The Words Of Your Life

I've been told this blog isn't very personal. I've been told this blog is about as friendly "as a German bouncer at a North Korean nightclub".

There is a reason for this. A writer's life is very dull. I tried to explain this fact to said critic but he wouldn't have it. He said blogs need personality. He said blogs need to show something of their author. Mine doesn't, apparently. German bouncer and all that.

The thing is, we're all short on time and concentration spans. So rather than post a bio that might make your heads spin sideways from boredom, I thought I would follow my friend Jeanne's lead at her lovely College of Life blog ( Jeanne, you see, suggests we all write a Word List. What an inspirational idea.

A Word List is a writing exercise where you imagine your life as a game of scrabble. You simply jot down words that you associate with your life. No punctuation. No upper case. Just words. Your life in a list. Think of it as an abbreviated memoir. I love it. So brilliant.

So do try it. Find the words of your own life. I have. You might just find (like me) that the answers are quite enlightening. (Oh – and because I like pictures, I've inserted some of those too.)


writing, books, journals, lists and libraries (a house is not a house without a library) 
photography, leicas, the iphone instamatic app
bookstores –waterstone's, rizzoli, the second-hand treasures of the strand

midtown new york – henri bendel, bergdorf goodman, bryant park, central park, the NY public library
shelter island, tybee island, harbour island, martha's vineyard
lord howe, key west, lake como, bellagio, (and italian villas sleeping in the sun)

london in summer

paris in autumn
our garden in spring
peonies, tea roses, hydrangeas and purple wisteria
villandry, versailles and the luxembourg gardens in summer
the v&a (oh, the v&a!)

cecil beaton, collages, creativity in all shapes and forms
pink and red (together or apart)
architecture, property, floorplans, country cottages and grand english mansions
 any television series with architectural eye candy, gorgeous costumes, and sexy and humorous characters doing unmentionable things with people they shouldn't be doing unmentionable things with
french handkerchief linen, preferably in white
ceylon sapphires, pink diamonds, pale blue tanzanite
jack nicholson and diane keaton – any movie, any plot, no matter how bad
mr winston churchill
mr robert redford
savannah, georgia, or any song with it in the title (midnight train to georgia, georgia on my mind...)

mr ray charles
ms diana krall
ms barbra streisand
lemon, lime and bitter drinks
freshly made key lime pie (although best eaten in the florida keys)

cavalier king charles spaniels, and okay, jack russells too

black and white

hermés faubourg 24 fragrance (okay, hermés anything)
ms audrey hepburn
sir sidney poitier
quirky films – midnight in paris, the darjeeling limited, you've got mail, the lake house
the great barrier reef
writers, artists, people with humour, and stories to tell

men in cufflinks
people with manners

my long-suffering fiancé

cycling (best done on old-fashioned cruisers with wicker baskets)
swimming (best done on tropical islands)
laughing (best done with people you love)

And lastly, family and friends, wherever they may be
(Pictured above, my father with his, er, friend in the wilds of Alaska)

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