100 favourite things

I had recently received Carly Jacob’s newsletter in my inbox. Carly is the maestro behind the blog Smaggle, a place where she shares very witty and engaging commentary on pretty much every aspect of life. I am quite new to Carly’s blog but I love the way she writes and was particularly intrigued by her post 100 Things I Really Like. Her simple message was to refocus your attention away from life’s irritations on all those things that make you happy and bring you joy. Dwelling on the positive seems like a simple way to reframe your perspective, so I thought it worthwhile to sit down and share with you my 100 favourite things.

edit: I started writing this post a few weeks ago, before the kids were on holidays and we began our move to the new house. While the kids are back at school, I am still moving, amidst earthworks. limited electricity, and the absence of muscle power. I am not insignificant, but where the movement of mahogany wardrobes and 6 foot bookcases are concerned, I am just one woman.

Onward….

  1. the smell of freshly cut grass…not very original, but I can’t help it, it’s true
  2. a misty morning
  3. cloud capped mountains
  4. mountains in general
  5. an uninterrupted ocean horizon
  6. green hills speckled with cows
  7. sheep – I have raised 4 lambs and they have the most engaging and loving characters…not at all stupid
  8. my kids…they are wonderful, funny, incredibly humble, considerate and kind. I am not biased
  9. close friendships, the type where you want to be part of their family
  10. to love and being loved
  11. the smell of rain on a hot and dusty pavement
  12. weather memories – you know those times a certain breeze or warmth brings you right back to a day long ago that felt exactly the same. I get quite giddy over this one
  13. drivers who let you in, when 20 drivers beforehand wouldn’t
  14. kindness…it is not hard, it is really very simple
  15. good dads – I love watching a thoughtful and engaged dad in action
  16. the smell of wattle – it is my absolute favourite floral scent, and I always get excited around August when the wattle trees start blooming
  17. open and deep conversations
  18. maple syrup – it is just the best, I just wish there were Australian producers
  19. the satisfaction you get when you have mowed the lawn
  20. a cold beer after mowing the lawn
  21. deep verandahs
  22. old homes with character
  23. timber floors
  24. natural materials – wool, wood, basketry, pottery
  25. David Austen roses – they look glorious and smell divine
  26. mangoes
  27. climbing trees to collect the best mulberries
  28. eating good food
  29. shopping for the freshest fruits and vegetables
  30. even better, growing fruits and vegetables
  31. the sight and sound of bees
  32. hiking in a national park
  33. stumbling across great places to eat
  34. feeling a sea breeze whip through my hair
  35. a hot shower on a cold night
  36. the smell of a wood fire
  37. going for walks with my eldest
  38. seeing my family – does not happen enough
  39. poultry – I just think ducks and geese and chickens are awesome – I want them all
  40. antique furniture
  41. those old silver cooking spoons excellent for stirring custard, and for everything else too
  42. cast iron cookware
  43. cooking pots hanging on the wall
  44. combustion stoves
  45. crossing the border into Queensland when travelling north to see family – we (that is the QLD born members of the family) all cheer
  46. the sight of a tall, broad gumtree
  47. the sound of birds (it feels eerily dead when there are no bird sounds)
  48. wildlife
  49. watching dolphins surfing at the beach
  50. a good book
  51. the food table at a kids party
  52. particularly those little red cased deli sausages we called cheerios in Queensland, but in NSW they call them little boys (really how inappropriate!) With tomato sauce of course
  53. a cheese board (damn my dairy intolerance)
  54. cheesy spinach cob loaf – people don’t make them enough anymore, but really what is there not to love
  55. John Williamson – True Blue is infectious
  56. The Fureys – will happily play the Lonesome Boatman on repeat
  57. listening to Hotel California, drags me right back to my childhood
  58. listening to the sound of waves rolling onto the beach 
  59. Narooma (Surfs Beach and that Catholic cemetery that has the best piece of real estate in Australia)
  60. dairy country
  61. Being with my family, sitting out the back eating wood fired pizza or cracking into some freshly caught and cooked mudcrabs, sharing some laughs, memories, teasing each other for our frailties
  62. getting up in the morning and knowing you don’t have to go anywhere or do anything that day
  63. heading out to the garden first thing in the morning in your pj’s to put on a sprinkler, then spending the next 4 hours weeding and getting dirty. Then putting the sprinkler on and having a shower (not in the sprinkler)!
  64. farmers markets
  65. cool little produce stores
  66. an old fashioned butcher
  67. the sight of a clean and organised fridge full of fresh produce, homemade relishes and sauces, a promise of good things to eat
  68. finding good quality, well-fitted clothes at the op shops
  69. old linen, especially embroidered tablecloths – I have a few
  70. old fowler’s potter – heavy, robust, soft colours
  71. Vintage Johnson of Australia dinnerware in green or yellow
  72. the colours green (so many shades to love), duck egg blue, soft yellow (in saying this, I wear a lot of black)
  73. wandering quietly around a gallery or museum
  74. original architecture
  75. the ethereal light of a golden dawn 
  76. vivid sunsets
  77. chasing light – how it falls, the shadows it creates, it’s softness, it’s harshness, it’s magic
  78. mood photography
  79. hand crafts – everything from a knitted jumper to stone walls
  80. a good strong coffee with lots of body
  81. really good people (not martyrs just good)
  82. snuggling up to your kids on the lounge
  83. a good nights sleep (I can’t quite remember what this feels like, but I am sure I would love it!)
  84. beautiful wool yarn and gorgeous fabrics (I like the choosing and the feeling more than the making!)
  85. human history – the culture, food, homes and their gardens, over the ages
  86. the novel Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  87. the movie The Big Blue (it is not really that good a movie, but it meant a lot to me for a long time)
  88. the character Gabriel Oak from Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ – a perfect man
  89. Paul Newman – gorgeous, a true gentleman
  90. the voice and culture of regional and rural Australia (largely dismissed as having no value at all)
  91. school fetes, country fairs
  92. a lush garden allowed to grow a little wild
  93. a vegetable garden that has twists and turns, places to hide, places to sit, the clucking and scratching of chickens nearby
  94. cars with presence (muscle cars, vintage models)
  95. really big machinery (think draglines, open cut dump trucks) – their sheer size is awe inspiring
  96. all you can eat seafood (I have not seen one of these restaurants for many years, but gosh they were good)
  97. body surfing (I am a bit self-conscious about the journey from towel to water in my swimmers, but once in, good fun)
  98. picnicking by a big dam or lake
  99. driving (long distances, through different landscapes)
  100. being healthy and able – I try not to take that for granted

Well that is it – got a tad hard towards the end there, and maybe I will come back and edit a few, but it is an honest account. It was actually a wonderful exercise in reframing. At times I started to dwell on the things that peeve me, but refocusing on the positive reminded me that there are two sides to a story – for every shadow there is light.

I hope you find some time to think of your 100 favourite things list and that it brings a smile to your face.

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