Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Dewdrops and roses and noses on kittens...

…these are a few of my favourite things!

I confess, I am cheating today. I have visited lovely Vintage Pretty who made me hungry for fresh bread, and lovely Alison at Brocante Home who has listed 100 teeny tiny everyday pleasures which make life that bit more scrumptious. So I am going to go home and make some bread, and while away my tea break listing some of my own favourite everyday pleasures, and things I love….

1) Flowers. It is well documented that I love them, I think! Best of all are unexpected flowers- a bunch I was not expecting, or a teeny pansy growing all on its own, or some tiny tête-à-tête springing up suddenly.

2) Post. My plaintive cry every time I come home is ‘is there any POST, darling?’ Oh, how I love it! Perhaps I would get more if I wrote more though, which I adore doing, but simply cannot bring myself to do until I find some stationery that I really want to write on.

3) Stationery. Any new project needs a new notebook, the more scrumptious the better. But oh, it is getting hard to find divine ones! As it is writing paper and envelopes. But when I do find lovely ones…utter bliss!

4) Pen and ink. I love to use a fountain pen to write with. I love seeing the ink shine and then dry, carrying with it my good wishes. It looks…grown up somehow, and I love to read words formed with real ink. My next project is to find some lovely coloured ink cartridges.

5) A really hot cup of tea. Some people laugh when I say this- surely all tea is hot? Ah, not so. Sometimes you want nothing more than a good hot cup of tea, which can only be made by someone else who understands what a good hot cup of tea means.

6) My morning coffee. A month or so ago, we started a low-carb eating thing to shape up for spring. My greatest joy was discovering that I could have a cup of coffee with cream in it for breakfast! I always have this in the most beautiful butterfly festooned thin china mug that a lovely lady sent me in a ‘swap’ parcel.

7) Violet creams. WHEN was the last time I had one? I can barely think! But I do know life is sweeter when I know there is a little chocolate garnished with a crystallized violet petal just waiting for me to come home, and stand on tiptoe to reach the box on the top shelf…

8) Laying in bed, listening to Radio 4. When I can’t sleep, I find it soothes me to sleep. I love to sit in bed and listen to the pips and have them announce the hour. I love that at midnight it is Big Ben chiming away instead. I like to listen to the morning headlines before swinging my feet out of bed to make some coffee.

9) Having a bath when the water is hot enough to leave a beauty therapist aghast! I am sure I shall pay for it in years to come with thread veins, but for now, I love HOT water, scented with something lovely, and a book, and a glass of cool, cool water. That feeling, as you lay back, and the bubbles prickle about your shoulders, and you can close your eyes and drift off in a soap bubble…

10) My chamber stick. I have this beautiful cream chamber stick, and I like to waft about the place lighting my way with this, in my Victorian-style nightie, imagining myself to be one of the Bennett sisters at Longbourne.

11) I like it when Carl calls me Sugar. Sometimes he says it, sometimes he uses it in email. Either way, it always makes me smile.

12) Straightening my hair. I have a pair of ceramic straighteners on loan, and boy, do they work! It takes two minutes to run them through my hair, and I just look so much more….polished.

13) A new book. Well, it doesn’t have to be new, it can be really old. But one that I have not read yet, and even as I open the cover and read the first sentence, I know it is going to be as good as I hoped.

14) Making things. Anything, knitting, cooking, crochet, tea, really, anything. Just that lovely feeling of ‘I MADE that!’.

15) The kitties that come and visit me. My little black kitty has not been for a while, but there is a new ginger one who keeps strolling into the living room, and looks around as if to wonder what we are doing in his living room, please?

16) Having coffee with my Mum in the Continental Coffee Company in Maldon. I have coffee with cream and nuts, and quite often they play Elvis in the background, which we tap our toes along to, while we chat, and chat, and chat…

17) My job. Oh it is tiring at the moment, but really it is the best thing in the world. Being surrounded by all these books, and knowledge, all day long. Helping people find what they want, sometimes even things they thought we would never have.

18) Sunday evenings, when there are fresh covers on the bed, and I have had a bath and hairwash, and cut my nails- everything feels really clean and cozy.

