Sunday, 15 February 2009

Simple pleasures

Not having the amount of personal free time to indulge myself in spa weekends nor painting holiday for one, I have honed my list making skills and created my own library of simple pleasures. There were some quiet moments yesterday in the Museum and more by boredom than curiosity I spent some time jotting these down, as I always have pen and paper in pocket during this much appreciated thinking time, which by the way is crucial to my sanity.

As I have been actively aspiring to be more a glass half full than an empty kinda girl, I try to consciously be more thankful and grateful for the little delights in my life on a daily basis. I wondered how many every day pleasures I have that I fail to notice, that are just a part of my day to day existence.
I quite surprised myself and here are some of them...

The washing line - neatly hung washing drying in the wind, slapping and cracking themselves dry is so satisfying to watch, hear and see. The smell of the wash dried in this way is heaven. Hopefully you read my post about NOT ironing, just folding everything very well and using Art books as visual aid and prop.

A pedicure - as I can barely see my toes clearly, even when wearing my contacts nor when wearing the varifocals. I just can't get them to look good, I can't paint inbetween the lines, I can't even see the lines let's face it! And a pedicure is so relaxing and luxurious, I feel like I'm walking with baby feet again. If I could I would have one a week. Check out your local beauty school, the 2nd/3rd year students take an hour or so to pamper your feet. BLiss.

not unlike my feet actually

China tea service - I try and have my tea and I do drink a lot of it, in a pretty fine china tea cups with side plate, milk & sugar. It's more elegant and just makes you feel less rushed and frazzled, it does soothe away the stress and makes me feel so lady like. And that's no mean task.
Pretty trio's from the 1920's & 1930's can be found in charity shops for just pennies. I try and have a cup of camomile or peppermint with my book at night, not always practical nor appreciated when Larry's home.

my tray laid with various china

Charity & Vintage shops -
In these credit crunch days, if you haven't ever tried it why not start now, but not near my patch! I never go out with more than £20 in assorted change and usually just a tenner. I'll come back home with carrier bags full of treasures. Books, clothing, vintage items, china to resell or keep. If you really have 'look' through rails, shelves and boxes, it's no use just glancing at the stuff! Cos you will miss something great! I usually go on 'the ratch' when I have something in mind to look for, from an armchair, to a lampshade or a jug for my watercolour brushes. I have recently found a new slow cooker, a winged armchair and my latest acquisition is a camel and mohair early 1960's jacket, barely worn, for £3 and I've it worn each day since as it is so comfortable, warm and a great length for the car! And it's all for a good charitable cause too! So feel good on several levels.

Ritzy Retro Boutique, Broadstairs, Kent

Sunglasses - not to hide my bloodshot eyes, but because it makes me feel glam within a fragrant monochrome moment in the company of Audrey or Jackie O, shallow it might seem, but actually necessary as they are prescription and I hate the winter glare or the summer sun as my eyes water otherwise!

Cut Grass - I just adore the smell of newly cut grass and if there is a pattern of parallel lines to boot then then that is even more pleasurable just to sit with a cuppa and enjoy the view.

Cut the grass Pictures, Images and Photos
this made me laugh!

our back yard
Red lipstick - My mum has always worn her lippy to go out, and l used to marvel as kid in how she could apply it sans mirroir anytime, anywhere. I can now do this too, and l have red lipstick in my locker at work, in my coat pocket, work jacket, handbag and if it's by Chanel it's deeper red than any other! I am not a label kinda girl I actually eschew the logo culture and wouldn't be seen dead with a logo on my chest, if you get what I mean.

Cold pillow - I need a firm pillow and am currently road testing my 6th memory/foam/ down pillow in as many months, as I have neck pain. I have to turn the pillow over during the night, if I waken and find it is warm then I can't get back to sleep unless I turn it over, Egyptian cotton or antique linen is a must too.

Comfort- In the evenings I love after bathing getting into some comfy trousers and a top, the level of comfort is directly linked to whether Larry and the kids are in or if I am -rarely- alone. Then I can can go all out with cotton pj's dressing gown, and really slum it. But I usual settle for a t shirt and jeans, but what I do not negotiate with myself about is a cashmere sweater or a pashmina, so I can warm up or down depending on the frequency and/or length of my hot flushes or if I am in a cold spell. A good book, of which I have several hundred AND curling up alone with it, in the fashion of Amanda Price in 'Lost in Austen' is my style.

A young girl - Fragonard

Flowers- I buy myself flowers most weeks, they just lift my mood and bring a grace to the living room. I prefer tulips, roses and gladioli, but would never refuse any variety. I love the summer, as we are awash of peonies and olde english roses and often have to argue with myself whether to cut them of keep in the garden.

Silk- I fell in love with silk when staying in a hotel in Paris, I always thought it was the George V, but I think not Mum will put me right when she pops by. But I remember it was very grand and I stayed in a room with Mamacita, my step grandmother and I kept going on and on about the satiny, slippy sheets that were so soft and beautiful. I think I was a pain about it I could see that I was getting on her nerves, but ever since the feel of that gossamer fluid fabric on my skin makes me tingle as it feels so sumptuous!

Fresh Vegetables- cultivating home grown vegetables from seed or seedlings for your own table is satisfying, inexpensive and very therapeutic! The greenhouse is like a home from home in the late spring and summer evenings, I have a strategically placed sturdy mug, gardening books and pen and paper to make more lists upon! When ever the atmosphere of the household gets too much I escape to the greenhouse, even after dark as they both have light and heating.

some of last years greenhouse harvest

Herbs on my windowsill - this is both aromatic, aesthetically pleasing not mention useful for garnishing, flavouring and decorating. I am rather partial to basil, chervil and flat leaved parsley. Is there anything more simplistically pleasing than a homegrown cherry tomato and a basil leaf popped on the tongue? It try and keep all three going in the winter time, but usually stock up and the heating isn't kind t them. I do have hardy herbs in the back garden growing in pots. They will soon be flourishing again come spring time.

