A list of seven favourite things in life beyond that already discussed - a gratuitous example of each one included.
- Perfumes. Lolita Lempicka.
an enhanced sense of smell is naturally a double-edged sword - it really deplores me how this most emotionally powerful of senses is suppressed: why do people accept the refrigerated flowers, fruit and vegetables with no fragrance you find in supermarkets? and modern perfumes which, like celebrity for the sake of celebrity, are now far more to do with an image or idea they represent than the scent itself, design once again triumphing over content (these days only about 3% of the cost goes to the production of the liquid); I find a woman (or man) with a nice understated smell very attractive indeed, and of course it's less about the perfume itself than the magical chemistry - that said, a girl to choose the lesser-known fragrance Lolita Lempicka will surely cause a man's downfall
- Fruits. Acerola.
you were probably anticipating the mango as my example, and it's hard for me not to include my beloved mango, yet it's only because I recently discovered in Madrid (thanks to my friend Laura at NASA) something even more devastatingly delicious and transcendent: the acerola! grown in the Caribbean and the Americas, this small red fruit contains an absurdly high amount of vitamin C in addition to offering other powerfully magical effects that I shall leave to your fertile imagination - suffice to say that as you have that first ever molecule of acerola touch the first tastebud on your tongue, you immediately know it's about to have its scandalous way with you
- Travels. Barcelona.
after five productive years in London, even though I didn't know it, I was ready for a move and it was the unlikely combination of a concert in Barcelona and a burglary back home that prompted me to make the move to live there - it was the best thing I ever did; and, with the best transitions, it created the space for me to really develop as a human being on the inside through the wonderfully functional Catalan culture and people, and through the climate and the air; oh, and the red wine
- Drink. Tea.
nowadays, I drink very little alcohol by UK standards and a glass of rioja crianza in good company is a genuine pleasure, yet I don't apologise for saying that nothing can match the life-affirming qualities of a fine brew of a quality infusion (not that PG Tips dust) - two tea moments in particular stand out, one at a gourmet teashop in Switzerland and another (of the green variety) in Tokyo both which were, let's just say, fulfilling
- Hotel. La Posada De San José.
unknown to many due its inland location and relative remoteness to the tourist traps, La Ciudad Encantada ('The Enchanted City') in Cuenca, Spain is one of the most beautiful places in Europe and there is an extraodinary 17th century building perched precariously on the sheer rock face - I've had the fortune to stay in many wonderful hotels, and I do love those with a bit of character; it can be exciting, it can be erotic, it can be an adventure, as you form part of all the untold stories that the walls of your room are secret witnesses to - and none more so than La Posada, originally an ancient college for the local cathedral's, erm, choirboys...
- Animals. Bonobo Chimpanzee.
dogs and cats have wonderful personalities that I adore; I think maybe because we see in them some of the attributes that we as human animals can ourselves be proud of, our highest values represented in a purity of form - beyond moggies and pooches and other creatures, for me it's the bonobo chimp (even more when compared to our own cursed species)
- Restaurant. That Place In Kitakyushu.
a bit like not knowing the love of your life's name, (shamefully) I still can't recall the name of the best restaurant I've ever enjoyed, the one in Kitakyushu I referred to before - Japanese food is exceptional at the best of times and it's in Kyushu where reputedly you'll enjoy the finest