Sunday, 7 August 2011

A Lovely Day

Today, as you may have guessed from the title of the post, was a very nice day. (It was also not a very nice day at all, if we're talking about the weather; but I wasn't.)

In the morning - less than an hour after waking up, actually - I got on a train and went to Bath with a few of my friends. I absolutely adore Bath, it's one of the loveliest cities I've ever been to, and I really must remember to do some research into the university. We didn't really shop much - we walked around the shops, but in a rather vague, not really looking at anything sort of way, which was fine by me. Then we went into a lovely little cafĂ© by the river and ate houmous and pitta bread and salad and chips - yummy! It was a lovely little trip, though potentially the least  productive supposed-shopping I've ever done. No matter, I should be saving money anyway.

When I got home, I had a sort-of-picnic with the boyfriend (by which I mean it was pouring with rain so we packed up a picnic and ate it in the summerhouse in my garden) and then watched An Education, which is a brilliant film, and stars the lovely Carey Mulligan and a Colin-Firth look-alike. (I can't remember his real name. He looks like Colin Firth; that's all that matters.)

You may have noticed the massive overuse of the word lovely in this post. It is actually deliberate, I promise. Because to me, the word lovely means contentment; and that is how I felt today. It is also, conveniently enough, what this post is about. Funny that!

Contentment. Isn't it a wonderful feeling? Not quite happiness - there is a subtle but significant difference between the two. Happiness is a bright, dynamic feeling - it leaps out at you, rather like an over-excitable puppy, and plasters a tell-tale smile across your face. Seeing a friend you haven't seen in a long time; hearing some really really good news; laughing until your stomach hurts with your best friends - that's happiness.

Contentment is more demure, more understated. It is the calmer, quieter puppy, which curls up neatly on your lap like a friendly cushion and stays there, keeping your legs warm. It's a warm, deep bath in the middle of winter; a quiet afternoon with the people you love most; a day when everything just goes smoothly. If happiness is bright golden sunshine and a clear blue sky, contentment is the light of the setting sun, or the glow of a gently crackling bonfire.

I've been thinking about this quite a lot lately, and I really do think contentment is my favourite feeling in the whole world - inexplicably more wonderful than happiness itself. I'm also really nosey, so now I have a question for you: what makes you feel content? Please do comment below, I would love to see what people have to say on this matter!

I'm going to end this post with a video of Bessie Cursons singing Wouldn't It Be Loverly at the auditions from the first series of Britain's Got Talent, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this song seemed appropriate because not only does the song have 'lovely' in the title, but I also think the lyrics describe very well the exact sort of situation that creates contentment.

Why this particular version? Well, one of the memories which first sprung to mind when I was trying to think of examples of times I'd felt content was sitting with my family tucked up in my duvet with a warm drink watching Britain's Got Talent. It's something we've always watched as a family - probably one of the only things - and I think that is one of the main reasons I love it. Plus Bessie is utterly adorable, and One Day I'll Fly Away from Moulin Rouge, is played briefly at the end. What's not to love?!

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