The Pleasure Report. Week 38. The mossy bottom edition from Hannah.

Hello,

This week I really am packing and move house next Monday so I’d better get on with it.

Without further ado, I give you, this week and next, Hannah!

You’re going to love Hannah. I think she’s one of the most wonderful creatures ever to walk the earth and I’m exceedingly grateful that she’s gracing us with her pleasure report.

Hannah’s pleasure report.

Hello!

Hi, I’m Hannah, another Guest Poster for your delight and delectation.

High Five to Pauline for finally exchanging contracts and no doubt we’ll get to hear about all the pleasure and pain of moving when she’s back to us soon.

So, deep breath followed by feeling of ‘right, let’s do this and hope it goes great’, here we go.

The Pleasure

I’m not at all convinced that my way of recording my pleasure and pain is really ‘count-worthy’ so I’m going for approximate quantities:

Lots of pleasure this week. A fair amount of pain too. And a blah:blah-minus-1 pleasure to pain ratio (you get the idea)

A selection of the pleasure

The Nutella Orgasm

You may well think that going to Italy is cheating a little bit when it comes to pleasure, but that’s where I was at the beginning of this week and oh boy were there moments of pleasure.

The most incredible thing happened one morning as I was sitting outside alone having my breakfast. The relative coolness from the day before had completely changed and that morning I woke to a warm gusty wind, coming straight in from Africa someone said. Sat facing the open countryside I could hear the wind in the leaves, see the branches dancing wildly in the air, smell the jasmine and the calendula lawn come rushing towards me and feel the warm air on my skin. As I sat there, with my eyes closed, and all my senses in one way or another caressed or excited by this wonderful wind sweeping Summer away and Autumn in, I swallowed my last mouthful of nutella on toast and I kid you not my friends, tears were rolling down my cheeks at the sheer joy of it all.

Beautiful.

Muker Annual Village Fete

I went to the annual village fete in a small place in North Yorkshire called Muker (unfortunately pronounced Muker as in “mucus” rather than Muker as in “mi’ old Mucker”).

It was in a beautiful valley and the sun was shining and the whole village (or so it seemed) was out in force. Dave was giving a demonstration of dry stone walling (“go and have a look at his hands ladies and gentlemen, you won’t see hands like that this side of Viking country”) and the sheep dog trials were in full flow. Yes, that does still happen and it’s such a joy to watch them in action rounding up the sheep, moving them form one place to the next, keeping them together. The flow of it, the rhythm, the dance of it is hypnotic.

And then there was a row of miniature steam engines. All different colours in a row. Kind of standing there showing off what they could do. And the water was coming out of one pipe and being recycled straight back into the engine and going round again. The simplicity of the idea (burn stuff, heat water, create pressure, make movement, water cools, heat it again) seemed so clean, so happy, so obvious – so joyful. And they all had on their best coats of brightly coloured paint like proud little munchkins. A delight.

Moss

I love moss. Moss is amazing. Moss is nature’s queen of mattresses.

I spend a lot of time walking my dog at the moment and I often end up on the hill behind my house around sunset. When it’s just a joy to sit down mid-walk and look out at the hills and the valley and think “I love life”. And I do this sitting on moss, soft, bottom-hugging, back-protecting, nose-delighting moss.

Moss, moss, moss I love you!!

The Pain

The self-judgement. Oh woe is me the self-judgement.

Oh woe oh woe oh woe.

I’m on a break at the moment, i.e. I’ve decided I want some time out from work and have put some money aside and have given myself a specific amount of time and a budget to live to. No other expectations. No jobs. No targets or goals.

Oh but wait. Really, really no targets or goals?? So how come I feel guilty every day and why the daily underlying chastisements for how little I’m achieving in this time?

Oh dear. It’s taking time to let go of “output” being the measurement I judge myself on and I’m giving myself a hard time about that. Oh the folly of giving oneself a hard time about giving oneself a hard time.

And how funny it would feel if it didn’t feel like this. Booooo.

The pain I did something about

Library books. Such a two-edged thing for me. Libraries are such great places. Places of joy and fantasy and education and retreat and adventure. And places of overdue books and fines and deadlines.

Let me explain. I love libraries. And I hate them. I hate them because they let me take out more than one book at a time. My local library lets me take out 20 books at once – can you believe that. Twenty books, are they mad??!!!

And my problem with that is that I’m greedy so I always take out lots of books. Maybe five books in a series. Hurrah I think initially to myself – now I’ve got the whole series and I can read them all one after the other, with no breaks in the middle, without having to wait and recall a book from anyone else. Oh whoopy doo I think.

And then the clock starts to tick. Oh no, only 2 weeks left and I haven’t read all the books and if I take them back someone else will want them and then my cunning plan will fall down. Must read. Must read faster. Hurry!

You get the picture. And so my plan to use the library as a source of adventure and delight turns into me racing through wonderful books so that I can’t even remember what happened and feeling a mix of panic and guilt throughout.

Not great.

And so here’s my new cunning plan. Only take one book out of the library at once. No more giving into false economies of scale. Just one at a time. And then the time to read that one.

Ahhhh, that’s better. Shoulders relax, breathing back to normal, panic button going from red, to orange, to amber and then back to neutral. Phew.

Thanks for having me.

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