I've noticed that as my life has evolved into what it is now, my take on the little joys in life has also changed. What might once have gone unnoticed has become a secret wonder, while previous pleasures have faded into the background or dissappeared from my life altogether through circumstance or perspective.
There's always time for 'things I love' in life - my friend has compiled a book of simple pleasures for me, which I read with my morning porridge every day - and now is no different!
So here is my List of Things I Love Now That I Didn't Love As Much (If At All) Before.
1. Weekends - easy place to start, but oh my, the weekends are amazing! Two days without a thought for the essay/reading I should be doing; two long days (and three evenings) of stuff, simple stuff, like lying in bed or oiling the bikes or sitting in the garden on a kitchen chair, or hanging the washing outside. Immense pleasure!
2. Comfort Eating - my eating has changed a lot. Meals have become the social landmarks of my day, my outlet for creativity and, in some ways, a task and a burden. Since we are cooking for two we can now create things that I've never bothered with in the past - my baking output has increased dangerously, for example! - and we have a freezer, so anything is possible! I've also found that I'm thinking so much less about what I eat, and more about what I want from a meal - do I want comfort, energy, baked bean goodness, lazy food....? Somehow piling loads of cheese on my pasta is no longer worth thinking about - of course I want cheese, I've been at work all day!
3. People - people can make or break your day, can't they? The bearded man who smiled at me on the train yesterday has no idea how much he lifted my spirits, and the prudish man in the too-big suit on the 6:54 to Leeds makes me cringe every morning with his rudeness.
4. Radio 4 news - I listen intently. And the shipping forecast, and the stockmarkets, and the coastal reports. Radio 4 is full of things I never knew I didn't know!
5. Sitting - I live in a house with a couch for the first time in 3 years, and it is better than I ever knew. Sitting, snuggling, drinking tea. Wrapping up in a blanket and pondering the world, watching films, sneakily eating pasta from a bowl when Daniel is out at badminton. Couches are so useful!
6. Slippers - during our first weekend of living together, Daniel and I went to M&S and bought a pair of snuggly slippers each. I've been a slipper-wearer for my whole life, but for some reason I stopped while at University, and this had to change! I got myself some squishy purple ones with fluffy insides, and there is no way to describe the joy I feel when I slip my feet into them in an evening. It's as if my feet are the plug, the slippers are the socket, and when connected they light up a bright neon sign that reads 'I'm home!!'.
7. Clothes - clothes have taken on a whole new meaning! I have to wear proper work clothes, and I love it! I feel as if I'm playing fancy dress every morning as I pull on my tailored trousers and button up my shirt, but likewise I feel as if I'm becoming myself again in the evenings when I change. It's getting more and more difficult to dress at the weekends; I seem to have forgotten how to wear normal clothes, or at least how to dress as myself, and not as a generic woman in jeans and a hoodie (which is also fine, but not as fun). To remedy this I will be purchasing some woolies at the weekend once I receive my first pay cheque!!
8. Saturday lunch - on Saturday I can have anything I want for lunch. I don't have to plan, I don't have to make it the night before; it can be warm or cold, it can be as complicated or as simple as I wish. Marmite on toast features heavily in my weekends - oh how I miss a Marmitey lunch!
9. My accent - for the first time ever I am less Northern than everybody else around me when I speak. I work in a corner of West Yorkshire where, somehow, everyone speaks with a strong Bradford accent, and my Southernified way of speaking is becoming more of a pleasure every day. Not that I have a problem with the Yorkshire accent, of course, or any other; being generic can be quite fun sometimes, though!
10. Cycling gloves - Daniel bought me some amazing cycling gloves. My hands are ragged and sore but at least they stay warm. Good gloves have taken on a new meaning now I leave the house in the small hours.