It is truly meet to bless thee, O Theotokos, ever-blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, without defilement thou gavest birth to God the Word. True Theotokos we magnify thee! - Hymn to the Virgin, Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Travel. I just love to visit new places. To wander around an old town on the continent, without really going anywhere, poking my head through private doorways and stumbling upon a hidden gem is just about my favourite pastime in the whole world.
Choral music. Pretentious, moi? Whether it's Gregorian chant, medieval polyphony, that stirring first movement of Mozart's Requiem, the peaceful self-confidence of a Choral Evensong, or indeed just about anything that is not written by John Rutter - I just can't help but feel closer to God.
Foreign languages. Why would anybody in their right mind limit their stories, knowledge, personal capabilities, career opportunites, spirituality and even their sense of humour to the narrow anglo-saxon world?
A wide vocabulary. Ok, for all my enthusaism for foreign languages, English is phenomenally interesting. It's a language of such diverse origins! For the same essential concept we almost always have a choice between (at least) an anglo-saxon and a romance word: eg, luck/fortune, gift/donation. I include in this choice words that I enjoy for the simple pleasure of saying them: "tepid", "apophatic", "lexicon", "bumblebee", "trudge"...
Debate. I love a good empassioned argum... *ahem* scholarly discussion. Perhaps I've said enough... Of course not! Metaphysics is particularly good fun; but what does "fun" mean in this case???
Long chats over a coffee. Catching up with friends I haven't seen in months is always fun, but even better on a sunny day in town with a hot cup of coffee or a nice cold drink.
The smell of old churches. Right, I admit this one is odd, so bear with me. Never judge a book by it's cover, but feel free to judge a church by it's scent. After a good few centuries of pious devotion and hard-working care, the smell of wood polish, communion wine and insence so permeates the wooden furniture and stone masonry that the building iteself develops an atmosphere which testifies to the continuous fidelity of a community to the Divine service. Come on, you know you agree!