19) Talking of bed, I like to open the windows, pull back the duvet and close the door for an hour or so before bed. Then when I get into bed, the air is all soft and clean, and the sheets are cool, yet cozy. Our new sheets are ever so soft and smooth, and the feather pillows are lovely to relax in to.

20) Washing my hands. When I was in Tesco last week they had Method hand-wash from America in. Never mind it is a silly price a bottle, it is a fantastic tear-drop shape and smells like a field of lavender. Go visit who will tell you all about these wonderful products!

21) Talking of Tesco, I like shopping. The Farmers Market, the local market, the health food shop, and anything we can’t get anywhere else from the supermarket. Oh, and going to a different supermarket every now and then. Like Friday, when I tried White Stilton with Pineapple, and Tintern Cheddar with Herbs and Chives at Sainsbury. Oh, and a tiny cracker with duck and cranberry pate on it….I could hardly eat lunch I was so full!

22) Sometimes at the end of a l-o-n-g day, I come home, put the kettle on, and change into my dressing gown and slippers, all snugly and easy. Bliss.

23) Oh, my whistling kettle! Making tea is just so much more fun. Sometimes I let it boil for longer than it needs, just to hear the whistle!

24) Being able to pick out the constellation Orion, practically anywhere I go! Must work on recognising some others now…

25) Coffee out. I tried the Dolce Late in Starbucks the other day, it had cinnamon on it, and was delicious. I love vanilla coffee too. Or plain coffee with a cheese scone at the Garden Centre. Mmmm, bliss.

26) Sudoku. I was never very good at maths at school. Not enough to be confident. I still think I got my B at GCSE when they marked someone elses paper by mistake…but I do love Sudoku, because it makes me feel like I am doing maths!

27) Word Plays. We are terrible at work, we make awful puns and jokes, and then point them out to each other saying ‘Do you see what I did?!’ while they are too busy groaning to do anything else!

28) Patterns. I love fabric and paper with patterns, patterns made by the clouds, and patterns in the world. Just recently I started a Granny Square blanket. Then several of the blogs I read ( and to name just two) are also crocheting Granny Squares. And then Cath Kidston has bought one out, which was on the cover of a magazine the other day. I love that feeling of having tapped in to something, somehow.

29) I love making pea and parmesan risotto. Store cupboard ingredients transformed into a luscious dish that feels like a luxury dinner, mmm!

30) My new face-cleansing-balm that I take off with a muslin cloth smells of lovely essential oils- all sort of minty and piney. I love the smell of it, and how my skin feels once I have buffed it with the muslin.

Well, Alison went on to 100, but I have made it as far as 30. Not that there are only 30 such pleasures for me, but more that I tend to ramble on a bit, ok, lot more than her, and by now you will probably be wanting a cup of tea.

But before you go, let me tell you that the lunch I had in Starbucks back on St David’s Day was BLISS. I sat all on my own with a sandwich and cinnamon Dolce Late coffee, and finished my book- The Photograph by Penelope Lively. It was all lovely. Being on my own, people watching, the coffee was lovely, and the book was sad but somehow enjoyable at the same time. Then I wandered back to work and bought flowers for my desk.

Oh, and really, the kettle will wait just a minute more- let me tell you about my adventure for tomorrow! I am going up to London! On a coach, with one of my dear friends from Library HQ. We are to be dropped off at Harrods for three hours or so (I have designs on Patisserie Valerie just down the road) and then will be picked up and be taken to see Celebrity Ready Steady Cook filmed! There, you can go now- and you have really earned a chocolate biscuit with your tea!


Midori said...

I've always wanted to go to Patisserie Valerie ever since it turned up in a Jaqueline Wilson novel years ago (call Amber if anyone is interested). You must tell us if it is as lovely as it sounds.

Anonymous said...

Hello from the southern USA! I found your blog a couple of months ago and I really enjoy reading it. Love your style, love the way you enjoy your home and life. I'm quite an Anglophile, when I'm an old widow lady I plan to save my pennies and spend an entire summer in England.
Keep writing!
Nita from South Carolina

tash said...

What a lovely list :) Will pop an email off into cyberspace soon!