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What would you take with you to a bleak desert island which only has sand, sea and sun? I have asked myself this on a few occasions. It is a good question to test where your head is in the world.

Having asked a few people this question, I am intrigued by the answers.  Some say they would take their hot irons (assuming there is electricity) or lipstick. Perhaps even nail-polish, high-heels and concealer.

I would pack 3 of these 5 things:

  • Husband: he is not easily bendable into a suitcase (which also may be seen as an item), so he will have to be dragged along with me. The plus is that in choosing Husband to go to a desert island with me, he will always have a Leatherman in a pocket, matches or a lighter for cigarettes and will be wearing an old stretched t-shirt which I could use as a rag. With my husband’s strength, we will be safe from any intruders and predators
  • Silver Mini Cooper: this should count as one item (albeit made-up of millions of parts) and we can use this as a living room space, and inside will be the rabbits and cats. I am sure there are terms and conditions in this kind of exercise which would see this as an abuse of the “3 only rule” but in the absence of the fine print, I am going to work the system as best I can hence the Mini stays
  • Cable ties: perhaps left field, and possibly an overlap with the Mini and the Husband (as both have a stash of them), cable ties are a modern wonder of simplicity and usefulness. From handcuffing intruders, to keeping broken Mini parts together, cable ties are a must
  • Slippers: these are my shiny red shoes (originally silver), with the same allure as Dorothy’s shoes in the Wizard of Oz. After a day at the office, I long for my slippers. Putting them on signals the end of the work day and the beginning of downtime. You are probably thinking that being stranded on a desert island would be 100% downtime and slippers are not practical. Hence I like slippers: utterly impractical, something not worn in public and utterly revealing as to the inner self
  • Dust-buster: you may wonder what I would do with this in the desert. A good question. Probably not too much as it will require a recharge if it survives the first desert storm. The dust-buster falls into a category known as “overboard cleaning device” or “OCD”. It is comforting to know it is there. It reminds me that there can be order in the dusty/sandy world. It devours pieces of cat biscuits on the floor, crisp crumbs (i.e. Husband’s contribution) and tiny leaves that blow in from the garden at home. None of these will apply in the desert but I am going with a holistic attitude which includes the parameters of the real world.


Once I have made my selection above and if I choose fewer than 3, what about water and food you may ask, as well as Panado, suncream and other basic medicines? My Mini has a medical aid kit in the boot and I am hoping that industrious Husband will figure-out how to make drinking water.

To be fair, I am sure “3 items” means just that i.e. no items with items in them, and nothing that is alive. That would be cheating. For now I am going to settle for the following:

  • a large Oxford English dictionary. I always wanted to read a dictionary from start to finish
  • a beach umbrella with the words “don’t call me, I’ll call you” printed on the outside fabric
  • a 40 litre Evian glass bottle of water because if I am going to drink water, it had better be the best and the glass can be broken (once all hope is lost), to be used to make a fire. (Note: it is a technicality that Evian does not produce such a large glass bottle).

This means that when I am found, I will be very eloquent, have minimal sun-burn, be well watered and may finally have figured-out that sometimes one needs human company. Now that will be a revelation.