I like to be surrounded by nice things, they make one's life more pleasant.
I'm not talking about expensive things; but objects that are either beautiful in their own right, simply of good design, or what one might call 'attractive curiosities'.
On my desk, in front of me, there is a large mug which contains pens, knives, a magnifying glass, and a few other essentials. For the past 30 years or more it has also contained this antique small 4 inch pocket level. It has become my version of 'worry beads' that I often play with, without really being aware of the fact. The only time it is actually used for its intended purpose is if I've noticed paintings in a house that are not hanging level, the next time I visit I take the level with me, and secretly put them right.
Another favourite object is this antique pewter mug. I bought it at a tiny antique shop in Sussex, when I was teaching at a nearby school. I payed quite a lot for it, but was so enticed by the beauty of its form that I would have been prepared to pay even more than I did. It usually contains coloured pencils.
Obviously I can't illustrate all my favourite objects, but here is another one. It's an old Masonic badge from my home UK county of Sussex. It is beautifully embroidered, and contains a 'Martlet' (Swift) in the centre. It sits on the large fireplace lintel in the sitting room, and represents a tiny bit of home.
And finally, a small pebble from Brighton beach painted by my daughter Tenpin. I love it. We call her Miss Prim.
We all possess objects that we would hate to lose. They may not be valuable, but they are precious. These were just four of mine.