Celebrating the small stuff – the Chiswick way
Sometimes we need a reminder that it's the little things that make up our life – not the big bold brash decisions, but the day to day stuff. The routines, the simple pleasures, the sights sounds and feelings that make your life…well, make it your life really.
Every so often I remember that I mean to blog more about this stuff. After all, it's the stuff I love reading about on other people's blogs. I like the gentle domesticity of people's posts that detail their day – warts and all.
But sometimes we feel shy don't we? Shy that the day to day choices we make aren't interesting enough, or don't build up the picture of the life we thought we'd have when we daydreamed out the classroom window or listened to angsty teenage music in our bedrooms.
Sometimes – dare I suggest – we feel guilty being happy. Guilty that the life we've carved out, often through a series of synchronistic twists and turns so different from what we planned, is enough – makes us happy. That the small moments – the joyous rapture of your child as you lift them up and spin them, the sun shining on your hand, are joy-making.
So in homage to all the small moments happening right now across the world, here are the small moments from my weekend. (PS here's my secret – I don't think any of the below are small moments at all, they all make my heart sing with joy. Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I arrived at this point in my life relatively unscathed and with a wonderful son!)
1. My mum's been here so Chiswick Boy gets to hang out with his granny and there was an air of excitement all weekend. We were excited to be showing her our new house and eager to see what she thinks of our post-boat landlubbing.
2. We went to the Knitting and Stitching Fair. We bought various little bits and bobs – probably spending as much as if we'd splashed out on something 'big' – but we both find it hard to resist something small and shiny or a piece of cute ribbon. Or coffee and cake!
3. Saturday was piano lesson. I feel very proud of taking my son to piano. I learnt the violin growing up but secretly really wanted to learn the piano. I'm teaching myself now. Creating music is an amazing gift. I'm really pleased my son has this in his life.
4. We went to Chiswick High St. DH kindly said resignedly 'no doubt you'll be giving me a call when you want somone to carry all your purchases home'. I really wanted to get a garden bench from Robert Dyas but felt I should resist. So instead I got some new flower pots and some compost. Plus a solar powered meerkat on a log for Chiswick Boy. Bless.
5. If you follow my blog you know I'm a bit of a charity shop fashionista. There's a charity shop circuit you can do in Chiswick, which goes down Chiswick High St and up Turnham Green Terrace. (One day I will do a map and make it available on my blog with all my favouite Chiswick routes on it). At the weekend I only had time to do one – Cancer Research – and lucked out with a Boden knee length skirt. In linen and perfect for spring. I do like charity shopping – it's a win win win situation. Win 1 – goes to charity. Win 2 – it's cheap. 3. It's guilt free (which is a combination of points 1 and 3).
6. I am passionate beyond measure about the free bookshop on Chiswick high St. Chiswick Buzz made a lovely film about this place and I do beseech everyone to go in and make use of this wonderful resource. The layout and general ambience is as good as any second hand bookshop I've been in. They're lovely to kids and they seem to have a high yield of new stock. Anyone can go in and take three books, which are then stamped. My son loves it and the man in there is so kind and has a real interest in books. Lovely, lovely people.
7. We ate outside! DH made a Sunday Roast (free range chicken) and we ate on the lawn at our much loved outdoor table. Eating outside is something we did most nights in the summer when we lived on the boat, and it feels so good to be doing this again. I felt like I was in the South of France!
8. We got some more of Chiswick Boy's toys out. When we were living on the boat we were so short of space that we had to store a lot of stuff under the boat. It did make me sad knowing that Chiswick Boy's train set and cars and garage and all his garden toys were there… but you need to understand, there was literally nowhere to put them – no floor space left. Now that Chiswick Boy has his own big room and we have a lovely garden, the toys can come out. There was a poignant moment when Chiswick Boy was holding up his Bob the Builder vechicles and asking me what they were called. We both used to know these off by heart and now we're struggling to remember. Could not fathom what the red one was called at all.
9. We haven't managed to get the wii set up yet, so can't get netflix on the tv screen. We get it on the ipad, but I've noticed that the playlist is different depending on which gadget you use to access it. This is a long way of my telling you that my mum and I have a tradition of watching an episode (or three!) of Hitchcock Presents whenever she visits. But we had to settle for Fawlty Towers instead. Pure comedy genius – still working 40 years later!
10. Listening to the twilight chorus, that amazing bird song you get as the sky begins to darken. Amazing that here in the heart(ish) of London it sounds like you're in the middle of the countryside. Just a bigger backdrop of traffic hum sets it apart. Which I don't mind – traffic coming to and from the best city in the world!
That's it from me. What are your small moments that make your heart song with joy?