My favourite things of the year: / by Deborah Clague

Once again, it's the season for year-end lists. And as I'm too busy/not motivated enough to write something more original (even copying this intro from last year's post), I will simply detail my favourite things of the year. Enjoy. 


HEALTHY FOOD: I am learning how to cook and have so far perfected a handful of dishes, one of which is a chicken, roasted pepper, rice medley mixed with various cajun spices. It's not original (and perhaps pretty basic for those with more culinary ability) but it is delicious and I'm proud of myself for developing a new skill. 

RUNNER UP: Kale smoothies.

NOT-SO-HEALTHY FOOD: Oh Doughnuts in Winnipeg. 
This is the most decadent donut I have ever had in my life. I'm still hoping to visit on a day when lemon meringue, pictured above, is being served (but will happily order and eat whatever is on offer). 

RUNNER UP: Dark chocolate with lavender. 

MINDLESS PASTIME: Bowling

RUNNER UP: Ruckers

BOOK: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
This is a beautiful, heart-wrenching first-hand account of the thoughts and feelings one experiences after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. The final paragraph is everything I needed to hear from my father but which he wasn't granted opportunity to say. This book touched my heart. 

RUNNER UP: Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton
I haven't excitedly rushed home to read a book before, but for this one I do. 'Atlas Obscura' is a completely engrossing travel book that details the globe's more curious locales, giving me a million more reasons to hold a current passport. This book ignited my mind. 

INSPIRATION: Alexander McQueen
Of late, I've been increasingly mesmerized by highly detailed, intricate works of art that evoke mood. Alexander McQueen was a master of this in the medium of fashion and, as his shows would attest, theatre. Both his myth and output are inspiring me to think bigger and try harder with the aim of achieving but a fraction of his mastery. 

RUNNER UP: Gustave Doré

NEWS STORY: Bear Clan
I really struggled to find a positive news story from 2016. With each passing week, it seemed the world entered an increasingly fragile, chaotic state. A group of volunteers in Winnipeg has been doing exceptional things though and deserve to be recognized. The Bear Clan was initially formed to protect young women and children in my hometown's most vulnerable neighborhoods. They now routinely help the community in other areas, including missing persons cases from all walks of life. I have the utmost respect for them. They are good people doing good things.  

RUNNER UP: 2016 was a terrible year. I cannot think of a truly feel-good story. 

EMOJI: 😊

RUNNER UP: 🌛

ALBUM: Lemonade by Beyoncé.
Beyoncé is an artist and performer without equal and this album is a cultural masterpiece. I would be lying if I said I didn't belt out 'Don't Hurt Yourself', co-written with another favourite Jack White, every day in the shower. Flawless all around. 

RUNNER UP: 'Somebody Else' by The 1975 resurrects Depeche Mode in the best way possible. 

FAVOURITE MOMENT: Riding a camel with my best friend in Dubai. 

RUNNER UP: My mom asking me who "Becky with the good hair" is. 
See, Beyoncé transcends generations.