I was inspired to put this together by a random tweet I read which extoled the virtues of flannel bedlinen. Now, the individual concerned is a très chic Frenchwoman who usually posts fabulous shoes, gorgeous mountain views and classic French food, so I’d no hesitation in saying: “me too!” despite the usual connotations of flannel.
We recently bought new bedlinen as Himself wasn’t overly keen on my white Egyptian cotton – he likes the cotton, but finds the colour intimidating. As my alternative colour scheme is dark navy, and its toning sets are fraying and showing signs of wear, I decided to indulge in a bout of shopping. One of the sets I bought was flannel. In truth, it wasn’t my choice of fabric, I just liked the crisp stripes. It was only when we first used it that I discovered the joys of sleeping in flannel. I had to force myself when it was time to change it, and am now urgently seeking out another set in flannel in the approved colour.
I’ve spoken before of the simple joys of a bunch of flowers and a (really) good cup of coffee so I’ll not repeat myself – though they do appear high on my list of things which make life better. Despite enjoying the occasional cup of high quality coffee – in the main, I’m a tea drinker. I’ve recently had to throw out my favourite mugs as they’d become chipped along the rim. To replace them, I bought a couple of glitzy ones – but they just haven’t sparked the joy I expected. One is black & white & gold – but it stains horribly; the other is glass engraved in gold, and it comes with a saucer – it’s terribly pretty & photogenic, but I’m always nervous about it’s fragility. Despite preferring bone china as it looks elegant, I find myself edging back to Emma Bridgewater – whose mugs don’t meet this criteria at all, but was where one of my old favourites came from. There’s something solid and reliable about her mugs which just works for me. Now I just have to choose which one.
Next on the list is my camera and the collection of smaller but high quality lenses which I’m steadily collecting. They’re not cheap, but they’re high quality and (a lot) lighter than my previous favourite go-to options. I shoot with a Pentax system as they’re good quality but cheaper than the bigger brands. They’ve been around for a long (long) time, and have a passionate, if niche following. I’m also eyeing up a walk-about pocket-sized camera for those days when I don’t want to carry the full kit. Since becoming serious about my photography, I find I see the world differently. I see light, colours, patterns and people as if through a lens – even when I have no camera with me, and doing the same with landscape and nature has totally transformed how I see the natural world. I love my quirky Japanese camera system – and the fact that they don’t bring out a new model every year, but only when there’s a genuine progression in the technology, means I don’t feel like they’re putting their hands in my pocket unnecessarily.
The weather is turning a little more autumnal, so I was browsing in my wardrobe this morning for a scarf to keep my neck warm. When you wear your hair as short as I do, it’s a genuine requirement in the cooler months of the year. Following my colour consultation earlier this year, I now have a whole new range to choose from – all of which are more flattering than my previous options. This morning it’s a jaunty red one, dotted with white bees, in a soft linen-like weave – just perfect for this transitional weather. As I bought these new scarves just as summer was starting, they’ve been burning a metaphorical hole in my wardrobe.
When my daughter got married some years ago, she gave me a free pass to wear black to her wedding. I bought an investment dress and have used it a few times since. But it had (yes, past tense) an intricate beaded neckline making it fussy & dressy in a way which restricted my wearing it more often. Last week, I decided to remove the beading – and while it was fiddly, it’s like I have a whole new little black dress. As it’s filled the gap for a multi-purpose little black dress in my wardrobe, perhaps I can re-purpose the budget towards a new pair of black boots. I may be in seventh heaven – really & truly 😉
Speaking of footwear, I endured a horrible search during the lengthy months of lockdown for a pair of comfortable black slip-ons. Many, many (many) pairs later, I finally found the perfect pair. Soft (they’re made of bamboo) with a lovely cushioned sole, they slip on without assistance… and so are absolutely perfect. In fact, they’re so perfect, I bought another pair of everyday walking shoes (made of wool), and a pair of high tops from the same retailer. Amazingly, I’ve not had a single blister from any of them – which is saying something as my blistering feet are legendary. The only drawback is they’re expensive, but working on a cost-per-wear basis, they are soooo going to earn their keep.
Of course, there are people and activities which make my life oodles better, but today I intentionally chose to focus on things.
What about you? What things make your life better?
© Debra Carey, 2021