I miss handwritten letters. Texts and social media posts and messages are so hurried and brief. I used to love writing letters. And receiving them. I still have shoeboxes full of them from family, old friends and boyfriends. They are full of fondness & the minutiae of life. Chit chat about daily comings & goings. A magical, slow way of living & of capturing a moment in the loops & lines of the words.
It doesn't take much to create happiness : )
I've been working abroad for the last two weeks with barely a moment for myself so this weekend called for a complete switch off and reboot. My recipe for relaxation? My sofa, a pack of triple chocolate cookies, a box set of Sex & The City and my watercolour set so I can paint while I half watch the screen. Because let's face it, I don't really need to watch as I know every episode off by heart which is the whole point of comfort TV.
I finally have a record player back in my life after an absence of about 25 years and oh my goodness, it is so lovely. I dug out all my old 45s and sat on my lounge floor like I was fourteen again. The act of placing the record carefully on the turntable, the gentle clunk of the tone arm (who knew it was called that?) moving onto the record and the quality of the sound resonating from the speakers of my ancient Technics stereo was just wonderful.
The first record in the pile was this absolute classic. The second was Manchild by Neneh Cherry. My friends and I used to challenge each other to do the whole rap and I'm proud to say I still remember all the words. Just hoping my neighbours didn't hear me rapping.
I was rushing around one day last week, trying to run errands before I was due to head out of London. I decided to reprioritise and carved out a much needed hour for myself to sit with a coffee and read a magazine before I got on the train. It's so important to take time for yourself, to stop ticking boxes and breathe for a moment. I read a lovely article in SImple Things magazine (my favourite!) about how to find calm. Why not get yourself a coffee too and have a read by clicking here : )
Every now and then I get a deep craving to see the sea. It's an inbuilt desire to be at the edge of the land, to watch the tide ebb and flow and to breathe in the salty air. I had been working all morning and decided it was time for a break. I was only going to take an hour or so but suddenly needed to get out of the city. I found myself reasoning that I could work on the train there and back and within thirty minutes I was on my way.
It was rainy, grey and misty but sometimes that's the best time to see the sea. There were hardly any people around and the colour of the sea was absolutely magical. I walked slowly along the pier and breathed in the air, listening to the tide. An hour was all I needed. A little fix. Sometimes you just have to see the sea.
It's been so long since I've done a jigsaw puzzle. Today we turned the television off and the radio on and absorbed ourselves in a 1000 piece one of the London tube map. Totally nerdy but so lovely and absorbing! Such a nice way to spend a Sunday morning.
Biscuiteers is a shop and cafe that specialises in beautifully iced cookies. You can buy a ready-iced treat for someone or you can ice your own biscuits in the cafe. We spent a cosy couple of hours icing silly faces and outfits on to gingerbread men and 'Day Of The Dead' style patterns on to cookie skulls.
It made me remember last Christmas when I had a lovely afternoon icing gingerbread cookies. It's such a simple pastime but something that gets you away from screens and gadgets and absorbed in creating... and eating : )
I buy magazines less and less these days but one that I love subscribing to is The Simple Things. It's such a treat and I always read it cover to cover. It's just the right balance of indulgent and informative with travel, recipes, lifestyle articles, music playlists, horticulture, herbs, creativity, stories and ideas for your home. I recommend it to everyone I know. Their website is lovely too for a lunchtime browse.
I was reading a post on the Yes & Yes blog today about ways to show people you love them. One of the little things suggested is sending the Golden Girls theme tune to your friends. It really made me smile as I refer to my friends as the Golden Girls (or GGs!) all the time. I'm sure lots of girls do the same thing which just shows how much impact the show had. So here's a little treat in honour of the brilliance of friends, play it loud : )