Things I Like (doin’ my bit for “1,000 Things We Like” by Rebecca Rosenblum)


Rebecca over at Rose Coloured has really started something. A feel-good something.

Actually, she began it 10 years ago, and now she’s building on it. She’s asking for help in creating a bigger-and-better-than-ever list, “1,000 Things We Like, 2012.” Here she explains how it works, and how you can participate:

“As I said in the previous retro post, I started listing things I like and exhorting my friends to do the same in Fall 2002. It was so much fun making that community list (boy does it take a village if you want to get to 1000) that it happened again 5 years later. And, now, to celebrate the decade anniversary of 1000 things, dare we go for 3000?

“I’m in. Fred, one of the best likers I know, is in. Are you in? If so, feel free to add to the list — either in the comments section or on your on own blog, with the link in the comments. If the numbering gets screwed up (it always does) I’ll fix and repost — promise! Your list contributions can be as personal or as general as you like, but do make ’em specific as possible — name the band you like, don’t just say “music” — we’ll need a lot of specificity to get to three grand! It’s ok if your likes disagree with someone else who previously contributed to the list — if for example you write summer and someone else already wrote winter! We don’t have to *all* like *everything* — just submit it as a thing that one *can* like!”

So, here are some of mine, in no particular order:

– endings to books that make me want to cry because they’re so perfect

– Leonard Cohen’s voice, no matter how husky it gets

– fresh mangoes, and don’t ask me to share

– freckles across the bridge of the nose (anyone’s but mine)

– driving alone with the radio turned up

– driving barefoot in summer (a no-no, I realize)

– the view of the lake from Loeb Boathouse in Central Park

– actually, everything about New York City

– writer friends, published or not


– taking photos, when no one’s telling me to hurry

– buying a new bracelet

– creating something yummy for dinner when there’s virtually nothing in the fridge

– ghostly tales

– sunlight on water, so sparkly I have to squint

– talking to others who love books and movies as much as I do

– amber

– Saturday morning coffee (fresh ground) in my pj’s

– planning a trip, or a writers’ retreat

– dry wit

– browsing bookstores, with nowhere else to be

– my husband’s laugh when he’s watching Seinfeld re-runs, no matter how many times he’s seen the episode

– jazz festivals

– the feel of a sailboat heeling over

– Elvis Presley

– colourful anythings

– messages from old friends

– messages from new friends

– crazy coincidences (life is full of them)

– writing

– the first bite of a cone when you’ve licked down to it

–  the things I learn from my book club that have nothing to do with books

– a new bar of soap in the shower

– my Morkie’s little head-tilt when he’s listening

– memoirs that go deep

– a field of cosmos

– terra cotta

– swimming a long way under water

– a foot massage when I’m least expecting one

– creative people and the way they think

– old limestone houses

– roller coaster rides

– just-washed hair

– teaching people who really want to learn

– dolphins in the wild

– friends who don’t check their cell phones while they’re with me

Battenberg cake

– Kingston’s waterfront

– Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl”

– my kids accomplishing something I didn’t realize they could do

– me accomplishing something I didn’t realize I could do

– finding something that was lost

The Great Gatsby

– chardonnay, oaked or un-oaked

– Facebook and Twitter (god help me)

– the Rideau Canal

– feeling giggly

– listening to my husband playing guitar

– people-watching

– roast lamb with garlic and rosemary

– a luscious teal on my toenails

– both “our” Ryans (Reynolds and Gosling)

– realizing I don’t have to go grocery shopping after all

– having my hair brushed and brushed, like my niece used to do when she was little

– the scent of snow

– strangers who smile (or smile back) at me

– cobbled streets

– being introduced to new music

– country music (don’t ask me why)

– dappled sunlight through leaves

– films that really make me feel

– hot, buttery toast

– the way a friend of mine signs off messages to me with “Zigzags” — there’s a story there

– Main Street in Unionville, day or evening, any season

– editing a wonderful manuscript

– remembering things my mother said, and knowing she was right

– sushi (and just writing that makes me crave some)

– houseboat holidays in the Thousand Islands

– having someone else clean my house — and that fresh smell after they do

– words I have to look up in the dictionary

– finding out my kids remember something about their early years that I thought they’d forgotten

– drinks on a patio in summer

– hiking in the autumn

– the way my husband’s eyes turn bluer when he wears a blue shirt

– enthusiastic people, whatever their passion

– singing “O Holy Night” at Christmas

– singing, period

– also dancing

– that weird connection that redheads have

– Greek food on the Danforth

– the scent of a wood fire

– hugs

– wearing sandals with a bit of a heel

– fresh cilantro

– horseback riding

– memories of my brother’s chuckle, so clear in my mind though he’s gone

– a new DVD arriving in the mail from

– spending time with a friend who’s known me forever

– disposable contact lenses

– the smell of  banana loaf baking

– zip-lining

– gentle (but strong) men

– strong (but gentle) women

– the light after a rain

– first time out with a new handbag

– canoeing

– goofy pratfalls in comedy

– pretty much anything chocolate with a glass of milk

– Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s crinkly-eyed smile

– achy-bright mornings

– rainy mornings as long as I don’t have to go anywhere

– my home office when it’s organized

– juicy peaches

– my kids making me laugh when I’m trying to be mad at them (sometimes)

– tropical breezes

– browsing celebrity mags at the hair stylist’s, guilt-free

– having a dog, because I never really thought I would

– the red rocks of Sedona

– a surprise invitation

– the chlorine smell of a swimming pool

– ticking something off my to-do list

– blue cheese

– Latin guitar

– that when we’re out, my husband notices cute babies before I do

– pretty journals with nothing yet written in them

– pretty journals with stuff written in them

– waking up to an adventure somewhere other than home

– wearing sunglasses

Architectural Digest

– fireflies

– photos of my kids when they were wee and didn’t know how cute they were

– Indian food with raita

– Thai coconut curry

– wearing my hair up on a hot, hot day

– strolling the boardwalk in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood, where I used to live

– the smell of fresh paint

– shavasna at the end of yoga practice

– good science fiction

– my dog nuzzling my toes

– riding a bike

– a short lineup at a checkout (or better yet, no lineup)

– Japanese pottery

– idea people, like Rebecca

Have some likes of your own? Of course you do.

