Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The small stuff

In the Times, the Saturday before last.  A list.  A list of small stuff Robert Crampton likes.  

The small stuff, he says, that you think is the small stuff,  and then you get older and realise that the small stuff is what actually matters.

Me? I like stories about how people won the lottery.  I was, once, on the lottery panel.  I got to advise lottery winners. Just once each, a no-obligation, first names only, couple of hours with a lawyer (me) and an investment manager.  The first question was always:  So, tell me how it was?  How did you find out?  Even though you know how the story ends, the anticipation, the excitement, the joy, is infectious.  I like those stories.

I like other stories too.  I like stories about how people found out they were expecting a baby.  Love those.  Everyone's story is different and everyone's story is just as important and life-affirming. Literally, I suppose.

And jokes. Silly jokes more than rude ones.  The sort of jokes my children tell that aren't funny, because they don't get the point of jokes, but that become so with repetition. 

Why did the cat cross the road?  Because it had mittens.   That sort of thing. It's not funny; they made it up, but I like it.
 
Strangers doing kind things. Stories about strangers doing kind things. The nice people you meet doing freecycle.  Freecycle itself. What's not to love about an organisation that will put me (owner of a hedge I don't like) together with a bunch of people who want to come and dig up my hedge, take it away and give it a new life somewhere else?

Clean sheets, especially ironed ones. Having the bed all to yourself.  Having someone to share the bed with.  Just being in bed really.

Cold mornings on sunny days.  The sound of rain on a flat roof. The sun coming through the shutters.  Snow.

What else?

I like people watching.  I like people, mostly.  I like finding out about them, what they like.  I like famous people (Roger Federer, Marcia Cross, Madeleine Albright) who have twins.  I like the Australian girl who married the Prince of Denmark (she has twins, too).  Nothing to do with twins, but I like Rupert Penry-Jones and Jonathan Davies (for different reasons).  I like Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.  I like Cranford.  And Wives and Daughters.  And pretty much any BBC costume drama really.

I like puddings, cakes and biscuits.  Brownies and cookies too. Making them. Eating them.  And sharing them with other people.  

I like donkeys, hedgehogs and pink fairy armadillos (just the name really.  I'm not sure I'd actually recognise a pink fairy armadillo if I met one). Ducks.  The Overture to the Marriage of Figaro.  Pipe smoke, cashmere socks, really old cars.  De Dion-Bouton.   Radio 4.

The noise of ropes against masts at a harbour.  Mint tea with real leaves in it.  Having my hair cut.

Conversations about Children's TV.   Conversations about nothing.   Conversations that leap from crag to crag, so that you touch on forty eight different topics, seamlessly, and get to the end, four hours later, without pausing for breath, except to catch it from laughing, with no idea how it all joined together, but a certainty that it did.

B in a grey suit. My children in the bath.  M giggling at L.  A and S holding hands.

Pregnant women stroking their bumps, absent-mindedly.  The quads who were born on 29 February.

Bookshops, proper ones.  New books of any sort.  Books that make me cry.  The magazines that come with the weekend papers (thank you, Bob Crampton) 

Gipsy caravans. The old GNER livery.  Waitrose own brand packaging.  Blossom and daffodils.  London.  The National Gallery, Garbo's salary, cellophane. Cole Porter.

Bridges and causeways (but not tunnels). Maps, but not satnav.  Big skies.  Purple hills and green valleys. 

I like the sea, whatever the weather.

I like the small stuff. 

What's yours?


48 comments:

  1. what a lovely read, you don't really want my answer, it would be too long but I nodded lots through yours and I laughed at the mittons!

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    1. Oh I do! I really do! Go on, write your own. It's amazing how cheery it makes you feel, and how you keep thinking of more stuff:

      Grammar, particularly apostrophes, University Challenge, singing, my bird feeder (has £20 ever before given me so much pleasure?)...

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  2. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. I know someone else who loves hedgehogs :)

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    1. I saw a real one the other day!

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  3. Oh I love this. Yes it is the small stuff that matters. Your list is fantastic x

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    1. What I love too, as I sort of said to Kelloggsville, is how happy thinking about that list has made me, and how I keep thinking of more stuff to add to it, and smiling.

      I suppose, in a rather unmodish way it's all about counting your blessings...

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  4. at a time when i've forgotten all about the small stuff and lost essentially what is me, this post came at the right time!
    i'm off to do my homework and rediscover what the small stuff is for me and hopefully, along the way i'll find me, too

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    1. Oh poor you! I really hope it has (in a small way) helped. And thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I know there are times when even the energy taken to do that can feel too much. Really hope things look better soon.

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  5. Inspired by your good self, I needed this this week - thank you! http://lettersfromyourmum.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/the-small-stuff/

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    1. No thank you!

      I should add another one: Other people's small stuff lists.

      Sorry the week's been hard. Looking forward to that coffee.

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  6. Smiling Like I Mean it16 March 2012 at 19:31

    What a great post, I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog via scribblingmum. Lots I agree with, including kids silly jokes and conversations about childrens TV. And inspired me to do my own Small Stuff. thanks! x http://smilinglikeimeanit.blogspot.com/2012/03/my-small-stuff.html

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    1. Just been over at yours nodding in agreement at your list - again, thanks to Scribbling Mum!

