Things That Made Me Smile #2

IMG_5633As we reach the end of another week, I can quite honestly say that I am knackered. What with eight days working followed by two days off, and now one day through another run of six, I am practically falling asleep at the keyboard here!

The things which have made me smile this week have been a rather random selection. Being on a training course for most of the week meant that I got to eat out more, spend more (window shopping never stays just at the window!), and dress up in smart, business clothes, feeling a bit more like a normal person with a normal person’s job. I am now back into my usual routine, and even as I write this my bed is calling me. I can’t wait to cuddle up under the covers and cram in as much sleep as possible before my absurdly early alarm goes off. But, anyway, to business! The things that have made me smile this week are…

+ Being served by the nicest man (Joseph) in Boots in Richmond on Monday. I know it seems like a silly little thing, but outstanding customer service creates as much of an impression as the bad, and he really was lovely. He was smiling and happy, chatting away to the customers and making them feel good about themselves. He was how we wish we could all feel every day, but would need several tonnes of caffeine/sugar/Berocca to achieve. He was high on life, and we could all do with being a bit more like him!

+ Snapping up some Anthropologie sale bargains – two wine goblets with golden decorative patterns, and a gorgeous-smelling candle in a cute copper tin. It’s sad for someone of my age, but I really enjoy the idea of home-making and collecting items for your dream home. Now if I can just stop buying books and bookcases I might be able to acquire something more useful…

+ Having a Yo!Sushi lunch with Ben on Monday. I am a bit of a sushi novice, having only ever sampled it a few times before at the insistence of a friend. I wasn’t blown away then, but I confess that after this lunch, I’m hooked. It was delicious and filling, and with every plate only £2.50 as part of a Blue Monday deal, it was surprisingly good value for money too!

+ On Wednesday night Jon, Ben and I went to see Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge, starring Mark Strong (Of Sherlock Holmes and Kingsman fame). Having studied this play (nearly) 10 years ago, it was fascinating to see it performed properly for the first time. A proper review will be up next week. But if you like the darker side of human nature and like any of Miller’s previous work or Greek tragedies), then you’ll like this one. Amazing plot, great cast, and a fantastic performance, all seen from our brilliant on stage-seating!

+ Trying a fish finger sandwich for the first time (possibly ever?) on Friday. Yeah, I know, way behind the times much? And having dined on the finest fish fingers the oven can cook, my verdict would have to be that it was amazing, if not the second most childish food stuff ever (first place for that goes to the chip butty…)

+ Keeping up with my runs around Kew (or Denmark Hill if we happen to be at mine). The route Ben and I ran was horrible on Friday – it was muddy, there was a hella gale blowing, and we both struggled so much just to keep going! I got a stitch, I couldn’t breathe, I was swearing under my breath about the wind every five seconds when it blasted me backwards, and yet I ran my fastest time. Score!

+ Watching England thrash Italy 47-10 in the Six Nations on Saturday. It was a welcome return to Twickenham stadium, though next time I go I will definitely be taking more layers to fight through the freezing cold. It was warmer outside than it was under the covers in the stadium!

+ Being thoroughly spoilt on Valentine’s Day. Despite agreeing that we would only get each other cards, as our anniversary is just two weeks before the dreaded V-Day, we decided that cards would be just fine. However, I came out to find the adorable cutie at the top of the page waiting for me, complete with a single red rose – and a card! (We’ve since named the dog Valentino…) One of our other cuddly toys also ‘gave me’ a new Tatty Devine necklace I had wanted for ages, and both gestures made me a very happy lady. Despite the cynicism at how utterly commercialised (and pressurised) Valentine’s Day is, I couldn’t help but be utterly charmed by the romance and the sweetness of the gesture. Ben certainly knows the way to my heart – with giant stuffed dogs and penguin necklaces…

+ Wandering round Kew Gardens during the sunset/dusk part of day. Although still chilly, the lighting is truly fantastic. Ben’s phone camera in particular caught some gems of brave purple crocuses emerging into the harsh air too soon. I never get tired of visiting Kew – it’s so different from London and really feels like a tranquil escape from city living! (You can see my snaps on my Instagram page – you can find the link button at the top right of the home page)

+ Sausage pasta this evening – a Nigel Slater recipe that I attempted to copy. Made with mustard, basil and cream, this is the ultimate in easy mid-week comfort food (or in this case, Sunday evening indulgence). We forgot the chilli flakes (key element, cookery fail!), but it was still filling and delicious. I love this dish more and more every time I have it. What’s more, we have leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch!

What do you think of my list? What has made you smile this week? What are you looking forward to in the next seven days?

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