Simple pleasures, midwinter edition

By Caitlin Kelly

Re-watching comfort films and TV shows for the umpteenth time. Of course, we know the dialogue by heart — half the fun! Life is so chaotic and unpredictable, knowing for sure what will happen next is a lovely thing. Mine include The Devil Wears Prada, All The President’s Men, Spotlight, Dr. Zhivago, Billy Elliott, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, Casablanca, The English Patient and Good Will Hunting.

A pot of tea and maybe a little something sweet to go with it. I recently made this date/nut bread and it’s soooo good! I skipped the icing.

An afternoon spent in the company of a dear friend.

Looking at art.

Savoring a great novel.

Snoozing under a blanket on a cold, gray afternoon.

A kiss from your dog.

A kiss from your sweetie!

A late afternoon game of gin rummy, possibly with a nip of single malt.

Fresh flowers in every room.

A scented candle by the bed.

The eternally glorious music of Bach, Handel, Erik Satie.

Trying a terrific new restaurant.

A long lunch with old friends visiting from Toronto. We went to my favorite Manhattan spot, Keen’s, in business since 1885. Push through its front doors, and you’ve stepped back in time: white tablecloths, a ceiling covered in antique clay pipes, a tank with live lobsters (their lobster bisque is so good!) There’s a pub room with its own bar and a fireplace and the bar, of course, has a huge painting of a nude woman above the bar.

Trying a new, fresh fragrance from my favorite perfumer, Penhaligon’s…This one, Castile, smells deliciously of orange blossoms, a memory from when I was 21 and traveling alone through Europe for four months. I was in Seville in orange blossom season. Amazing!

A day spent with a young pal visiting from Montreal. We had Chinese food for lunch, then I drove her around Manhattan to its southern edge, spotting Lady Liberty and the orange Staten Island ferry. We parked in the South Street Seaport and walked around a bit, enjoying its history and architecture.

I love quirky windows. This was in the Seaport, a private home.

Same window

A catch-up call with my bestie from university.

Longer brighter days as spring sloooooowly approaches.

A cozy new winter jacket, on sale.

The brief moment when the rising sun behind us hits the windows on the western hillside of the Hudson River. I call it the ruby moment.

Finding a surprise bit of money in a coat or jacket pocket.

Discovering a surprising and lovely find — recently a terrific dive bar a block from New York harbor and this amazing cut-metal mural on the side of the Peck Slip School, honoring a Dutch ferryman of the 1630s.

10 thoughts on “Simple pleasures, midwinter edition

  1. Jan Jasper

    Caitlin, I love reading about the things you notice . Some of my pleasures – watching squirrels in my backyard eating the nuts that I put out for them every morning…finding a place where I can hide the nuts so the blue jays don’t eat them all before the squirrels do… sitting in front of my fireplace… finally putting up a shelf in my bathroom so I can get the clutter under control….a wonderful new electric blanket that I sleep under now, which is great because I keep my house on the chilly side to save on my heat bill…kisses from my dog..kisses from the dogs at the shelter where I volunteer…seeing my late mother’s good traits echoed in myself which makes me feel her presence every day

    1. Jan Jasper

      Oh and I forgot to mention…lovely filigree candle holders that I bought two winters back. You posted recommendations and I think you even shared photos of your candle holders from Bed Bath & Beyond. It inspired me to go find something similar

  2. Juliet O'Neill

    Delightful to read. You set a mood perfectly. My simple pleasures already today: wearing soft old baggy pants that never wear out, finding an old Marci Lipman sweatshirt at the back of a closet. Having Elvis in my head from watching the movie last night–hope the lad wins the Oscar.

  3. Jam Jasper

    I encourage you to volunteer at your local animal shelter. Because of inflation it has gotten very expensive for everything, so many pet owners can no longer afford to feed their animals. Nationwide, shelters are being flooded with animals being surrendered or dumped. The little bit of time a volunteer spends with them may be the bright point of their day. It helps the pet retain their emotional health, and if necessary, learn to trust people again. All of which increases their odds of being successfully adopted

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s