My children close by - need l explain?

Listening to music - whether on my ipod, in the car or on the house system. I have eclectic taste,
but a few favourite permanent residents in my musical mind are -

and the best of all, which I have popped in to add,
so obvious and part of me that I didnt mention them
books, new old, broken any type,
reading in the candlelit bathtub and my fetish for bags see here

and a simple pleasure I yearn for and imagine is a space just
for ME, my den, my space... my beach hut or airstream trailer in a field or the back yard

I wonder what yours are?


  1. what a wonderful post- I love the tomato picture, and I also love a cold pillow. I think its great to think about simple pleasures.

  2. My post "What Makes My World a Better Place" sums mine up for now. There's many more simple pleasures.

    Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker fame wrote a little book called The Meaning of Liff in which he makes up words for things that don't have names. The name he gives to the cold underside of a pillow is the Abilene.

    I'm a no logo girl too.

  3. I am also trying to cultivate the 'glass half full' view of the world and am also tring to convert my daughter to it as well. It is working for me!

    Like your list :)

  4. Saz, making lists of simple pleasures is such a simple pleasure in itself, and reminds us what is really important to us, rather than the negative thoughts that invade from time to time, i.e. me thinking of the fact that my op has been brought forward (after being put back twice!), to Tuesday!!!

    I think I might do this tomorrow, if that's all right with l'il young you? I need to focus on la vie en rose (coloured spectacles!) tomorrow!

    I love your pleasures, and I must try a pedi when I get out! I love charity shops and whenever I have a little time free, that's just what I do; I just wish I could find cashmere in one, 'though!

    I love your list and the photos are colourful and so evocative - Thank you so for sharing xox

  5. how lovely.. i think i'll work on my list and try to get it posted soon.
    thanks for the inspiration.. and hope your list continues to grow! :)


  6. I will give this some thought. I definitely love the pedi and browsing vintage boutiques. There just aren't enough of them around here.

  7. Love the list! Makes me smile inside. Those are some of my favorite pieces of music.

  8. You, I think, are a careful and fine woman.

    I am not.

    My pleasures are coffee in the morning with caramel coffee mate, (so that's where the extra ten pounds came from) my kids side-tracked and happy in some new make belief, the fresh smell of outside, a warm plate of homemade rolls with butter, a good book alongside my husband at bed. Simple indeed.

  9. You had me at pedicures. I love pedicures...back in the day (when I was working and didn't have kids, I would get pedicures every other week. Sometimes I would even get them every week.) Now I'm lucky if I get 4 a year. But I do love them!

    I also love my morning coffee. I get up at early enough that I can take a shower in peace and have two cups of coffee before the kids get up and before the crazy of my day starts. I need this coffee as much as I need the quiet alone time.

  10. Just lovely - will explore this fully, but later - when i am not at work :)
    But with you on many of those - love the way you have written them with such evocative photos etc.
    well done

  11. i love this post! it really lifted my mood, which sure as hell needs lifting! thank you.

  12. Oh I did enjoy this Sazzie, so many of them are my simple pleasures too. Am off to the charity shop to take back a basket of books...I buy them read them and take them back so that they can resell them.

    Hard to believe but the sun is shining!

  13. I think that you have said it all!

  14. That Jackie O is a bit of a honey, isn't she?

    Was that milk jug a little number from the Burleigh Pottery in Stoke?

    I like the idea of taking joy from daily things, although I'd rather eat my own toenails than attend a painting holiday for one.


  15. I`ve onlt been to a chiropodist twice and agree with you about walking on air. Bought one of those ped egg things, a bit like a cheese grater, not very impressed, not unless I`m not using it right.

    Lipsticks, love them, bought an old fashioned metal compact with flowers on a ceramic covered lid. I don`t intend to use it, just reminds me of my mother, and the smell of the powder is fab.

    Retro shops and charity shops are brilliant, the excitement to find something unusual. Love Victorian necklaces.

  16. I share quite a lot of those pleasures too. A lovely post to read!

  17. Fabulous post Saz .. mine are pretty much the same as your's ... except for the kids

  18. Excellent, excellent post! It's always a good thing to make a list of those things we enjoy greatly. during those times when we feel a bit down, pull it out and read it. Then go enjoy a couple of them. Works wonders!

  19. Oh, I love browsing round charity shops and thrift shops too! Love it!

    My pillow is a Mediflow water pillow. It's great for neck pain, but you can't turn it over. It's one way only.

  20. Ncie backyard. Looks relaxing.

  21. Oh, a girlie who enjoys and luxuriates in the finer side of life. I found myself nodding and applauding with virtually everything you listed here. You are so right, we rarely take the time out to appreceiate and enjoy the abundance of pleasures lying around us.

    A beautiful, life-affirming post (Smile).

  22. hey.. what a nice post.. loved it..
    life's simple pleasures are often its most cherished..

    you know what i like? playing with tiny dots on a car's windscreen.

    infact i even wrote a post about it..

    hope you can enjoy it..

  23. I love it! When can I come visit?


Thanks for stopping by!

Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
I will walk a while in your shoes...

Saz x

just dropped by... visit Mum's blog and to say Hi to a few friends... I hope you know, you are all never very far from my thoughts. Many of whom I...