Follow the Yellow

Archive of ‘I like making lists’ category

lists are good

I think I have struck on something with this list business. I wrote my list of 100 favourite things the other day, and then my lovely cousin Shona joined in here (Shona likes “Agent Provocateur lingerie,” “Christian Loboutin shoes” and “chip butties”), and then today my mum wrote herself a list (my mum likes “red wine”, “Chanel perfume”, “the National Portrait Gallery” and “peas in pods”). Everyone really enjoyed making their list, and it seemed to cheer my mum up a lot, which is a good thing because she is not at all well at the moment – in fact she is suffering from an extremely nasty dose of shingles, which is not a very cheering illness. Anyway, making a list of things she liked made her feel better. It is undoubtedly medicinal.

Making the list was so much fun that we then went on and wrote a list of our cat’s favourite things, which was a bit silly but we have got a lot of time on our hands at the moment. It didn’t reach a hundred but we thought of quite a few (Mim likes “ham”, “plastic bags”, “tinned tuna”, “hiding places” and “chewing hair”). I think making lists is good for you – theraputic, and surprisingly satisfying.

I am ill too. What I thought was just a bad case of my usual throat of doom (plus a few extra ‘lucky dip’ symptoms thrown in for variety) has actually proven to be a virus, and my doctor has signed me off work for a week. I feel fairly ghastly, but also a bit bored. I am bored of being ill. Be prepared for lots of unpremeditated, badly-written, slightly incoherent blog posts. And possibly more rabbits.

My mum and I are trying to find things to cheer us up. As well as lists, we have been trying to create an Enid Blyton-style convalescence for ourselves. We have been having nice cups of tea and cakes (and the odd hot toddy) and watching old films and playing card games and reading children’s books and knitting, and waiting, perhaps somewhat optimistically, for the doctor to send us off to recover at the seaside for a month.

In spite of all our good efforts though, sometimes I feel a bit grumpy. I feel like I’ve had enough illness. Instead, I would like to be bursting with health and energy. Instead of pyjamas, I would like to be wearing a stylish, elegant and distinctive outfit. Instead of languishing in bed, I would like to be sitting in a cafe looking interesting and writing something wonderful. I would like to be writing lots of new things – proper things – like a really good new novel and some excellent short stories. I would like to make this blog a bit less twee, and have fewer of what Sally, in her blog post of earlier this week, aptly terms “silk scarf moments”.

For now though, I think silk scarves are really all that I can manage. I’m just going to concentrate on bunnies and writing lists of nice things.

favourite things, tra-la-la

Yesterday I was mainly reclining and enjoying the December issue of UK Vogue – the ‘Fantastic Fashion Fantasy Issue.’ I have to admit to having mixed feelings about fashion magazines, but for me, this issue of Vogue is absolutely what it should be all about. Ridiculous Christmas gift ideas aside (magnum of Moet with bespoke Swarovski crystal lettering, anyone? £175 leather rubik’s cube? nope, thought not) it is a delight – an imaginative wonderland of beautiful and inspirational images, showcasing high fashion at its most fabulously outrageous, playful, romantic and whimsical.

Tim Walker’s brilliant ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ shoot is a hugely enjoyable tribute to Roald Dahl, starring a gleefully grotesque Tim Burton, Helena Bohnam Carter and Karen Elson, accompanied with a text by Sophie Dahl. The ‘Unbelievable Fashion’ spread by Nick Knight takes unapologetic pleasure in fashion that pushes the boundaries, celebrating couture at its most experimental (and utterly bonkers). There’s also some beautiful new fashion illustrations, including Karl Lagerfeld’s ‘Secret Ball’ and even a fantasy shoe designed by who else but Manolo Blahnik.

I enjoyed four new ‘fashion fairytales’ commissioned from writers Rose Tremain, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Poppy Adams and Linda Grant – whose twist on the original ‘Little Mermaid’ featured surprise, surprise a pair of strangely compelling red shoes – and was also intrigued by the ‘In My Dreams’ feature revisiting a project from 1967, when Yves Saint Laurent was invited to illustrate a ‘dream wall’ for Vogue bringing together ‘favourite people, colours, ideas, things not yet or ever done… places, sunsets, faces’ (Yves Saint Laurent, Vogue, 1967). In this issue, fashion creatives including Giles Deacon, Rick Owens and Bruno Frisconi were invited to create their own visual representation of their favourite things: I especially liked the response from the wonderful Luella Bartley (you have to love a fashion designer who calls their shows stuff like ‘Dial F for Fluro’ or ‘Daddy I Want a Pony’) which included “my 2 sheep”, “Wednesday Adams’ plaits” and “geeky girls like Thora Birch in Ghostworld.”

