Have you ever stopped to think about the amazing items you surround yourself with? Smartphones, computers, clothing, jewellery, cars, art – the list is endless. Like it or not, the things we surround ourselves with, are an important part of who we are. In a way – we are, what we own. It’s no surprise that photos of 1980’s toys receive thousands of likes when posted on Facebook; or that rock bands make a living touring albums they recorded thirty years ago. We become attached to possessions and places. We all have an item we can’t bear to send to the charity shop or a special place we love to visit, time and time again. The ‘things’ we treasure evoke sentimentality and nostalgia; reminding us of people, places and fond memories from our past. At the start of my Masters I read a fabulous book entitled The Language Of Things by Deyan Sudjic, which unravels, and explores our desire to, own nice ‘stuff’. The book got me thinking about the things I treasure; it also made me think about the reasons these things mean so much to me. I quickly discovered the items I consider ‘special’ are all intrinsically linked to an event or person from my life. For example, I own a grey Michigan University t-shirt. I love it dearly, even though it’s literally falling apart. However, on the day my son was born I was wearing that t-shirt, and for this reason I will never throw it out. Music is also extremely powerful in this way; the first chords from a song or album can literally transport you right back to a specific moment in time. After reading the book by Sudjic I created an honest list of the ‘five things’ I treasure; which was challenging, but also rewarding. I wondered what other people would choose as their Five Things, and more importantly, why. My Five Things ended up as these: 1. The Summer of 1999 2. San Francisco 3. Kangaroo Scrotum Bottle Opener 4. Grey Michigan University T-Shirt 5. Killarney Lakes, Co. Kerry Intrigue (nosiness) got the better of me; so, I created Five Things (no point trying to be too fancy with names I find!). The goal of the Five Things is to grow a global community of individuals encompassing all ages, locations and occupations; discovering, and documenting, the stories behind the things they choose as their five favourites. Hopefully, growing into an archive of interesting stories about humans and the things we love. The response so far has been amazing; people from all corners of the globe have been submitting their five; including several notable designers (Hamish Muir and Jessica Hische), actor Kristian Nairn (AKA Hodor from Game Of Thrones) and Mark Bedford, bass player from iconic British band Madness. You don’t have to be a famous actor or designer to submit your five though. In fact, the whole point of the project is to get as wide a cross section of society as possible in order to compare the different things people choose. So, why not submit your five and join the growing community? You’ll get your beautiful face, along with your five things, on the site and may even have your five things included in the book (which I’ll eventually create using the answers from the site). Go to www.thisisfivethings.com to explore, and if you would like to submit, simply go to the ‘submit’ page on the site. PS. Partakers kept asked what a ‘thing’ was or could be. Does it have to be a tangible thing? Is a person a thing? Is a place a thing? The definition of ‘thing’ is broad, open and more or less anything can be included in your five. You decide. Paul McNally