14/08/2014 12:49 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

The Small Things That Make Us Very Happy

The small things

Happiness lies in the small things. Finding joy in ordinary moments. I truly believe that if you can find pleasure in countless different daily actions, you will live a fulfilling life*.

This is what I love:
Everything about my bed. Clean sheets, soft feather pillows, reading in bed, the cherry tree outside my bedroom window, which will be flowering very soon.

Blossom, peonies, roses that smell of roses, cool damp manicured grass, tall dry swishy grass, sitting under a shady tree, growing food, finding wild strawberries hidden under leaves, the smell of tomato stalks warm from the sun.

Coffee. Real coffee. The heady smell when you open a new packet. Drinking it in bed with sourdough marmalade toast and Twitter.

Newspapers, especially the Guardian on Saturday and the Observer. Magazines, all of them, I'm not fussy, love Heat and OK and Living Etc and Martha Stewart and delicious and and and.

Books too, engrossing books, the kind you can't put down, the kind that live in your head. Happy endings preferred.

TV. Trashy TV enjoyed guiltily by myself on a week day when the children are at school. Moving TV that makes you cry so hard people ask you later if you're OK. Funny TV watched with children laughing so riotously they might burst. Quality TV, gripping, breath holding adaptations of Dickens on the BBC watched cosied up with my OH infront of a crackling fire.

Real fires. In beautiful arts and crafts fireplaces with bright blue tiles, in fields next to streams, in warm Hawaiian gardens, in dusty Australian campsites, on freezing winter Yorkshire beaches, next to roadhouses, with marshmallows.

Fruit in season. Rare, knobbly English apples bought from the honey shop. Heavy boxes of fragrant Indian mangoes decorated with tinsel, carried home from Tooting in my bike basket. Branches of huge sticky lychees from Southern Thailand, splitting the rough skin with our fingernails to eat the white flesh on the way back to the guesthouse.

Heat. From fires and from the sun. Dry heat that sucks the breath from your body. Humid heat that makes everything sticky. The glare of the sun. Weak spring sunshine that warms grey winter faces. Scorching tropical sunshine that dries squid and ripens pineapples.

Food. Making it and eating it. Chillies, garlic, herbs, stuff that tastes of what it's supposed to.


Hazelnut ice cream.

The dog. How soft her ears are. The way she bounds up to you, whole body wagging, when you come in the door. Her love of sniffing and how she makes me go outside every day whether I want to or not. How bonkers she is anywhere near water.

Hearing my children say "Let's pretend...", making dressing up costumes, reading bedtime stories, silly science experiments, sharing things I love and them getting it.

Victoria Wallop is a confirmed Londoner, with a love of travelling to far-flung places. She writes, tweets and solders silver for a living. She's useful in a pub quiz and adept at pulling leeches off small people.
Blog: Victoria Wallop
Twitter: @vwallop