Twelve Things I Can’t Live Without

Iridium fountain pen nib, macro.
Old school, elegant, lovely! Image via Wikipedia

One of my favorite columns is this one, in Elle Decor, called Twelve Things I Can’t Live Without.

It’s too often something of the esthete’s Olympics — Pratesi or Frette sheets (check), Cire Trudon candles (check) — with every Stylish Person selected vying for the podium position of Most Elegant Designer In The World.

Here are my twelve:

The anticipation of an imminent journey — preferably one overseas, (preferably to a country that rhymes with pants)

Earl Grey tea, loose and fresh, in a glass jar

A bone china teapot in which to brew tea and a bone china teacup from which to sip it slowly

Fresh baguettes

Pale pink silk lampshades

The weekend Financial Times

A bottle of Blenheim Bouquet cologne, (a 109-year-old scent, officially for men, but so delicious!)

A Big Turk candy bar: pink Turkish delight surrounded by dark chocolate = heaven

Candles: scented, votives, tapers…everywhere, used nightly. 

My Moroccan lantern, (which I painted a soft red), whose candle-cast shadows make my suburban New York living room feel like Fez

My passport and green card

My Lamy fountain pen and some beautiful stationery on which to write thank-you and congratulations notes

How about you?

What are some of the lovely necessities of your life?

13 thoughts on “Twelve Things I Can’t Live Without

  1. Coco Mademoiselle perfume
    J. Crew cardigans
    An incredibly good quality down comforter
    A kitschy pocket mirror with a portrait of Anne Boleyn on the back
    Something to DO…boredom in me is worrying
    Pain au chocolat
    Homemade garlic infused olive oil
    My guilty pleasure books (Currently “Snobs” by Julian Fellowes)
    Pashminas (which fool me into thinking I look far more polished than I am)
    A very worn pair of deliciously comfortable flannel pants

  2. Love! Our down comforter has become nastily lumpy and thin…

    I’m big on shawls (not necessarily pashminas) so always have something pretty/warm to dress simple clothes up.

    And all of these are going to London, I assume?

  3. Lovely post, as always.

    I like your candles – I’m a candle person as well. (Someone else can analyse that sentence.)

    A few things from me:
    – my laptop – the me from my twenties, probably even the me from my thirties, would be horrified
    – my right hand, which does my best work
    – my legs, because if I couldn’t walk I’d be cactus
    – my ears, because if I couldn’t hear music I wouldn’t be alive
    (amazing how much we need our bodies, huh?)
    – breakfast – I look forward to it all night
    – my little crumbling house
    – my girls i.e. my hens i.e. my dearly beloved chooks

  4. Love these answers…

    Nigel, cactus? Chooks?
    Great stuff!

    Yes, our bodies do remain essential….I woke up this morning with a chipped incisor, a sudden reminder of all things corporeal.

  5. I can’t live without:

    My Mac
    Family and friends (although sometimes I’d like to strangle some of them)
    GAP jeans
    battery operated object inside my “goodie drawer”
    Down feather pillows
    and finally
    my hopes and dreams

  6. Farin

    Love this post!
    I can’t live without:
    1) My family and friends.
    2) My dog, because there’s nothing better than a free fuzz therapy session. Or two. Or several.
    3) Lavender soap.
    4) Stella McCartney “Stella” perfume.
    5) Irish music. Makes me feel invincible.
    6) Pasta and gelato.
    7) My passport, trip journals, and guide books, to remind me of where I’ve been and where I have yet to go.
    8) Dresses of all sorts.
    9) My Claddagh ring. It’s just plain sterling silver, but I adore it.
    10) Library books.
    11) Glorious sleep.
    12) Gloriously comfortable bed for aforementioned activity.

    1. I love great smelly soaps as well…currently enjoying a rosemary/mint combo, perfect for sweaty summer days.
      Library books…Nothing makes me feel richer than a fat stack of books to read — free! (I love knowing my own books are in libraries worldwide.)
      Sleep…I usually do 8-10 hours every night, without which I am a hopeless mess. Like most everyone in my family, I run at two speeds — 10000 mph or fast asleep recharging.

  7. I love your first item, and feel the same way — whether it’s a year in France or a week in Morocco, the moment I get back from any trip I’m itching and eager to plan out the next one.

    Several notebooks and pens. I have a hardcover notebook and little Parker fountain pen with me whenever I think I might have some time on my hands to write, but other than that I try to keep a little notebook and something to scratch with in every bag. I am afflicted with the worst kind of habit for an aspiring writer: thinking I will remember an idea. Alas, unless I have the proper utensils at the ready as soon as it hits, all I’ll remember later is that it was brilliant (whether or not this was the case).

    A deep, generous tea mug, a selection of herbal teas and some honey.

    My guitar. When something is on my mind I don’t want to think about, I sing about it until the meaning is gone and I’m no longer bothered by whatever it was.

    Cotton sheets with a nice, high thread count. I love cotton — just can’t sleep properly under anything else.

    1. Oh, I live to travel!!! I just got back from Toronto about 2 weeks ago and am itching to go somewhere very far away….But it has to be friends in Canada again this fall as money is still (sigh) too tight for a European trip or somewhere more exotic.

      Ideas are so fleeting…I was just talking to the sweetie about a keynote speech (shriek) I am giving in six weeks I haven’t started writing. As he and I talked, ideas started flying — and I opened the laptop to capture them or for sure they would have been lost. We think they’ll come again or stick, but so often they don’t. They are gold for anyone creative!

      Tea! I recently had my photo taken in Toronto for a story about “Malled”, my new book, and the photog asked…”Who are you? How do I capture that?” Um. Um. Um…All I could think of that was easy to take a photo of was me, sitting on a chair, holding a mug, as tea is very much a part of my life. The pic is sweet and and charming as it IS me.

      I have neglected my poor guitar for decades, sitting in a downstairs locker. Must pick it up again.

      Thanks for sharing….I love how sensual your list is.

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