- A good laundry day. Not a merely blusterous day, but one that is pleasingly warm and windy (much like my dear father post-Christmas pudding), and which causes the laundry to dry swiftly and evenly. A perfect laundry day is warm even first thing in the morning, so that I can peg it out in my pyjamas.
- Herbs. Especially the invasive, dominant ones, like mint and lemon balm. I like the cut of their jib.
- Wrens. The Latin name is Troglodytes troglodytes, so called because of their habit of venturing into small, cave-like apertures in search of food. In a hard winter, songbirds suffer and die, and none more so than the wren. This is because other songbirds will leave their nests and travel to warmer areas, or places where food is more abundant and shelter easier to come by. Wrens, however, are so territorial that they refuse to leave their tiny nests and, much like those people one reads about who refuse to leave their homes when threatened by floods, volcanoes or mudslides, prefer to die at home. Both the whimsical Latin name and homebody instinct are admirable, but I also like wrens because they behave as if they are unaware of how small they are. There is a pair living in my garden somewhere, and if one is foolish enough to place one’s deckchair too close to the nest, the male will perch on a nearby fencepost and shout (there is no other word for it) until one gives up and goes inside. I quite like the sound and can happily read through it, but he doesn’t care: he will stand there yelling ‘SPINK! SPINK SPINK! SPINK!’ for an hour or more, tail sticking straight up in the air in case I look at him in a funny way.
- Printed fabric. I like the stuff that I have plans for best (i.e. that which I anticipate wearing in one form or another), but just as folds and slices of delicious texture and colour, fabric is an endless source of pleasure. I am in the middle of altering a coffee-coloured dress printed with blue sailing boats, which involves replacing the straps, which are too short; replacing the pockets; taking the whole thing in at the front so it looks less like a massive nautical sack; and finally adding some kind of sash to hide the ugly seam across my middle, which is also too high. This requires two scrummy blue prints, one pale blue with little white lighthouses, and the other navy with little anchors on it. I also have something in a seagull print in case either of these fail. Fabric stash win.
Reading back through this list, I notice that these are all things I can see from where I eat my breakfast. Breakfast is an odd time in the LiteracyWhore household. I have recently taken up fasting twice a week, which means skipping breakfast altogether and having a tiny lunch. I haven’t, however, been able to give up sitting at the dining table in my favourite room in the house, with a cup of tea and a view over the garden. I am about to give up my lovely dining room, house and garden, and move out of the city that has been home for fifteen years, into a lovely flat, with a view of the sea and a nonapedal lighthouse. I will, therefore, be eating breakfast (or not eating breakfast, but sitting at the table nonetheless) in a new place, and expect a new list of things that make me happy (see Things That Make Me Happy) to emerge in due course. Here are some more things that make me happy, this time independent of breakfast: change. Friends. Tea. Coloured-headed pins. Understanding and support and lack of judgement, from people that know me, and from people that don’t. My blue glass coasters. The freedom to follow my instincts and trust myself. Stripey socks with spotty shoes. Moving out (and on) at my own speed. Purging my clothes and possessions, while also purging my soul. Deconstructing everything I thought I knew about love, and starting all over again from nothing, only to find that it isn’t nothing, but everything.
 Navy! Did you see what I did there?
 There’s a lot more to it than that, but those are the headlines. Today’s lunch: Ryvita and cottage cheese.
 Presumably including living alone for the first time in my life and not being pecked in the face by gulls.