Sunday, 25 February 2018

The banal best of 2018 ... so far

Oh my goodness! 
It's almost the end of February.
A sixth of the year has already passed. That's almost 17%... or 16.66666667% if you're a maths whizz ... or a dork.

I find myself wondering where the first two months of the year have gone.
And then I wonder if I've used the time wisely, or have I squandered it?
What have I achieved?

But as I reflect upon The Year So Far, mostly I find myself thinking of all the good things that have already come my way. 

No, I'm not getting all gushy about love and liberty. 
Sorry. It's far more banal than that.
I'm talking about the little things. 
The everyday morsels that make my heart sing.

Here goes: 

The Best of 2018 Thus Far

Best Garden Find
Pot plants.
At the top of the list.
Who would have thought?
The start of 2018 saw me investing in several indoor plants and I have actually managed to make them grow! 
A lovely lady at the nursery gave me sound advice about soaking from below not watering from the top and my life has been transformed. 
So has my study.
And the bathroom.
And the kitchen benchtop...
So, I might have become a little bit obsessed in the wake of my newly found success, but indoor greenery is meant to be good for your oxygen levels or your serotonin levels, or something like that, so I'm continuing to poke my green thumbs all over the place..

Best Books
Books second because .... well, they're books!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
I laughed and cried and stayed up late to read it. 
I thought about Eleanor long after I finished the last page, which is my measure of a brilliant book. 
I was reminded of The Rosie Project and A Little Life as I read it - a weird combination, I know, but there you go. 
(This description shows why I'm not a professional book reviewer!)

A Garden of Lilies - Improving Tales for Young Minds, by Prudence A Goodchild (who might have been assisted by Judith Rossell) 
Pure delight in a fancy cloth cover with gold writing. 
Marbled end-papers. 
Beautiful illustrations. 
A red ribbon.
This book of cautionary tales had me roaring with laughter and vowing to buy a copy for every friend as their birthday comes around this year, because who doesn't need a good laugh and bit of Victorian instruction?
Furthermore, I now know what a damson pitter looks like.
I even know what a damson is!

Best Home Decorating Find
Coffee coloured sheepskin
I know!
It's fluffy and it's a delicious coffee colour.
It feels like I'm planting my feet on a little bit of heaven when I get out of bed in the morning.
And I like to imagine sheep bathing in cappuccinos each day so that their wool reaches just the right hue for the rugs.
Olive gives it her vote of approval too.
Olive is not looking relaxed here as she
knows the sheepskin rug is supposed to be a
whippet-free zone.

Best Tradie Tips
Three months after moving into our new house, I'm still dealing with tradies. 
They're all very kind and extremely clever. 
They're also ridiculously late, arriving anything from one to six months after the specified date, and incredibly verbose.
I have become far more relaxed about the extended period of building after accepting the two golden rules for dealing with tradies:

1. Don't hold your breath. 
If you do, you'll pass out and die before they arrive. 
But take heart, they will eventually turn up and, when they do, the job will be completed to perfection.

2. Get ready for a yarn. 
The older the tradie, the longer the yarn. 
There's never enough time to meet the job's agreed deadline, but there's always enough time to spend an hour or two solving the problems of the world. 

Best Movies
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
You're sure to have heard of this already, if you haven't already watched it.
This is the best movie I've seen in years and, like the best of books, I thought about it long after it was over. It was full of despicable and complicated characters embroiled in despicable and complicated situations. 
Sounds ghastly, but soooo good and tempered with black humour at just the right moments. 

The Greatest Showman
This one was as light as Three Billboards was dark. 
I tapped my toes and smiled all the way through. I smiled for the whole drive home, too. 
I might need to download a song or two just so I can keep the cheery vibes going.

Best Food
Anything eaten on the veranda with family and friends, while looking out over the hills.
Except for kale.
And I wouldn't really like too much quinoa in my life.
And cheese is better than zucchini.

I guess I have come back to love and liberty. 
Friends and family.
The freedom of choice.

Life in 2018 is good.

What have been the lovelies in your life so far this year?

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