I got thinking about what I might include on my own ‘dream wall’ and started making a list of ‘a few of my favourite things’ – Von Trapp chorus optional – though once I got started it was hard to stop. This is highly recommended as entertainment for dismal grey November afternoons…

  1. ginger chocolate
  2. velvet ribbon
  3. teapots
  4. libraries
  5. hot baths
  6. striped socks
  7. daisies on the lawn
  8. crayons
  9. mexican food
  10. red shoes (obviously)
  11. rum and ginger beer
  12. 1950s rock and roll
  13. old photographs
  14. earl grey tea
  15. sleeper trains
  16. meadows
  17. french accents
  18. children’s books
  19. sausage dogs
  20. ballet shoes
  21. red poppies
  22. typewriters
  23. snowfall
  24. old records
  25. date and walnut cake
  26. blankets
  27. attics
  28. black ink pens
  29. bluebell woods
  30. vintage illustrations
  31. pecan pie
  32. polka dots
  33. candlelight
  34. piano music
  35. seafood
  36. all hats, especially berets
  37. hammocks
  38. moomins
  39. bonfires
  40. raspberries
  41. penny sweets
  42. stationery shops
  43. wellington boots
  44. leopard print
  45. the smell of the sea
  46. butterflies
  47. victorian novels
  48. bicycles with baskets
  49. line drawings
  50. cherries
  51. breakfast pancakes
  52. knitting
  53. sketchbooks
  54. sushi
  55. fairy lights
  56. eyeliner
  57. cinema popcorn
  58. chinatown
  59. scrabble
  60. pavement cafes
  61. earmuffs
  62. 1940s/1950s dresses
  63. treasure boxes
  64. black cats
  65. amaretto
  66. cinnamon tea
  67. stripy jumpers
  68. red lipstick
  69. bare feet
  70. yellow lined paper
  71. roast chicken dinners
  72. swimming in the sea
  73. coca cola in a glass bottle
  74. black polo necks
  75. ponytails
  76. lemons
  77. radio 4
  78. blue skies
  79. super 8 films
  80. junk shops
  81. country lanes
  82. chandeliers
  83. hot water bottles
  84. peanut butter
  85. satchels
  86. rock pools
  87. woolly tights
  88. drinking through a straw
  89. brown paper
  90. peep toes
  91. bread sauce
  92. red umbrellas
  93. allotments
  94. glass milk bottles
  95. postcards
  96. breton stripes
  97. shuttered windows
  98. cocktail glasses
  99. foreign stamps
  100. secret gardens

3 things to read online on 3 november

1. Rainy City Stories is Manchester’s interactive literary cityscape. Go here at once to read commissioned stories by Nicholas Royle and Jackie Kay amongst others, as well as excellent new contributions from Richard Barrett, Socrates Adams-Florou and Jenn Ashworth.

Jenn’s story made me feel ashamed because I frequent Cornerhouse and have been known to lay claim to a ‘dairy intolerance’. Thankfully I do not own anything from American Apparel. I did once go in but was scared away by the plethora of neon leggings on display.

2. The Pygmy Giant has been reborn in a new incarnation, hosted by WordPress. It looks pretty. You can find it here.

3. Flax have launched an exciting new blog project which may have something to do with writers Jenn Ashworth and Tolu Ogunlesi. Check out the brand new blogs Adorna Shine and Desiderus without further ado.

I am already intrigued by the case-book of Desiderus. And I have to admit I am ‘adoring’ Adorna. It’s the sparkly star cursor that does it. And the pink. And the picture of the dog. And the fact that she likes cheese triangles.

4. Six sentences brings me tiny six-sentence stories to brighten my day.

I tried to submit something to them recently but it turned out that I could not count to six.

Apparently I cannot count to three either.

Oh dear.