Search This Blog

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Life's little pleasures

When I was younger I never thought that there were things that would be even better when I got older.   Growing old looked like a slippery slope and whilst I still say that old is ten years older than I am now, I have to admit that maybe for some people, a woman of sixty two could be said to be aging.  Not that anyone I know would be that rude - or that brave!

Anyway, some things seem even better now than they did when I was half or even a third of my present age.  Some of life's pleasures are better savoured after retirement when one has time to enjoy them.  And I thought that today I would write about one or two of them.

First, freshly ironed sheets.  When I was younger they maybe felt good but doing the ironing was too high a price to pay.  Now it's a small cost for such a wonderful pleasure.   I love the smell and the feel.  (No, I won’t do anyone else’s ironing before you ask!)

Next, leftovers.  I think it was Nigella who said that a proper home had to have leftovers in the kitchen.  Today I’ve had toast and dripping, with dripping made from the juices left over from Sunday lunch.  I would have scorned it when I was younger but not now.  Leftovers are little tastes to be enjoyed after the main meal, treasures to enliven a midweek lunch.  It’s not just that food is precious and shouldn’t be wasted, leftovers are delicious!

And thirdly, idleness.  Years ago I would have been looking for the next thing to do, the next experience to enjoy, the next person to meet and an evening with just myself for company would have felt like a failure.  Not now.  I still enjoy new things, new experiences, new people, but I also enjoy having time to savour them, time to sit in an evening and remember the good things of the day.

Some things were much better when I was younger – having boundless energy for starters!  But I am grateful for the good things of late middle or early old age too.  How about you?


  1. A plate piled high with dripping toast (from the Sunday joint) was my usual childhood tea. Delicious! I echo your feeling about energy - it's about the only thing for which I envy young people.

  2. I couldn't have said it better myself. I totally agree with you ironed sheets and leftovers, time for reflection it doesn't get better.

  3. Oh goodness I'm feeling left out of things. I've honestly never slept on freshly ironed sheets. Fresh out of the dryer, yes. Do you suppose that's the same? Never freshly ironed. We don't iron sheets. My mom never did.

    Also, I don't know what drippings are :(

    But the last one, idleness. Sitting around at the end of the day, or during the middle and just thinking, reflecting, resting... priceless!

    1. Ooh, Rivulet, you are one deprived lady! ;)

      Sheets dried in the fresh air are wonderful. I know few Americans do that but we are more energy conscious and most people love the smell of air dried sheets. Tumble dried sheets are NOT the same. I sometimes use the drier in the winter and feel very deprived! Ironing makes them soft and SOOOO lovely. They can still be ironed even if tumble dried but the smell isn't so wonderful. Still good, but not wonderful. No, I don't perfume my clothing/bedding at all.

      Dripping is that fat which is left on the roasting tin when you roast a piece of meat. It is left to solidify and separates out into fat and jelly. I suspect this may sound revolting to you. I'm a post war baby and most children of my generation would have had toast spread thinly with dripping as Saraband described.

      I'm so glad you find time for idleness!

      This blog is becoming an education in English life for you. Read on!

    2. Oh, by the way, by air dried I mean sheets which have been hung on the washing line and allowed to have a good blow. Air drying inside isn't as good.

    3. I am most certainly gaining an education in English life :-)

      I do have a clothes line in my backyard so I air dry/ line dry towels, sheets and blankets, and my son's diapers (those I air dry inside all year long) during the spring and summer months. I did know that here in the US pretty much everyone is accustomed to using dryers and on your side of the world people are considerably more likely to air dry.

      I had never heard of drippings. My husband would think that repulsive but it really doesn't sound gross to me, just different. It sounds a tiny bit like a frugal way of spreading butter (only with considerably more flavor I'd suspect) on your toast.

    4. You've got it right about dripping - just like super flavoured buttered toast. You may need a LITTLE but of salt. By the way it's always dripping, not drippings.

      Glad to hear you line dry. Isn't the smell divine! A towel given a good bang on the line is another little luxury.

  4. Lol I feel exactly the same about sheets, I thought I was slightly nuts but now I know I'm not the only one I feel so much better!

  5. Oh yes, my views of everything have changed. I don't think the word "rush" is in my vocabulary anymore! I have not ironed my sheets though. I might have to try that.