrementally elemental stuff. This wasn’t posturing gastronomy – but a Faustian pact with shit-eating Beelzebub.’ Cheese lovers will understand.
120: Sherlock. The smart bouncy script, sumptuous cinematography, Cumberbatch & Freeman, London streets: *happy lady sigh*. Brilliant tele.
119: Responses to the annual question at The Edge. ‘To arrive at the edge of the world’s knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves.’
118: Are you a feminist? Sarah Bunting’s brilliant, all-encompassing definition.
116: Audre Lorde ~ ‘Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare’.
115: The photography of Marianna Rothen.
114: Christopher Hitchens: 1949-2011. ‘The four most overrated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics.’
113: Agnostic vs. Atheist
112: Perry and Lidia dancing in Grand Central Station, from The Fisher King.
111: Tim Minchin’s ‘Prejudice’. Got ginge in your minge?
109: Henry Rollins: angry, wise, hot.
108: Facebook. And ex-lovers. Are you fucking kidding me?
107. ‘Howl’ by Alan Ginsberg. In an epic hipster lament; Ginsberg tells the tale of the outcasts: poets, artists, political radicals, jazz musicians and psychiatric patients, he encountered in the 1940s and 1950s. Also a twitter feed.
106: ‘Self-respect is a discipline, a habit of mind that can never be faked but can be developed, trained, coaxed forth’ ~ The Uncommonly Brilliant Joan Didion.
104. Moroccanoil. I use a glob of the light oil on freshly washed damp hair, blow-dry and straighten. And then pet my lovely shiny hair all day long.
102. Public Radio. There is nothing like tuning in to find part four of the History of the Significance of the Duffle-coat to know you are back in Blighty. My constant companion is Radio 4 (with supporting acts of Radio 3 and 6 Music). In NZ its National Radio.
101. ‘Where do you find the time?’ by Jessica Kane: ‘Don’t be afraid to be late. Read poetry. Poetry gives time back, but most people don’t know it. Never watch television. Movies are fine. Documentaries are better’.
100. Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman: ‘In this part of the afterlife, you imagine something analogous to your Earthly life, and the thought is blissful: a life where episodes are split into tiny swallowable pieces, where moments do not endure, where one experiences the joy of jumping from one event to the next like a child hopping from spot to spot on the burning sand’.
98. Tom Waits on his wife Kathleen Brennan: ‘A remarkable collaborator, and she’s a shiksa goddess and a trapeze artists, all of that. She can fix the truck. Expert on the African violet and all that. She’s outta this world. I don’t know what to say. I’m a lucky man. She has a remarkable imagination. And that’s the nation where I live. She’s bold, inventive and fearless. That’s who you wanna go in the woods with, right? Somebody who finishes your sentences for you’. And then he wrote the insanely tender Johnsburg, Illinois for her. Which in turn fostered this. Which made my face leak.
97. ‘It’s a design thing. The cat is lost in the negative space’ the tale of Missy the missing cat.
96. AL Kennedy’s contributions to the Guardian: ‘I started to write before I knew what I was writing about and then fell into a pit of aimless and bewildered prose – or I scared myself silly because it seemed entirely unavoidable that my protagonist would be a man, or an older woman, or a child, or just someone other than me when I didn’t feel up to creating someone other than me that morning – or else I’d need to write in the first person, or cope with a major timescale, or lollop off into an experiment in magic realism. Christ, it was appalling.’
95. Paxman vs. Hitchens: ‘there are people who say that this [esophagus cancer] is god’s curse on me – that I should have it near my throat – because that was the organ of blasphemy which I used. Well I have used many other organs to blaspheme as well’. An insight into my Dream Dinner Party.
94. Why I Will Never Be An Adult by Hyperbole and a Half.
93. A Dance to The Music of Time is a life-changing stack of novels by Anthony Powell. Take a year and read the 12 books in sequence, the first is available as a free e-book from University of Chicago Press. Pamela Flitton and Kenneth Widmerpool (played by Simon Russell Beale below) will stay with you forever:
92. Tennessee Williams: ‘I don’t want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic. I try to give that to people. I do misrepresent things. I don’t tell truths. I tell what ought to be truth.’ ~ Blanche DuBois, A Streetcar Named Desire.
91. E.B. White’s ‘The Death of a Pig’ on grief over losing livestock, written before Charlotte’s Web.
90. Twin Peaks. Fabulously surreal television magnificence from David Lynch. I heart the Log Lady. And Agent Cooper: ‘Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.’
89. Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow discussing the state of American politics just after the mid-terms of 2010. The debate is decidedly thoughtful, ungimmicky and relentlessly courteous. And it puts the tea-party to shame.
