Some of My Favorite Things of 2012

I am not very fond of the “Year in Review” thing. Most of the time, we don’t want to be reminded of the famous people who died; the inevitable (and increasing number of) natural disasters; the wars; the politicians.

So I just thought I would list (for myself and for you all, if you are interested) some of the things I enjoyed in 2012 – including happy memories of our five-week visit to England in the autumn. It is good to acknowledge and recall all these moments, these things that you have treasured. In no particular order (and I have probably missed out a lot; so much to be thankful for).

My book list is books I have read and enjoyed this year. Music and movies include some new, some old, and some I have loved for years now! And birds are just special.

I haven’t added any photos. This is just a plain list. But I plan to add a photo from each “favorite thing” in the sidebar, each day – starting from the top. Plus, I am going to work on some long-overdue 2012 photo albums over the next few days…

If you are not already celebrating, Happy New Year to you all!

Random moments:

∞   Earth Day with Jamaica Environment Trust. This year’s event was with Jana Bent, who read, sang and danced along with her book “The Reggae Band Rescues Mama Edda Leatherback” – thoroughly enjoyed by the children

∞   Looking up at the mountains from my front gate

∞    Picking blackberries alone, on a hillside in north Cornwall

∞   “Gangnam Style”: Yes, the video is sort of tacky, but it makes people dance, laugh and have fun and that can’t be bad

∞   Bill Maher‘s “New Rules”: Bill is outrageous at times but when he is really wicked and smirks, he makes me shout with laughter

∞   Café Cody: Online radio station ( that plays superb chill out music, a bit of jazz, soul etc… “From Mallorca, Spain

∞   Visiting the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal Football Club in north London – a pilgrimage with my son

∞   Walking through the autumn fields in Sussex, England with my brother

∞   Walking along Cornish lanes, studying wild flowers and butterflies and eating blackberries, with my husband

∞   The big guango tree in our yard, hardly touched by Hurricane Sandy, always filled with birds and draped with purple vines and bougainvillea

∞   Delighting in the Pre-Raphaelites exhibition at the Tate Gallery with my husband. Favorite painting: The Scapegoat by William Holman Hunt

∞   Singing “Hotel California” with my family, brother playing guitar, by the fireside

∞   The bright children at Trench Town Reading Centre planting seeds in pots

∞   Family wedding on Teesside in England, the bride’s veil bathed in sunlight

∞   Capital Pork (yes, that’s the name) at China Express restaurant in Kingston

∞   iPhotos

∞   Sharing serious but empowering conversations on violence with women (and men) at Women’s Media Watch/Prana event

∞   Bill Hader playing “Stefon” on Saturday Night Live: “And the hottest thing in New York is…”

∞   Very cold soursop juice

∞   Deepak Chopra’s “21-Day Meditation Challenge” 

∞   Walking aimlessly round the streets of London as darkness falls and the streets light up

∞   Palm fronds getting in the way

∞   Going through old family photos at my sister’s house in England

∞    Theo Walcott‘s hat trick in the last game of the year – English Premier League match against Newcastle. Gunners won 7-3.

∞    Watching a fox fast asleep in the sun, on the lawn of our friends’ home in London

∞    Garnier Dark Intense Auburn hair color

∞    Mist, drifting cloud and deep green hills in Mavis Bank, Blue Mountains just before Hurricane Sandy

∞    Holding hands with an old gentleman at JN Foundation’s Christmas treat – Golden Age Home, Cluster H, Vineyard Town

∞    Re-connecting and meeting with old friends, thanks to the power of Google and Facebook

∞    “Homeland” with the infuriatingly chin-wobbling, tearful Claire Danes

∞    Sunday morning breakfasts at Café Blue with my husband

∞    Café Latte at Café Blue; strong black coffee at home


◊    Jonsi and Sigur Ros: “Go” and “Valtari” (respective albums). This music is so sublime it is impossible to pick out one favorite track. The ethereal, earthy sound of the Universe according to the Icelandic post-rockers.

◊    Bon Iver“Holocene” from “Bon Iver” and “The Wolves” from “For Emma, Forever Ago”

◊    Youssou N’Dour and the Fathy Salama Orchestra: “Shukran Bamba”  – one of many beautiful songs on “Egypt”

◊    Wilco:  “One Sunday Morning” from the album “The Whole Love”

◊    Kurt Elling“Blue in Green” from “The Gate”

◊    Jimi Hendrix“1983…A Merman I Should Turn to Be” from “Electric Ladyland”

◊    Salif Keita and Cesaria Evora: “Yamore” from “Moffou”

◊    Gustav Mahler:  “Das Lied von der Erde” (Song of the Earth)

◊    Puccini: “Tosca” (from start to finish)

◊    Fleet FoxesBlue Ridge Mountains” from “Fleet Foxes” and “The Shrine/An Argument” from “Helplessness Blues”

◊    Gregg Allman: “Blind Man” from “Low Country Blues”

◊    Frank Ocean: “Thinking About You” from “Channel Orange”

◊    Tedeschi Trucks Band: “Midnight in Harlem”  from “Revelator”

Birds (special section, bear with me): 

♦    Of course, the Petchary: Our summer visitor from South America is noisy and imperious

♦    The Black-Throated Blue Warbler: Bright, beautiful, always close to the house – and close to me when I am in the yard.

♦    All the other warblers: Sweet, charming, occasionally singing delicate, whispering songs – our winter visitors.

♦    The White-Crowned Pigeon or Baldpate: Big, glossy-black, shy and regally beautiful

♦    Mockingbird or “nightingale” in Jamaica: singing his heart out every day, patrolling the front yard.

♦    Jamaican Woodpecker:

♦    Smooth-Billed Anis, huddled together in a group around our bird bath – big, black, floppy-tailed and hook-nosed

♦    Robin: Its sweet, wistful winter song haunted me in the English countryside

♦    Sparrow: The regular chirping of sparrows in the eaves reminds me of my childhood in London – instantly

♦    Blackbird: Its alarm cry in the hedges of the Sussex countryside at evening time is such a nostalgic sound


♥    The Stories of John Cheever

♥     The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

♥    The Rules of the Tunnel by Ned Zeman

♥    Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx

♥    Where I’m Calling From: Selected Stories by Raymond Carver

♥    The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare

♥    Death of the Adversary by Hans Keilson

♥    The Sly Company of People Who Care by Rahul Bhattacharya

♥   The Magician King by Lev Grossman

♥   The Festival of Wild Orchid: Poems by Ann-Margaret Lim


♣    Blue Valentine with Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams

♠    All Good Things with Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst – my two favorite actors

♣   Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst

♠   Batman movies with Christian Bale as Batman – he’s just right

♠   Flight with Denzel Washington

♣   The Band’s Visit with Ronit Elkabetz

♣   Everything is Illuminated with Elijah Wood and Eugene Hutz

♠   The Big Lebowski with Jeff Bridges and John Goodman

♣   That last Spiderman movie

♣    Ten Canoes with David Gulpilil and Crusoe Kurddal

♣   And Daniel Craig is delicious in everything




9 thoughts on “Some of My Favorite Things of 2012

  1. These are really great memories! I love looking at old albums too .. especially the black and white ones 🙂

    Like your lists as well! Shall try to find some of those… I really need to expand my knowledge this year. as always thank you for your wonderful posts! I do appreciate reading your point of views and am glad that you always have something interesting to share.

    May you be richly blessed!


    1. My lists are rather eclectic and odd in some ways, but I hope you will follow up on them. Let me know what you think! Yes, photo albums are amazing. My beloved aunt’s album was full of funny written comments beside each photo. Thank you so much for your kind words my dear!


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