A few of my favourite things

Macro of hands with bubble wrap

Undeniably satisfying - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Our former editor casts an often-jaundiced eye over life in the Cotswolds

WE MAY be on the verge of World War III, the diesel in your car’s tank might be worth more than the car itself and Cadbury’s have reduced the size but not the price of their ‘sharing’ bars of chocolate, but let’s blow away those dark clouds and see if we can find a bit of sunshine. (What are ‘sharing’ bars anyway? Are you supposed to give some of your chocolate to someone else? It’s an alien concept.) 

Anyway, reasons to be cheerful, that sort of thing. Mind you, as my starting point is a BUPA survey conducted to 2017, not all of their pre-Covid suggestions might still be relevant. But eyes down and look in. 

Sleeping in a freshly made bed. Well, to a point. This means that you’ve had to wash and dry the sheets before entering into unarmed combat with the duvet cover. 

Feeling the sun on your face/Listening to rainfall when you’re inside. Make your mind up, please. 

Finding money in unexpected places. A definite goer, especially since lockdown saw us abandon suits to the depths of the wardrobe while spending much of the day slouched on the sofa. That tenner tucked away in a suit pocket or the half-a-crown found down the back of the couch is a welcome bonus. 

The smell of freshly made bread. Hmm. An early lockdown novelty, but two years on who doesn’t just crave a Warburton’s Toastie? And don’t mention the aberration that is banana bread. 

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The smell of bacon cooking in the morning. Definitely. In fact, go for the Full English – but no baked beans. 

Talking to or playing with your pet. You’ve been locked in the house. You work from home. Your pet is just about the only sentient being you’ve been able to communicate with for the past two years and you now find yourself saying ‘Good boy’ to the postman. 

Finding a bargain in the sales. Problematic. First of all you have to leave the house like some Covid-averse ninja. Two masks, rubber gloves, a balaclava and a hand-sanitiser bed bath. Then you have to mix with the unclean; the drooling zombies breathing instant death on all and sundry. Not worth the aggro. Stay home and fire up Amazon. 

Waking up before the alarm and realising that there’s more time to sleep. You work from home. There’s always more time to sleep. 

Dance like no-one is watching. Go ahead. No-one is watching. 

Squeezing a spot/Cleaning the wax from your ears. A bit personal, perhaps, but undeniably satisfying. 

Popping bubble wrap. See above. 

The smell of new magazines. Well if you’re reading this column the correct way, on beautiful shiny printed paper rather than in mean little pixels, you’ll know what I mean. 

Remembering the name of something or someone you thought you’d forgotten. Look, as the years advance absent mindedness becomes all too… whaddya call it… err… common. I’d now just settle for walking into a room and still knowing what I’d gone in there for. 

And last, but certainly not least, Her Majesty The Queen. God bless her. 

I’LL TELL you who’s always cheerful – those people in the television ads for funeral plans. Grandad is still warm in his trendy wicker coffin and there’s a full-blown party going on in the background – champagne, cake party poppers, streamers, the works. ‘It’s what he would have wanted.’ Oh yeah? It’s certainly not what I want. 

I want weeping and wailing, badly-sung hymns, at least three mysterious, glamorous women throwing themselves on the coffin and a full buffet. Then I want my ashes packing into a firework before rocketing off into the Cotswold sky. So now you know. 

Follow Mike on Twitter: @cotswoldeditor1