These are a few of…

…my favourite things:

[I will add lists, items and links to this page as and when the fancy takes me!]


Skylark      Nightingale      Robin      Sedge warbler (or was that a reed warbler?)      Redwing


Old roses      David Austin roses      wild roses      daffodils


Honda (Prelude…)      Citroen      Mazda MX-5     vintage and classic cars (Bentley, Riley RM)     Diana’s Jaguar X-type estate      my SAAB 93


Champagne:  Nicholas Feuillatte      White wine:  Pinot Grigio, New Zealand Sauvignon      Rosé:  Cotes de Provence      Red:  Pomerol, Vacqueyras, (new discovery) Rasteau, Brunello di Montalcino

Beer:  Fullers London Pride      Youngs Bitter      Theakstons Old Peculier      Hoegaarden

Cognac:  Camus [though I recently bought a bottle in France and it doesn’t seem as pale and ultra smooth as I remembered]      Pastis:  Ricard  [and the most beautiful drink in the world, Lou Garagai, a Herbes-de-Provence flavoured pastis which I have finally tracked down in a full-sized bottle!]  — and a wonderful new discovery: HB Pastis      Whisky:  VAT 69,  Bells,  Johnnie Walker Black Label,  Jameson      Malt whisky:  Laphroaig,  Linkwood,  Ardbeg


The Hungry Monk — alas, no more       Bistro 45 in Bexhill      Zedel

Pong:  (for me!)

The history of my ‘personal fragrances’ is like a mini social history of Britain in the 20th century… beginning with my Dad’s Imperial Leather in the 1960s, then Brut, Old Spice, Tabac…  then  Givenchy Gentleman and Monsieur, Dolce & Gabbana for men, Floris Elite, Tuscany by Aramis (with unending free gifts, many of which I still have and use — weekend bags (2), sports bag, brandy flask, sponge bag, bathrobe, golf umbrella…). 

Working at Covent Garden put me on the doorstep of  Penhaligon’s,  and some of their classics are now my all-time favourites:    Quercus      Blenheim Bouquet      Opus 1870

A recent new addition, courtesy of  The Perfume Shop:     Davidoff  Adventure

Have rediscovered the Givenchys, above, still good as ever;  Floris less so.  New additions:  Jo Malone Lime, basil and mandarin (!),  Aramis Devin, Dior Dune (lovely), Davidoff Hot Water;  and — finally, thanks to Diana and Fortnum & Mason’sLalique Pour Homme in the Lion bottle


Rembrandt      Picasso      Michael Ayrton      Edward Burne-Jones      Piero della Francesca      Tom Carr      John Piper      several past and present members of Greenwich Printmakers      Peter Blake     Robert Tavener     my new ‘discovery’ Elinor Bellingham-Smith (six of hers at the last count)


Louis Macneice      W H Auden      Ted Hughes      Brian Patten       D H Lawrence       Pushkin      Thomas Hardy      Roger McGough      Keats      Homer      Arthur Waley (Chinese poems)      e e cummings    Brian Bilston


B Kliban      Snoopy      Fat Freddy’s Cat      Andre Francois      R Crumb      Charlie Brown     Simon’s Cat


Henry Miller      Lawrence Durrell      Malcom Lowry      Paul Bowles      Homer      Mary Renault      Rosemary Sutcliff

plus weirder ones/others:      Marquez      Borges      Douglas Adams      Flann O’Brien      Jonathan Gash (‘Lovejoy’)      Andrea Camilleri (‘Inspector Montalbano’)


The Alexandria Quartet      The Odyssey (I have about seven different English translations so far!)      Tropic of Cancer      Under the Volcano      Herzog      The Leopard      The Spider’s House       Tristram Shandy      Moby Dick      Beethoven and his Nine Symphonies (Sir George Grove)       Superpig (Willie Rushton)      Sperm Wars (Robin Baker)    Ecclesiastes

TV shows:

Antiques Roadshow      Medium      Ken Russell’s ‘Debussy’      Dream On      Whose Line Is It Anyway?      Soap      The Avengers      Foyle’s War     Montalbano     Morse



Don Giovanni      The Rake’s Progress      Turandot     Aida      Pelleas et Melisande      Salome      Der Rosenkavalier      Falstaff      Queen of Spades      Cunning Little Vixen      Rusalka      Bluebeard’s Castle      Turn of the Screw      Ritorno d’Ulisse      Tales of Hoffmann      Porgy and Bess

and others so much part of the furniture I don’t have to think about them:      La Boheme      Madama Butterfly      Magic Flute      Figaro      Cosi fan tutte      Carmen      Eugene Onegin     Katya Kabanova      Boris Godunov      Wozzeck      Fidelio      Traviata

plus waifs and strays that nobody else seems to love:      Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail      Intermezzo (Strauss)      Erwartung      La Voix humaine      Julietta (Martinu)      La Rondine      Adriana Lecouvreur      William Tell      La Fanciulla del West      Die Frau ohne Schatten      Palestrina      Midsummer Marriage      Mlada (Rimsky-Korsakov)      Die Tote Stadt      Idomeneo



and then…

Richard Strauss      Martinu      Debussy      Puccini      Stravinsky      Janacek      Tippett      Britten

and also…

Schubert      Dvorak      Chopin      Sibelius      Rachmaninov      Poulenc      Messiaen      Ravel      Gershwin      Steve Reich      Judith Weir      Paul Carr


