Hello ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys – welcome to my little contribution to the world of wonderful this week. The little things that make life go round. And it’s often the little things isn’t it? The big things rarely ever do come round, and when they arrive they’re delicious and monumental, but it’s the small incidents, the acts of kindness, the moments of wonder, that make my little world pretty happy day in, day out.
Here’s a little list:
1. Breathing space. In all its forms. I read an article over the weekend in the paper about life speeding up. I then went to a conference where it was mentioned again. Both the writer and the speaker were thrilled and worried in equal measure. I’m much more on the worried end of the spectrum. Our environments are speeding up without us being quite prepared. Our minds, bodies and cultures haven’t yet had time to adapt. We rush from activity to activity, posting updates throughout on social media, and we’re frazzled. We’re suffering from anxiety and stress. We can’t relax. I doubt we would even need the concept of mindfulness if this wasn’t the case. I’ll quite happily admit I’m finding it tough to adapt to this new crazy world. I often feel like life is whizzing by so fast I’m running after it. So for me, coping is through the moments of breathing space I’m deliberately slotting into my life. Drinking tea with no distractions in the morning. Taking a walk at lunchtime and using my phone just to snap pictures, leaving the uploading to the internet for when I get home. Taking at least half an hour most mornings for yoga. Daydreaming on the train, book left in my bag. Leaving my mobile upstairs in the evenings. Reading, instead of internet scrolling, before bed. Coming off Facebook wasn’t too shabby an idea either. The temptations of the internet, and the distracting need to share everything is surprisingly strong, but when I manage it, I realise that breathing space is pretty wonderful.
2. Twinkling lights. As I write this, I’m looking at the teeny tiniest specs of lights in my fireplace, the flickering candles on the coffee table, and the christmas tree lights clinging to the pine. This time of year is all about the light. Dusky pinks in the morning, deep orange in the evening. Fairy lights all the time.
3. Putting on some slap. I hardly ever wear make up – I just can’t be bothered. I wish I could – I’d like to be one of those dewy, glowing instagram beauties – but the TIME! The TIME to put it on, the TIME to take it off. To buy the stuff, and the stuff with which to remove the stuff, the brushes and the pads. Nah – just can’t be arsed. But occasionally – I can. Last Saturday night me and Mr Roast Chicken had planned a rather rare-of-late meal out, and I decided to spruce myself up a bit. I had a new hairdo (always helpful) and I donned my highest most glittery heals and slapped on as much makeup as I could manage. Slightly OTT for the country pub, perhaps, but I felt special 🙂
4. Getting The Tree. I wish I had a lovely little story for you, of driving up to somewhere cute in the country and together picking out our perfect tree to compliment our simply perfect lives. Alas. We needed a new toilet seat so we shlepped over to B+Q and while Mr Roast Chicken found the one that had the correct (near enough) dimensions I pointed to the first tree I saw and had it bundled up into a car by a very helpful salesman. Love it though – turning the lights on is as exciting as ever post-30.
5. A weekend of no cooking. When you love food as much as me, and think about it pretty much non-stop and also blog about it, you end up cooking A LOT. I plan all of our meals and usually leave out lots of stuff for Mr Roast Chicken to have for lunch in addition to making my own lunches to take with me to work. Which is fine – it’s my hobby. But I was just a bit cooked out this week. So I took a week off. I ate burrito and salads from local cafes for lunch, and I ate out, got takeaways or ate oven fish and chips for dinner. And it was really, really nice 🙂
6. A spot of gardening. De-heading, to be precise. For weeks I’ve looked out of my kitchen window to see a plant that I should have attended to, well, weeks ago. You know those jobs you just keeping putting off and off until you just don’t notice them any more? Like getting rid of socks with holes in them, hoovering behind the TV unit, cleaning out the cleaning cupboard (oh the irony) and wiping out the fish tank, pruning the garden is something I ALWAYS put off and put off until it simply Must Be Done. And it’s those jobs that are the most satisfying when completed I find.
7. Scoffing aubergines with feta and flatbread. What a winner of a combo (will blog later this week. I poured my best quality olive oil over the baked aubergine, topping it up when the top got a little crispy, and letting it sink in so that the aubergine melted into a big bowl of soft, oily flesh, freshened up with the cool feta and yoghurt. It was lovely.
8. Retreating to this space to remember the good bits. The last few months have brought lots of changes to my life. Some good, some bad. Some just unsettling. Change. It’s a bugger. So this had been a much needed outlet. Somewhere where I can be me. Where I can muse, and rant and most of all – remember that relatively speaking, I’m really, really lucky.