Life's a list

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The Independent Culture
Just for fun, should you find yourself alone and wide awake on a Sunday at 7.30am, you could make a list of all the items on your dining room table (matt-varnished pine, fold-away, pounds 80 from the Reject Shop in 1990). This might serve as a snapshot of your life.

For example:

One leaf-green wool scarf, black windowpane check, short. Present from Jane's mum last Christmas.

One empty bottle of wine, 1992 vintage, purchased at Safeway, pounds 4.49.

Small mound of receipts (taxis and public transport, drinks, magazines, cassettes, batteries, stationery) to be claimed against expenses or income tax.

British passport, navy blue, good condition, issued at Petty France, 1988: photo shows unknown narcissist, tanned, smirking, hair gelled into a bristling crown. Contains expired visas for Japan, China, US, India and entry stamps for various European countries.

Eurostar ticket, Paris-London return, half used, 540FF.

The end of a roll of white toilet paper, with light blood stains (nosebleed).

Front door keys (London). No key ring.

Three mugs: one with MTV logo, bought at staff discount four years ago; one bearing the likeness of a $100 bill, purchased at San Francisco airport but made in Japan; and another, saying the mug (promo item from a rival newspaper), half full of camomile tea (lukewarm).

Two glass tumblers, part of a set from Habitat, with inky red dregs at the bottom.

Muji earthenware teapot, empty, and teaspoon, sticky.

One pack of Nurofen (open).

One pack of Camel Mild cigarettes (empty).

Ticket for London fashion show (trade).

Navy blue "Aldwych" notebook, rare, half full (half empty?)

Latest issue of Dazed and Confused magazine.

Aluminium stash tin (contains blue Rizla, brass gauzes for pipe, and a thimbleful of Californian herb, wrapped in clingfilm), also from Muji.

Midnight-blue glass ashtray with Babycham logo (stolen six years ago from Toby's flat in King's Cross), brimming with charred remains, like a mass grave.

Two lighters: one yellow plastic disposable, labelled Cricket Electronic, cost 13FF, from Gare du Nord kiosk. The other, refillable, flame like a blowtorch, made of burnished pink metal, with a coppery marijuana leaf glued to one side. A token of affection from a Manchester United fan who later announced he had "nicked it from a Paki service station".

One stick of petrolatum-free Labello lip salve, cost 17FF, from Monoprix.

One stainless steel watch, Swiss made, HM Army issue, dated 1984, with black face and black leather strap. Cost, pounds 40 second-hand in 1991. Repaired three months ago, new mainspring, cost pounds 45.

Two toy figures, members of the yellow-skinned, three-fingered Simpson family. Margie rides a pink rocking horse while sucking a dummy. Homer stands behind her, wielding a radioactive isotope. The speech balloon protruding from his head reads no problemo!

One worthless funk CD, promotional freebie (destined for the Music and Video Exchange).

Emotion Heater CD by the Gentle People; perfect antidote to the above.

List of six phone calls to return (forecast: 50 per cent).

Black leather wallet, distressed, purchased at Liberty's sale two years ago. Contents: three stamps; four air mail stickers; one foil-wrapped condom (in case of blue moon); one phonecard; Metropolitan Police Press Card (expiry date 31 May, 1992, photo shows unknown optimist with centre- parted raver hairstyle); school photo of eight-year-old daughter Phoebe; two Independent business cards; First Direct Visa, Eurocheque and Switch cards; 250 French francs; one crisp pounds 20 note from a Soho cashpoint; cheap day-return ticket to Cambridge for dharma teaching (used).

One penny.

The last piece in a crumpled pack of Wrigley's, part of a consignment sent by the marketing director in response to uncomplimentary remarks about his product.

Black leather Filofax Winchester. Contains: diary and phone numbers; notes taken during yesterday's teaching; three more photos of Phoebe; black-and-white photo of my closest friend Haoui Montaug (1952-1991) lying in a nightclub fountain littered with dollar bills, taken mid-Eighties, marked "Inspiration"; a headshot of the Dalai Lama, clipped from promotional leaflet; driving licence with three endorsements (two red lights and driving without due care, total 11 points, all expired); pounds 4.50 worth of Music and Video Exchange vouchers; letter from Annie with new address and phone number; chemically- enhanced notes for the column (fresh); three false starts to a get-a-life letter, headed Dear Zoe, none of which she'll ever see.

One Pilot G-1 pen, black, medium point, 99p from Stationery Matters, Marchmont Street, WC1