I've mentioned before that I am lucky enough to have lovely in-laws. My father in law and I don't see eye to eye on every issue, but often on the big topics - family, happiness, being kind and respectful to people - he comes out with something that really speaks to me.
The last time my parents-in-law came to visit, we were walking the dogs and the conversation somehow turned on to the joys of being silly. He said how sad it makes him when he comes across someone who feels too embarrassed to ever let themselves be silly or childish. As he put it, life is enough of a challenge, without being afraid of what other people think. It's important to let go. This really struck a chord with me and got me thinking about the things I like doing that other people might think are silly - but that make me really happy.
I love flowers. I'm not fussy, they can be wild or cultivated ones, and quite often I will stop in my tracks, even in the middle of the street, to take a photo of, or sniff, a lovely flower. I especially love roses, bluebells and fuschias. I love the feel of petals. If you are walking along, and see someone's legs sticking out of a hedge, and the sound of a phone camera going off - there's a good chance it's me, taking a photo of a blossom on a branch because I think it's pretty. I never do anything with the photos really, other than look back at them occasionally - but I really enjoy it.
I love fussing friendly dogs and cats. No matter how tiny or how doddery, if an animal makes a fuss of me, I make a fuss of it. And yes, if this is your pet, yes I will probably talk to it in a really silly voice. I will definitely tell it how cute it is. And I might even get down to its height to give it a scritch on the chin or rub its belly. I'm not so good at human interactions though - especially early doors - so don't expect great conversation!
I love bubble baths. And I take paperback books in with me, and damn the consequences! Books, and baths, are for enjoyment. People stare in horror at the bent spines and curled pages of some of my favourites - I just see hours of accumulated happiness.
I love making snowmen. Wonky, badly proportioned, funny looking snowmen. Snowmen made from three inches of snow scraped off the whole garden, with a carrot for a nose. And I love making snow angels, and leaving hand shapes in the snow or frost on cars. I love making the first footprints in the snow in the garden, and throwing big handfuls of it around. Basically I love snow, provided I don't have to drive in it - and I reserve the right to dive into it just like I did when I was five.
I love licking the spoon. I think of it as the cook's prerogative. If I'm making some nice cupcakes, or a chocolate ganache, or creamed potatoes, and I've finished dishing up, no matter who is in the kitchen with me, I reserve the right to get a good mouthful before it all goes in the dishwasher. And Millie gets the tops off strawberries, carrots and potatoes. It's a thing. Think of her as cook's helper.
This is not up for debate, or subject to sensible conversations about calories or nutritional content.
I love snuggling in my pjs - especially under a soft blanket while watching films. If family or friends pop round unexpectedly in the colder months and find me in this semi hibernated state, well, they just have to deal with it. And yes, the pjs are covered in cartoons, or cute animals, or are very brightly coloured. I am totally over the slinky pyjama phase of my early twenties. Comfy and fluffy all the way.
I love terrible jokes - including awful puns. The kind that make you groan and roll your eyes. I love cracker jokes at Christmas. I am the one at the works do, resolutely wearing a silly hat (possibly upside-down), glass of wine in hand, listening to all the jokes to try to work out if there are any new ones this year.
I love watching my favourite films again - even if they are, in reality, a bit dreadful. And if those films have songs, not only will I say the words to all the bits I know (in the case of Muppet Christmas Carol, which I have watched every Christmas since I was 8, that's just about the whole film) I will also sing all the songs. If you can't stand that habit, well, best just put your fingers in your ears, because I just can't help myself!
I love poring over maps and imagining that one day I will go to the places on the map - and reading up on them, and even actually planning the trip, even if I never get there. I had a whole trip to South America planned. Even if I am never lucky enough to make it out there, I had so much fun reading up on the towns and cities I wanted to stop off at. Maps are like the doors to adventure, standing slightly ajar. I've even been known to copy out maps and colour them in. Oh yeah - that's another thing I love!
I love doodling and colouring in. From plans of things I want to do to our house, to little pictures of flowers, dogs, cats, buildings and people, to colouring in the lettering on notebooks, I just love messing round with pencils and pens. I have to keep scrap paper on hand as I am a little bit nervous I will doodle over something important otherwise. I've had plenty of funny looks over the years - but I keep on pushing that pen around the page!
And lastly (for now, though I have loads of silly habits), I love making random lists. You may have guessed this by now... But since I am great at stating the obvious, I thought I'd better mention it...
Anyway, I need to stop typing and get some rest - but I would love to hear about those things that rock your world regardless of what other people may think!
Looking forward to catching up on this week's blogs, lovely peeps