I’m a day late with the weekly post this week, and it’s all the fault of Grey’s Anatomy. I was way behind, and really wanted to catch up so that I could avoid any major spoilers from a landmark episode that aired in the States last week (I’ll avoid giving any details in case anyone hasn’t heard what form this landmark episode took), and I managed to do it yesterday. Then I started on Fringe, which I have been told to watch by three different people, and then today, I started with Torchwood, of which I had managed to see a grand total of zero episodes. I have now watched two and a half episodes, and I’m in love with two people already. Anyway, that’s the reason I didn’t get to post yesterday.
So this week’s topic comes from NaBloPoMo:
If you were stranded on a desert island, what ten things would you want in your pockets?
I’ve decided to adapt this prompt somewhat, as I so often do. As I posted about the other day, I have been listening to Desert Island Discs and exploring the archive on the Radio 4 website. I have therefore taken my inspiration from that – I’ve picked ten items that I share with some of the people who have been featured on Desert Island Discs. There is no way that these ten items would fit in my pocket, but it’s my game, I’m going to play it my way! I have not chosen a book, because according to the rules of Desert Island Discs I get one book of my choice, along with the Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare. Given my own way, I would probably taken ten books, but that’s a different post altogether.
A Pen and Paper
I think a pen and paper would be great, for practical reasons as well as entertainment reasons. I’d have to keep a diary, so that if I was ever rescued, I could write a book of my adventures. Amongst others who chose a pen and paper as their luxury are: JK Rowling, Nigel Hawthorne, Pauline Collins, Robbie Coltrane, Joan Bakewell, Andrew Motion, Ralph Fiennes, and Jane Goodall.
Of all things, I think that a bed would probably be most important to me. And when I say bed, I mean all the trappings of a bed. I want a bed, a mattress, a sheet, some very fluffy and lovely pillows, and a nice duvet or blanket. I can go one night, maybe two at the most, without either my own bed or a very close equivalent, before I start to get very grumpy indeed. It’s not that I love to sleep, as such, it’s just that when I do, I like to be comfortable. I’m very lucky that I have an incredibly comfortable bed to sleep in. I share this choice of luxury with, amongst others, Anita Roddick, Anita Dobson, Paul Merton, Joanna Trollope, Jarvis Cocker, Ruby Wax, Morrissey, and Michael Caine.
It’s not like I play the piano – I really don’t, apart from the opening to the EastEnders theme and Happy Birthday (I’m actually secretly quite proud of how well I play Happy Birthday). But I think if ever there was a good time to learn to play an instrument, it would be when I was stranded on a desert island. So I would probably need some sort of sheet music, to go with the piano, in order to have something to learn. Vivien Leigh, David Attenborough, Richard Attenborough, Julie Andrews, Jack Lemmon, Elvis Costello, Phil Collins, Andre Previn, Jools Holland, John Barry, Sir John Mills, Stephen Sondheim, Sir Ian McKellen, Randy Newman are amongst those who would also take a piano with them.
Again, I can’t use a telescope particularly well; in fact I seem to be especially short sighted when it comes to astronomy, I can’ never seem to make out the constellations in the sky. But I figure it would pass the time, and would be of practical use too. Patrick Moore, Ben Kingsley, Bob Hoskins, Tim Rice also asked to take a telescope, and Robert Winston requested the tools to make one. I’m lazy, so I would want a fully made and functioning one, please.
For purely hygienic reasons, as you would imagine. It would have to be a lifetime’s supply of soap, of course. Jack Warner, Ken Dodd, Michael Howard all share this wish. I never want to place myself in the same boat as Ken Dodd for any reason – I’ve had an aversion to him that started in childhood and that I’ve never really got over.
Michael Foot is the only person, to the best of my knowledge, in the history of Desert Island Discs, to request a clock or watch. I say to the best of my knowledge as Wikipedia seems to have some information missing from the 1970s for some reason. Anyway, I know that the item is supposed to be a luxury, but surely having the ability to tell the time is something of a luxury? Maybe not, maybe it’s just a practicality. Obviously some people would be able to tell the time using the sun or some such convoluted method. I’d just prefer a wristwatch.
Many people wanted to be able to take photographs with them, inlcuding Frankie Howerd, Anna Massey, Jackie Collins, Stephanie Beacham, Gloria Hunniford, Paul McKenna, Jerry Springer, Sir Trevor Nunn and Jeremy Clarkson. Oh, and my beloved, Hugh Laurie. Further proof that we are meant to be together.
There is no point protesting that this wouldn’t be for vanity reasons, as it very much would. I could pretend that I would use it to make fire or something (can you even make fire with a mirror? As I typed that I realised that I have probably just made it up, and in fact, you probably require a magnifying glass). But it’s not true, it would be to see how terrible I would look after months on a desert island. Simon Cowell and Graham Norton both agree with me about needing one, and I am going to assume that in both cases, it is for vanity reasons.
Within this would be including all tea-making equipment, including the ability to boil water, teabags, sugar and milk. Tony Benn, Brendan Foster, Gene Wilder, Patricia Routledge and Anna Neagle agreed, and Peggy Mount just specified tea in abundance.
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
I’m a little surprised by how few people wanted to maintain any level of oral hygiene whilst stranded on their desert island – Tessa Sanderson, Herbert Wilcox, Wendy Craig and Patricia Neal are the only people I could find who chose a toothbrush and toothpaste. This would be something of an essential item for me, rather than a luxury, because what’s worse than not being able to brush your teeth? Yuk.
Michael Codron, whoever he may be (a legendary producer in the West End, now I have bothered to google him) is the only person I could find who agrees with me on the virtues of a good jigsaw puzzle. While I’m aware of how much of a loser it makes me, I proudly profess my love for jigsaw puzzles. What better way to while away some boring hours on the desert island than with a good jigsaw puzzle? I would just need to find a flat surface!
Again, I’m shocked by how few people thought a razor was a good idea. Matthew Pinsent was one of them, though there were a few more, all of whom were men. I don’t think that it would be a necessity for me, as a woman to have a razor, but it would be a nice luxury!
Joan Collins agrees with me on the virtues of some nice moisturiser, I couldn’t go too long without it!
This turned out to be quite long, sorry! Until next time,