88. This must be played at my funeral. Loud. I mean it.
87. The LIFE photo archive, hosted by Google. Including this image of Vladimir and Vera Nabokov chasing butterflies:
85. London Review of Books, especially the classifieds.
84. 2007 Mt. Difficulty Pinot Noir. The Autumnal quaffing wine of champions.
83. A crisp, juicy New Zealand braeburn apple.
82. Good fucking design advice.
79. Milton Glaser ‘Ten Things I have Learned: ‘the analogy of the brain to a computer is pathetic. The brain is actually more like an overgrown garden that is constantly growing and throwing off seeds, regenerating and so on… the brain is susceptible, in a way that we are not fully conscious of, to almost every experience of our life and every encounter we have’.
78. ‘Most important things happen at a table. Food, friends, discussion, ideas, work, peace talks, and war plans. It is okay to romanticize things a little bit every now and then: it gives you hope’. Frank Chimero’s advice to a Design Student.
76. The 57 words from Behan that sum up everything: ‘I respect kindness in human beings first of all, and kindness to animals. I don’t respect the law; I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.’
75. Robert Ebert’s essay on death ‘Go gentle into that good night‘. Breathtaking.
73. Say Anything. I bloody love Lloyd Dobler. I love complex, depressive, kick-boxing, Peter Gabriel fans, who write love notes. ‘Maybe I didn’t really know you. Maybe you were just a mirage. Maybe the world is full of food and sex and spectacle and we’re all just hurling towards an apocalypse, in which case it’s not your fault. I’m been thinking about all these things and… you’re probably standing there monitoring. And one more thing – about the letter. Nuke it. Flame it. Destroy it. It hurts me to know it’s out there. Later.’ ~ Lloyd Dobler’s last message on Diane’s answering machine.
71. ‘You think I’m pedestrian and tacky? Guess the fuck what, Picasso. We don’t all have seventy-three weights of stick-up-my-ass Helvetica sitting on our seventeen-inch MacBook Pros’. The very brilliant Revenge of Comic Sans.
70. Bea Tomes is the little sister I never had. She recently spoke at TEDxSydney and awesomeness was launched on the world. Her existence gives me hope:
69. The seventy six seconds that justify the existence of Kevin Costner.
68. The one hundred and four seconds that justify the existence of Tom Cruise.
67. Mr and Mrs Smith. The best source of boutique hotels on the interwebs.
66. Getting some ice creams. Doing some bombs:
65. Janet Frame: ‘I don’t wish to inhabit the world under false pretences. I’m relieved to have discovered my identity after being so confused about it for so many years. Why should people be afraid if I confide in them? Yet people will always be afraid and jealous of those who finally establish their identity; it leads them to consider their own, to seclude it, cosset it, for fear it may be borrowed or interfered with, and when they are in the act of protecting it they suffer the shock of realising that their identity is nothing, it is something they dreamed and never knew; and then begins the painstaking search – what shall they choose – beast? another human being? insect? bird?’ ~ Towards Another Summer.
63. OPI Avoplex nail and cuticle replenishing oil. Banishes wrinkly crone hands like magic.
62. WordPress. Code IS poetry.
61. Pret a Manger New Yorker. Best sandwich in the universe. Fact. Salt beef, gherkins, mustard mayo and spinach: come to mama.
60. Kerastase. They made a miracle occur and I now love my hair curly or straight.
59. ‘Wandering’ by Herman Hesse:
58. Barbara Pym: Philip Larkin described her as ‘the most underrated novelist of the century’. Luckily, all of her novels are back in print: ‘Perhaps there can be too much making of cups of tea, I thought, as I watched Miss Statham filling the heavy teapot. Did we really need a cup of tea? I even said as much to Miss Statham and she looked at me with a hurt, almost angry look, ‘Do we need tea? she echoed. ‘But Miss Lathbury…’ She sounded puzzled and distressed and I began to realise that my question had struck at something deep and fundamental. It was the kind of question that starts a landslide in the mind. I mumbled something about making a joke and that of course one needed tea always, at every hour of the day or night’ ~ Excellent Women
56. A Love Song for Bobby Long. Quite possibly John Travolta’s finest performance (which, let’s face it, is not difficult).
55. True Blood. Vampires have been sexy as all hell ever since the Lost Boys and ‘Salems Lot (except for the children on Twilight. Obviously.)
54. Smoked Scottish Salmon and cream cheese on a fresh poppy seed bagel.
53. The Thick of It. This is not a biting satire about the inner workings of the British Government. It is a hard hitting documentary.
