Small Pleasures

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Today the email system at work catastrophically collapsed. Ironic that, as we were at an Away-day discussing our digital strategy. Ho hum.

I bumped into one of my team on returning to the office. He commented on the crash in connectivity and then laughed:

“You’re trying to find something positive to say aren’t you.”

“Yes; and I can’t.” I admitted.

And so with a rueful chuckle I donned my jacket and pedalled home nice and early. And what a delight…

Tea time with the kids, leftover spuds hoovered, dishwasher packed, lamb and aubergine in the oven, a happy boy abed and read to with gusto, red wine in a glass, sparkling teeth and three kisses from a delighted daughter and now time to sit down – and all before the News!

Small pleasures indeed – but a break in the breakneck speed of ‘always on’ connectivity and an extra 45 minutes at home, brings myriad small benefits. I left this morning feeling blue, now I’m in the pink. Perhaps I should cut the connection more often…

But literally just as I finish these words, the server’s back. ‘You have unread mails’ – the joy and curse of 21st century life.

Family Bundle

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Returning wet, tired and cold from pouring rain and the demands of work, cheerful – if poorly – children have been a joy to come home to.

So poorly in fact, they’ve been super hot, red-faced and unusually placid. And piling into bed, with one either side, for a bedtime book has been a particular delight this week. No bickering, no fidgeting, just two big cuddly hot water bottles with mops of hair.

We call it a ‘family bundle’. And when you’re in the middle, it feels like all is good in the world. Simple pleasures. They warm the heart on a cold winter’s night.

Autumn Sunrise

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On a misty morning
With the kids in the car
Turning left
The surprise of a huge sun
Low in the sky
A silver gold blob
Just too bright to stare at
Not too bright to blind
Heralds
An emergent phenomenon
Not easily had
Coming into being
In my busy head
Happiness
More than a brain state
A life lived instead
Myriad things
In work at home at play
To bring together
Before it is found
Easily lost
A single moment can confound
But in simple pleasures
Doing the right things
Caring for people
About things
And oneself
Happiness shines
At times
Just too bright to stare at
Not too bright to blind.

I talked to a taxi driver today – an old man and a nice one. He revealed he studied art a good many years ago. Very much against the odds on a scholarship, he went to the art school at the bottom of our road – near where he was taking me.

He said other cabbies sometimes mock when he says he paints, but it brings him great peace and satisfaction. I owned up that I’ve started writing poetry too. We found ourselves kindred spirits. It’s not always the winning, it’s often the taking part with art. This poem refers to yesterday, but some of the warm glow spilled into today’s conversation.