I was reminded this past week of the delight one can take in the simple activities that bring pleasure. When one lives in a busy city like London, it can be easy to be swept up into a pattern that seems to revolve around work commitments and commuting. Even planned social events can sometimes take on a feeling of responsibility rather than enjoyment. This seems compounded after several conversations with people for whom there seems to be a level of competition over who is the busiest or having the most difficult time at work.
This week I was given some reminders of the benefit and importance of balancing what I need to do with what I enjoy doing. Firstly, we seem to be in one of those infrequent periods where there is actually quite a few lovely television programmes to watch. I've been watching the Great British Sewing Bee for the past few weeks - which has whet my appetite for some more dressmaking. This past week also saw the first episode broadcast of Mary Berry's new cooking programme - I loved it. The episode focused on afternoon tea, but it was more the grace and experience that this wonderful lady portrays - you can see that she still takes so much pleasure from baking and cooking for her family and friends.
Yesterday, I returned to the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace for the third time. This time I was undertaking an introductory course in goldwork. Again, I was surprised at just how quickly six hours can pass when engaged in an activity that I find so enjoyable.
So this afternoon (after I had caught up with yesterday's postponed chores), I have spent a happy few hours finishing off my goldwork sampler. I had an audiobook playing for company, and outside the sun is beautifully shining, heralding spring's approach.
It was a nice reminder that building in these opportunities into my week makes the rest of the more mundane tasks much more palatable...