The List: 10 things former Governor General and author Adrienne Clarkson can’t live without
1| My Filofax
I’ve had it for 26 years, and I’ve never mislaid it. I’ll always keep it, even though I’ve been told I need to have an iPhone 4 or something, which I don’t think I’ll ever understand.
2| My earplugs
I travel a lot, and I find if I deprive myself of sound I can sleep anywhere. I like the silicon drugstore kind that children wear to go swimming.
3| My Sony digital recorder
I love taking verbal notes and writing first drafts on my recorder. I can immediately send the file to somebody who will type it up.
4| My go-to bloom
Peonies remind me of my childhood. When I was Governor General, the Canadian Peony Society cloned a peony and named it after me. I think that was one of the most exciting things that ever happened to me.
5| My foldable dress
Issey Miyake put out his Origami Dress last year, and it’s a work of art. It’s made out of recycled plastic bottles. The dress folds flat into different shapes, so I can take it with me when I’m travelling and have to wear something nice.
6| My purple shoes
I love to walk, but I have bad feet. A friend of mine who works in theatre said that performers who have to stand for a long time onstage go to T. O. Dey, a custom shoemaker in New York. I went, and I love the shoes so much I’m getting another pair.
7| My Good Book
Most of English literature is based on the King James Bible, which Northrop Frye called the “Great Code.” The poetry of the Bible is unbelievable, and the first novel, really, is the Book of Job. I have my mother’s copy, which I treasure.
8| Leonard Cohen
He sang on TV for the first time on my CBC show in 1967, and we’ve been friends ever since. (His appearance is online and it’s hilarious.) I’ve been to dozens of his concerts all over the world. I’ve never told anyone what a groupie I am!
9| My concert hall
Koerner Hall is the most wonderful place to hear music. It’s five minutes from my house, so if I’m walking home along Bloor I might buy a ticket to whatever concert is on that night, just because I want to be there.
10| My favourite movie
Walt Disney was a genius. When Fantasia was re-released a few years ago, I went to see it three times. That movie might be the root of my appreciation of music. I was toying with getting it on DVD, but I decided I only want to see it on the big screen. Maybe the Lightbox will bring it back.
(Images: John Cullen)