broadsideblog

Simple Pleasures

In entertainment, Style on October 26, 2009 at 8:05 pm
Fruit-bearing branches, after losing leaves in...

There for the looking...Image via Wikipedia

It’s a crazy time. If you still have a job, you’re probably working insane hours and wondering when you’ll be laid off. If you’re freelance, you may have lost more than two-thirds of your income as panicked clients cancel everything non-essential. If you’re looking for a new job, you might be ready to throw in the towel. We need simple, affordable pleasures more than ever.

This month’s Elle Decoration, the UK version (decidedly different in tone and style from the American version) offers a list of 30 simple pleasures, some well worth considering.  (There’s no on-line version, so I can’t offer you a link.) But they include: take time to print out your digital images and make an album, bake a cake from scratch, keep a soft blanket or throw on the sofa, lay a sheepskin rug by the bed for those soon-to-be-frosty winter mornings.

As we head into another week deep into this endless recession, here are some of my favorites that are, as best they can, keeping me sane and happy:

Steal 10 extra minutes to lie very still in bed before you rocket out and start your day. Stare out the window at something lovely.

Take a total techno-break one full day a week. Turn off everything that buzzes and beeps and demands your constant attention and response.

Before you go to sleep, light a candle and have it be the only illumination in your room. Staring at a small, flickering flame is deeply soothing.

Dig out your 10 favorite recipes, find a lovely, large blank notebook and copy them into it for a friend or relative, maybe a new college student learning to cook.

Spend an hour at your local garden nursery or greenhouse. Buy something small and green to bring home and nurture over the winter.

Take your camera and wander a local park for an hour. Capture, in the Northeast, what’s left of the spectacular beauty of the leaves.

Go to the library with no agenda. Browse the stacks slowly and see what looks good. Bring home no fewer than four books and three videos. Experiment — it’s free.

Come home, brew a full pot of Constant Comment tea in a china teapot, pour it into a china cup and sit alone to sip it slowly. Savor the smell and the delicious sound of tea splashing into china.

What are some of your go-to soothers?



  1. Very nice. I’d add that everything you listed can also be shared/enjoyed with the one you love. Nothing will get you through the crazy times like knowing there is someone next to you who loves you for who you are. (Especially the candle. Candlelight leads to love and pleasure – it’s the law.)

    [In an unrelated matter, Caitlin - I included your book in my latest order. Looking forward to reading it this week. I'll thank you in advance as I'm sure it will be good.]

  2. Thanks! I think candles are one of the best things ever invented and so simple and now so overlooked. Rooms, and people, and food, look so different in candlelight and remind me that for many centuries that’s the only illumination through which people saw one another.

    Delighted you’ll take a look at the book. Please email and let me know what you think.

  3. Caitlin, one word: Carbonara.

    Trust me.

  4. Get up before sunrise, take your bike, go out. Enjoy the sun’s earliest beams, smell, feel, try your best to hear nothing but your heart beat. The colder the better.

  5. Jody, one word in reply to carbonara. Yes!!

  6. I like this. Nice voice. I wander somewhere with my dog. Or sing loudly where no one can hear me.

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