Schumann:  Konzertstuck (4 Horns and orch)      R Strauss:  Metamorphosen,  Zarathustra,  Oboe Concerto      Debussy:  Sonata for flute, viola and harp      Martinu:  The Parables,  Fantaisies symphoniques,  Frescoes of Piero della Francesca      Grainger:  Lincolnshire Posy      Prokofiev:  Flute sonata      Stravinsky:  Octet,  Symphony of Psalms,  Symphonies of Wind Instruments,  Apollon musagete,  Rite of Spring      Bax:  Tintagel      Bridge:  The Sea      Britten:  Hymn to St Cecilia,  Serenade for tenor, horn and strings      Janacek:  string quartets      Rachmaninov:  Symphonic Dances      Tippett:  Triple Concerto,  Corelli Fantasia,  Symphonies 2 + 4      Reich:  Different Trains      Mozart:  just about all the Piano Concertos,  Sinfonia concertante (violin/viola),  Masonic Funeral Music      Liszt:  B minor sonata


Dawn Upshaw:  I Wish It So      Judy Collins:  Wildflowers,  Running for my Life, Whales and Nightingales      Steeleye Span:  Below the Salt      Le Mystere des voix bulgares (#1)      Stevie Wonder:  Talking Book,  Songs in the Key of Life,  Secret Life of Plants      Bill Evans:  Alone Again      Charles Trenet:  The Extraordinary Garden      Fabrizio de Andre:  Creuza de Ma      The Sixteen:  20thC Christmas Collection      Swingle II:  Rags and All That Jazz      Kathryn Stott:  A Faure Collection      Caliban Does Christmas (bassoon quartets!)


Anne Schwanewilms      Felicity Lott      Kiri te Kanawa      Victoria de los Angeles      Frederica von Stade      Jean Rigby      Placido Domingo     Anthony Rolfe-Johnson      Toby Spence      Philip Langridge      Nigel Robson      Jonas Kaufmann      Dmitri Hvorostovsky      Tom Allen      Chris Booth-Jones      John Connell      Judy Collins      Shirley Collins      Charles Trenet      Stevie Wonder      Kate Bush     Erica Eloff


Sweeney Todd      Pacific Overtures      West Side Story      The King and I


The Seventh Seal      The Silence      Amadeus      Star Wars (the original #1)      L’homme Qui Aimait Les Femmes      Orphee (Cocteau)      Big Fish      O Brother, Where Art Thou?      Under the Volcano      Fantasia      West Side Story      Sweeney Todd     most of the James Bonds


Henry Miller      Snoopy     Michael Tippett      Stravinsky      Picasso      Richard Strauss      Humphrey Burton      Robert Winston      Jeremy Sams      David Owen Norris      Chrome Toaster

People who changed my life:

Peter Cooper      John Myatt     Chris Hogwood     The Macnamara family     Alex Thornhill     Mary King     Tim Reynish      Humphrey Burton     Dave Heather     Spike Hughes      Daphne Renny    Diana

People who could have changed my life but didn’t:

…no, let’s not go there.


East Sussex       Blackheath and Greenwich       France esp. Provence      Italy       Greece and islands       Spain       …just about anywhere on the Mediterranean


Crete       Majorca       Naxos      Île de la Cité (Paris)     Isola di San Giulio, Lake Orta


Paris       London       Venice       Siena       Norwich       Liverpool      New York

in my dreams, i.e. not been there yet:      San Francisco       Chicago      Madrid       Dublin       Alexandria

‘Whiskers on wombats’ department, i.e. miscellanea:

cats   especially Turkish Van cats like our beloved and much missed Onyx, Anush and Cennet;  and our adorable and adored black moggy, Inca

dogs too (some!)


antique pocket watches  especially American ‘railroad quality’ watches


…watch this space

One Comment on “These are a few of…”

  1. Clover Says:

    Merci beaucoup for the inspiration to start my WordPress blog! Your list of loves has inspired me too. I will further develop my about me pages eventually..No wonder you are up all night, all that late-night concerting! I’m flattered that you are interested in reading my stuff. Most of what you have read/studied is way beyond me.

    Oups! I wasn’t logged in the first time. Can you delete? I want my avatar to show. Merci!

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