March is a happy month in itself and we have our fair share of celebrating that goes on.
1) For a start we celebrated that our home renovations are complete… for the time being that is, everything went smoothly and we now live in a house that more us – except the sofa, that still needs to happen but I have my heart set on an extortionately priced classic Mah Jong in bold colours.
2) I celebrated another year of love and laughs with my people. Happy Birthday to me.
3) Last but by no means least, Spring 2014 is here. Spring and Summer are my happy days. Hot weather, flip flops, beach, Tinto de Verano…. the list is endless.
Without going back into the home renovations I did want to share what helped me make it through without losing it. Anyone that has done work at home and living there at the same time will sympathise with me and know how difficult it is to get by. I think I broke a new personal record for tea drinking and reading, the things that are at the top of my “things that make me happy” list: tea, mugs and reading… and that is what my happy post is about this month because drinking tea is very closely linked to reading and the tea is usually in a mug that will have been bought on a trip that provides a happy memory.
In this house we are a bit particular about our mugs. Hubby is very fond of the new Le Creuset mugs we got for Christmas because they feel just right. Me, I just like how photogenic they are and I will admit that tea does taste good in them but they are not made for my hands. To be my special mug there are a few must haves that are essential.
Without leaving the subject of mugs I will move a bit onto books. Book lovers of the world please skip directly to the photos below because you may not want to read the upcoming paragraph.
Like I said I love to read. I love reading books, going to book shops and getting lost in the isles and isles of books, touching them, holding them, flicking through the pages and judging it by its cover. Yes, I will buy a book if I love the cover and title. Never in a million years could you have convinced me to read an electronic book, that’s just wrong. So why did I get a Kindle? I have no idea why but obviously my defences were down and I bought a Kindle and I hate to admit that I do in fact like the thing simply because it makes my reading life easier. It’s not the same love affair as with a book and I have had to change my reading ritual a bit because apparently when I read a book I sort of stroke the pages and I haven’t reached that level of affection with the Kindle. Also, books stay at home, they don’t travel with me but Kindle comes with me, protected in his black leather case. He provides reading material during bus journeys, while I wait for Sweet Baby Love when he’s in a class, lunch breaks if I’m by myself etc. I can’t seem to be able to do that with a book because it gets tatty from being in my bottomless pit of a bag and I detest crumpled books. I haven’t read this much in years so there is a place for Kindle in my life.
Luckily there is no electronic substitute for mugs but unlike books unfortunately some mugs are not eternal. This is how most of our mugs go, and it usually happens during the washing up. These mugs do not get thrown out. They are patched up to look as good as new but they no longer serve tea. They move to the book shelf to keep the books company. Here is the mug I got from my first trip to New York, accompanied by the book I read on that trip. If you know Barcelona it’s a must read and if you haven’t been here, it’s a must must read and then come to Barcelona and visit Santa Maria del Mar.
Next up is Iceland III. During our travels around Iceland we bought 2 of these mugs, one was tragically lost on a bumpy road so we got another to replace it. Once home its substitute was also lost to soapy hands and this is the one that is left and it lives with the books as I can’t bring myself to break this one too. As for The Twilight saga, I was late in the game and refused to read them but one day I started and then couldn’t put them down. I found them entertaining.
Salzburg makes fantastic tea and I love this mug which brings back beautiful memories of strolling the streets and humming Do-Re Mi with a two year old Sweet Baby Love.
The Stieg Larsson Millennium books were a brilliant read. Hubby insisted for a good 2 years that I should read them but I have to choose what I read and when I read it. He bought me the first one. That shrunk book at the top with crappy paper that lived on the shelf for a while before I actually picked it up. Then I was completely drawn in and had to get the next two. Gripping story and fantastic characters.
Sardinia is up next. What a lovely little mug. It’s a tad small for my liking but tea does taste fantastic in it. Here it is modelling with the books the family read during our holiday in Sardinia, Summer 2012. Hubby read The name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and again he’s insisting that I will love this book and wants to get it for me and again I’m refusing to read it. Maybe one day. Sardinia for me is Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix on a pristine beach at 38ºC. All my Harry Potter books are in perfect condition apart from this one that travelled from one beach to another, shoved in one bag, emptied of sand, used to balance sandwiches etc. I was very late reading JK Rowling’s Harry books but I am so glad that I did. I had bought them for David but he’s not quite into reading which of course I cannot understand. In Sardinia he got to practice his reading with the Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey.
I would like to introduce you to my all time favourite mug – Berlin 2012. It’s pure perfection and I was devastated when it had to be relegated to the book shelf due to a clumsy washer upper. It’s huge, the handle is almost made to measure, white on the inside and so colourful that it makes me happy just looking at it. It conjours memories of drinking Gluwine mit Rum in front of the Brandenburg Gate at -18ºC, singing a song that I will not admit to singing here. My favourite mug can only be modelled with one of my favourite books: Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Just read it.
Praha is a very close second to Berlin. This hand painted mug is a perfect fit and has everything that I look for in a mug. Best of all it brings back some amazing memories. WHIPSIP girls and boy, you know who you are. With such a special mug I could only choose a special book to go along with it.
This next mug is special beyond words: Espiroide by Sagardelos. Design based on a V century BC tiara found in Castro de Elviña. It’s white inside so you can appreciate the colour of the tea, the handle is as close to perfect as they come, it’s hand made in Galicia which is where my Mamasita is from, made of a delicate china and is airy and light and we got it last Summer while visiting my family. Not only does it make me happy, it also makes me very thankful that life is good and that my family are happy, healthy and safe. Sagardelos gets used regularly and with each sip I feel the need to stop and thank my lucky stars that my parents and Sweet Baby Love were on that train 24 hours before the Santiago de Compostela train accident happened. Every time I use this mug I can’t help but think what a difference 24 hours can make and spare a thought for those that weren’t so fortunate.
And back to happy thoughts I would quite happily shoot all my mugs and favourite books one by one.
Just going through the books again makes me miss reading paper books. Reading on a Kindle I will admit that I miss not having the actual book to look at on the shelf. Now that we’ve had the new book shelf made I miss seeing some new favourite reads that deserve a place on the shelf. Plus Kindle is not photogenic at all and for some reason I picture him with coffee and not tea but I’ll have to get over that.
My latest Kindle reads that I believe deserve to be pictured as real books are: The diary of a young girl by Anne Frank, The Seamstress by Maria Dueñas, Fall of Giants and Winter of the World by Ken Follet and The Hand of Fatima by Ildefonso Falcones.
This post is part of a Happiness Blog Circle. Please follow me over to my photographer friend Rebecca from Rebecca Spencer Photography in the UK to see what makes her happy this month. You will not be disappointed.