Sunday, 20 January 2008

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens...

Although I'm a girl of simple tastes, once in a while isn't it nice to enjoy a little luxury?

The thing I've come to realise over the years is that the key to a true luxury is keeping it a special once in a while thing. For example, every Christmas Eve, T and I enjoy what we call our 'feast'. We prepare a spread of special luxury foods that we rarely eat the rest of the year round (and certainly not all at once!) - smoked salmon, caviar, avocado & king prawn salad, crusty french bread, oysters (fresh & smoked) etc., all washed down with champagne and followed by a wickedly tempting dessert. We have maintained this tradition for 22 years now, ever since our first Christmas together. As far as I remember, we haven't missed a year - but it has been a strictly once a year thing. And for that reason it has stayed special, something we can look forward to and really enjoy without it becoming stale or boring. Dining on these foods all the time would rob the event of its magic - as well as being prohibitively expensive!

Recently I've been thinking about the little luxuries I enjoy and how keeping them as luxuries really makes them that much more enjoyable. Because of this, they never fail to put a smile in my heart. Here, in no particular order, are a few of my favourite things:

  • My subscription to 'Sagewoman' magazine. Sagewoman is an American magazine which is hard to find here in the UK. So I have a subscription and once every quarter a lovely thick, glossy new copy plops through the letter box and I find some me time to sit and enjoy every last delicious morsel of it.
  • My special coffee mug. This is a mug I found in a charity shop and just fell in love with. It's a handmade earthenware one, and whilst this gives it a rustic solidity, at the same time its graceful curves and pretty speckled glaze lend it an air of delicacy. This is my special mug, not used for day to day cups of tea and instant coffee. No, this is the mug I use when I have time to make proper coffee (sometimes vanilla coffee, or hazelnut coffee if I'm feeling really decadent!), with plenty of boiled milk - homemade latte, I suppose. Yum!
  • Although I can't often justify the time or the amount of hot water involved, I simply adore a long bath scented with something gorgeous from Lush. I often say I haven't yet found one of their products I don't like, so any of their bath bombs, bath melts or bubble bars fits the bill.
  • A bag of Whittard's chocolate covered cappuccino coffee beans - bitter, sweet, crunchy - scrummy!
  • 'Nest therapy'. This is the term I coined for some serious relaxation, when I'm absolutely exhausted and need to self-nurture. I simply pile up every pillow, cushion, blanket, duvet and eiderdown I can find, grab a stack of favourite reading material and a drink (perhaps cocoa if it's cold or home made lemonade if it's hot), and snuggle into my 'nest'.* I read if I want to, or snooze if even that's too much trouble! Nest therapy is cosy in winter and simply divine under a shady tree on the lawn in the middle of summer.

What are a few of your favourite things, your magical little luxuries? Do leave a comment letting me know!

* White peacocks are, of course, optional.


Kitchen Witch said...

I second your Lush comment, and add to it that candlelight hides an offensively mouldy ceiling really rather well. :)

Apart from that, Turkish delight, hot chocolate with chilli, the sound of my cats purring, and the semi-inquisitive noise our rooster makes when he sees you coming, but can't quite see if you bring food, or just you.

Reya Mellicker said...

Wow, Sagewoman is still publishing? That's great. The mag has been around a long time. Good for them!

Nesting is an excellent luxury. I did that yesterday, watched the new Harry Potter film, read about arctic forests, drank a little bit too much tea (so it was hard to sleep last night).

Love all your luxuries!! Bravo!

solsticedreamer said...

yes i agree with the Lush thing too!
also for me is lighting a small lantern, cuddling up in bed in my old, drafty camper, covered in a thick quilt and blankets with a mug of hot milk and listening to rain falling on the roof...yes i am an all-weather camper!

Cottage Smallholder said...

What a wonderful post!

It immediately made me relax.

I love lying in bed on a Saturday morning with the laptop and a large cup of tea. Coming home to the cottage, the light from the windows spilling onto the drive. A real handwriiten letter from a friend. Finding a ten pound note hidden in my wallet. Cadbury's creme eggs and fresh eggs too, laid by my own hens.

miss*R said...

wonderful post!

I have lots of things that are magickal little luxuries... snuggling in front of the fire when its cold and just closing my eyes and drifting.... a warm bath with candles and bath salts, then oiling my feet and putting soft socks on.... I could go on and on xoxo

Mildred said...

It is lovely to see other people enjoying their luxury time!

I love special afternoon teas - pretty china and an embroidered tablecloth, scrummy home made cakes, enjoyed by a log fire!

Thanks for your inspiring post.

enchantedartist said...

Your luxuries sound just Beautiful.I've got to be honest, I don't think I really have enough, and I'll have to change this.

I do have fresh flowers in my home...preferably from my garden,but that can only give me about three months worth....and I my other luxury would be when I get to take a leisurely nap undisturbed...

Hamster said...


I came here via The Cottage Smallholder and agree that this is a lovely, lovely post.

My luxuries would largely centre around food, especially food in season. I was so excited to find some English forced rhubarb in Waitrose today, and always look forward to things like asparagus and strawberries. Also a proper espresso, getting letters and cards and making real hot chocolate with melted chocolate and cardamom...

Jenna said...

Hmmm, little luxuries that make life worth living?

Beeswax candles - the smell is enough to calm any restless mind... the lovely light is just a bonus - are a biggie in our home. Even the cats seem calmer when they are lit.

A used bookstore within walking distance is my favorite. Close enough that the stroll doesn't wipe you out, and just far enough that I have to be sensible about how many books I can carry home.

Just found your site by way of the cottage smallholder and will be coming back often. Lovely site.

The Dragon said...

Hmm not tried Lush, I tend to stick with Boots Natural Collection. Other than that the fact that where we have moved to I can walk to the shop/Post Office/Pub and the fact that OH does a lot of the cooking so that I don't have to stand and risk falling over!