Materialistic Reviewsday

In this week’s reviewsday I’d like to invite you all into my life for a little while. It’s probably not the done thing, but this week we’re going to get a little bit materialistic. I want to review my 6 favourite things.

Now, I’m going to have to remove anything living – clearly my absolute favourite things are my family – human and various other mammals. I’m just looking at things that I can say I legally possess and could possibly dig out a receipt for (or the gift tag… some were presents). I’m also going to try to avoid anything too specific; these should all be accessible to other peoples, should they want to fill their lives with stuff I like! And yes, that would be SO weird. Please don’t do it.

Last disclaimer – this list is in no particular order, save for the order these things came to my mind. I guess it’s a case of the obvious ones first and the more obscure ones after…

1 – My car
Honda cr-v 4x4 car
Yeah, we’re starting with the biggie. I love my car. I started learning to drive when I was 17 and my Mum let me drive her Fiesta around a car park.
Years passed; I got my licence (2nd attempt) and was lucky enough to be in the situation where my Mum’s old Fiesta was looking for a new home. Thus began ten years of Fiesta-driving. In that time I had three different Fiestas; a little dark blue one which served me until my first and only car crash whilst I was behind the wheel. (We had to threaten him with a court case, but the arse driving the other car eventually admitted liability.) After that, and because of that, came a little dark red number which saw me to the end of uni and into my first job. Once I got a job I decided to upgrade to a newer model Fiesta in a gleaming black and all was well… Until the ferrets moved in.
It is impossible to fit a 100cm show cage in the back of a Fiesta, and it’s a right bugger to have to move eight ferrets around in a cat carrier, so this February I decided enough was enough and I part-exchanged my trusty Fiesta for a gas guzzling Honda CR-V. And I love it! From the rumble of its diesel engine to the HUGE bootspace, from the many secret storage spaces to the actual picnic table, it’s perfect. Sure it’s not quite as nippy on the corners as the Fiesta, but I needed a bit of slowing down if I’m going to be honest with you.
It’s more than just a big, shiny, grey thing. My car is very much my safe place. Always has been – if life feels a bit shitty I can go for a drive no matter the weather or the time of day. In my car I can crank my music up loud and belt out my frustrations, or simply just warble along happily if things happen to be going well. In my car I can go wherever I want (within reason) whenever I want. I can see my wonderful family, be they 10 minutes up the road, an hour away or further. I can take the ferrets to various country shows, or I can take HollyDog for a walk somewhere more exciting than the town we live in. My car is my freedom and that’s pretty much why it was the first thing to come to mind.

2 – My books
books
For longer than I can remember I have been a reader. It’s just always felt good – to get lost in a book, devouring the words, the characters, the worlds, the plots. It’s why I’m a writer. Part of being a constant reader is my collection of books. Every room of my house has at least a small pile of books in it. Most are in the little spare room, which may be barely big enough to swing a cat, but it’s certainly big enough to shove two overflowing bookcases into. More recently read books, and books yet to be started are in my bedroom. Books I want visitors to see are in the lounge whilst cookery books are in the kitchen (yeah, that’s sort of a given!) There are even books in the bathroom; reading in the bath does come with some risks, but it’s a must!
Amongst my books are old favourites which I could read from cover to cover again and again, never growing tired of. There are harder books which I finished and set aside, declaring I would rather not face again. There are epic serieses which took many, many months to get through, and small volumes which were finished in a single sitting. These books have made me laugh, made me cry and made me wish more than anything that I too could commit my words to paper. It is a matter of great pride that my bedside table contains a copy of the 400-page paperback which bears my name.
If I didn’t have my books to read I don’t think I would be the person I am today. I’d live I’d find other things to occupy my mind, but I’d be missing a large part of who I am.

3 – My Laptop
packard bell laptop red
This, sort of, follows on from my books. My laptop contains a lot of things which I value very highly. If this list were in order of irreplacable sentimental worth, the laptop would take the top spot. It contains my photographs, it contains my videos and it contains my words. Hundreds of thousands of typed words live in this machine. I have some of it backed up, but not enough that I wouldn’t mourn if this computer died tonight. Ever since I first had my own desktop PC (just the year before I got my car, I believe) I started writing this one story. There’s a girl, a boy, and a lot of dragons. The other details have changed with the years and the numerous re-tellings, and many other story ideas have bloomed. Word document after word document sit on this hard drive containing the beginnings of stories my mind wanted to tell. Most will never be finished, but they wait, just in case I return to them one day.
As well as my words, my laptop contains my link to the world. The internet, and with it Facebook, Skype, Hotmail and YouTube, not to mention my new friend WordPress. Without this laptop I don’t know what my life would be – I’d either get out more, or you’d find me sat in a corner rocking and talking to my imaginary friends!

4 – My mini-Dishwasher
table top dishwasher
Not much I can say here – this is for reasons of pure laziness! I don’t like washing up; it takes too long and I can think of so many things I’d rather do. My kitchen isn’t huge, so there’s no room for a proper size dishwasher, but as there’s only one of me I don’t make enough mess to fill a proper size dishwasher. That’s about it!

5 – Bath foam collection
bath products
I like a bath. I have quite a few baths. Admittedly this is because the shower in my bathroom does not work, so I need to have regular baths to keep clean! More than anything, however, I like to make the most of my bath. This includes music, a book (or a podcast) and lots and lots of bubbles. I don’t mind the flavour, I just like me a bubble bath. Alternatively a bath bomb will do – some sort of potion or unguent in the water making everything fizzy and aromatic and I’m a relaxed and happy bunny.
I can’t claim to have the busiest or hectic-est of lives; I’m not chasing around after children or juggling a billion social activities, but I do get aches and stresses and tired, and a good bath goes a long way to easing those aches, stresses and tireds.

6 – iPod
iPod
Last, but not least is my trusty iPod (or mp3 player of choice). It’s a good few years old now, and has a crack across the bottom of the screen from where I dropped it, but it’s definitely one of my favourite gadgets. I work in an office. For the past 6 and a half years I’ve worked in offices, albeit different rooms with different colleagues. The problem with offices is that some people work better with background noise, and others prefer silence. I’m one of the former category, needing some sort of noise to be happening. However offices generally seem to cater for the second group. So in comes the iPod – one ear in, one out so I don’t miss anyone talking to me, and I get to work to my own soundtrack. Likewise on the few rare occasions I go to London I can take my own soundtrack with me onto the tube, walking round the tourist-filled streets. Away from the Capital I can plug my iPod into my car, thanks to a nifty radio transmitter, and I can listen to my music as I travel. I don’t know why music’s so important, but I know I’m not such a huge fan of silence, and I’ve yet to find a rado station which doesn’t begin to annoy me after a short while. With my iPod I can skip and skip and skip until I find a track suited to my mood. I can block the world out, I can seek inspiration or motivation, and I don’t have to share with the worldd whatever highly unfashionable tune I’m listening to!

There we are – these are a few of my favourite things, along with related images. If you’d like to share your materialistic happy places, please do, otherwise I’ll see you in the next blog!

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