Sunday, 29 January 2012

Finding delight in simplicity

This week yet another survey havs proven that contrary to popular myth, money does make you happier.  Is anyone surprised by this? It really is stating the obvious, barely requiring any comment. I know that I have more fun at the Ritz than McDonalds, that St Barth's is a better holiday destination than Norfolk (for all its drizzley merits), that staying at the Byblos in St Tropez will offer hours of entertainment that a campsite in Antibes just can't match.  That flying by private plane and helicopter is both more enjoyable and more efficient than sitting in traffic and queuing at check in 2 hours before take off.

However we have to be our own curators of happiness and budgets simply will not run to all of the above.  There are little things that mean a lot to us and that give nourishment to our body and soul, that perhaps are more satisfying than paid for pleasure.
J. B  Priestly gathered together his favourite simplicities in a book entitles 'Delight', it was reissued in 2009, at the height of the credit crunch, and is likely to become more relevant over the coming months.

His simple delights included; being silly with small children (not just tolerating them), the smell of coffee, eggs and bacon, detective stories in bed, buying books,  dancing, fountains, a walk in a pine wood, a new box of matches, the sound of a football or an orchestra tuning up, long trousers, playing a cracking game of tennis, smoking in a hot bath.

Some of my simple pleasures are scattered amongst the text; little dogs with lots of personality that I bump into on a walk, beautiful flowers, anywhere; at a florist in a shop or restaurant, they just lift my spirit, tea from vintage china, dark chocolates I'll eat the expensive varieties, but my heart just leaps when I find a long forgotten box of After Eights in the back of the larder, sunlight through yellow curtains, using up ALL of the left overs to create a stew or soup, I love the economy, the abundance and the healthy satisfaction. 


  1. You know, I found the Byblos too sceney and loathe St Bart's but I'm old now, I love staying at Hotel de la Ponche in St Tropez, the owner is such a lovely warm person and has so many great stories to tell.

    1. I don't know that one, we are there again this year and will definitely be sniffing it out. I agree re Byblos, we stayed once for a few days, it was very entertaining, but I felt obliged to wear heels and diamonds at poolside, and not touch a morsel of food, so once was enough!

  2. Oh and any time I bump into a puppy - heaven on earth.
    I just spotted a new beagle puppy along the road two days ago, I shall be hunting him out.

    1. Puppies definitely bypass my reason and take me back to a time when everything was good in the best of all worlds. If you are thinking about getting a dog, when they are yours, it never changes, they always take you straight to that place regardless of other stresses and strains!


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