1. Rolf Harris. He’s a legend.
2. Peanut butter on multi-grain toast.
3. Colin Firth’s performance in The King’s Speech. If he doesn’t get a BAFTA, there’s no justice in the world.
4. Seed. By which I mean the clothing shop where I recently purchased 3 dresses to wear for work. On sale at $30 each. In a comfortable and flatteringly drapey jersey fabric that is machine-washable and drip dry without the need for ironing. Sweet.
5. Sketch submissions by new artists (well, they’re new to me, anyway). Its like a quick look into their soul. I usually reciprocate with something of my own so they can ‘know’ me, too. I think of it as being akin to breathing softly into a horse’s face or putting out your hand for a dog to sniff…
6. Losing a further 1.5 kilos over the Christmas holidays. That’s 8 kilos in total I’ve lost. Or 17 pounds. Or just over a stone. And you should see me run. I’m like greased lightning. 😉
7. The ABC’s Rake. Its the best thing on TV to come out of Australia since… well, I can’t think of anything else I’ve really loved from Aussie TV, actually. The blurb on the website doesn’t do it justice – in fact, it makes it sound rather lame – but, believe me, its bloody brilliant. The ABC have sold out of the DVD, though, drat them, which is vastly annoying as I intended to send it as a Christmas present to several family members and friends.
8. My new travel coffee french press.
9. My Amazon Wish List and the darling friend – you know who you are, piereth! – who sent me Christmas presents chosen from it. I had entirely forgotten I’d even made a Wish List, until the presents arrived. The exactly-what-I-wanted presents.
10. Canned sardines in olive oil. Now that I can no longer justify eating tuna (and, my god, that is a real sacrifice on the altar of principle, let me tell you, because I ADORE tuna) since bluefin tuna are now critically endangered and yellowfin, bigeye and albacore stocks are also crashing, I have rediscovered sardines. Which are delicious, as well as reminding me of picnic lunches with my mother when I was little.
Incidentally, I have three things to say to the people who pooh-pooh the current level of threat to tuna stocks and who consider tuna to be the equivalent of ‘chicken in a can’:
i) The closest land-based parallel to tuna would be tiger or wolf, not chicken. Tuna are large animals and a top ocean predator. There are no land-based predator species that we eat in any quantity, which is lucky for them, since predators tend to reproduce far more slowly than prey species, for obvious evolutionary reasons. Similarly we cannot farm tuna any more efficiently than we could farm tigers in order to supply a demand for their flesh. So, we need to stop eating them – at least for a while – not just so we can eat them again at some point in the future, but so that their loss to the ocean ecosystem doesn’t have the kind of unintentional consequences that the removal of large predators on land from a given ecosystem has so often had.
ii) ‘dolphin-friendly’ tuna fishing methods are marketing bunkum. Even where commercial tuna fisheries have ceased to use nets to catch tuna, the use of long-lines instead now results in massive bycatches of sharks, turtles, dolphins, immature tuna and even seabirds such as albatross.
iii) to those who think that the ocean’s vast schools of fish are boundless and infinite I have only this to say: passenger pigeons.
…and don’t even start me on Japan in this context.