Tag Archives: favourite things

100 Not Out

So, I’ve reached 100 posts. And, as I said yesterday, I’ve borrowed the idea from Jo of listing 100 favourite things. So, in absolutely no order, here they are.

  1. Thunderstorms



  2. Thunderstorms. I love standing in the porch watching them. The brighter the flashes, the heavier the thunder, and the harder the rain, the better
  3. Babies’ sudden smiles.
  4. Steak and Chips.
  5. Making people laugh.
  6. Hot, powerful showers.
  7. My sun lounger. I got it as a Father’s Day present a few years ago, and it’s the best present I’ve ever got.
  8. Microsoft Excel. Sad, but since I’ve no artistic talent at all, setting up formulas, or changing one figure and watching it change things on about six different pages, is as near as I can get to feeling creative.
  9. Hurling. Was never any good at it, and neither is my county,  but I love watching it.
  10. The guitar solo from Led Zeppelin’s “Since I’ve been Loving You”.
  11. The way babies’ hands will grab hold of your finger.
  12. The Cork accent. Tommy Tiernan described it as “like a knacker trying to speak French”, and the very harsh version is quite grating, but the soft Cork accent is fascinating. Which leads me to
  13. The comedy of Tommy Tiernan.
  14. Birdsong. And watching birds fly. And huge flocks of them swerving and swooping in autumn. Actually, just birds.
  15. Looking at the stars

    Looking at the stars

    Looking up at the stars.

  16. The poem”The Night Before Christmas”. As the kids were growing up I read it to them every night from the 14th on, and even now we all gather in the youngest one’s room on Christmas Eve and I read it. That’s where childhood memories come from.
  17. Dilbert. Does the writer secretly work in our office?
  18. My iPod. For giving me back time to listen to music.
  19. Drinking. There, I’ve said it.
  20. Waking up really early, and realising it’s Sunday.
  21. The Olympics. Just great. This year it gave us Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps. In the past it’s given us Michael Johnson, Ronnie Delaney, Tommy Smith & John Carlos, Jesse Owens, The Dream Team, Tonya Harding, Coe/Cram/Ovett, and of course, Michelle Smith. And it’s an excuse for another picture of Yelena.
  22. The book Catch-22. Astounding.
  23. My birthday. Well, it’s true.
  24. The Harry Potter books. For being brilliant, and for keeping kids reading.
  25. Mock the Week.
  26. Listening to rain lashing against the window when I’m tucked up in bed.
  27. Sky Plus. It really makes everything so much easier.
  28. Being first into the office in the morning occasionally. A childish pleasure, because it makes me feel grown-up, if that makes sense.
  29. Star Trek. In virtually all its forms, but especially Star Trek The Next Generation. The picture though, is of Seven Of Nine from Star Trek Vovager, because I’m shallow.
  30. Warm nights.
  31. Flying. Used to hate it, but I realise now I quite enjoy it.
  32. Cricket. Many people detest it, but it really is a great sport. I’ve just watched the English 40-over league being decided by a guy hitting a six off the last ball of the last game of the whole season. That’s sporting drama.
  33. “Gabriel’s Oboe”, from The Mission.
  34. Doing things online. Paying car tax, booking things, doing my tax return – whenever they offer me the online alternative, I’ll have a go.
  35. Zip-up hoodies. Wore my son’s when one of my blackouts left me with a big head wound and I didn’t want to lift jumpers over my head. Now I have five of them of my own. No, it’s not just to look young.
  36. The word ‘cadever’, as taught to me by my sons. It’s used in the gaeltacht when they aren’t allowed to utter a word of English. I use it all the time now, and I’ve also started swearing ‘cad an fuck?’ at my computer at work.
  37. Bed. Just Love it.
  38. The Sun (!) crossword, where there are no clues, each box has a number in it and you’ve to match the letters to the numbers. God knows how Sun readers do it.
  39. The Mahon Tribunal. Hugely entertaining, and well worth the money. It’s already humiliated Burke and Lawlor, and the leader of our country had to resign. If it means there’s even a small chance my children will work and buy property in a land not controlled by money-obsessed crooks, how can it be a bad thing?
  40. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.
  41. Wrapping presents for Mrs Tin & the younger kids with Tinson1 in my local on Christmas Eve morning. Another one of our traditions. The bar owner always has sellotape and a scissors on the counter when we arrive.
  42. “The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock” by TS Eliot. We did it at school, over 30 years ago, and I can still recite most of it by heart.
  43. Big Brother. I know, I know, I know. And I don’t care.
  44. The film “Die Hard 2”.
  45. Strawberries.
  46. Parenthood. It just changes your life.
  47. The song/speech “Sunscreen” by Baz Lurman.
  48. The books of Marian Keyes. Definitely not chick-lit. She’s a genius.
  49. The smoking ban. Both for making everywhere more pleasant, and for making it easier for me to stay off them.
  50. Women’s bums. Especially in jeans. Told you I was shallow. And it’s a chance to post this -> photo of Yelena Isinbayeva that I found the first time I was looking for a picture of her, but hadn’t the nerve to use. Now it’s in context, which makes it ok.
  51. Laughing. Should do more of it.
  52. Blogging. It’s got me writing again, even if on a rather superficial level.
  53. England. Economic circumstances meant that it’s where my parents lived when I was born, and, though I am 100% Irish, it is the country of my birth and I do love going back there, though I’m not so fond of the strange hybrid accent that I adopt within twenty minutes of getting there.
  54. Terry Pratchett books. He is the greatest writer alive, and he’s getting better, book after book.
  55. Sunrise


    Elton John’s song “Empty Garden”, written upon the death of John Lennon. The saddest song ever written, beating the previous incumbent “Puff the Magic Dragon” (I’m serious).

