Category Archives: my life’s essentials

What makes my life bliss

My life’s essentials 9: treasure

My life's essentials 9: treasure

What do I need? Not a lot.

What have I got? Too much.

This morning, when our dog took me out for exercise, we played with a newish tennis ball. I’d throw it for him to catch and bring back.

Then he found a bald, broken tennis ball, which didn’t bounce.

He was so happy.

I put the newer tennis ball in my pocket and we played with the old one, which gradually fell apart and became half a tennis ball.

This treasure meant more to us than anything else.

I don’t buy much any more. We rarely buy presents for each other. What’s the point if things just clutter up our home more when we’re trying to cut down on the clutter?

A walk on the beach watching the sun sparkling on the tops of the waves: that’s a gift that fills us with wonder.

Finding half a tennis ball in the sand or a shred of chewed rubber ball that we can all play with and roll down the dunes: that’s real treasure.

Posted in my life's essentials.

My life’s essentials 8: laughter

Sometime you don’t realise how long something has been missing from your life. This often happens when you set yourself against some adversity that can last months or years.

I realise I haven’t laughed as much as I usually do over the past few years.

Laughter is essential, whatever happens in our lives and in the world around us.

We have to cry, but we also have to laugh.

I looked out my clockwork laughing teeth from the loft several months ago as I knew I had to write this post. I’m not one for making New Year resolutions, but I am determined to create more laughter in 2016, both my own and, hopefully, yours.

I think 2016 will be a tough year in many ways, which is all the more reason to laugh whenever we can.

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My life’s essentials 7: wooden spoon

Following on from my home baking post, yesterday I realised that the wooden spoon I use for baking has become an essential.

My life’s essentials 7: wooden spoon

As I spend so much time typing on a keyboard, using my iPhone, apps and software, one of the biggest pleasures I take in baking, and cooking generally, is working with ‘real’ things: ingredients I can touch, taste and smell.

I am fascinated by the transition when individual ingredients such as butter and sugar combine to create a fluffy, creamy new substance.

 

Add eggs, flour and other ingredients and the mixture changes again.

Put it in the oven and it transforms from ‘paste’ into a solid – hopefully not too solid – structure with completely different characteristics. Where has the new texture, aroma and taste come from?

It’s magic.

That’s why I tend to do almost everything by hand and my trusty baking wooden spoon, not used for anything else, made me realise that.

Posted in food & drink, my life's essentials.

My life’s essentials 6: home baking

My life's essentials: home baking

Why? Because the flavours are overwhelming.

And because I know what’s gone into it.

And because it’s been a big part of my life.

And because I find it a very relaxing activity.

And because I like eating it . . .

. . . and sharing it.

When I was young my Mum baked a delicious light fruitcake that we would scoff at Christmas and other holidays and it gave me pleasure to see her enjoying the fruitcakes I made for her when she could no longer bake.

I’m so lucky that my Mum was such a wonderful cook who taught us to cook and bake and that Mrs Z is an equally good cook. What are the chances of that?

Although we strayed into buying manufactured cakes for a while, I no longer eat these, finding them too ‘artificial’.

It remains a treat though to enjoy cake in a tea room or café where you know it is genuinely home made.

Nothing, though, beats the delight of taking home-baked cake or bread out of the oven and that moment when you cut and eat the first slice.

That’s a currant loaf I baked above. I’m afraid we’ve eaten it all.

 

Posted in food & drink, my life's essentials. Tagged with , , , , , .

My life’s essentials 5: the sea

What a pull it exerts in so many dimensions.

I have not always lived by the sea, but now I like to need to see it every day.

Whether waves crash on to rocks or glassy blue stillness reaches out to the horizon, it is always a marvel.

I could sit or stand, watching and listening to the sea forever.

Posted in my life's essentials.
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