A 93 year old woman recently recorded her favourite time of the day for a radio interview. For her it was 5.30pm and a Gin & Tonic. We heard her select the glass, drop the ice cubes in and roll them around; next it was the slosh of gin, followed by the fizz of tonic, and then her settling down in her favourite chair to enjoy it. Every day at 5.30pm. Just the one.
So much to be delighted about for and with her…. Even if 5.30pm isn’t quite your witching hour, or gin ain’t your thing, it was her attention to detail, the ritual, the simplicity, and the pleasure it gave her every day. And if it was ever needed more, what a great tribute to the notion that a little of what you fancy does you good.
Rules have dominated our daily lives more than ever this year, and will continue to do so for some months (daren’t say years) to come. Stay home. Don’t go to the pub. Don’t meet anyone outside your household. Take exercise. All for the greater good, but rules. And rules that have somehow leeched into almost every thought and deed, leaving most of us questioning most of the time can we/should we/ought we?
Within all the restrictions it feels liberating to think about actually enjoying something. Almost rebellious even. So, with the slightly abnormal rundown to what may or may not be Christmas this year, and possibly fewer opportunities for pleasure than usual, time for a minor rebellion, within the rules, and all indulge in a little bit of fancy. For inspiration a few ideas to spark the pleasure sparks;
Break out your favourite shoes: who has worn their favourite shoes this year? Who even remembers what their favourite shoes used to be? Unless they’re flipflops or trainers or you found a window of opportunity sometime between tiers:
and while you’re at it, why not go the whole hog, and get fully dressed up; it may just be to go to the supermarket, out to the pub (if you’re allowed), or just dancing around the kitchen, but what a treat.
The ultimate breakfast buffet: it’s all about holidays, which so many haven’t had this year; long, lazy breakfasts of square cheese and ham, mini pastries, and those dinky mini jars of jam or ketchup to slide into your bag. Reinvent a favourite breakfast one day, or maybe two.
Time for a siesta: indulge yourself and go all southern European with an afternoon nap, or as someone once said “off to tidy my room”; take a good book and just switch off for a while. Tidying not included.
The Drinks Trolley: fond memories of back in the day when the office tea trolley morphed into a drinks trolley on a Friday afternoon; if working from home now or not, rummage in the back of the cupboard for all those weird holiday drinks that never seemed the same once back home, and organise a drinks trolley. Twirly umbrellas and (reusable) straws imperative.
The Christmas Party: love it or hate it, it ain’t happening this year. So the perfect opportunity for devils on horseback, mulled wine and the obligatory boiling/freezing room without having to wear your favourite shoes (even more uncomfortable after 9 months in the cupboard) or the need to travel.
Whatever floats your boat. A revolution it may not be, just time to find a little bit of time for a little of what you fancy. It will do us all good.
Annabel James is founder of Age Space. Her views are her own, but she will mostly be enjoying the drinks trolley and a siesta this December.