Sunday, 18 October 2015

Suitably soothing

Seeing as Ursula thought my last post was "disturbing and disturbed" (not for the first time, I'm sure), I shall make up for it by donning the straitjacket, swallowing the pills, and suggesting 25 things that are soothing, comforting or reassuring. Such as:

1. Smooth, untouched snow
2. The smell and feel of morning mist
3. Someone playing with your hair
4. A purring cat
5. A warm shower
6. The sound of pattering rain
7. Crisp, cold, clean water
8. A flickering candle
9. The scent of a loved one
10. Waking up naturally and slowly
11. Soft fabric against your skin
12. Long heart-felt hugs
13. The breeze blowing your curtains
14. The first stretch of the morning
15. A smell that recalls a fond memory
16. Walking barefoot in grass
17. Skinny-dipping
18. Laughing to yourself at a private joke
19. The sound of waves
20. The smell of your favourite food
21. The taste of chocolate
22. Unexpectedly hearing a much-loved song
23. A surprise call from an old friend
24. Rustling leaves
25. A brand-new, fluffy towel

How's that? Am I forgiven? Or do I need the straitjacket a little longer?


  1. That's better - I was beginning to get a bit worried about you!

    Perhaps I could add a few of my own:

    The smell of fresh baked bread.
    Foot massages.
    A long cycle ride in the middle of nowhere.
    A satisfyingly voluminous fart when there's nobody else around.
    Thunder storms.
    Getting into bed with clean sheets after a bath.
    Walking through crisp fallen leaves.

  2. Dave: Oh I'm damaged goods, for sure, but I'm not about to turn serial killer any time soon. I like your further suggestions. The smell of fresh baked bread is totally wonderful.

  3. one of the reasons you evoke the ire of Ursula is (IMO) stuff like this post!
    Don't reference Ursula, dont try to prove your sanity, just do your thing and everyone can like or lump it. The slightest bit of pressure and you cave.

  4. Living in the snow belt, I actually detest number 1. Now if you'd have said sunshine on my shoulder, I would agree.

  5. Kylie: But you've referenced Ursula yourself! And you take what I write far too seriously. I'm not trying to prove my sanity, I accepted long ago that I'm crazy as a coot. I do my thing as much as I can but there are times when the penalty is too high so I don't. I don't usually bow under pressure either. If I back down, that's my decision and mine alone.

  6. Bijoux: True, too much snow ceases to be comforting and becomes a pain in the arse. Especially when it turns to filthy slush. Sunshine on my shoulder would be welcome right now in chilly, overcast Belfast.

  7. "Someone" playing with my hair might seriously disturb me.

    As to pleasing other bloggers, one simple word: Don't.

    Be true to thyself.


  8. www: Yes, it would have to be someone you knew or trusted, not just any passing stranger.

    I do try to be true to myself, but as you know there are some things I'm not brave enough to talk freely about.

  9. I love your posts, they're refreshingly honest. You're not trying to project an image, and you are one of the most sane people I know. Yay, Nick!

    That said, I will now go back to see what our beloved Ursula wrote to keep us amused and possibly stirred up.

  10. All right. I will apologize to Ursula, she seemed genuinely upset.

    Your post reminded me of something I read years ago. A late adolescent/early adult was keeping a personal journal of all he was thinking and feeling and accidentally lost it. He was frantic with worry. What would anyone finding it think of him? I can't remember the details of how he got it back, but the person who found it left him a note thanking him. The finder had felt he was the only one with those thoughts and feelings and had been worried that he might be crazy. After reading the journal he felt relieved and grateful. As I recall, they never met face-to-face, but their mutual openness helped them both.

  11. I don't think I'd put myself into a straightjacket for anyone....over anything.

  12. Jean: Thanks very much. I do try to be as genuine as I can, I don't see any point in projecting some perfect image that's totally false. Why bother?

    That story is so typical. We all think we have weird and embarrassing traits that nobody else has, but chances are there are thousands of people with exactly the same traits, we just don't know about them. Mainly because we're all keeping quiet and pretending we're "normal".

  13. Helen: I think those individuals who're put into straitjackets don't have much choice in the matter, as they've been behaving so strangely they're a social danger. But I imagine it's a pretty horrible experience.

  14. I find a nice slice of toast and marmalade and a decent coffee in the morning does the trick! Of course, it has to be morning.... !

  15. Jenny: We have toast and marmalade and a big cup of tea in bed every Sunday. A wonderful start to the day!

  16. I like your disturbing posts better.

  17. Susie: Thanks for that, you've made my day! I know how crazy you are too, so I feel you're a bit of a kindred spirit. I love your version of "I'm feeling fine" - Fucked-up, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional. I can totally identify with that.

  18. They may be 'a few of your favourite things' but now that I'm old and grey, my eyes are bent, my legs are dim, and my ears are gnarled I think I have lost the appreciation of the little things in life. Instead of the scent of a loved one I now have the smell of liniment, the dog plays with my hair then drags it up the garden and buries it, and walking barefoot in the grass would most likely give me pneumonia! Happy little soul aren't I?

    I make bread twice a week, and I do love the smell when it's baking.

  19. Keith: What was that, your eyes are gnarled, your legs have pneumonia and your ears are walking barefoot in the grass? No, I must have got that wrong. I'm glad there's at least one thing that gives you guaranteed pleasure!

  20. Not bad. There is hope for you.

  21. good grief charlie brown!
    if jenny didn't already have you scooped up... I WOULD!

    everything on your list matches mine... literally everything.

    with only just a few others added which i bet you'd agree to too...
    after not ending a sentence in glaringly noticeable prepositions.

    * standing in front of a glassy aqua swimming pool... no one else around and being the first to quietly enter the water. not diving in.
    just walking into it... barely making a ripple.

    * the smell of very little puppies... like a franfurter.
    the smell of very little kittens... like warm milk.

    * a very first sip of anything warm... hot chocolate ~ coffee ~ soup
    just that first exquisite taste! or the FIRST taste of anything delightful really.

    * a great belly laugh. when you have to mop your eyes because they're watering!

    love you nick! there should be more maniacs like you out there!
    and in my humble opinion...

    the trick that ursula or others might be missing with you could be

    to know where to take you seriously. in just the right places.

    it's always there.

    but it's shrouded in the most delicious humour! ♥

  22. Ramana: Thanks, that's a relief!

    Tammy: Yes indeed, the first sip of anything warm. Nothing quite like it.

    Thanks for your flattering comments! I think I'm just one of many many maniacs hiding away in suburban side streets. And I think you're dead right about Ursula (and Kylie). My regular seasoning of irony/ deadpan humour/ tongue-in-cheekness is easily missed.

  23. I love all those things. And the smell of the dirt when I'm gardening. And salty sea air. And... I could write a list of a thousand things.

  24. Agent: Salty sea air is a lovely smell, isn't it? That was just the first 25 things I thought of, but there must be dozens more, as you suggest.