Leave a comment below, or post on your own blog and add a link after the original post at Rose Coloured. I guarantee creating your own list will make you smile. And who knows —  it may even inspire a story.



  1. Heather says:

    Here’s mine:

    the smell of rain

    picking a tomato warm from the sun off the vine and eating it

    the cool breezes of fall

    cooking a meal with friends

    a hot bubble bath in my claw foot tub during a winter storm

    my cat waking me up by peaking his head up at the top of my bed and meowing

    the feel of a man’s skin under a cotton shirt

    new sexy high heels

    canoeing in Alquonquin

    cooking an Italian feast, while sipping on wine and listening to Billy Holliday LPs on my record player

    skinny dipping in cool water on a hot summer day

    the excitement of a new painting/sculpture emerging into my psyche

    summer storms

    Driving a truck, listening to Led Zeppelin really loud

    Kensington Market Pedestrian Sundays

    Dancing to the Lemon Bucket Orchestra

    Porch sitting with good friends

    Watching a great film/documentary at TIFF

    James Joyce

    a glorious day in the studio creating without interruption

    Peaches in season

    London’s Camden Market

    Road trips with a stop off at Tim Hortens

    Visiting Blake’s work at the Tate

    Getting a henna tatoo in Little India

    Dressing up for Lunacy Cabaret

    Openings on Queen West and Ossington on Thursday nights and seeing everyone

    Rotis at Bacchus

    Walking along the beach in winter to see the swans

    The rush of a first kiss

    Creative, sensual men with long hair

    Listening to street musicians

    Street art

    Junction Flea Market

    The canals of Venice


    Singing spirituals

    Dancing to Funk

    Making art in the studio with friends, take out Thai, great music and Mill Street Organic

    Taking the ferry to Toronto’s Wards and Algonquin Islands

    Ted Talks

    Hugging my son

    The MOMA

    Chateneuf du Pape

    The taste of fresh roasted corn

    Listening to Mississippi Blues while eating Catfish and cornbread

    The last scene in Big Fish

    Riding my bike to the studio

    Sharing a cottage/tent with friends

    Cuddling and watching a movie on a rainy Sunday with a lover

    That moment when all is working on a art piece


    Vintage Clothes

    The scent of oil paint and wood when first entering a studio space

    Tuscan beans on Crostini

    Finding a great Jazz album at a flea market

    The scent of earth at the beginning of Spring

    Falling in love

    Visiting the baby goats at Riverdale Farm

    Sharing an evening of great conversation with a good friend


    Being absorbed in a great book

    Citroen Deux Cheveau

    A lover’s strong hands

    Visiting my out of town soul sisters and recharging

    Gypsy Wagons

    Sinaed OConnor’s haunting voice

    the scent of figs and brown sugar

    Kissing on the beach

    the first cup of coffee in the morning

    dying old vintage slips bright beautiful colours

    discussing politics with friends

    Turquoise blue vintage cars

    Looking at photos of my daughter when she was a toddler

    my canary yellow kimono

    The scene wear Denys takes Karen in his plane in Out of Africa

    Snow covered trees on a bright Winter day

    Baking cookies for my son when he gets home from school


    Crawling into a bed just made with sweet smelling sheets that dried on the line

    Finding a treasure by the side of the road

    Watching the dogs play together in the water at the beach

    Bear hugs

    Sunday phone calls with my mom


    Putting on a fire after a long walk in the snow

    Taking a train

    Street festivals

    Visiting a Baptist Church in Harlem

    That rush of speed when a plane first takes off

    Finding my way around a transit system in a new city

    Praying with friends


    My cowboy hat

    Discovering a restarant/bar in an alley way

    Dancing the tango


    Receiving flowers from a beautiful man

    My daughter calling me Mama

    Discussing poetry over a glass of a full bodied red wine

    People who give up their seats to the elderly on the bus

    My neighbourhood dog friends

    Walking in the Ravine

  2. Rebecca says:

    Thanks so much, Allyson and Heather–what wonderful lists! I’ll share these on Rose-coloured, with links back here, in the next couple days. There really is so much to like in the world, isn’t there??

  3. From Susan Siddeley:

    “A great post, as usual! Thank you. I really enjoyed your list, Allyson, especially items 1,5,9,13,15,19,22! I drifted off then to savour them. I love lists …”

  4. From Carin Makuz:

    “You’re right, Allyson, I love this! Thank you. Thinking cap firmly in place …”

  5. theresa says:

    “wearing sandals with a bit of a heel” — oh, yes! and “the scent of figs and brown sugar”, with a little red wine…

  6. carin says:

    Buy a new bracelet. Lovely. Well, there are dozens of lovelies here, but today, this is what jumps out. Must mean that I should. Soon.

    Thanks, Allyson! (For this, and so many good ideas!)

    Here’s my list:

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