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Which 10 Things Can't You Live Without?

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Do you love those magazine features where some mucky-muck is asked which 10 things he can't live without? I do, though I sometimes groan when the list includes things like, "my house in Provence and my closet full of bespoke suits."

Here's my decidedly more modest (though still princess-like) list of favourite things. And I hope you'll share yours with us, too.

1. Polka dots
When I was a little girl, I had a white dress with black polka dots that I wore and wore and wore until it was in shreds. Ever since, I've loved the dots, especially those on the playful pieces by Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons.

2. Champagne
The good stuff. A little goes a long way.

3. Red lipstick
Clinique's Parisian Red. A little sheer, a little creamy, and the Goldilocks of reds: just right.

4. My kayak
I always request "the little blue one" when I paddle out of Killarney Mountain Lodge into Georgian Bay. It fits like a glove: I am of the water, not on it.

5. International Herald Tribune
As a speechwriter and author (I'm working on book number three), I read tons of media each week. IHT has become my favourite portable. It's like a digest of the New York Times: all the best bits, and few ads. Nice, full-size newspaper. Retro in a good way.

6. Jo Malone Red Roses Cologne
Rose is a tricky scent to get right. Jo does it brilliantly. People lean in and ask what I'm wearing.

7. Stand-up Desk
I'm typing this while on the hoof. Last year, an injury made it impossible for me to sit (that's right: an entire year either standing or lying flat on my back -- made for fun flying 'round the continent), so my beloved brother made me a stand-up desk. And now that I can sit again, I'm keeping it.

8. Comfortable Shoes
Between standing to work and going for long walks each day, I need comfortable shoes. With orthotics. Luckily, there are comfy-and-stylish alternatives now. (And since I can no longer wear high and pointy, I've switched to handbags as my not-so-secret indulgence.)

9. This Pen
The injury meant I couldn't use my left arm at all for six weeks -- that's when I realized how much I decode the world by writing each day. Long hand. All my first drafts are written with this great pen I discovered a few years ago: the Uniball Signo. It's refillable. And cheap.

10. Raspberries
Everything about them. Their dainty size and shape: little, red thimbles. The way they make me pucker. The crunch of their seeds. And now, I realized, they're a way of doing good -- Chile exports them, so when we buy them, we're helping their battered economy recover.

What are your favourite things? Please comment below. As always, I invite you to email me: Julia (that familiar symbol) wearethenewradicals (punctuation) (traditional suffix).

Julia Moulden usually writes about splendid people -- men and women like you and me who are putting the skills acquired in their careers to work on the world's greatest challenges (for more, please see archived articles).

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