Simple gifts

As I was clearing up the coffee things today after a website seminar (Kyle from Church Edit is a great presenter, by the way), I was sad to discover that only the boring biscuits remained. All the chocolate Hobnobs and Jammie Dodgers had been nabbed. While munching on a Nice biscuit I remembered just how tasty they actually are, and it occurred to me that simple doesn’t always equate to boring. Nice are actually rather nice. And I promptly finished off the other three left on the plate.

Pretty much the same thought came to me last month while on holiday with my husband and daughters down in Dorset in a friend’s caravan.

We usually go abroad in the summer but decided to stay a bit more local this year in an effort to keep costs down. In the run up, part of me was dreading it. What happened if we had bad weather and we were stuck in the caravan for days on end?

As I’d feared, we ended up having a very typical British August weatherwise. While we had some glorious sunny days on the beach, we also had as many wet days spent in the van playing endless games of cards and consequences and watching old movies.

I can’t deny there weren’t a few arguments resulting from cabin fever, yet I was genuinely surprised at just how enjoyable, and indeed relaxing, it was to be sharing a small space with my loved ones. We were forced to stop and slow down and do simple things. Together.

Even on the days when we were able to venture out, the best bits were the simple bits. Sitting for hours on a beach just throwing pebbles into the sea for an hour or so, seeing who could hit the seaweed. Or an afternoon idly spent catching crabs off the quay at West Bay with a simple line and bait. And then throwing them back into the sea again at the end of the day.

So I’m trying to apply this lesson to my everyday life, and my work life too. As an annoying colleague used to constantly say: “You need to kiss – keep it simple, stupid!” But I guess he was right.

In an age where we think we want everything to be exciting and all bells and whistles because that’s what we’re told we should want, it is rather lovely to come across something in life that’s just simple.

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8 thoughts on “Simple gifts

  1. There are lessons in there for all of us Ness…..well said. Your words moved me and made me wish we’d had more of those times over the years. Never too late to start I suppose! x

    • Thanks Carolyn. As working mothers, it’s especially hard for us to find the time and space to focus on the little things. But my plan is to find at least one moment each day to appreciate a simple pleasure!

  2. Takes me back to holidays in cornwall when I was young. We used to moan about the weather, friends going abroad etc. Looking back they were such happy, simple times and I’m so glad I got to have those experiences with my family. Your blog is great, will be reading again!!

    • I wonder what experiences will stand out for my own girls as their happiest childhood memories. Like you, I’m very grateful to have had lots of great times with my family growing up, and it’s the simplest things that stand out. Like having a bath with Mum or Dad reading me bedtime stories. I hope finding fossils on the beach this summer will be up there for Jess and Mia…

  3. Nice lesson, yeh theres no need to be hob-nobbing with a viscount to enrichtea your life, i’m so fed up with life’s boasters, somebody call me a taxi I need to make a breakaway..I’ll avoid life’s jams, be a dodger……etc etc….

  4. ..no seriously Ness thats a really lovely blog, thank-you for posting, with so much junk thrown at us it’s really important to smell the roses along the way i’ve got a lot from Eckhart Tolle’s “Power of Now” recently. Looking forward to your next blog. Joff

    • To live in the moment – that is my dream. But it can be just so hard to achieve.

      And of course I should add that an impromptu game of football in the park, jumpers for goal posts, has to be another of life’s simplest pleasures…

      • Perhaps unattainable 24/7 but you just got to remember to remember.

        That was such a lovely day we spent with you and Jason and the girls at the start of the summer, memories like that take the chill out of the winter.

        Joff and SophieXx

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