Things That Made Me Smile #12

101Good morning! Welcome to the 12th Things That Made Me Smile. The week that was had a little bit of stress (work) and a lot of smiles (yay!) I went home on Wednesday for my days off to see my Mum and relax in the Suffolk countryside, which was so needed! I came back feeling refreshed, and with another truckload of floral spring photos, which I will offload onto you soon. But, til then, the things that made me smile in the last week were…

059– Milkshakes in Richmond with Ben. The Farmery (where we got awesome fro-yo the other week) also do milkshakes, so we treated ourselves. Salted caramel yoghurt, peanut butter, crushed Oreos and milk. It was dreamy-like the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in liquid form. Heaven!

– Ben and I had our first BBQ of the year on Monday. We had gorgeous burgers (one with steak and cheese and one with chorizo – SO good!), sausages, cous cous and potato salad. True to form, it was freezing, but I’mm counting it as the official start of summer!

074– Coming home to wholemeal spaghetti, meatballs and tomato and chilli sauce for dinner on Wednesday night. Delicious, and the perfect meal to catch up with Mum over about everything going on at home.

100– Embarking on my longest run yet on Friday.  I set off into the sunny morning, and after one lap of the route I took before (including a hellish stint across a ridiculously windy ridge), I decided to add in an extra loop, and then included my final lap. I slowed to a walk every now and then to get my breath back, but for the most part ran consistently, and on returning I discovered that I had run 3.9 miles! That’s just over 6K, and left me with the biggest grin on my face. Over the years I have struggled so much to get into running on a regular basis, and now I feel like I am finally hitting my stride. It’s so satisfying to feel like my body is (slowly) getting fitter and stronger.

096– New, neon-bright running tops from H&M. If I don’t feel like dragging myself out of bed for a run a few weeks down the line, at least this will give me some kind of incentive!

– Curling up on the sofa watching The Birdcage with Mum on Thursday night. It’s one of her favourite films and I love it too. Robin Williams and Nathan Lane are the gay couple running The Birdcage drag club in liberal Miami, forced to change their ways when their son decides to marry the daughter of a Conservative senator who is co-founder of the Committee of Moral Order. It’s a hilarious culture clash with fantastic acting and is such good viewing. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it!

– Spending my Thursday and Friday afternoons back in Suffolk sitting in the sunshine next to a duck pond, reading The Bees and basking. I so rarely just sit and read anymore – it’s one of my greatest pleasures in life, but I often only manage it travelling to or from work. I always find that if I stop to read I feel guilty that I’m not doing something else more constructive. But being at home with those precious free hours stretching out ahead of me gave me some valuable switching off time, and I am so grateful for that (despite the minor sunburn I got on my shoulder from too much basking in the sun!)

– Catching up with the rest of Masterchef with Ben on Saturday afternoon while baking for work. It was a lovely, cosy afternoon in, and at the end we had a tub of Guiness Gingerbread and a tub of Aztec Cookies (thank you Nigella and Bake Off for those recipes!)

– Seeing runners reunited with their friends and families after the London Marathon. I happened to be in the area of Horse Guards Parade where the designated meeting point was, and it was a joy to watch. The supporters gathered in large numbers, scanning the crowd for their triumphant runners. They waved banners, they cheered and applauded and treated them like heroes. It was wonderful to see how proud they were of their runners, and I even got a little tearful watching them. So heartwarming!

– Having an intelligent chat with the guys at work about The Bees. When someone asks you what you’re reading and you say “Well, it’s this book about bees…” people are automatically going to raise their eyebrows at you a little! But once I had explained about hive life, about the workers and the Queen and the Hive Mind, they actually seemed to get it and join in! That made me beam with happiness and the feeling of acceptance.

What things have made you happy in the last week?

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