First of all, Happy New Year as this is, officially, my first post of 2012. And to start the new year, I am in frivolous mood (am probably still a little bit drunk from the New Year's Eve party to be honest) - so I thought I would share a little of my conviviality by considering some of the simpler things in life which give me much happiness on a dark and windy January day. It would be easy to grumble and grouse, but I'm not going to take the obvious route. Not today.
Here's what currently makes me happy.
1. My rose-patterned cake stand. We made buns yesterday. Covered them with nutella and sprinkles and arranged them nicely on the cake stand. Infinitely more pleasing than a boring old plate.
2. My union jack dog which my sister have me for Christmas. I think he is supposed to be a doorstop but he's too nice to stand in a draught. He brings a little bit of English-ness into my very Irish life.
3. My new Jo Malone perfume - it smells divine. I feel divine when I wear it.
4. My new Paperchase 2012 diary. Love, love, love filling those blank pages with exciting plans for the year ahead and, yes, I have written in the front '2012, the year I get published'! Are you listening, universe?
5. The very tiny Daily Prophet newspaper and the stained-glass windows in the Lego Howgarts castle (courtesy of Santa). It is a level of teeny, tiny detail which fills me with untold joy.
6. My new 'cat' pen which miaows and lights up bizarre blue eyes when you press the top of its head. Writing by hand is fun again and smacking its head on the table to produce a 'miaow' is a great stress reliever.
7. Left over chocolate orange - yum.
8. Lying in bed listening to the storm outside - surely there is no other feeling which fills you with such a sense of security and comfort.
9. Caitlin Moran's 'How to be a Woman' which I am completely loving and chuckling along to. She is a very funny lady, if a little bit naughty and rude.
10. The King's Speech - watched it for the first time the other night. How I love, love, love period dramas. Fabulous.
11. Florence and the Machine 'Ceremonials' - uplifting, soaring, beautiful music which, as I tweeted this week, makes me want to own a harp and several floaty dresses. Simply gorgeous.
So, that's a pretty good start to the first week of January is it not. Of course, I will now have to go and shout at the kids for wrecking the Hogwarts castle and will regret scoffing all those buns from the cake stand ('start Monday' as Peter Kay would say), but all in all, all is well with 2012 thus far.
And long may it last.