I'm going to take family, friends, pets and life's basics as given, and that Jane intends this not to be terrifyingly serious. So here goes:
1. My slippers. What's a home without
2. Tea. What is life without tea? Ordinary black tea, no added scent, fruit, or bits of dried flowery stuff; just a tiny amount of milk added after pouring, no sugar. A china cup or mug. Repeat often.Thank you very much; perfect. Pass the Rich Tea biscuits; I can't reach, because there's a cat on my knee.
3. Underwiring. You know what I mean; the curved and spiky piece of metal that creeps out and stabs you in the chest to tell you that your corsetry is old and tatty beyond redemption. I know there are stories of how underwired bras cause cancer, receive alien transmissions from deep space, wreck your washing machine, but somehow, if you have to wear a bra (and, oh, I do) they just quietly assist the time-wearied fuller figure..... And those messages from the super-intelligent life forms beyond our galaxy tell me I'm right.
4. My car. I don't use it much, just when places are too far to walk or things are too heavy or complicated to carry, but being able to drive has been one of the most liberating things in my adult life. But I could wish for a self-cleaning model, that doesn't smell of wet dog, and in a colour that isn't grandad's-cardigan maroon.
5. A radio beside my bed. Perfect for sleepless nights when otherwise you just lie in the dark and worry about ridiculous things, or just for drifting off to sleep by. The timed Off button ensures that I don't leave it on all night and have horrible jumbled dreams about wars and famines, all mixed up with farming and shipping forecasts, interspersed with that annoying snippet of music BBC World radio pops in between items.
6. Elastic waistbands. Stop hooting and jeering so rudely; I'm well into middle age, and can wear them if I like. I don't actually wear my tops tucked into them, you know, so nobody notices.
7. My computer. Maybe that should be up there under Slippers; I can't imagine life without email, Google, Angry Birds, and blogworld. All enjoyed while wearing my slippers, naturally, with a cup of tea to hand and a cat on the keyboard.
8. Hair colourant. 'Nuff said. We all have our vanities. Mine is to not look like a badger, with stripes of grey and dark hair that refuses to turn evenly grey in a chic Helen Mirrenish sort of way.
9. Gardening gloves. Accidentally touching a slug has to be one of the worst of all tactile experiences, and the revolting sensation just doesn't wash off, no, not even with Brillo pads and caustic soda.
10. Flowers in the house. No, this is not me sucking up to Jane; it's true. I used to visit a very old lady whose highly-polished dining table always had a little vase or bowl of something from the garden - just a few little strands of ivy or the like if it was bleak midwinter - and she maintained that she couldn't live without them. I feel the same way, and love most of all a tiny little container with a few tiny little flowers that would be barely noticeable outdoors.
So, if you want to join in, let Jane know; she's very polite and will thank you nicely.