      Thank you for visiting, for the comment, and mostly for the list (and the thought of Hugh Jackman!)

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    2. And another one.

      I like the fact that you can buy a voodoo doll on Amazon.

      Not that I want to, obviously, but I love that you can.

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    3. Whoops. That's in the wrong place. Should have been for scibbling mum, but the sentiment still stands.

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  7. Lovely. The small stuff is the stuff that fills up most of life isn't it. Currently I'm watching my toddler (who should be in bed) putting someone else's cycle helmet on in order to play football in the hall with his big brother.

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    1. I've been feeling very inferior recently because I don't do enough big stuff. I don't change the world, or cure cancer, or break records, and I sort of felt I should be trying, at least, to be the sort of person who might do those things. But this has made me a bit happier in who I am at the moment.

      The small stuff. It's good, isn't it?

      Who won the footie?

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  8. I adore this post. I too have lots of small stuff I love. I agree on the mint tea, jokes, bookshops, my children in the bath, clean sheets. Oh and mine are too many for a comment, will have to do a blog post

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    1. Oh do! I have enjoyed reading others' (click Scribbling Mum's and Smiling Like I mean it's above) nearly as much as I enjoyed writing my own!

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  9. Another one ...http://www.supermummy.co.uk/family-life-2/all-the-small-things.html

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    1. Brilliant! Thanks for letting me know.

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  10. And here's mine: http://sandycalico.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/my-small-stuff.html
    I LOVED writing this and found it difficult to stop!

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    1. It's amazing, isn't it? Once you start thinking about little stuff that makes you smile, you realise it's everywhere!

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  11. Brilliant post. Shall have to do this myself. Thanks for reminding me about ropes and masts, I'd forgotten about them.

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    1. Oh do, please! And come back and let me know.

      Sort of thinking I should put up one of those linky things now...

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  12. http://dorkymum.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/the-little-things/ - It's gone viral, man!

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    1. Like chicken pox. But prettier....

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  13. I love this. Love it! I intentionally didn't read yours until I'd written mine because I knew I'd end up stealing half of it, and I was right. But maybe you should do a linky? Or at least make it a semi-regular thing. I could spend all night reading these. And I only wrote mine this afternoon, but I could already write another one with a hundred new things.

    There's a lot of crazy things happening in the world just now - most of them horribly depressing - so it's nice to step back from that and get into the frame of mind where you really do appreciate the small stuff.

    Thanks for starting this! x

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    1. You're so welcome! I've really enjoyed doing it and reading everyone else's.

      Maybe the regular thing is a good idea. Hmmm....

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  14. Ooh you've started something here - I keep seeing 'small stuff' around the blogosphere. How fab that it was your idea.
    My favourites of yours are clean sheets, people watching and cashmere socks.

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    1. Yay for me!!! Although of course it was Robert Crampton's really...

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  15. And another... http://www.itsamummyslife.com/2012/03/small-stuff.html

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  16. Oh clever you. Will do my small stuff list next week. I read that article too, and thought: there's a blog post in there. Will link back to yours, as so many other great lists now too (talking about YOU, Sandy Calico) x

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  17. Thank you so much for this. Just what I needed to put everything in perspective!
    I've started my own list and plan to add to it regularly to help me smile through the teething induced sleep deprivation!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it! Come back and let me know when you've done yours - am loving reading other people's.

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  18. This has stuck with me all week. I have been thinking of my things and noticing all the good despite a frankly terrible week.

    Thank you.

    I am off to write mine on my blog, I hope you do not mind but as you ask so nicely one of mine would be 'finding something that helps me gain perspective'.

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  19. Of course I don't mind! In fact I'm not even sure what it is I'm supposed to be minding...

    Sorry you've had a terrible week. Hope it's improving.

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  20. This is gorgeous. It's inspired to write my own list.

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    1. Oh hooray! off to read it now...

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  21. I'm back! I've written my own post, just realised I forgot to include singing with others, never mind... http://victoriawallop.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/the-small-things/

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    1. The lovely thing about these lists is the more you start thinking about them the more stuff you find to add to them. Off to read yours (after Rosie's (above) clearly...)

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  22. Adore this post... I've written mine, hope you don't mind :)

    http://www.lovebryony.co.uk/wp/2012/03/the-small-stuff/

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    1. Of course I don't mind - heading over to yours now...

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  23. This is wonderful! Thank you I'm going to do mine tonight as I sit with a hot choccie and duvet as nothing is on tele xx

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    1. Hooray! Coming over to check you out!

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    2. It's not there! Go on... you know you want to.

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  24. And a cheeky thought - someone very kindly got in touch and said they'd nominated this post for the post of the year category at the MADs.

    So if anyone else liked it too, I'd love it if you'd also nominate it...

    xx

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I know. I'm sorry. I hate these word recognition, are you a robot, guff things too, but having just got rid of a large number of ungrammatical and poorly spelt adverts for all sorts of things I don't want, and especially don't want on my blog, I'm hoping that this will mean that only lovely people, of the actually a person variety, will comment.

So please do. Comments are great...