Yes, that's right, this blog post is entitled, with no hint of irony (ok, maybe a tiny hint of irony), An Ode to a Bath Mat.
I'm here today to talk about simple pleasures. Small moments of aesthetic, physical or even intellectual joy that occur in the every day. They are there, but you have to take the time to notice and appreciate them. I suppose I'm talking about mindfulness really, but like so many buzzwords, as soon as they hit the zeitgeist, I always feel like a bit of a tool saying them.
The concept I am talking about here is summed up perfectly in the film Amelie; a beautiful and almost faultless French film from the early 2000s. You probably know it, but if not, I urge you to seek it out. It will improve your day - guaranteed.
In the early scenes of the film, each of the characters is described by their likes and dislikes, petty foibles most of them, but truly the quirks that make us who we are. The narrator then describes our heroine's single lifestyle:
"... She cultivates a taste for small pleasures. Plunging her hand deep into a sack of grain. Cracking creme brûlée with a teaspoon. And skimming stones on the Canal St Martin."
I was prompted to write this post today by the simple act of stepping out of the shower this morning. My bathroom, as you might expect is (almost) entirely monochrome. The exceptions are one oak shelf, a couple of mustard towels, and this pretty pressed flower ornament thing:
The most recent addition to my mostly-monochrome haven is this gorgeous waffle weave bath mat by The Organic Company. We stock these in the store, and this one was kindly gifted to me our very lovely rep, Pianna. I've probably dribbled on before about how much I love the quality of Organic Company products at the bath mat is certainly no exception.
Of course the organic cotton is deliciously soft, and knowing that we are slowly improving the ratio of ethical objects in our home certainly brings its own pleasure. The waffle weave creates a sort of cushioning effect, so whilst not particularly thick, it still gives a sort of soft bounce as you step on to it. I noticed that feeling this morning, and it made me smile. This is what I mean by simple pleasures. A tiny moment, probably not even a second of my day, so easily overlooked, and yet, in stopping to notice it, I genuinely felt my heart lifted in a small way.
Yes, I know, it's only a bath mat and I probably ought to get a grip, but we must take these flashes of delight where we can, right? There's enough darkness in the world already.