I’m in an uncharacteristically positive mood of late, so I thought, while I can bring them to mind, I’d do a list of all the little things that make life worth living. Now, there is another, more, ahh, private list of things I enjoy – but if you don’t know what’s on that list, it’s because I don’t want you to. And because I don’t want to turn into some kind of creepy Belle Du Jour-type blogger, mentioning seeing condoms in the street and suspecting my neighbours might be running a brothel is as far as I’m prepared to go. In writing, anyway.
In no particular order:-
- Family. They’re mostly crazy, to varying degrees: my dad’s side possess that ruthless competitive streak which manifests so clearly in me and my mum’s side carry grudges to (and beyond) the grave – but may the gods have mercy on any outsiders who try and attack us. I love them and love spending time with them – and love the inevitable slew of anecdotes I end up with after family visitations.
- My friends. I seriously heart my friends, and difficult as I find it to admit real actual feelings, out loud, where people can find out about them and use them against me < / issues > I am happy to say I am my friends’ number one cheerleader and I love them all. I could cheerfully spend the rest of time sat in the pub with my friends: we’d play Jenga (or “Tension Tower”) and Trivial Pursuit and eat pub food, then we’d go dancing, then go back to someone’s house for tea and toast and more chat, and we’d wake up and watch bad TV and geeky box sets and films and then go back to the pub and the whole time we’d be laughing so hard our faces hurt and talking and quoting and I would for realz spend eternity in that contended little cycle if I could.
- While I’m on the subject – the pub. I love the pub (one in particular, but I don’t want to encourage stalking so I shan’t mention it by name). It serves alcohol and there’s music and games behind the bar and it’s warm and dry and cosy and you can sit around and have a laugh with your friends, and it’s just … nice. Ohhh, and beer gardens on warm, sunny days! A rare treat in a country as notoriously cold and damp as this, but maybe that makes me appreciate beer-garden-afternoons all the more.
- A nice cup of tea. As one of my Uni friends has illustrated via the medium of Facebook, A Cup of Tea Solves Everything. Can’t beat it.
- Gingerbread lattes from Starbucks. I know, I know, I’m a corporate whore who’s contributing to the decline of independent traders. I don’t care. Gingerbread lattes, with whipped cream on top and some cinnamon sprinkled over, are the perfect combination of caffeine and sugar and god I love them. I have a crazed addiction to them – it’s probably for the best that they’re only available over the Christmas season (and better for my self-interest that “Christmas season”, to Starbucks, starts in November).
- Popping the foil lid on coffee jars. It’s borderline weird, but I love doing this. The feel of the spoon going through the foil, the smell of the fresh coffee…Oddly satisfying.
- Crunching through fallen leaves in autumn. C’mon, who doesn’t love this? Kicking them up is awesome – and I have to admit to kicking over my neighbour’s carefully swept-up pile of leaves this year. This may be why they hate me.
- Walking over snow. It makes this great crunchy noise, plus, yay! Snow!! It’s the simple things.
- When it’s cold and raining and miserable outside – and you can just stay indoors, cuddled up on the sofa under a nice warm blanket.
- That moment when you wake up on a day off, and realise there’s nowhere you need to be and you can just cuddle up and go right back to sleep. I am also lazy to near-feline standards and can quite happily stay in bed until gone one o’clock in the afternoon if I don’t need to be anywhere.
- Stretching. You wake up, or get up off the sofa, and stretch and it feels amazing.
- Getting my own way. Really, this should be higher up the list. Okay, at the top of the list, but I’ve written this stream-of-consciousness stylee so that's what I'm sticking with. I am a massively spoiled only child (I was the only grandchild on my mum’s side of the family, and only grandchild on my dad’s side for the first nine years of my life – you don’t know from spoiled) and I do enjoy the satisfaction of getting my own way. My things, my toys, my games, my way, my choices, me, me, me, mine, mine, mine. Any time things do go my way, it feels both right and natural.
- The cinema. I'm pretty sure my plethora of film references and quotations has made it clear by now, but I fucking love movies. Love them. And going to the cinema is one of my favourite things to do. I love the popcorn, and the huge screens, and the surround-sound played at such volume that you can feel your chair vibrate during loud scenes – I thoroughly enjoy every aspect of the experience.
…Except when my misanthropic nature kicks in and I find myself filled with burning hatred towards the people around me. I feel vindicated in my loathing if it’s directed towards sweary, noisy teens that are talking over the movie, but I’ve also been known to start fantasising about beating to death the person sitting next to me if they’re a “breather”. That is, someone who’s breathing is audible to me, even over the film. Or if they’re rustling food packets. Or they’ve brought smelly food in. Or it’s a couple being all kissy-kissy in my eye-line: if I wanted to watch a make-out session, I’d be at a very different kind of cinema. But apart from that, yay! Cinema!
- It's indicative of my change in priorities recently that I didn't think to add this sooner: food. Om nom nom - food. I love food: cooking it is really rewarding, when you make a brilliant meal for yourself and some friends and everyone enjoys it and it's delicious and you know it was all your own hard work. Eating it is the best part, obviously, and I'm pretty sure Reese's Peanut-butter Cups were designed for me, personally, because they are so crazy-tasty to me. At least a third of my thinking-time is spent planning meals and wondering what and when I can eat next. And if ever I decide bollocks to it all and decide to just completely let myself go and eat my way into an early grave, my grotesque and tragic ending will be sponsored by Ben and Jerry's, Reese's, Domino's pizzas and Oreo cookies.
- Looking at things that have been carefully tidying and organised. I admit, this is just flat-out crazy and I can picture the "oh god just back away from her slowly" look I would get from you if I told this to you in person, but I am borderline-compulsive and seeing things in careful order pleases me. My DVDs are arranged by colour and my books by genre, then sub-alphabetised; my clothes are also ordered by colour in my wardrobe; and my anxiety dreams frequently involve someone coming into my house and re-arranging my things. I just like order, okay?! Don't you judge me...
Well, that about wraps it up. I may add more if the mood strikes - and I'm already making a mental list of things that make me angry, as a counterbalance to all this positivity.