Things that make my day

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This is the counterpoint to my earlier post Things that annoy the hell out of me; so in no particular order:

  • When someone gives their seat up on the tube for an elderly person or pregnant woman. Its a nice reminder that although civic society is on its knees, it isn’t dead yet. Saying that I once offered to give up my seat and the woman attempted to hit me, it seems she was just fat rather than pregnant – but don’t let that put you off being civic-minded
  • A sunny autumn day in Embankment park. The park is beautifully tended by a team of gardeners and is an amazing experience. No matter how much BS you hear in a meeting or how unreasonable client demands get, a stroll in this park puts it all in perspective
  • Beating Nadia to the first egg-nog latte of the year in Starbucks. My ex-colleague Nadia Boodram and I have had a competition going since 2001, where one of us texts the other when we get our first egg-nog latte from Starbucks Christmas menu. What can I say I am competitive
  • Hallowe’en. Hallowe’en is my favourite holiday of the year. Its celebration doesn’t start in August like Christmas does in most supermarkets, it finishes the following day. It’s has the kitsch of Christmas trappings, but without the expense. Oh and settling down with a bag of popcorn to watch The Exorcist and The Crow is more fun to watch than a Bond Movie and White Christmas
  • Yasai katsu curry from Wagamama or tofu curry from Wasabi is made with the kind of curry sauce that was previously only available from Liverpool chip shops. Ex-public school boys used to go to gentleman’s clubs to get food just like matron used to serve, these curry’s are the Merseyside equivalent of comfort food being served in London
  • Starbucks in Harbour City, Kowloon Hong Kong. Being able to sip a Roiboos latte, enjoy the spectacle of Victoria harbour and settle down to read a good book is bliss
  • A sunny spring day on Thurstaston Hill. Spring on the Wirral has an immense sense of energy, a sunny day lying on Thor’s Stone watching the clouds coming in from Liverpool Bay like a candy floss armada sailing over the Wirral
  • Getting to watch St Helens Saints winning games. Rugby league was once described by an Australian writer as a working-class opera and St Helens have been one of the most successful teams in recent years. I only really gained an appreciation of rugby league during my time at college in Huddersfield. Despite the poor performance of the Huddersfield Giants, the town had league in its bones – The George Hotel by the train station being the birthplace of rugby league. Unfortunately I don’t get to Knowsley Road as much as I would like and the sport still doesn’t get the coverage that it deserves on television
  • Getting to put on my favourite flannel shirt. This shirt is an old workshirt that has been washed a huge number of times, making it unbelievably soft and giving it a faded check pattern that would be at home on My Name Is Earl. After putting this on, you can understand why grunge took off as a style
  • Getting to watch For A Few Dollars More. No matter how many times I see this film it still gives me an immense amount of pleasure to watch it. It is not as grand as Once Upon A Time In The West and not as well known as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, but it has probably the best performances of Lee Van Cleef and Clint Eastwood together on screen
  • Getting some time on my decks. Whilst many DJs have moved on to MP3s and CD players there is nothing quite like the tactile experience of mixing with vinyl records. Being able to read the track by the changes in the grooves, the sensation of low frequency sounds and the feel of cueing a heavy vinyl platter are unique
  • Eating a slice of freshly cooked soda bread. Unlike yeast bread, I prefer to let the soda bread cool properly first and then tuck in. There is something about the whole tactile experience of eating soda bread with a thin scrape of butter and honey or as a side to some Galtee black pudding and white pudding
  • A warm autumn day with haze so thick you can smell it
  • Motorway driving at night with The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld or The KLF’s Chillout album on the stereo
  • Finding myself in an airport on the far side of the world and being able to find a good newspaper stall, and have the time to sit down and read a copy of the Irish Independent or The Examiner
  • Discovering a nice piece of design: be it the latest site by Projector Tokyo, a cool piece of kit from Apple, a nicely pressed record or even neat consumer packaging. For instance, we currently have Palmolive Aquarium hand cleaner in the toilets at work which have a plastic fish in the middle of the soap as well as on the packaging decals and gives the 3D appearance of an aquarium
  • Wondering around the Science Museum with my Dad and have him tell me about the different equipment in there and the machines that he has come across in his 50 or so years in engineering from lorry engines, to ships pumps and industrial motors
  • Pottering around Gosh Comics and discovering a new graphic novel author. Forbidden Planet feels too much like a supermarket in many ways, whereas Gosh feels like the independent vinyl record shops that are rapidly disappearing from Soho
  • A banana and peanut butter malt in Ed’s Diner on Old Compton Street. Sounds disgusting until you try it – absolutely amazing
  • Watching a good film in a decent cinema, despite all the technology there is still nothing quite the big screen. I love the passive entertainment of the cinema – very un-tech of me I know, but its true
  • Waking up on a Sunday morning and hearing it raining outside whilst I am tucked up in bed. Taking time out to listen to Sunday Miscellany