Part One in an occasional series on a few of my favourite things.

New York is so good they named it twice; I like these knives so much I bought three.

That’s not strictly true. The first one proved so useful, with its easily replaceable blade and the fact that you can open it with one hand, that it quickly became indispensible. And then, quite predictably, I lost the thing.

I was sure it would turn up quickly, but nevertheless missed it so much that I bought a cheap replacement (the yellow one). It’s not as good, but at least because of the colour I thought, “I’ll never lose that.”

Again, quite predictably, I promptly lost that one, and since the original had not surfaced, I invested in a third. This is my least favourite – despite or perhaps because of, having little rubber grips on the sides and its own little carrying pouch. However its purchase meant that the first two immediately re-appeared. But not for long.

As I write this I only know where one is. This is largely due to the fact that I tend to tuck them away where Little Boots can’t find them, and then can’t find them myself, but also because that’s the way of small useful items – they are constantly disappearing.

I have the same relationship with pencils and tape measures. I am always buying them, but can seldom lay my hands on one without a great deal of digging about and a certain amount of swearing.