Savouring simple pleasures adds a sparkle to ho hum days when one longs to be under an olive tree eating figs. Of course it would be great if life felt glorious every day and one bolted out of bed deluged with enthusiasm. But the human condition is a somewhat mixed experience. One rarely, for example, finds oneself eating figs under an olive tree on a routine basis.
I must admit that I have sometimes felt a deep disappointment about this. There are many mornings when sashaying around my garden in the south of France seems far preferable to less sultry endeavors. But I don’t own a garden in the South of France…not yet anyway. And if I did one of its pleasures would surely be sitting in the sunshine and enjoying a large cup of Earl Grey Tea surrounded by the uplifting aroma of lavender.
The great thing about simple pleasures is that I can at least partially replicate this sensual scenario in wintry Co. Wicklow. I have the Earl Grey Tea and I have the lavender aromatherapy oil. And on a sunny morning golden sunbeams pour through my large kitchen window. Why wait for Provence? Life is here and now. As the Buddhists say ‘wherever you go you are there’.
In thriftier times simple pleasures become even more important. However it’s best not to get too happy clappy about this. Soaking in a seductive bubble bath will not, for example, fool you into thinking you are at a Caribbean health spa even if you surround yourself with scented candles. But a little pampering can go a long way and at least you don’t have to worry about mosquitoes. And curling up in front of an open fire with a good cat can be as delicious as coiffing cocktails in Park Avenue. That deep fortissimo purring is a concerto in itself.
Sometimes simple pleasures can be very small indeed, but no less important. One of my brothers loves Kimberley biscuits, but not the chocolate coated variety. For him to put chocolate on a Kimberley is to dilute the purity of the Kimberley experience. Vienetta has added vavavoom to many a family meal time. …And eating succulent toast smothered in butter and jam in bed has a voluptuous late night night feel about it…especially when it’s accompanied by cocoa.
‘This may sound like Bridget Jones territory but Alice is less spikey,
certainly drinks less and makes more effort to make a life for
herself…The writing is full of quirky wit and energy.’ ‘Book of the
Week’ THE EXPRESS (‘Wise Follies’)
‘…..Grace Wynne-Jones has written an entertaining, intelligent and genuinely funny story….this is a great read, especially for commuters…guaranteed to shorten any journey.’ THE IRISH TIMES
(‘The Truth Club’)