These are the ten things I love.
The opposite of hate is love. They are like light and dark. The only thing that conquers hate is love. Revenge is an empty promise.
These are the ten most important things that I love:
Love itself - to be in love, to hold your children, grandchildren, pets and friends, is the greatest thing of all.
Beauty - to look at a sunset, a rock, a tree, a mountain, a flower, the stars, wild-life, the colours and shapes. It is wonderful beyond words.
Women and sex - they are not only beautiful, graceful, discerning, caring and sensual but they bring serenity, calm and intelligence with style. I generalise. Sex is also a delight of sharing, passion and pleasure.
Animals - I love them all apart from spiders. I am distressed on a daily basis when I think about the wanton destruction of habitat and slaughter of wild-life. It upsets me beyond measure.
Music - it moves the spirit and warms you to the core. It brings me alive. It has been a major part of my life.
Reading - it is the greatest invention of mankind. We can share the thoughts, stories and dreams of the greatest people who ever lived. There are few greater pleasures than to immerse yourself in a good book – into the mind and imagination of another person.
The natural world - what can be more impressive than the result of a few billion years of evolution, or 13.8 billion years the universes existence, the majesty of the heavens, the magnificence of geology? What could match that?
Writing and words - when humans created words they created a wealth of communication that enabled us to capture our thoughts and feelings. I love to ensnare my thoughts in symbols and share them. Communication is the essence of civilisation. Poetry is a distillation of the form.
Creativity - in all its forms – art, music, drama, poetry, opera, sculpture, writing, dance …. It is transcendental. It gives purpose to life, expression of being and a means of exploring truth and life. Creativity sets us apart from most other life.
Novelty and discovery - we are inquisitive and born with a natural desire to investigate the world we live in.
Friendship - we form friendships through chemical bonds that join us. We do not have to share the same tastes (but it helps). Friendship for me is something as strong as any emotion. With a friend you are fully at ease to share the contents of your mind, to argue and dissect; to learn about yourself and change your mind.
Food and drink - there are few things better than to share a meal with a bunch of loved ones, close friends and the pets at our feet, while watching a sunset, listening to good music in front of a roaring fire.
Sport - It is ritualised warfare without the violence and hatred. It is tribal. The thing I love most is the unpredictability. It keeps you on the edge of your seat with tension. I love to see the tactics, strategy and skill. It keeps me enthralled.
Photography - freezing the moment into a perfect shot that captures, frames and locks in the essence of its beauty.
When I retired I said I wanted to travel, write and read. I should have added – with the ones I love. That would make my life complete.
When you have digested my lists of ten (I never was any good at counting and it was hard limiting it to ten) you can clearly see why the whole fundamental basis of ISIS and other religious fanatics are the antithesis of everything I believe and stand for. They stand for fascism, indoctrination, intolerance and violence. They wish to impose their brain-washed superstition on everyone and destroy all vestiges of other cultures. If there is such a thing as evil then they epitomise it for me.