Ok, not quite bliss exactly, more domestic pleasures. This morning I found myself with an empty diary and a few hours at home, but also a very long mental list of housework, errands to be run and jobs to be done. I decided that, rather than resent these tasks, I would make the effort to pause and notice small domestic achievements, to celebrate those small triumphs over dust and dirt. I will never be the sort of person who has an empty ironing basket (and our tumble dryer just broke so there is washing draped all over the house which I hate). Don't ever look in my oven or hope to find anything in the under-stairs cupboard. But sometimes, when you step off the domestic treadmill for just a moment, there is so much pleasure to be found in tackling a dusty corner and turning it into something fresh, pretty and welcoming.
Simple pleasures like clearing away all the clutter from my bedside table; old magazines, last month's book club title, dirty cups...
...and replacing it with a plant and a scented candle. I bought this plant yesterday in the supermarket for £1.50. I can't remember what it's called but, since I have banned myself from buying fresh flowers these last few months, found I was craving the idea of having some fresh, living greenery in the house. Pine cones and feathers weren't going to cut it.
Simple pleasures like changing the sheets and a freshly made up bed.
Like replenishing the fruit bowl and using up the old, wrinkled apples that no-one wants to eat by turning them into Dutch apple cake.
Like using my washcloth, crocheted last night from all the cotton yarn scraps left over from my Christmas gifts, and enjoying using something I made for myself.
Like re-stocking the cake tins with my friend Jennifer's recipe for Magic Cookie Bars. I used the cup method for measuring out ingredients, which was a first for me. They are good.
Small domestic pleasures are there when you look for them. Hiding under the washing, usually. But they are there.