24 personal pleasures

I like surprises. I love serendipity and chance and coincidence and it’s often teeny tiny things that make me happy. While the traditional view of hygge is being swaddled in a blanket in front of a roaring fire with a mug of something hot and delicious, I’m constantly banging on about the fact that hygge is also about taking the time to appreciate the little things. No matter how fleeting, these micropleasures add up throughout the day or the week, and can have a giant cumulative impact on the way I feel. Amélie likes plunging her hand into a sack of grain, and I don’t blame her. I’ve been thinking about my personal pleasures (let’s make ‘microhygge’ happen, friends), and I’m sharing one for every year of my life in this post…


    1. Buswatching. I get the bus to and from work every day, and it’s weird to think that despite the fact I see the regulars all the time, I only know two of their names (Lucy and Helen). There’s the really friendly woman with the low grey ponytail and glasses on a string who always ends up running, every day. There’s the woman who wears head-to-toe designer gear and looks miserable as sin who one day started speaking fluent Italian on the phone. There’s the bearded man who always takes his daughter to school in waterproofs, even in bright sunshine. There’s the little boy who’s lost his two front teeth who likes breathing on the windows and drawing faces in the condensation. There’s the girl who wears Timberlands and always seems to have a sore throat who gets off at my stop and walks the other way every morning. It’s interesting. I like muting my music and listening to the conversations sometimes. Lucy has a daughter called Kayleigh.
    2. Unnamed and unnamable sky colours
    3. Unexpectedly knowing a pub quiz answer
    4. Walking past someone wearing nice, unfamiliar perfume
    5. Sitting in a pub festooned with fairy lights (The Hope and Ruin, I’m thinking about you. I’m always thinking about you)
    6. Covering my shins in hot pebbles on the beach, like a rubbish hot stone massage
    7. Finding biros that write perfectly smoothly
    8. Making friends with tiny animals
    9. Finding satisfying words to handwrite (try ‘catalyst’)
    10. The first eruption of blossom
    11. This gorgeous ‘Don’t you just love goodbyes’ at the end of 156 – 3:55 to be precise (can someone musical please tell me what makes it sound so spine-tinglingly gorgeous?)
    12. A killer pun
    13. When someone you were never quite sure about turns out to be delightful
    14. Stealing whipped cream off everyone else’s puds
    15. The weird quiet calm that comes from very low blood sugar (dangerous as it is, when it gets super low it’s a lovely floaty feeling)
    16. Finding the perfect just-because gift for someone
    17. Watching rain fall into petrol-swirled puddles
    18. Being by the sea. I love living in Brighton where I can see the horizon and I know I’m never trapped
    19. Having my hair played with (and sometimes playing with other people’s if I’m feeling generous)
    20. Discovering an amazing new food (like brinjal bhaji or yogurtlu patlican – both aubergine, both delish)
    21. Dropping a handwritten letter in the postbox
    22. Waking up with silky smooth skin after a night sleeping in moisturiser
    23. Anyone blowing bubbles in the street
    24. Being smiled at by a stranger – it happened for a first time in a long time the other day and it had a major impact on my mood

What makes your list? Let me know in the comments 🙂




11 Comments Add yours

  1. Jason says:

    Wonderful list. Love the sea (lived in Bournemouth for 2 years) people watching, skies (especially blazing sunsets) and puns (my Dad is a relentless punster..)

    I’d add books (new ones and old musty ones too) discovering amazing new / old music, coffee, dark chocolate, great comedy, gripping drama series, forests, cities, art galleries, amazing veggie food (love aubergines too) dancing slightly drunk, Summertime, snow, cats.. and so many more.

    1. Yes! LOVE dancing slightly drunk (2 glasses of wine is my sweet spot), and there’s still little more exciting than waking up to a fresh dusting of snow…

  2. Samantha says:

    Ooh this has got me thinking! I’d add that first glass of red wine (replace with tipple of choice!) on a Friday night, people who let you go in front of them in a queue, a hot water bottle when you just can’t warm up, the sound of a kettle hissing (very comforting) and ladybirds! X

  3. Samantha says:

    Oh and as for unexpectedly knowing pub quiz answers… Yes! Who knew that Annie’s dog (as in the musical) was called Sandy! Me apparently! That’s a great one! X

  4. Inma M. says:

    My little pleasures …. the smell of coffee in the morning, rediscovering the moon every night, feel the caress of the sheets on my skin, listening quietly whisper of the sea, smell and kiss my children while they sleep, so sweet , ….

    1. Awww, sounds lovely – especially rediscovering the moon every night 🙂

  5. Jess says:

    I enjoyed this list! I love dropping a handwritten letter or special package in the post box! Sometimes I give it a little love tap before it goes in.
    Some of my special small pleasures: smoothing out a piece of scrunched up foil perfectly with no rips. Rubbing the light knuckle hairs I have lightly on my lips (wierd I know, but I do this in traffic). Driving with the car heater on at the perfect temperature in winter rain. When my grocery bill comes to a nice round number like $15 or $20 (rare but it happens!). Playing a stranger’s playlist on Spotify and it turning out to be a corker.

    1. I love doing the foil thing! And as a big fan of nice round numbers I’m totally with you there too. I have a thing for even numbers, so even though there’s a 50/50 chance I’m always secretly pleased when I get a salad with 12 olives or something – I like the idea that they all get a little friend when they’re in my body, haha 🙂

  6. Helen Drew says:

    Hi Kayleigh, if you enjoy having your hair played with and like “tingly” music you may be one of the people who experiences ASMR. Look it up on YouTube (there are hundreds of videos plus quite a few that explain what it is) and see what you think!

    ASMR is VERY hygge 🙂

    1. Hi Helen!

      Oooh, this is interesting – there are so many things that make me feel this way. Even blowing cool air very lightly onto my arm is a joy. I love anything that makes me shiver, and I’ll do pretty much anything to get someone to play with my hair! Thanks for sharing this with me – it does indeed sound extremely hygge 🙂

  7. sew vintage emporium says:

    oh gosh, there are so many microhygge that I could think of:

    when you get home and the house smells wonderful because you put the slow cooker on before you left, the smell of sunshine clinging to the sheets when you’ve just taken them off the washing line, sleepy cuddles with my daughter, that precious moment before sleep and awake, the absolute stillness in the very early hours of the morning when even your breath seems too loud, the moon playing peekaboo behind a cloud, a totally cloudless winter sky where there are suddenly millions of stars, the smell of cut grass, that moment of anticipation before the bird at the bird feeder in my garden sees me watching him and flies off, opening a brand new book for the first time knowing you are the first person to ever open its cover, the heat seeping through your favourite mug and warming your cold hands, the scene in Pride and Prejudice 2007 almost right at the end where Elizabeth watches Mr Darcy walking toward her in the mist, the sound of the rain, the steam rising from a bubble bath, watching butter melt into a slice of hot toast… the list goes on and on…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s