In the Times, the Saturday before last. A list. A list of small stuff Robert Crampton likes.
The small stuff, he says, that you think is the small stuff, and then you get older and realise that the small stuff is what actually matters.
Me? I like stories about how people won the lottery. I was, once, on the lottery panel. I got to advise lottery winners. Just once each, a no-obligation, first names only, couple of hours with a lawyer (me) and an investment manager. The first question was always: So, tell me how it was? How did you find out? Even though you know how the story ends, the anticipation, the excitement, the joy, is infectious. I like those stories.
I like other stories too. I like stories about how people found out they were expecting a baby. Love those. Everyone's story is different and everyone's story is just as important and life-affirming. Literally, I suppose.
And jokes. Silly jokes more than rude ones. The sort of jokes my children tell that aren't funny, because they don't get the point of jokes, but that become so with repetition.
Why did the cat cross the road? Because it had mittens. That sort of thing. It's not funny; they made it up, but I like it.
Clean sheets, especially ironed ones. Having the bed all to yourself. Having someone to share the bed with. Just being in bed really.
Cold mornings on sunny days. The sound of rain on a flat roof. The sun coming through the shutters. Snow.
I like people watching. I like people, mostly. I like finding out about them, what they like. I like famous people (Roger Federer, Marcia Cross, Madeleine Albright) who have twins. I like the Australian girl who married the Prince of Denmark (she has twins, too). Nothing to do with twins, but I like Rupert Penry-Jones and Jonathan Davies (for different reasons). I like Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. I like Cranford. And Wives and Daughters. And pretty much any BBC costume drama really.
I like puddings, cakes and biscuits. Brownies and cookies too. Making them. Eating them. And sharing them with other people.
I like donkeys, hedgehogs and pink fairy armadillos (just the name really. I'm not sure I'd actually recognise a pink fairy armadillo if I met one). Ducks. The Overture to the Marriage of Figaro. Pipe smoke, cashmere socks, really old cars. De Dion-Bouton. Radio 4.
The noise of ropes against masts at a harbour. Mint tea with real leaves in it. Having my hair cut.
Conversations about Children's TV. Conversations about nothing. Conversations that leap from crag to crag, so that you touch on forty eight different topics, seamlessly, and get to the end, four hours later, without pausing for breath, except to catch it from laughing, with no idea how it all joined together, but a certainty that it did.
B in a grey suit. My children in the bath. M giggling at L. A and S holding hands.
Pregnant women stroking their bumps, absent-mindedly. The quads who were born on 29 February.
Bookshops, proper ones. New books of any sort. Books that make me cry. The magazines that come with the weekend papers (thank you, Bob Crampton)
Gipsy caravans. The old GNER livery. Waitrose own brand packaging. Blossom and daffodils. London. The National Gallery, Garbo's salary, cellophane. Cole Porter.
Bridges and causeways (but not tunnels). Maps, but not satnav. Big skies. Purple hills and green valleys.
I like the sea, whatever the weather.
I like the small stuff.