Small Pleasures

Small pleasures are those little things which mean a lot to oneself and which probably mean nothing at all to anyone else. Some have disappeared. Kit-Kats in foil wrappers, for example, the four-fingered ones. I used to slip the red paper part off and then rub the foil smooth over the fingers so that the logo stood out. Then I’d slide my fingernail down between the fingers. I had to get the tension exactly right or the foil would tear and that would have been dreadful. They’ve changed the packaging and the four-fingered Kit-Kats come in this nasty wrapper which is doubtless more robust and keeps those little slivers of wafer and chocolate fresher for longer.

Small pleasures shouldn’t be the great big things in life. Kissing is never a small pleasure. If it is, you’re probably doing it poorly or kissing the wrong person. My advice would be to find the right person so that every kiss becomes a comma in the sentence of your life together. Who says you can’t combine romance and punctuation? Sexy times shouldn’t really be on the list of your small pleasures either. There’s a reason they call it the Big O. If you’re screaming, it’s not a small thing.

I really liked the smell of Kick the Cat’s head. Other cats don’t have the same smell. Kick the Cat was not a personable creature. She was distinctly grumpy, in fact. She hated practically everyone apart from me. Me, she barely tolerated. She was a serial sausage thief and inveterate bin diver but in her passing few adorable moments she had a sweetly-smelling bonce. When it wasn’t covered in week-old curry sauce. Tilly has even hairier ears than I do. That’s no reason to dislike her, of course, and the space between them doesn’t appear to be filled with anything more substantial than fluff and nonsense. Even though she shares none of Kick’s delinquent tendencies, Tilly just doesn’t smell as good. Bertie of blessed memory would gently chew on on of my fingers which was lovely. Mouse is an instant purrer. You just need to rub her ear and off she goes.

My last post was about the sound of leaves make as you run through them, that ship-ship-ship sound. Getting your cadence and form just right as you run through a drift of fallen leaves is definitely a small pleasure. Even better is running through a puddle. Today’s parkrun at Milton was beautiful. There were puddles the width of the path in places and you could mince round the edges or go straight through the middle. Who ever took pleasure from going round the edges?

New books smell even better than small cats. A magazine which nobody has opened before is a special thing indeed. Lighting the gas on the first click does odd things to the corners of my mouth. A man shouldn’t smile at that. A sane man shouldn’t smile at that. Then there’s the crunch on a good creme brulee when you put the first spoon in. (I can’t do the accent things on this keyboard. Pretend they’re there.) Or what about the texture of extra thick double cream? Mmmm… A spoonful of that and I’m a happy man.

Life should be full of pleasures of all sizes. If your life is like a jar – bear with me on this – if your life is a jar or a vase and pleasures are rocks then you can have two or three big rocks and an awful lot of emptiness or you can pack in more, smaller pleasures – or pebbles in this analogy – even ones as small as a grain of sand. Oooh, that reminds me, running on wet sand on a beach is marvellous, just marvellous.

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