Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Not to be taken too seriously, The Culture Show blog mentions that Alfred Brendel has shared his five essentials. This brings to mind the reverse of Room 101, which Stephen Fry posited as 'Room Lovely' - those things that might easily be overlooked, but that are worth celebrating. After a moment's pondering, I arrive at my Five Essentials:-

1. Good conversation. Hence, sitting amongst friends and family, and listening to lots of spoken word radio programmes and some TV too.

2. Learning (related to the above point). I know that I don't know, a lot.

3. Foul weather. Walking in the rain with loved ones, being braced against a chill wind, huddling up against the cold - it all makes the hot chocolate at the end of the road that little bit better.

4. Reading for relaxation. To have time to do this, regularly (I'm a slow-reader), is a luxury of the highest order.

5. Playing football. On occasions, this can be as artful, as evidence of a particular kind of intelligence, and as good a stress-buster as anything. In the world. Ever. Almost.

Maybe take a moment to consider your own essentials. It'll make you glow inside. Sharing welcome.


Huw said...

A Spurs-supporting Professor of mine, who specialised in the evolution of human thought and cognition, would frequently tell people that Paul Gascoigne was both the most and least intelligent person he'd ever met.

Queenie said...

I'm with you on 1, 2 and 4. 3 and 5, though, leave me cold - literally. I'd have to replace them with cooking, which I find therapeutic and what's more you can (usually) eat the results, and writing, without which I cannot function.

PI said...

Those will do me - apart from 5 unless - by some miracle I could go with my Dad (he's dead) so I'll substitute a successful print out of writing I'm pleased with.

Meanwhile... said...

This is concise, comprehensive and agreeable.

As the essential counterpoise to conversation and spoken word radio, I think I'd offer silence and - occasionally - time dedicated to doing nothing (except maybe walking, thinking and drinking tea.)

Moreover, foul weather should ideally be sought on a deserted and god-forsaken promenade somewhere faded...

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

In no particular order:

1. My people collection.
2. My book collection.
3. Top Bloke.
4. Health.
5. Staying aware of how lucky I am in my life. For example, I can consider these as essentials when, in so much of the world, people's five essentials would be clean water, enough to eat, no drought/floods, access to primary health care, and nobody dying in childbirth/infancy.

But, as you say, it's not to be taken too seriously. I am, however, feeling slightly serious after the recent death of a much-loved blogfriend. She was younger than me, too. So actually I think one of my essentials might be 'being alive'.

Shane said...

Huw - It's that kind of professorial comment that makes sense of that man's professorship.
Q - Your attitude to 3 & 5: the term miseducation springs to mind.
Pi - Your qualifier, re 5: That would be beyond the powers of this blogger.
Meanwhile - Have the crown for word of the month: promenade... Always pleasing, and yes, evokative of something jaded.
Z - I wonder where you keep your people collection.

Carnalis said...

i can't decide whether the interweb has become an essential to access my lifelines (friends, humour, reading, art) or whether i can label it as just the facilitator.

Shane said...

C - I'm guessing (generally) that it's a facilitator. I think the act of being online mediates, or is in the service of, other stuff... unless pressing finger-flesh against keyboard is a quiet kink - which I'm guessing it's not.