The second list was a bit easier. You had to list 8 things (books, dvds, albums) that you would take to a desert island plus the obligatory luxury. This, at least was something that I had given thought to from time to time.

My choices were:

Wild Turkey (Photo credit: John James Audubon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Birds of America by John James Audubon: Not because it’s the world’s most expensive book (it is), but because it is one of the most beautiful. I love this fusion of art and science and, unlike something that is purely text, I think that it’s something I would never cease to enjoy.

The Oxford English Dictionary: No brainer. Why would you allow yourself to be shipwrecked on a desert island without a copy of the OED?

The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin: To inspire me to delight in the unfamiliar and to explore my surroundings

When the Well Runs Dry by Thomas H Green: To encourage me when things seem bleak.

Celebrating Common Prayer (A Version of the Daily Office), Society of St Francis: To keep me disciplined and grounded.

A book of photographs of Victorian London: Because I love looking at old photographs – nearest thing to time travel that there is.

Little Women by Louisa M Alcott: (Actually, my original choice was Wuthering Heights, but on reflection, I prefer Little Women – surely one of the world’s most underrated novels).


This is a tough one. What to choose? A bathroom with all the trimmings? Blackwells? Infinite supply of writing materials? Complete back catalogue of In Or Time? In the end, I plumped for a digital camera and electronic darkroom. This would give me the means of creativity and tools to explore and make sense of my surroundings.