Not many things. I don’t mean that in a stupid “I don’t care about money I want to live in a cave in Norfolk dressed in bay leaves” kind of a way. Besides anything, bay leaves are really quite sharp. I mean… Well, I had this conversation with my dad the other day and he said that most people do their work solely for money. That the point of work was promotions and raises and that most people who say they do it for satisfaction are lying to themselves. I said, mate, I am going into academia. No chance of huge financial rewards, I reckon I am doin this for the love. And he said yeah, that’s an exception.
It’s a bi-fold thing, not wanting much. On the one hand it means I’m roughly guaranteed to be satisfied with what I’ve got. I don’t want a flat-screen, an i-Pad, a Kindle, my own house, a phone with an app where an umbrella shoots out of the earphone socket when rain drops on it. (I’m not saying I couldn’t do with a smart-phone). And this might be unthoughtout idealism. I do want holidays and I do want children, so eventually I will have to pluck myself out of this technologically unadvanced dreamstate in a rented flat in Holland with a caffetiere, 600 books and a box of peppermint tea and no TV. I know. For now, though, I don’t want a great deal and that’s quite a nice place to be because I can decide what I want to be/ do, before I decide what I want from that.
On the other hand, this generally translates as a lack of ambition. When asked what I want to do besides read books I generally answer with a blank expression or through a veritable Niagara of tears, depending on the circumstances. (Except at such times as I answer “Well I want to be a pilot and a teacher and a writer and also own a bookshop and sell teacakes when I’m old…”, of course).