I don’t know much about art – but I know what I like, said Forrest Gump famously. And who could argue with that?
I feel the same about wine.
Before Tom Hanks, it was Julie Andrews who boasted unashamedly about A few of my favourite things, while roaming the hills of Austria:
“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
“Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens,
“Brown paper packages tied up with strings,
“These are a few of my favorite things,
“Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels,
“Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles,
“Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings,
“These are a few of my favorite things.
“Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes,
“Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes,
“Silver white winters that melt into springs,
“These are a few of my favorite things.”
And why were these “favourite things” important?
“When the dog bites, when the bee stings,
“When I’m feeling sad,
“I simply remember my favorite things,
“And then I don’t feel so bad.”
That’s very smart thinking, actually. A back-up plan, for When I’m feeling blue, to leap into another song, this time by uncle Phil Collins.
I was taught that trick by Maria von Trapp as a kid.
About 20 years later, when battling to fall asleep, I’d imagine taking off on a right-hander at Snake Park, the surf break on Durban’s beachfront.
The visualisation of that “favourite thing” sent me off into the land of dreams before I’d even stood up on my midnight surfboard.
The beauty about “favourite things” is they know no rules. They’re as self-indulgent as one ever could want to be.
No explanations are owed to anyone. Not about character or content, shape or taste, form or flavour. They are what they are.
Old Vespas, threadbare T-shirts, Grandpa’s old penknife, that one particular operatic chorus… a recipe, a doll, a verse…
But habitual day-dreaming can be dangerous for those around us.
Recently, I failed to switch out of dreamland, and found myself buying a car with too few seats for my family, too few windows for my passengers, too slow, too heavy on petrol and with almost no boot space. Right…
It was an extremely strange decision. But hell, you’re only 18 once. And every second boy wants a three-door topless Jeep Wrangler.
Fortunately, I found fine company this past weekend at Koeel Bay – officially known as Kogel Bay – around the coast from home.
The owners of these Volksies must have been in their 50s, but looked as naughty as a bunch of Grade 10s behind the classroom.
At least they’d channeled their irreverence to modern society beautifully – by all buying the same gorgeous surf-mobiles;
To cruise the coast with in convoy.
Yes, they’re slow and noisy. Yes, they may well leak (water in, oil out).
But they owed no-one an explanation.
These were a few of their favourite things.
And their smiles were alive like “the sound of music”!