52. Falling asleep under a tree in one of the Royal Parks on a sunny day.
50. The poem inscribed in English and Turkish on the walls of the ANZAC museum, Gallipoli: ‘Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives; you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us, where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well’ ~ Attaturk
49. BBC iPlayer. Ad-free content, anytime.
48. The Muppets.
47. Moleskin notebooks. My favourite is the A5 Red Ruled Hardback.
46. The Big Picture.
45. Annie Hall. Every time I see it I want to move to New York and meet a neurotic Jewish man with an inferiority complex. Pre-paedo Woody at his abolute best.
44. Architecture by Antonio Gaudi. La Sagrada Família, Park Güell and La Pedrera.
42. Vladimir Nabokov. Gods.
41. The poetry of Pablo Neruda. ‘And you arrive and you are lightning, glancing off the peach trees’.
40. Muriels Wedding. ‘The truth? I tell the truth too. Nicole’s having an affair with Chook. Muriel saw them fucking in the laundry on your wedding day. Stick your drink up your ass, Tania. I’d rather swallow razor blades than drink with you. Oh, by the way, I’m not alone. I’m with Muriel’.
39. Communal living.
38. The Lost Highway. Make sure you stop for a pint (and get your passport stamped) at the Whangamomona pub.
37. Banksy. Renegade guerilla street artist.
36. Anna Moller Photography. Images that give me goosebumps:
35. Rainer Maria Rilke.‘Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.’ Fuck yeah.
34. The Large Hadron Collider. They are looking for the God particle. Using science. It will not create a black hole and destroy the earth. Not even a little bit.
32. Charles Bukowski, How To Be A Great Writer.
30. Hallelujah. Jeff Buckley.
29. Jamie’s in Bath. Totally pukka nosh.
28. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Cassandra Mortmain is the teenager I always wished to be but never was. ‘And I regret to say that there were moments when my deep and loving pity for her merged into a desire to kick her fairly hard.’
26. The G107 Gel Rollerball, 0.7mm tip. Black. The 99p pen that shits all over Mont Blanc.
25. Penhaligons Edwardian Rose. What I smell of.
24. Battersea Power Station. In the half light of dusk.
23. Billy Bragg, Workers Playtime. ‘Shirley, your sexual politics have left me all of a muddle, Shirley, we’re joined in the ideological cuddle. I’m celebrating my love to you, With a pint of beer and a new tattoo. And if you haven’t noticed yet, I’m more impressionable when my cement is wet’. It’s poetry.
22. My Macbook. The perfect nexus of form and function. 13″ has never been so much fun.
20. Che Guevara. Doctor, poet, Marxist revolutionary.
19. Babington House. Perfect for an indulgent weekend:
17. TED: riveting talks by remarkable people.
16. Yogi ginger tea.
14. A Jimmy’s Pie with Watties Tomato Sauce. Sunday breakfast of champions.
13. Picasso’s ‘Head of a Woman’:
12. REM at Hyde Park, Saturday 16 July, 2005. Perfect summer evening, two weeks after the London bombings. Heathrow bound jumbo jets criss crossed the perfect blue summer sky above. As the sun set they played ‘It’s the end of the world as we know it’.
11. The Observer. Best newspaper in the world. Fact.
10. Lost. Particularly any scene with Josh Holloway. See exhibit A:
9. Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively. ‘Was she someone?” enquires the nurse. Her shoes squeak on the shiny floor; the doctor’s shoes crunch. “I mean, the things she comes out with…” And the doctor glances at his notes and says that yes. She does seem to have been someone, evidently she’s written books and newspaper articles and… um… been in the Middle East at one time… typhoid, malaria… unmarried (one miscarriage, one child he sees but does not say)… “yes, the records do suggest she was someone, probably”.
8. Rococo Cinnamon Organic Milk Chocolate Artisan Bar. Chocolate porn. Cadburys: you are dead to me.
7. The last six minutes of Six Feet Under:
6. Monmouth Coffee from Borough Market.
5. Gregory Crewdson exhibition: Beneath the Roses, White Cube Gallery, Hoxton Square, May 2005. Every image was like a surreal one frame movie. Completely changed the way I felt about photography.
4. Twitter. ‘Oh, hush you naysayers, Twitter is fabulous. James Joyce would get Twitter. It’s a many-headed stream of consciousness. Folk collectively weaving a story of sorts. And by the way, it’s not compulsory to join.’ My comment in defence of Twitter, that was published in the Guardian.
3. Eddie Vedder and Mark Seymour, Throw Your Arms Around Me, live, probably in Australia:
2. Air New Zealand Business Class, Heathrow to Auckland. Best flight on the best airline.