On the list of all I would like to accomplish in my life, I will admit, banana pancakes were low.
Nevertheless, now we’re here, staring at stacks of lightly golden pancakes, fresh berries and drizzled maple syrup glistening in the May sunshine I’m wondering. Why wasn’t this on top of my list?
For some work carries on and for others the pause button has been pressed. Life has not yet resumed to normality and we’re not sure if it will. If we even want it to.
Sunday morning was slow as it always is, and I enjoyed coffee from the French press in the garden. Nowhere to rush off to. With no prior engagements or schedules to adhere to spending fifty minutes faffing around with different banana pancake recipes seemed a fine way to spend my time.
I draped the linen tablecloth over our rather unsightly garden furniture and it was transformed. Something I wouldn’t usually think or bother to do. Our glass water bottle was filled with icy cold water and placed in the middle of the table, like we were in a Parisian Cafe. Glasses and cutlery catching the light, making beautiful shadow patterns were now sitting opposite one and other.
My face I’m sure was a vision of concentration whilst constructing our pancake stacks. Choosing the top of the pile with caution, balancing British strawberries and delicately decorating with raspberries. Drizzling syrup from height like I’m Nigella and carefully deciding which one looks to most lovely, because that one will be mine.
Sitting in the sunshine with Dan, eating a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing breakfast was bliss. He had a rather awful hangover after drinking a bottle of white wine and lord knows what else after I went to bed (I was fine after enjoying Malbec and only Malbec) but I’m pretty sure he liked it too in between feeling waves of sickness.
Lovely things and moments at home sometimes require a little more effort. For us to think outside the box and bring those outward pleasures inward. Like brunch at your favourite cafe or in Dans case, a night out getting tipsy with your wife.
Below is a list of five lovely things you could spend your time doing. Things that have brought a smile to my face or that I’m planning to schedule in the diary next week. Let me know if you try any of them. I can assure you, each one will make you feel just lovely.
Make your favourite brunch and decorate your table
Avocado on toast with olive oil and chilli flakes, a stack of pancakes or smoked salmon with scrambled eggs. Whatever your favourite breakfast is, go to town. Use herbs, because you know they are posh and carefully plate your food up, so you get that little “wow” feeling you usually get before tucking into brunch at your favourite spot.
A tablecloth and water jug can make all the difference. Use that little toast holder you own but don’t know why or fill a vase or old jam jar with flowers – Cow parsley looks beautiful all bunched up and it’s free.
Sit down and pretend you’re on a terrace somewhere with someone you love. Smile, and take a deep breath with your eyes closed.
Change your duvet set, and then roll around in between the sheets with your favourite book
So far in my time on earth I have never met someone who doesn’t love fresh bed sheets. Change them to your favourite set, grab your book of choice, get naked and get reading. Getting naked is of course optional but in my professional opinion, that’s how to get the most joy out of those fresh bed linens.
Walk a different route
Getting outside does wonders for your mood. When I feel like I’m going to cry because Dan didn’t put his shower gel back after he used it I go for a walk. Great exercise and it helps him believe I’m totally sane and rational.
Walking the same route every day totally fine, but why not switch it up? The new scenery you feast your eyes on will help get your creative juices flowing and make your brain happy. Even if you are not 100% sure on where you’re going, maps will see you right.
Watch an old movie
The African Queen, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Paris When it Sizzles, Moonstruck, Pretty in Pink, Roman Holiday, Some Like it Hot… I could go on.
Yes, three of those films star Audrey Hepburn but I love her. Put your face mask on, pour a glass of wine and cosy into a night of old school romance and comedy without an iPhone in sight.
Write a letter
To yourself, a lover or a friend. Just flick the kettle on and put pen to paper. Leave the letter on their pillow or pop it into a post box. It’s not often we get anything happy from the post man and it’s time that changed. There is nothing more special than carefully opening and sinking into a handwritten letter.
Tell them how much you miss them and all you look forward to doing together when you are reunited. Thank your partner for doing the dishes in May 2018 or for bringing you up a cup of tea in bed.
Write to yourself and remind you of all the things you were thankful for at this odd time. Things you are so proud that you have achieved and note down the parts of yourself that you love. Date it and tuck it away to open in a year or three’s time. Your own advice could be just what you need to hear most in the future.
Now I’m off to make a cup of tea and write a letter to my twenty-six-year-old self which will probably go a little bit like this….
“you didn’t stop drinking but well done for trying, again, and you still haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, have you? I totally agree though. It does look beautiful on the shelf”.
Lots of love,