Just lately, I’ve been feeling very happy about the simple pleasures that life has to offer. I’m sure we all have our favourite things that please us, those little moments or objects that make us give a little sigh of contentment. Here are a few of mine:
- Drying washing outside. The satisfaction of putting washing on the line in the morning and bringing it in dry at night, accompanied by that indescribably fresh scent, fills my heart with glee. Nature is helping me out with the housework! Of course, there are undoubtedly occasions when Nature decides to be contrary and gives my washing an extra rinse, but for the most part, this has to be one of my favourite things about the warmer weather.
- Growing plants from seed, especially with children. I remember growing mini cress gardens in trays when I was little; making lolly stick fences, a pebble path and a twig scarecrow. Watching those tiny seeds germinate into cress was so fascinating. And that wasn’t all. My dad and I grew trees, flowers and vegetables, all from seed. Now I do the same with my own children and I take huge delight in the wonder on their faces when they realise their tiny seeds have sprouted overnight and proceed to grow into little plants. We carefully pot them on, hardly daring to breathe as we separate the seedlings. This year, so far, we’re growing peas, chinese broccoli, rocket, basil, peppers and sunflowers.
- Baking bread. After five years of excellent service, my bread machine has developed a leak. We suspect a seal has gone at the base of the pan. Ringing Kenwood is on my ‘to do’ list, but not very high on my list of priorities. In the meantime, I’m enjoying baking bread ‘properly’ for a while. It’s very therapeutic and tastes so good (if I do say so myself!). The downside is that it disappears so quickly. We eat twice as much bread if it’s home-made, so I’m sure it doesn’t save us any money at all. The more home-made bread I bake, the lower my phone call to Kenwood falls down the list!
- Drinking tea outdoors. In the Easter holidays we had a couple of impromptu family outings: a trip across to Penrith to pick up an Ebay purchase; a walk down by the river at a nearby village; an afternoon up at Allendale, where my husband ran in the annual Allendale Challenge; and a morning out at a local nature reserve. On each of these occasions, I packed a flask of tea and boy was I glad I did! I don’t know what it is about drinking tea outdoors that is so special, but it just is. It’s particularly satisfying if you’ve just climbed a very steep hill or a mountain, I find.
I need to go out on the school run, so I’ll stop there. I could add so many more though: driving in summer with the windows down and your favourite music on; watching your children playing in the garden on a sunny afternoon; listening to birdsong in Spring; the splash of colour that the tulips and narcissi provide.
What are the simple pleasures that you enjoy in life?