Thanks to Marie Kondo, there’s a whole lot of talk about “sparking joy” at the moment, mostly in the context of auditing/justifying your clutter. It seems a shame to only acknowledge tiny moments of pure happiness when you’re contemplating whether or not to incinerate an old sweater, so last year I stole an idea from chuckle maven Moose Allain and started cataloguing my own small joys on twitter. There’s no real purpose to it, just a thread of tiny sparks worth acknowledging. Perhaps getting them down in words somehow makes them more real, more cherished? Anyway, here’s a few:
Looking up at the sound of a jet, only to see a tiny bird flying past.
The sound of a tent zip.
Picking exactly the right size screwdriver first time.
Draping your arm across your head like some kind of limb hat.
Reading Polly Vernon’s Grazia column on the loo.
Realising that The Crown will eventually have to do an It’s A Royal Knockout episode.
The beeping of the till at WHSmith in Victoria Station that sounds exactly like the intro to Take On Me.
Smacking a Tunnock’s Teacake on your head with just the right force to break the shell into even shards that can then be picked off savoured.
Going round the house and opening all the blinds in the morning. The small joy of pretending to have the awesome power of making the sun rise.
Hot air balloons. Flying in, hearing, spotting, everything.
Giving a lost tourist directions.
That brief moment of nirvana between trailers and film, when the screen is black and silent and you’ve momentarily forgotten what you’ve come to see.
The boy immediately falling asleep at the end of a bedtime story.*
Michael Hutchence introducing the sax solo in New Sensation by shouting “trumpet!”
Catching something, anything (rare).
“Washed and ready to eat.”
Peeking behind a book jacket to find another bit of bonus bronze design.
Sending and receiving postcards. Really must do this more.
New book smell.
Old book smell.
Building a dam, changing the course of a stream, even just a little bit.
Finding your receipt in a book you bought decades ago.
Finding someone else’s annotations in a second-hand book.
The recorded announcement on the Leeds-York train that for some reason sounds like “We will shortly be arriving at … Björk”.
The way the tittle and umlaut line up just so in Björk.
Sitting at the front of the top of the bus. Yes, even when you’re forty.
… even better than this, sitting at the front of the Docklands Light Railway and pretending to be the driver.
Getting the family parking spot closest to the door at Tesco, aka the best damn space in the whole damn car park.
Spotting the ISS.
The fortnightly evening clink of everyone’s recycling bins leaving home.
Observing correct Kit Kat protocol – from the fridge; thumbnail foil-score; snapping off a digit; snapping digit in two; cold milk chaser.
Discovering an accidental waferless all-chocolate finger of Kit Kat. Not sure if this still happens, but I like to think there’s still some out there, somewhere.
Kit Kats in general. I should probably make a separate list of Kit Kat-related joy.
* There are of course innumerable boy-related small joys, most of which are unique and fleeting. Just this morning he accused me of being a bad lawyer. I have no idea why.