April 12, 2009

Continuous Small Treats

Our dear sweet neighbor gave us this Easter basket. He baked the ginger cake himself. I can't wait to enjoy it with tea tomorrow afternoon. It will perfectly embody the concept of Continuous Small Treats. By the way, the flag reads "Joyenses Paques," which means "Happy Easter" in French.

The late British novelist Iris Murdoch said "One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats." She was happily married for 43 years to Oxford professor John Bayley. According to Bayley, one of Iris's greatest pleasures was swimming.

So here is my list of 20 small treats for a happy life:

1. homemade ice cream
2. stroking a purring cat
3. listening to the ocean
4. the smell of freshly brewed coffee
5. a room lit only by candles
6. any track on Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue"
7. a cup of tea
8. a warm bath at the end of a long day
9. freshly baked bread
10. a note from my sweetheart
11. the cooing of a mourning dove
12. a good hard laugh
13. a walk at magic hour
14. a perfect margarita
15. a horse eating an apple out of your hand
16. fresh herbs
17. reading a good book in my favorite chair
18. black licorice
19. a footrub
20. a big hug

I'll be enjoying my small treat tomorrow at tea time: fresh ginger cake with tea.

What are your favorite small treats? Please share in the Comments section.


Anonymous said...

Great list. It is a great way focussing on being in the present to savour those treats!

Here are some of mine:

1. Reading a great book.
2. Having dinner with friends
3. Singing along to a rock song.
4. Eating watermelon
5. Affogato
6. Head massage
7. Swimming
8. Going for a run in the early morning
9. Walking along the beach and feeling the sand between my toes.
10. the smell of freshly brewed coffee.
11. Sailing, and the feel of the boat heeling over with the wind in my face.
12. Playing the piano
13. Coffee with a friend al fresco
14. Hugs from my family
15. quality chocolate
16. Watching old "Friends" DVDs
17. the smell of fresh basil
18 snuggling up in my pink mohair rug.
19. the fresh smell after rain
20. making popcorn

CB said...

Star gazing on a warm night (or under a warm blanket). I loooove me some stars. It's like your witnessing some sort of miracle. Seriously, you are looking at the universe! Mind blowing.

Anonymous said...

Great post! Here are a few of my 'small treats':

-Reading my the fireplace
-Listening to my kids play piano
-Listening to a heavy rain
-A neighborhood walk
-Watching snow fall

Stacey said...

Okay, here we go again - John Bayley's Elegy to Iris is one of my favorite books and I LOVED the movie, too. Kate Winslet and Judi Densch could played her perfectly. When I went to the restroom after the show all the women were lined up with tears streaming down their faces. The menfolk waited outside looking stricken and helpless. I still get choked up when I think of it.

I have a "joy" list, too, but I need to go at the moment. I'll leave you with one of my favorites: sharing a bottle (or more) of wine with my girlfriends. I often use an expression I heard first from Iris Murdoch: "Drink just one bottle? That's like sniffing the cork!"

Angela said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by and leaving your comments. It's so easy to think of these small treats, we just need to remember to incorporate them into our lives every day...

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to have found your blog. My small treats/simple pleasures are:

watching my husband tend the vegetable garden
falling asleep with a cat in my arms
the scent of lavender
fresh pineapple
watching my goldfish
the aroma of morning coffee
photos of my nephew when he was younger
a long foot soak
the first summer lettuce from our garden

Donna Freedman said...

Going to sleep listening to rain
A good game of Scrabble
Licking the bowl after making cookies, cake or frosting
A long chat with someone you haven't seen in ages
A dog's reaction when he sees you're about to throw a tennis ball
Finding money left in checking after you've paid all the bills
A perfectly ripe pear
Coming into a warm house on a cold night and smelling dinner cooking
Sitting across from the right person and realizing there's nowhere else you'd rather be

Angela said...

Anonymous- Sorry I'm just reading your comment. I've only recently figured out how to know when people comment on old posts. Thanks for coming by and leaving your favorite small treats. What is it about watching husbands work? I think it's a lot to do with their way of showing love. And I love a good foot rub/soak/massage.

Donna- I love your ideas, and share all of them. I LOVE the sound of rain as long as I'm in bed. My husband and I share the guilty pleasure of eating the cookie dough from the bowl. And I never cared much about pears until I tasted a perfect one, a gift from Harry and David's. Thanks for commenting!