Thanks to Joanne Fox (well, actually Harvey!) at A Zigzag Road for tagging me and topping up my sunshiney springtime mood despite the rain. I now have to tell you what makes me happy, so here goes...
1. Roxie, my English Springer Spaniel. She'll be 9 in September, I got her as a 6 week old puppy (weaned early because she's one of 10!) and I love her more than ever. She's the sweetest dog I've ever met and loves cuddles. She regularly gets beaten up by the cat and when she was a puppy, ate many things off people's plates when they weren't looking (and often when they were - she's quick) - including the tops of sandwichs, a slice of pizza and a chocolate eclair.
2. Chocolate. Do I really have to explain this?! I love a variety of chocolates, from Hotel Chocolate champagne truffles and kirsch-soaked cherries, to Cadbury's fruit and nut, to the vanilla yumminess of Green and Black's white chocolate... I could go on, but it's making me hungry!
3. My friends. Especially on girly nights when we eat, drink and chatter for hours! They're very supportive and encouraging, but also great fun and hilarious. I don't know what I'd do without them.
4. Shoes! A bit of an obsession, I'm afraid. I have a penchant for designer shoes, despite not really being able to afford them, and can spend hours drooling over websites that sell them. I bought my first pair after a £50 pair of shoes were ruined after just a day's wear at a wedding.
I figured that wearing a £350 pair at least 7 times would work out costing the same, only designer shoes tend to be much better made and ought to last for years. Several years after that first purchase, I still believe I'm right and find designer shoes more comfortable than cheaper ones. Of course, I can only afford one pair a year at the most, so I have a very small collection.
Previously, I would buy loads of shoes in a year so it's also saving me space! See how I make excuses? I don't know why I feel I have to apologise: other people spend lots on technology, jewellery, going out, holidays, etc. and I prefer shoes. I love the way they look, feel and even smell. I plan outfits around them. I fantasise about designing them myself and having a collection that would make Imelda Marcos's look modest. Maybe it's becoming a fetish...
5. Baking. I'm a bit of a foodie, though I'd never consider working in the industry (too stressful!), and love making cakes more than anything else. I also love seeing people eating the cakes and enjoying them. Oh, and eating them myself!
6. Books. Not just reading - I love looking at them, feeling them, smelling them... Maybe I also have a book fetish! I've always considered books magical and a vital part of my life. I've kept all of my favourite books from my childhood and love to share my love of reading with people. My friends have a 4 month old baby girl and I've already elected myself as her Champion of Books!
7. Film. I graduated with a BA in Film Studies last year and love both films themselves and film theory/criticism. There's something magical about film and its potential to bring people together. I love its richness: the combination of story, sound, mise-en-scene, costume, framing, lighting, editing... The sheer amount of work that goes into a film is incredible. Like good books, good films reveal more layers during subsequent viewings and allow you to engage with them in different ways.
I don't like typical Hollywood blockbusters. I love it when special effects enhance a story, as in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but have little time for films whose main appeal is big explosions in 3D. I like a lot of older films, such as screwball comedies from the 1930s and 40s; plenty of indie dramas; slasher horrors; original romantic comedies; good thrillers, especially Hitchcock ones; a lot of French New Wave Cinema; Woody Allen comedies... I suppose my tastes are eclectic, but I judge films on whether I think they're good as opposed to whether they're a certain genre or feature a particular actor.
I could go on, but 7 is a good number and I'm sure what I've written has already sent some people to sleep! I don't have time to check who has already been tagged, so I won't tag anyone but invite you to tag yourself in a comment if you fancy a go. Just copy and paste the pic, then tell me what makes you happy!