On the drive home from work most days there are horrific stories on the news. In The Irish Times recently there was an article on the stabbing of a teenage girl in a town close to us here in Germany. Work is busy. The weather has been woeful. The youngest is being a handful. I’m tired. The Bavarian is tired. Good news is few and far between. With all that going on, I ended up surprised at the simple things that made me smile lately.
The Beast From The East
It might sound a bit schadenfreudig to say that Storm Emma made me smile. It is not that the thought of people snowed in or not getting paid because they couldn’t make it to work makes me happy. It’s the Irish attitude to snow that made me smile. I must admit to a certain amount of jealousy too, since snow in Germany doesn’t come with the same levels of excitement or upheaval. I wrote this article for The Irish Times on my feelings about The Beast.
On my daily drive to work I pass a field that often has ponies in it. Yesterday morning, under sunny blue skies for a change, two ponies caught my eye. I couldn’t help but smile and “aw” aloud as I noticed the little pinto pony nuzzle at the taller brown pony’s face, like a child reaching up for a cuddle.
This morning while making coffee I mentioned to my son who is off school with a cold that I would love a bit of chocolate but we have none. Pyjama-clad and wrapped up in his dressing gown and a snug pair of my socks, he got up from his school work, climbed onto the worktop and reached for a tin on top of the presses. “That’s empty”, I said, feeling sorry that he’d be disappointed at not being able to surprise me. He grinned, opened the tin and said ” I wouldn’t call that empty”. Mini Ritter Sport, mini Milka and a pack of Tayto were stashed inside, all leftover from Christmas. I remember hiding the tin but was full sure it was empty by now. What is more amazing is that at least one child knew there was chocolate and crisps in it and 1o weeks into the new year they are still there. OK, not still there now, but two hours ago they were.
This week I was contacted by RTE’s Ray D’Arcy Show. They’d read and enjoyed my snow jealousy article in The Irish Times. I can’t say yet what they wanted but, given that I grew up watching Ray on the telly – Jo Maxi, The Den, Blackboard Jungle – and later listening to him on the radio in my home here in Germany, it was a real thrill to be contacted. Add to that the fact that from my teens it was a dream of mine to write for The Irish Times, and the delight was all the greater for the show coming across me through my 10th article for that very newspaper.
The simplest things can make a person smile, even at the most unlikely of moments. Little heads of snowdrops waggling in the wind, mini narcissus peeking out from the undergrowth and bunches of tulips at the supermarket till all brought a smile to my face on otherwise dull days in recent weeks. If you want to make someone smile, why not surprise them with a big bunch of Spring blooms?* I sent myself a bunch last month, knowing Valentine’s Day would go unnoticed in this house. They arrived while I was out getting groceries but made me laugh at my own forgetfulness when I came home and saw them in the kitchen. They brightened up my day – and my house – no end and gave me hours of fun styling them.
*Use this code to get €10 off your first order at Bloom & Wild
[Disclaimer: I bought and paid for the flowers myself. This post contains affiliate links. If you order through the link, you get a discount on your first purchase and I get one on my next purchase.]