1. & 2.
Window seats and toile de jouy curtains, respectively. No doubt a double-X chromosome thing.
Heirloom tomatoes, and the way the plants smell when you're walking barefoot through warm humid garden dirt on a hot July afternoon to go pick some for dinner.
This photograph of a magnolia blossom by Imogen Cunningham, because she makes it look like a temple.
This photo of Imogen herself, with model Twinka, taken by Judy Dater in 1981. Imogen is the one on the left.
5. & 6.
Patsy Cline, and
Hank Williams SENIOR.
Because some days you just need twangy yodeling.
Robinson Jeffers' poetry--not least, these days:
Shine, Perishing Republic
While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening to empire
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the mass hardens,
I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and decadence; and home to the mother.
You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stubbornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains: shine, perishing republic.
But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thickening center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster's feet there are left the mountains.
And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught--they say--God, when he walked on earth.
William Manchester's magnificent biography of Winston Churchill, which for me stands as one of the acmes of non-fiction writing, both for its flights of oratory:
England's new leader, were he to prevail, would have to stand for everything England's decent, civilized Establishment had rejected.... Like Adolf Hitler he would have to be a leader of intuitive genius, a born demagogue in the original sense of the word, a believer in the supremacy of his race and his national destiny, an artist who knew how to gather the blazing light of history into his prism and then distort it to his ends, an embodiment of inflexible resolution who could impose his will and his imagination on his people -- a great tragedian who understood the appeal of martyrdom and could tell his followers the worst, hurling it to them like great hunks of bleeding meat, persuading them that the year of Dunkirk would be one in which it was "equally good to live or to die" -- who could if necessary be just as cruel, just as cunning, and just as ruthless as Hitler but who could win victories without enslaving populations, or preaching supernaturalism, or foisting off myths of his infallibility, or destroying, or even warping, the libertarian institutions he had sworn to preserve. Such a man, if he existed, would be England's last chance.And for his ability to capture Churchill's wit:
In London there was such a man.
He called Atlee "a sheep in sheep's clothing," and "a modest man with much to be modest about," and he drove a sharp needle into Labour policy one day when he met him in the House's men's room. Attlee, arriving first, had stepped up to the urinal trough when Churchill strode in on the same mission, glanced at him, and stood at the trough as far away from him as possible. Attlee said, "Feeling standoffish today, are we, Winston?" Churchill said: "That's right. Every time you see something big, you want to nationalize it."
Josephine's bed at Malmaison, because sometimes humanity requires a profound and absolute respite from all things IKEA, even though I think dusting is a massive pain in the butt and plus you'd probably have to have those sheets drycleaned every damn week or whatever. (See #1).
Holland and Holland shotguns.
I mean, how could you not love such an object?
"Cher Guevara," and whoever invented her.
Hanging out on the beach in Bali with an Aussie named Tony Ruwald who my sister Freya met while surfing there, in 1988.
The view from Nepenthe, in Big Sur, home of the "Ambrosia Burger."
Although I miss the old days, when they still had canvas director's chairs scattered around the terrace, instead of plastic.
Old VW single cab trucks. Just because.
Being able to make a Southpark self-portrait.
How about you guys? What's your fave thing du jour?