Since I started blogging in earnest some time back it has been interesting that people who thought they knew me pretty well have told me that they keep learning new things about me. I think that's pretty cool, but I decided to give you the "speed learning" guide to me favourite things (hence Julie over there) so that you get a chance to learn a bit more about me. After all, I am a many layered being, I am complex, I am paradoxical, I am mysterious, I am profound, I am waffling!
So...yeah, I thought I'd give you a list - by no means exhaustive - of my favourite things, or possibly places, we'll see. I haven't given this any pre-thought to speak of, so I'm just as interested as you are to see what emerges. So, in no particular order:-
I blogged about this recently, so I don't need to say too much aside from that this is my favourite word. It is the reason we are all here. "For by grace we have been saved..." - Gloria a Dios.
Again, the subject of a recent blog here so no surprises there. A huge, sprawling, beautiful, impoverished, proud, friendly, heart-wrenching, mad country that is full of surprises around every corner. I'd go back any time.
Not to be confused with the food eaten in India. This is a common misconception. The only place you will find the food we know as Indian will be in a 5 star hotel restaurant. I experienced some in both Mumbai and Chennai (then known as Madras) and it was delicious, but due to the abject poverty of the majority of Indian people, meat is very hard to come by, and what meat there is is stringy and frankly disgusting. What most people (myself included when I lived there) end up doing is going veggie, since it tastes better.
In the UK (and at the Taj in Ashland, among other restaurants over here, which include an amazing place in LA I was at last year) the curry is rich, full of flavour - NOT hot unless you want it to be, and utterly delicious and I really could eat it every day (except I'd have no friends and very dodgy insides!).
One other thing I would like to mention here is a wonderful drink called lassi, which is a blend of yogurt, milk and ice. You can drink it sweet or salty and it is quite wondrous. I have introduced it to several people here when it's on the menu at Indian restaurants and they love it too.
Generally speaking, there really aren't too many classy actresses around these days, and certainly none who could hold a candle to Audrey. She was a goddess before goddesses had been invented.
Starlit nights and wild beaches and oceans
Again, a recent blog subject so not much to say on that except that if I could live at the beach I would as it is one of those places that brings me closest to God.
Connecting with God in Worship
Worship should be an amazing experience. That it often is not perhaps says more about our lifestyle than it does about God, but He is always there, wanting to meet with us, and on those occasions when I get a glimpse of Him, there is no feeling like it on earth. In fact that is literally true. You pretty much leave the earth and enter into a whole new place with God (I hope this isn't sounding too "New Age" or eastern mysticism, because it's not meant to be. It's just very hard to describe those moments when God breaks in.)
Sadly, God tends to be "scheduled out" of our worship times in order that our programs run on time, and being the polite God that He is, he's not about to disturb us. However, I do feel we are missing out (colossal understatement!).
There have been numerous occasions where I have felt the presence of God tangibly, and it makes me yearn for that every single day. Trouble is, I don't make enough effort to seek Him out, so it's my loss. I can remember occasions in the UK when leading worship when God just took over and left me virtually speechless. At the Spring Harvest conference some years back, opportunities to lead worship with the likes of Don Moen, Graham Kendrick, Robin Mark and an incredible worship leader called Geraldine Latty (who was all about preparing yourself to worship so you could help usher in the presence of God) were unforgettable. One time I got the chance to lead a short time of worship in the 5,000 seater Big Top before a morning bible study, and as we sang Matt Redman's "Let My Words Be Few" which is still one of my absolute favourite songs, something overwhelming happened. It was powerful and I'll always remember it.
A no-brainer really, but my parents are/were both musical and it was always around the house. I go to sleep with it on and it's virtually always on in the car. I have perfect pitch so I can remember entire songs easily. I also write internally. Music is a great way to express yourself, and one of the best ways of communicating with God. My musical tastes are ridiculously wide, from CCM through pop, rock, country, funk and fusion, to classical and even medieval. My #1 favourite for many years has been U2. I don't really care what you think about them, I love them and have done ever since I first heard them in 1982. I've seen them live many times in the UK, and at the Rose Bowl last October (DVD from that show out June 3rd!) and am going to see them again in Seattle on June 20th. So there!
Far too many to list but I am so blessed to have so many great friends both here and back in the UK. If I had to single out favourite people aside from my family, it would be Ben & Lauren (who I blogged about recently) and my favourite twins, Maisy & Maddie
Not talking soccer here. No, I'm talking FOOTBALL. I've loved watching it for years and despite the heartache of being a Redskins fan I can't wait for another season!
I have this weird thing about books. I love them, but I rarely have time to read them. I particularly love biographies but I've got around 2 dozen waiting to be read - and that's no exaggeration, I counted them once!!
I'm no wino, but I am partial to the odd Red or Rose!
Okay, so I get a LOT of hassle for this, but my take on it is that I'm a romantic at heart, and I'm a sucker for a good love story. If I go to a movie I want to be entertained, and for me that's to laugh or to cry. I don't want to go there and be scared out of my wits, or depressed. Let's face it, you can get that anywhere! So a good chick flick does the job for me. Comedies are great too, of course.
Recommendations? Bella, Last Chance Harvey, Elizabethtown, The Notebook, Sleepless In Seattle (obv), Edward Scissorhands, and then other movies like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Bourne Trilogy and both the Elizabeth movies. Okay?
Technically they are called electric basses, but who really gives a hoot?! I brought both my babies over here to the US with me. I won't bore you with too much technical stuff, but my #2 guitar is a cherry red Ibanez Soundgear 5 string, bought at Valley Arts Guitar in Studio City CA back in 1991. I love that bass and am very attached to it. However my #1 baby is my Overwater Custom/Soundgear neck 5-stringer. made by a custom guitar builder in the UK with a body modeled on the Tobias, it's fitted with EMG pick ups and is the sweetest sounding guitar I've ever played and ever want to play. best tone ever.
I learned to swim at a comparatively late age - I think I was 14 - but I totally love it. I could literally spend all day swimming (which wouldn't work too well with eating curry every day, but...whatever..) and I wish I had my own personal pool.
The Colour Black
I just like it because it's slimming, and nice and simple. Bad news in hot weather though!
What can I say? I'm a Brit!! Tea is the BEST. I've tried coffee and I can drink it, but give me a choice and it's English Breakfast - or possibly Darjeeling - all the way baby!
So I think that'll just about do it for now. I'm sure there's more, but that gives you more of an insight into me. If I do happen to think of more, I suppose there will just have to be a part 2, now won't there?!