I’ve just had one of these Twitter things where you are asked to list your five favourite books or six favourite films or seven favourite dwarves. This one was “five favourite things”. As ever, I over-think my reply.

My first worry is: ‘are people things?’ The person who sent me the question is happy to include her “boys”, which I assume means husband and male children. She can probably get away with this, but if I mention my wife then, as a man, I could be accused of objectifying her. I’m not even sure that the PC brigade don’t have a point. She’s not a ‘favourite thing’, she’s a person. And if I do mention her, then what about my son? I mean, I love him too, but it’s a different sort of love now he’s grown up and moved away and married. So maybe ‘my family’. But how much of my family? My daughter-in-law? My sister I hardly ever see? Should I rate them against friends  who, prior to covid, I saw almost every week?

Probably best to leave people out of it.


Let’s say my very favourite thing is ‘Home’, which is handy, given the situation we all find ourselves in. And it does sort of include my wife, because ‘home’ is defined in part by the presence of both of us in it.

The bit of home I’m looking at right now.

Phew! One down, four to go.


The second one is easy. It’s tango. I’ve blogged too much about this already. If you want to know why I love it so much, then go and read my blog post HERE. Rather to my surprise, it’s one of the most-read posts I’ve ever written.

I miss dancing with my friends and I look forward to doing it again as soon as I can. Fortunately, though, we have the space to dance at home, so we’re doing a lot of practice at the moment. It keeps us happy and sane. (As sane as we ever are, I guess.)


The third is easy too. It’s street-skating. After three weeks stuck in the house (we had to isolate a week ahead of everyone else because my wife had a temperature and a cough) we decided to put our skates on and take our permitted exercise on the empty streets. It’s been bliss!

Arriving in Amsterdam
(having skated from Hook of Holland)


For the fourth I would have said skiing but we missed the season last year (for the first time in over 40 years) and our attempts to hit the slopes this year were foiled by the virus. Will we still love it as much when we get back? I do hope so. There is something magical about exploring the mountains on snow.


The fifth is another one where I’m not as confident as I would have been before covid. It’s mid-Wales. My wife used to live there as a child and we return often. Last year we spent about a month there all-told. We think of it as home and love it as much as home in London. It’s always been our bolt-hole in a crisis and this year we’ve been told by the Welsh government that we can’t go. In fact, we probably couldn’t have gone there anyway, because there is still work to do and a working internet is something we couldn’t live without for an extended period. (Perhaps I should make that a favourite thing?) I can see why the Welsh don’t want people visiting, but the joy of the place is that we literally go for days on end without seeing another soul, so it seems a good place to self-isolate. Anyway, even if the rule makes sense, just like the EU citizens who used to think of the UK as home, being told we’re not welcome colours the way I view Wales. I hope we still love it when we eventually get back, but right now, like a lot of covid couples, we’re on a break. I’ll leave it up anyway and hope to be happy there again when this is all over.

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