Increasingly, three of my favourite English words are very simple pleasures. With all the ‘bucket lists’ that continue to float around, especially as we’re still easing into this new year, it’s somewhat tempting to try to go bigger in the things we do when we have precious downtime. There’s nothing wrong with bucket lists, one of the entries on mine is having a minimum of twelve dogs, some cats sprinkled about, and a handful of other four-legged buddies to keep me on my toes, not to mention the space to house them comfortably. Yet, there’s something to be said about simple pleasures, things that may not necessarily have mass appeal or score thousands of likes on social media, yet deliver a kind of satisfaction that goes beneath the surface to make the soul feel as pleased as a peach.
So while you focus on breathing life into your bucket list, here are three very simple pleasures for your consideration, one of which is a Netflix series that I cannot recommend enough.
Midori 3 Years Diary: I came across this diary on a fluke, while looking for a new planner for this year. While I was initially stoked by the idea of something from Smythson, I couldn’t bring myself to do that big a spend on stationery. Needless to say, stumbling across Midori’s products was quite pleasing. Midori is a Japanese company that’s been in the paper business since 1950 and has evolved their product offerings to include an assortment of diaries, daily planners and other paper and stationery related items. Midori’s products are available via independent sellers, so I purchased mine from jetpens.com, a California based seller that had my diary to me in a matter of days.
As it’s a three-year diary, you won’t be able to make entries into little squares as you would in a daily planner, but you can certainly jot down notes in each space provided. In the photograph below under the word prologue, you see how the entry pages are laid out which surprised me at first. But, ultimately it seems a more judicious use of space and paper, as opposed to having an entire page that may not always be filled up.
With Midori’s layout, every page has dedicated space for each of the three years, so the design offers one the chance to reflect on what was happening from the first year you have the diary, up to the third year. This diary is made with high-quality paper that’s thick enough to accommodate the use of a fountain pen. Funnily enough, we used fountain pens in grade school to learn penmanship and I happen to miss them, so having this diary is actually a good excuse to get some.
Otherwise, the Midori 3 Years Diary also has a dainty double strand ribbon page marker and it comes in a sturdy cardboard sleeve that your diary can be kept in when not in use. A diary is a very simple pleasure for sure, especially one that is as well made and cost-effective as this one is.
Williams Sonoma Monogram Candle: If a candle or fragrance has smoky, musky, earthy or herbal notes, it’s likely to command my attention. So I didn’t need much coaxing into buying this candle from the Williams-Sonoma Monogram collection. Housed in a weighty glass jar trimmed with a gold finish on its rim and a gold letter on the front, this candle has notes of spice, raspberry, amber, apple, clove and cashmere, according to Williams-Sonoma website. The scent is Night by The Fire, which is close to what I thought of when I first sniffed it.
With a natural wax base boasting added depths of scent via the guiac and cedar woods, if you don’t have a fireplace, this candle delivers some of the scent notes that are likely to delight your nose if you were lounging close to one. While this candle is without an intense scent throw, it gently wafts around the space it’s in, with the woody, smoky notes more evident when you’re in close proximity to it.
You may choose your candle with whatever letter that is meaningful to you. As it was Christmas time, I chose the ‘N’ candle which made me think of ‘Noel’. And as I type this, I just realised I’ve never given much thought about who Noel is or was, in the context of Christmas. If you know, let me know in the comments :).
Bodyguard on Netflix: First, make sure your heart is in good running condition because I was not prepared for the moments spent on a metaphorical cliff, not to mention the other moments when my eyes could not believe what they were seeing. Originally a limited series that ran on the BBC, Bodyguard then became available to watch on Netflix. It opens with scenes on a London-bound train, where the protagonist David Budd, played by Scottish actor Richard Madden, notices suspicious movements by one of the train’s passengers and proceeds to investigate.
I was rapidly vacuumed into this gritty, suspenseful tale and I strongly suspect you would be as well. Richard Madden also gets my vote for being a solid contender for the next James Bond once Daniel Craig takes his last turn in the role. Avid fans of Bodyguard are already clamouring for a second installation, a clarion call I’m happy to align myself with. With six episodes, it’s easy to devour on a lazy weekend or in the space of three consecutive weeknights as I did. You’ll find yourself annoyed that there’s not a seventh, eighth or twelfth episode already waiting but that adds to its allure, intrigue and how deftly written and performed the series is. I plan on watching those six episodes again, and maybe again after that.
Very simple pleasures can be anything that keeps you going back for more, delivering experiences that delight your senses, entertains you or offers that priceless, person-specific feeling of pure satisfaction. Those moments ultimately count towards how we feel and how we offer ourselves to the demands of our daily lives, so why not intentionally create them.
*Bodyguard Photograph via netflix.com.
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