  56. Sunrises.
  57. My local. Where everybody knows my name. Well, apart from one bloke who has called me ‘Brian’ for over 20 years now (my name’s not Brian).
  58. Cold meat, salad and pickle-stuff, with one hot food added, such as boiled potatoes. My fave food back in the times when we had a summer.
  59. Lying on the couch on a Saturday afternoon, putting on sport on the telly, and then sleeping my way through it.
  60. ‘Soave si il Vento’, from Cosi fan Tutte by Mozart. The most beautiful piece of music ever written.
  61. The view from the Vico Road in Dalkey. I once heard it called “Ireland’s Bay of Naples”. I’ve seen the Bay of Naples, and ours is better.
  62. My children laughing. Especially if it’s me that made them laugh.
  63. The Ross O’Carroll-Kelly column in the Irish Times.
  64. ‘The Snapper’. My favourite film.
  65. The comments and commenters on Twenty Major’s site. It’s kind of like a virtual pub,  in that we can discuss world peace one day, and boobs the next, though we have less drinking and more smell of fart.
  66. The music of Placebo. I’m sure Placebo have very few other 50-year old fans, but I was introduced to them by a younger friend in the pub, and I now have every album.
  67. Elections. I love all the hype & excitement surrounding them, and the programmes on TV as the votes are coming in.
  68. My pacemaker. It will also be in my 100 greatest hates if I ever make such a list, but it’s keeping me alive, and there was only so much more damage my face could take from smacking it off things after blacking out suddenly.
  69. The poem “Warning – When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple”, as introduced to me by K8 the Gr8.
  70. ‘A Christmas Carol’, by Dickens. At Christmas I will search the TV schedules, find one of the film versions, and make all the family watch it, but I will also creep off on my own at some stage and read the book in one sitting.
  71. Airports. Not the queueing for check-in, obviously, but just being there, looking at other people coming and going, the happy greetings, the destinations on the boards. How is that boring?
  72. The smell of coffee, especially on cold mornings. And I don’t even drink coffee.
  73. New York. The greatest place on earth.
  74. My job. I really love it, and I’ve had lots of jobs that I didn’t.
  75. The comedy of Steven Wright: “It’s a small world, but I wouldn’t like to paint it”…”shin – a device for finding furniture in the dark”…”my friend George is a radio announcer and when he walks under a bridge you can’t hear him talk”… The king of one-liners.
  76. ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’ by Douglas Adams.
  77. The Brandon House Hotel in New Ross, where we go on weekend breaks. Great food and a super swimming pool.
  78. Giving ‘man-hugs’ to the Tinsons. A man-hug in our house is where we make as if to hug each other and then at the last second pull back and do a fist-bump (now known in our house as a TFJ – terrorist fist-jab, thanks Twenty) instead. It drives Mrs Tin mad.
  79. Jools Holland’s Hootnanny on New Year’s Eve.
  80. ‘Desiderata’. “Go placidly amid the noise and haste….” Inspiring.
  81. ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
  82. The Irish language. I wish our education system had helped us love it instead of resent it, I wish I could speak it better, and I’m thrilled my kids have learned so much of it in the Gaeltacht.
  83. Doctor Who.
  84. The album ‘Closing Time’ by Tom Waits.
  85. The Last Night of the Proms. Beacuse my mother loved it, and because it’s great to see people enjoying themselves so much at a classical music concert.
  86. Róisín Ingle’s columns. It’s great that she’s back.
  87. The fact that Tinson2 has ‘My Lovely Horse’ as his morning alarm tone on his mobile.
  88. The annual trip to Manchester United with my sons. While I’ve fallen out of love with football in recent years, there’s far more to it than just the match. This two day trip began as a Christmas present for Tinson1 and last time Tinson2 was considered old enough to come too, and as a bonding exercise the whole thing is hard to beat.
  89. Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy. We went there for Mrs Tin’s 40th birthday, it is stunningly beautiful, and this picture doesn’t even begin to do it justice. The mountains in the background are Switzerland.
  90. Watching toddlers toddle. Funny and adorable at the same time.
  91. Red Wine. Nature’s miracle.
  92. The ‘Dark Materials’ trilogy by Philip Pullman.
  93. Having a day off when no-one else does.
  94. The song ‘Soliloquy’ from Carousel. I didn’t know that’s what it’s called. It’s the one where “My Boy Bill” becomes “My Little Girl” and is the best song about impending fatherhood ever.
  95. Tom Humphries’ articles. Sports journalism at its best.
  96. Having workmates, because for most of my life I worked on my own.
  97. The smell of cut grass.
  98. Conversation. But, also;
  99. Being on my own. My late Father-in-Law used to say”I am never less alone than when alone”. It’s from an essay called “On Going a Journey” by William Hazlitt. I know what he meant.
  100. Realising that I could actually find 100 things that I like.