Without these little pleasures, sometimes I wonder how I would survive, especially when everything else seems to be going wrong.
I'm reading a book right now that brought these thoughts to mind this morning. It's funny how the vivid descriptions of a well-written book can bring out the best in all of us, perhaps our creative side or simply those things that really make us smile. It doesn't take much after all, does it?
Some of my favorites include: (in no particular order)
- The gust of fresh air on my face (as fresh as Paris air can be!) during my ten-minute walk down the street from the train station in the morning, as I listen to some of my favorite tunes. That is, unless it's raining, which is often the case...
- The discovery of a new book or a new album which I know is bound to bring me even more extended pleasure in the weeks to come. My latest addictions: William Boyd and Murakami, Regina Spektor and Kate Havnevik.
- An ice-cold kir pêche with some salty nibbles in a bar/café after a long day at work. My boyfriend likes to refer to these as des graines -- he often specifically requests them. But I'm not shy about munching on them myself, even though I don't take handfuls at a time like he does!
- Salted butter and confiture de figues on a fresh, warm baguette on Sunday morning. As a matter of fact, I can't get enough of my entire Sunday late-morning brunch ritual: un oeuf à la coque, fresh bread with salted butter and jam, a pink grapefruit, and a big bowl of coffee. Sometimes I vary with hot chocolate, depending on my mood...
- Paging through a new magazine, including my cooking faves, or just a mindless American fashion rag.
- Picking up a bundle of fresh tulips or renoncules, my new favorites, at my local market.
- The feeling of accomplishment when I actually pull a whole meal together for me and my boy. I can't even imagine what a good feeling it must be to cook for a whole group -- as in anything more than two!
- The warmth of a brand-new comfy sweater, or the broken-in fuzziness of an old stand-by. Either way, I'm definitely a sweater girl. As much as I like fashion, I'm not about to sacrifice comfort in the winter! So at least I'm not a 100% fashion victim.
- Rolling over in the bed on a Sunday morning and realizing it's just that -- Sunday! -- and that you have the whole day stretching in front of you. So many possibilities...
- The lingering presence of my boyfriend's scent in the room, or in my clothes, long after he has gone. (Okay, sappy, but true!)
- And, to add to that image, just the reassuring feeling I get from exchanging a smile with him and seeing the glint in his blue eyes when we share a really nice moment together.
- Magret de canard prepared any which way -- with pepper sauce, raspberry or fig sauce, with risotto or pommes de terre sautées... Nothing beats duck in my book!
- Peaches in the summer, apples fresh off the tree in the fall, citrus in the winter (I've been eating clementines like peanuts), and strawberries in the late spring -- oh, how I've come to love seasonal fruit here in France...
- A glass of Graves with some dry peppered sausage once again on buttered baguette bread.
Can you tell I'm a bit of a gourmande? Don't ask me to go on a diet... One of these days this is going to catch up with me. And I've really got to get myself into a better exercise routine -- story of my life!
I think my list of simple pleasures is endless. Ask me tomorrow and I'll probably come up with something different. What are some of yours?