Yesterday was a simply blissful Saturday. We had lots of adventures, and ended the evening with our tummies aching from too much laughter. The hilarity came about after too much sugar, too much wine, and too many friends sharing silly stories. My lovely friend Angela had a pudding party for her birthday, where we each took along a pudding, and we made a kind of buffet of it. I took a chocolate genoise royale which I really enjoyed making (from the Baker and Spice cookbook) and there was also tiramisu, apple strudel, chocolate brownie mountain, chocolate and almond birthday cake, AND ice cream! We had wine and champagne, and sat around telling stories of odd things that happened at work, indiscretions of our friends, and had such a lovely time.
We also had a little show and tell time, in which I showed off my new tattoo. Yes, really! Terribly out of character, I know. I feel sure I must have shared that I have a tattoo before, but just in case I haven't, I have a little rose with the words 'carpe diem' hidden away on what I have been describing as my left ribs. Just recently, I have felt that it isn't finished. I have lived with it for eight years and love it still, but I felt it needed something else. So yesterday morning, I had the original tattoo redone, and then the most beautiful vines and leaves added. It means a lot to me, as Carpe Diem is something I really believe in, and the vines to me represent the growth that comes from seizing the day.
Afterwards, as to be expected, I was a little sore, so I spent the rest of the afternoon at home drinking tea and reading The Times. I love a big fat newspaper, it is one of my greatest pleasures. I came across a really interesting article, which was all about 'little luxuries' in which various society figures were asked to name their little luxuries. I have to say that I think I must live in a very different world to the people interviewed for the article- their ideas of luxuries included 'a beautifully balanced horsebox', 'manolo blahniks', and 'paul smith custom jackets'. Phew! I have to say, that my ideas of little luxuries are somewhat...littler!
1) A beautiful ball of yarn in the most wonderful teal green. It is a mohair mix, so it is delightfully soft and fuzzy. I think it is called 'blur' and it is almost as thin as kidsilk haze. I am knitting myself a very simple keyhole scarf with it, to keep me warm in the coming cooler months, and to add a splash of colour to grey mornings.
2) Something nice for my toilet toilet in the french sense that is, so some Cath Kidston bubble bath to bathe in, rose scented handcream by the sink, and a luxuriously rich conditioner for my hair. Little bottles and tubes of lovely things make me feel on top of the world.
3) Persephone Books I have just finished reading 'Someone At A Distance' by Dorothy Whipple. It is a library book, and I do not want to give it back just yet, because although I have finished reading it, I am not finished with it. It is the kind of story that has a great many bits in it that I want to copy out, to savour later. I have not yet met a Persephone Book that I haven't loved, that hasn't drawn me in, made a real connection with me. Also, with their simple dove grey covers and wonderfully vibrant endpapers, they are things of beauty indeed.
The wonderful thing about thinking about little luxuries and little pleasures is that once you start, you could just go on. I could have talked about my secret stash of Lipton's Yellow Label Tea which I have not been able to get hold of in this country, and so beg friends who are visiting abroad to bring me back a box. I could talk of my Ruby Woo lipstick which I have only to slick on to feel two inches taller and three inches slimmer! I could talk of my feather pillows, and lavender pillow spray, of my cassette recording of Ballet Pour Adeline, or the heavenly bunch of lillies adorning my windowsill.
Then I could move on to my little pleasures, the hour long telephone call with a dear friend, the card in the post from a favourite aunt, the way my godson holds my finger and grins at me, all eyes and dribble at the moment. The way the air is cooler in the mornings now, and how the moon has been really glorious recently. The way Carl often starts his emails to me 'Hi Sugar' and comes and adjusts his laptop on my lap, to make sure that none of the wires or leads are being bent, in the same way a new parent might adjust the way their partner is holding the baby.
Tell me, what are your pleasures, what are your little luxuries? And when you have told me, make sure you go and indulge in some of them, with bliss!