These are a few of my favourite things…

Day three and I haven’t even introduced myself properly.

It did cross my mind that one of the things I love about writing is that it removes the need for introductions: the words kind of speak for themselves…

But I am not quite as serious as my posts so far would suggest. Plus, it is impossible to condense a person into a week’s words.

I was thinking about this at about four o’clock yesterday morning (don’t ask) and decided that maybe I could share some of my favourite things here. A little indulgent, possibly, but hey, I’m not normally one for lists (aside from my 101 things one…) so this is a little bit different.

In no particular order, then, here are a few of my favourite things:

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson has come up on every blog that I write and in at least one conversation with most of the people I know. It would be impossible for her not to feature over here as well. I discovered her during my English A-Level and around the time that I started to really understand just how many narratives and interpretations could run through one text.

I wasn’t, at first, particularly good at making sense of Emily Dickinson but the more that I have read her, the more I recognise her ability to capture the full spectrum of human emotion. She has certainly managed to make my own emotional experiences recognisable to me which is quite a feat. It shouldn’t – but it never ceases to – amaze me how the human experience has remained consistent over all these years, despite how much the context might have changed.

These are some of my favourite stanzas at the moment. From here (no titles and I’m not sure of the consistent numbers):

“ONE need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.

Far safer, of a midnight meeting
External ghost,
Than an interior confronting
That whiter host.

Far safer through an Abbey gallop,
The stones achase,
Than, moonless, one’s own self encounter
In lonesome place.”

And here:

“WE never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies.”


Cartoons are another medium that seem wonderfully able to capture the human experience and my discovery of these is a lot more recent. It has, I think, come via the internet and the skill of a particularly brilliant friend.

What do I love about them?

That they can hit the nail on the head about things almost instantaneously. That they can provoke an immediate smile. That they can be funny, or touching, or intelligent, or sharp, or a combination of the above. That they seem to be an art form that is very rooted in the time and place – or maybe that’s down to my choice. Or the kind of things that make it to my Twitter stream.


I have been meaning to write about Twitter for the past eighteen month but it feels so….done. After a spate of articles and posts stating the “top 10 reasons why Twitter is great”, I wasn’t sure what I could add to the debate…

I’ll put that to one side for the moment but keep it brief.

It’s hard to reconnect with the world when you’ve been absent from it for a while, as I was. It’s difficult to find ways in, scary to start from scratch and put yourself out there. For me, Twitter was a golden door. It allowed me to find people with similar experiences and interests – and then to expand my own. It kept me updated with things that were going on. Helped me to rebuild confidence in my voice. Introduced me to some of the wonderful people that I have now met and am lucky enough to call friends.

The thing about Twitter is that it’s different for everyone – it flexes so that no two experiences are the same and it works for you, regardless of whether you’re chatting to people or researching a subject or just want to stay on top of the news.

I’m not as prolific a tweeter as I once was but, for me, Twitter will always occupy a special place.


I was going to stop after Twitter (632 words, a little long for a blog post) but there seems to be a theme emerging around things that connect you to others and to yourself. Music also does this for me so I’ll end with this one.

I played the violin before I could write. I have stopped now, mostly, but every time I pick up the violin or run my fingers over a piano keyboard, it feels like unlocking part of myself. For some reason, music allows me to access the feelings that I can’t quite put into words. It’s like a tuning fork for emotions and I have often wondered whether there is something scientific in the patterning of chords…

I can’t imagine a world – or a day – without music and this is my current favourite song:

P.S. I seem to have got something that is not the flu but feels like it from the flu jab. Or bizarrely coordinated with the flu jab. Luckily, I drafted this last night when I could still string words into lucid sentences. It feels funny to post without mentioning it. As though I am trying to reflect me in a moment without mentioning where I actually am! Hopefully, I’ll be back on form tomorrow 🙂