Sunday, 7 April 2013

The Art of Joy

Katetakes5 is celebrating the fact that her son rates David Bowie above One Direction. Heady with pride she wants the rest of us to teach our children that some pleasures are superior to adolescent hollering. I've never knowingly heard a song by One Direction. Come to think of it, I can't call to mind anything by David Bowie either. Anyone with pretence to taste and intellect knows that Doris Day outstrips all of them. It's therefore no trouble at all for me to teach my children five things that are better than a boy band:

Stream wading. This was my birthday treat last year and this. There is an entrancing pleasure to clambering into a stream as far down as possible and paddling up it as far up as possible, defying the hidden gullies and submerged traffic cones and dangling en passant from tumbled trees. The patterns of water whirling round wellies, secret flowers on steep banks and the occasional fleeing rodent give the sense, unequalled on dry land, of being embedded in the landscape.



Pick-axeing. A joy much extolled by me and mystifyingly unappreciated by everyone else. March your rage and frustration into the garden, preferably your own. Grasp the handle of your pick-axe, preferably a wooden one. Hurl the spike viciously into the sod. There is an intoxication in feeling it yield and smash which will instantly cure you. And, if you keep at it hard enough you get a pond out of it. I have three.



Clean sheets. A pleasure intensified by novelty. The vicarage bedlinen is not changed as often as it ought to be, but every five...er, every couple of weeks or so I treat myself to the smug joy of laundered flannelette and even my bunions celebrate the difference.

The vicarage linen cupboard. Ironing is not something I rate above One Direction.

Leaves. Councils pay a fortune to eliminate them. Me, I can't get enough of them dead or alive.



Bedtime. When the voices of your pre-teens itemising your maternal failings are stilled and, softened by sleep, they are your babies again.


What things do you think are better than One Direction?

24 comments:

  1. How wonderful to find someone who thinks highly of Doris Day's music! I notice, like Doris, you are blond and matronly of figure. Have you covered any of her enchanting numbers?

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    1. I rejoice finally to find a civilise soul in cyberspace! But matronly of figure..?!

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  2. Simple delights so often missed by today's generation.

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    1. I reckon most kids love such things when they get the chance. Trouble is parents are so wary of dirty clothes!

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  3. The only thing better than stream wading is building dams while stream wading :)

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  4. Flannelette? Oh, no no no. Crisp cotton for me.

    My linen cupboard looks just like yours, though.

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    1. Cotton in summer, obviously, but in the winter we've been having I'd sleep on bear skins if I could. We should start a linen cupboard linky!

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  5. I just love your appreciation of the outdoors and grabbing nature by the balls! What do I rate over One Direction? Mirabelle plum jam! X.

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    1. I haven't tasted that. Raspberry for me. I'm afraid Nature's balls have been somewhat neglected of late. It's been too grey and cold even for me and I've lost my happy glasses.

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  6. Leaves and bedtime are definitely brilliant, can't remember what clean sheets are like....

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    1. Good to know I have a similarly sordid bedfellow (as it were..!)

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  7. I was appalled early this year to learn that most people change their sheets every two weeks - and some every week. Glad to have found someone else that makes up the .002% of 'others'.

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    1. I think people lie! It takes women of pure courage like us to tell it like it is!

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  8. There is nothing better than leaves and sleeping children! Great list

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  9. Lovely, lovely post. The clean sheets one is fab!!! I alway said that if I had un-told wealth I would pay for my sheets to be changed every night!

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    1. How kind you are. I think clean sheets every night would dilute the intensity of the pleasure and I am quite fond of that lived-in feel!

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  10. I love all those pictures but that one of your kids sleeping is particularly scrumptious. I can't think what isn't rated above One Direction!

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  11. Aw pre-teens?? I can't believe those two give you any grief - they look like angels ;)

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  12. Lovely list! Totally agree with the clean sheets - I love the fresh smell, but can also admit that I don't change mine as often as should either ;)
    Haven't tried wading, closest I've come to it is jumping in big puddles wearing wellies, heehee!

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    1. Puddle jumping is almost as good. But you must take those wellies wading!

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