Today I am sick. It is my first sick day from work. It is suddenly really cold in Guangzhou (OK, only 16degrees cold, but still, keep in mind it has been around 37degrees until now) so it was inevitable I would catch a cold. It also doesn’t help that the kids I teach like to sneeze and cough in my face, and give me slobbery kisses. Gross.
I decided to cuddle up and watch a film. I chose an Audrey Tautou movie (I love her) called ‘Ensemble, c’est tout.’ In English-Hunting and Gathering. It was a good choice. I especially liked the old lady. She made me think about the little things in life. In the movie she is very sick and finally she gets to leave the hospital and go live with her grandson. He asks her what she wants? What will make her comfortable?
This is a question I’d like to ask myself and maybe you can ask yourself the same thing. The lady asked for her crosswords, her daily newspaper, her slippers, nivea hand lotion and of course, to be able to see her garden, animals and home again.
I started thinking about a wonderful lady in my life who was recently very sick and then sadly passed away. I believe she also liked the little things in life and didn’t ever ask for much. A few things that she liked and I will always remember these, were to drink tea from her china cup. This cup was special to her. It was a good size for a nice cup of tea and had flowers painted on both sides. To her, a good cup of tea always came in this cup. Just like the lady in the film, she also needed her crosswords. She always said ‘Keeps the old brain in gear’ as she pointed to her head. She liked wearing blue. A navy blue skirt, with a baby blue blouse, finished off with a blue cardigan. And she loved her home. She knew where everything was kept, it was always neat and tidy, and it was always welcoming to a crying Siobhan in need of some wisdom and a bowl of the famous lentil soup. As long as she could see the square tower from her window, she was content. She loved St.Andrews. She was always so happy, and it was certainly because of these little necessities, as well as love and happiness, naturally.
It really doesn’t take much to make me happy. I notice even more when I am away from home, exactly what these little things are. So, just like the lady in the film, I have chosen a few things that make me happy:
1. Chocolate. In any form. It instantly brightens my day, and it really does make me happy.
2. My book. I have always loved reading, and I feel much happier when I am flying off to faraway lands through the eyes of the characters in my books. It keeps things exciting.
3. Big, wooly cardigans. Now that it is colder in Guangzhou I can wear what makes me comfortable. I recently bought a new, big, navy blue one and I think today I might get to wear it.
4. Hearing from friends and family. Letters, text messages, emails, phone calls, a surpirse visit in a dream. Any form of communication with these special people makes me happy.
5. My coconut hair conditioner. Everytime after I shower, I always look forward to spraying this in my hair. The smell is enough to make me smile.
I know there are probably plenty of other things, such as kisses, cups of camomile tea, glitter, my music, but I don’t want to sound too greedy. I think it’s about time I got out of my sick bed, coconut’d my hair, put on my new cardi and went and bought some chocolate. Then I can email you all and read my new Murakami book. Bliss.