After reading Orwell’s Roses and being reminded of the need for joy, I started to dip into a book called: The Joy Of Small Things by Hannah Jane Parkinson. It does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a collection of short essays about the small things in life that bring Parkinson joy. They’re not all things I agree with. She loves theatre without an interval and I for one, fear plays without intervals because my experience is that they are usually terrible (there is the odd exception) and the interval has been removed to stop you fleeing the scene. Having said that, there are lots of things she loves (solo trips to the cinema for example) that I adore, and lots to think about in terms of what I might love myself.
This morning I chanced upon a short thread on Twitter in which Emma Wayland writes a list of things she would gift to someone who was struggling and needed cheer.
I am trying to do more listening to the universe at the moment so I thought that this confluence of events might suggest that I needed a list myself, due to the fact that struggling is what I have been doing quite a bit of recently.
Here is my list. It is non-hierarchical and subject to change due to random whims and the forgetfulness of old age. Most of it will undoubtedly be food/book based.
A really good hot water bottle
A cashmere blanket large enough to wrap yourself in without any bits of you poking out
Some exceedingly buttery/peppery mashed potato with onion gravy
A packet of really good felt tip pens
A notebook of thick, creamy paper, unlined.
A packet of milk chocolate, Choco Liebniz
Some cream roses with eucalyptus leaves and that blue tinged spruce/pine bough stuff
A bag of rich ground coffee with a smooth, deep flavour and a double skinned cafetière to brew it in.
One of these hats from The Old Electric Shop in Hay on Wye.
A Keith Brymer Jones large bucket mug so you can have a proper cup of tea without having to get up every five minutes to refill it.
A packet of really good quality jasmine tea pearls
The box set of Schitt’s Creek (Season one is not the best, but bear with it. It becomes sublime and utterly joyful).
A Spotify playlist with a lot of Guy Garvey’s voice on it.
A box of heritage tomatoes in splendid colours, with particular emphasis on the vivid green ones with dark green stripes because they are the most delicious of all.
A round, sourdough loaf with a very dark, chewy crust.
A proper nap where you fall asleep immediately and wake up feeling refreshed and snuggled.
A pat of Shirgar, Welsh salted butter (for the above – the bread and tomatoes, not the nap, although you could have a buttered nap if you like).
A bottle of jewel coloured ink from Choosing Keeping
A bar of Tony’s Chocolonely dark milk pretzel toffee chocolate.
A cuddle from my cat Anorak who is stinky and weighs as much as a bungalow, but is always ecstatic to see you, loves cuddles and purrs like an outboard motor so you feel very wanted.
An hour to yourself.
What would be on your list?