The small things in life

The small things in life

Guilty pleasures – a look at wispa bars, half moon nails and the small things in life

There are little things in life, aren’t there? The things that are just spank, bash, pinch-your-fantastic-ideas, in-your-face, sh*t happens BAD things. I’m right, right? Well, it ends here! After wallowing in ‘woe is me’ for a couple of days, weeks, months… you can once again start to delight, at the end of your dropping-toast-butter-side-down days, in the small things in life. Wispa bars, Dita von Teese half moon nails… and, of course, froth on the cappucino…

One day in late September felt like an eternity of clouded errors. Until!

As is my custom, I stepped off the overcrowded, littered bus (god bless public transport) and marched in a straight line into Waterstones, fluttering my eyes at the guy behind the counter in an attempt to verify that bothering to curl my hair wasn’t a total wasted effort.

As usual, I walked around the store as if looking for one book in particular. As I walked through the best of its… bestsellers, art, horror, crime, fiction and nonfiction, there it was. God bless her. Maeve Haran’s book, Froth on the Cappuccino: How Small Pleasures Can Save Your Life .

It was filled with all the small pleasures Maeve Haran could think of and thought would be worth sharing. They ranged from me thinking of my own pleasures in life through to my mother’s, father’s, sister’s, friends’ and my cat’s pleasures… the little things they do but you don’t really think twice about. (OK. Perhaps not the cat.)

Here are a few from excerpts from ‘Froth on the Cappucino. They’ll give you an idea on how those small pleasures can save your life:

Leaving 10 minutes early

This is a hard one to put into practice because for some reason fate conspires against you and the very moment you are about to leave for a crucial appointment the phone rings, your keys mysteriously bury themselves in the waste bin and you realise you’ve forgotten to write down the address of where you’re going!

By leaving 10 minutes early you give yourself the incredibly precious gift of not being stressed. You even may have time for a relaxed cappuccino (and its froth) instead of a racing heart, a sense of failure at your own inefficiency and a nasty attack on high anxiety.

Opening your mail

I love that magical sound of the post dropping onto the doormat. You know it will probably be all bills or letters from the tax inspector. But maybe it won’t. Perhaps there will be a cheque. Or an invitation. A thank-you card or a catalogue from a favourite clothes company you can enjoy over a cup of coffee.

It’s worth remembering how much pleasure things like that give us. That way we can remember to send nice messages to other people too.

I feel nearly as much pleasure (though not quite as much) at opening e-mails.

Cold water on your face

I love this feeling.

Beauty experts tell you never to do it. Rubbish. It makes you feel alive and awake, even after a late night or a horribly early start.

A fellow novelist says, ‘forget your complexion, throw cold water on your bubbies!’ Hers have remained perky even though the rest of her body has sagged (she insists) and she is convinced this is the reason.

I think I’ll just stick to my face.

Learning to accept a compliment

The funny thing is, we all make an effort. We go to the hairdresser’s, buy new clothes, wear make-up. And then when someone tells us we look pretty or sexy or chic, we get embarrassed. We start mumbling, ‘I’ve just had my hair done’ or, ‘I usually look a mess’ or even question the motives of whoever is paying us the compliment.

When all we really need to do is say ‘Thank you’.

And last but not least…

Froth on the cappuccino

Can there be anything more delicious than sprinkling fresh chocolate onto your cappuccino and eating the froth slowly and sensuously, as befits its amazing wondrousness?

I feel sorry for sad and sophisticated espresso drinkers. Think what they’re missing! And herbal tea may be excellent for the digestion, but it’s hardily mouth-wateringly delicious.

And what about the joy of the takeaway cappuccino with that last inch of foam lurking at the bottom of the paper cup? Mmmmmm … heaven!

This book is an amazing day booster to any crap your Tuesday might throw at you.

I have also provided you with a few of my own mooky pleasures for you run with.

Chocolate. Not just chocolate. Wispa.

I know what you’re thinking, ‘Dairy milk’ or ‘Galaxy’ or even, for you Americans, ‘Reese Cups’. Not on my watch. I am a fan of the Wispa bar. Do you remember them? The chocolate bars that managed to kick Aero bars and Malteasers out of the chocolatey door? I do and they are one of my chocolate pleasures. They left us but when they decided to hit the stores shelves again, there they were in that fabulously shiny blue wrapper. The next time you go to the store, humour me and buy one – then make yourself a nice Cuppa T or hot chocolate and indulge!

Retro half moon nails

Dita von Teese, 1940 burlesque beauty queen, is the perfect woman in my eyes. Her fashion style is always matched by a flawless set of scarlet half moon nails. Every now and then I treat myself similarly. It has been known for me to have fake nails but I am very particular about them. For instance, they must be oval nails – not too long but not too short. I have my own scarlet nail varnish that I bought from ‘New York Nails’ and I ask them to do my nails half moon.

Now, 9 times out of 10 they will turn around to me in total ignorance and repeat ‘ half moon nails?’ in an almost anxious way (after all these nail bars do all sorts of designs) and I smile and then show them what I mean. It makes me feel beautiful and knowing that they have no idea what I am talking about makes me feel even better, as most girls I know stick to the French Manicure.

You’re wrong. No, really.

I both love and loathe this line. No-one is perfect, but it really sucks the life out of my day when people tell me I’m wrong. Nowadays, when people tell me I’m wrong I don’t care – I’ll manage to manoeuvre my way out of it. Nor do I care if I have to personally track down photographic evidence or create a word document to prove my rightitude. I can be pretty ruthless!

It has gotten to a point where I end up being wrong but revelling in the knowledge that I am, in fact, a marvel mastermind. The next time you tell someone they are wrong, just remember how very right they could be!

So there you have it. Make sure you leave the house 10 minutes earlier today, pick up any loose mail on the floor as you go, accept that compliment from the office bytch and remember to revitalize yourself by splashing cold water on your breasts. And don’t forget the Wispa with your frothy cappuccino.

Go on, give it a whirl. Most importantly, be yourself and remember that crappy days won’t be going out of fashion anytime soon, so why not laugh it up . Now that you have Maeve Haran’s and my pleasures… What have you done about yours recently?

If you want to get the Dita von Teese look, go to a nail bar and ask for half moon nails

There was chocolate. And then it evolved into Wispa bar.

Herbal tea is good. Froth on the Cappuccino is better.