On small, cheering things

Admittedly, there is nothing quite like the spending of lots of money on fal-lals and fripperies to make life seem much improved. Alas, such innocent enjoyments are not always possible, and yet some days still require cheering. This is where the small things come in, quietly and subtly brightening up long, dull days or adding an extra bit of sparkle to good ones.

  1. Shoes – I know Zoesmom is with me on this one. When meetings are dragging on and getting contentious, there is a moment of satisfaction to be gained from looking down and thinking ‘At least I have great shoes.’
  2. Bookcases, well stocked – Probably because I have moved so much and I don’t hold onto much stuff, so my books represent continuity and security. I find their presence immensely solid and comforting, and sometimes it soothes me just to run my eyes over the shelves and check out my old friends.
  3. Stationery – Notebooks with decent paper and a fountain pen are part of my everyday stock in trade. Currently, I favour lined Moleskines and green ink, although at the weekend I did pick up lilac, pink and turquoise gel pens. The less businesslike the colour, the more fun I get out of writing meeting notes.
  4. Baking – Which is such a relaxing activity because from the chaos of ingredients comes the order of the finished treat.
  5. Manicures – Which really fall into the category of ‘lost treats’ because I left them behind in the US. Much like the shoes thing, I always liked being able to think ‘At least I have nice nails.’
  6. A real fire – I’m definitely guilty of lighting unnecessary fires, because I love the smell of the woodsmoke and the cosiness of firelight.
  7. The wearing of presents – When I turned 40 and Zoesmom threw a belated birthday party for me in the US, my US friends bought me jewellery (or jewelry). Most of the necklaces and earrings I wear every day were gifts, and so every day I am reminded of the people who made such thoughtful choices.
  8. Tidyness – My house has been a bit of a state lately, and I don’t deal well with disorder. It tugs at the corners of my mind, distracting my attention. This evening I cleaned and tidied and now the house is calm again and I can finally relax in it.
  9. Red Chanel lipstick – Not that I wear much lipstick per se, lip-gloss is easier and doesn’t require a mirror with which to renew it. But much more effort goes into lipstick packaging, and it still seems an aspirationally glamorous and grown up thing to own. And Chanel? Perfume and lipsticks are probably the only Chanel I’ll ever own.
  10. Audiobooks in the car – Making my commute much less painful because I don’t really notice it’s happening and even getting stuck in traffic is just more listening time. As an extra treat at the moment, I’m listening to Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number, which has no pretensions to be other than the chickest of lit, and does it well.


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I've run out of books. Again.

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