Friday, 18 March 2011

Of Small Pleasures

I'm back in Oxford now, after a week's rest at home, and I'm pleased to report that the penicillin and steroids worked their magic and my throat cleared up very quickly. I'm still extremely tired, and had to have another blood test yesterday to try to clarify whether or not this *is* glandular fever or just another nasty infection. I won't have the results back for another week, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying some of the small pleasures in life while I am forced to take everything very quietly for a while.

As I'm going to be spending most of my time in my flat, I thought I would brighten the place up a little, and yesterday I paid a visit to Daisies, a delightful florist on Walton Street in Jericho, just around the corner from me.

(Image from the Daisies website)

I've peeked through the window several times before, but this is the first time I've actually bought anything there, as usually I frequent another florist in the Covered Market in the centre of Oxford. I decided it was high time I investigated my local flower shop, however, and I wasn't disappointed. The stock in Daisies is stunning, and I've just discovered that it's even possible to order some of their spectacular displays online and have them delivered anywhere across the UK, which is something I might bear in mind for future special occasions!

(Image from the Daisies website)

Although I was tempted by half the shop, I did eventually manage to make up my mind, and bought enough to fill one big glass vase in the sitting room, and a smaller porcelain one in my bedroom. Tulips are always a favourite of mine, and I thought the yellow heart peeking out of the orange petals made these particularly pretty:

I love both the look and the scent of hyacinths, so when I saw the gorgeous deep purple of these beauties, I knew I had to have them. They provide a wonderful dark contrast to the fiery splendour of the tulips...

... and really brighten up the sitting room:

I went for more delicate option for my bedroom, with soothing blues and creams fitting in nicely amongst some of the oddments on my dressing table.

When I was growing up, my mum would always make sure that we had new cut flowers every week, and since I've come away to university this is a habit I've enjoyed turning into my own. It's such an easy way to inject some freshness and colour into a room, and I love the way in which they provide an ever-changing ornament.

For now, I'm curling up on the sofa, admiring my bouquet and enjoying the divine smell of the hyacinths wafting towards me. It's having to compete, however, with the scent of Earl Grey, as I've just made myself a big mugful to go along with this morning's postal delivery: Dandy Gilver & An Unsuitable Day for a Murder by Catriona McPherson. This is the latest in the series which started with the wonderful After the Armistice Ball, and I can't wait to read about Dandy's latest adventures!

Sir W warns us in his 1601 essay 'Of Humilitie' that,

'beauty is but a colour, and not reckened amongst the substantiall',

but as I settle down with my book and tea and gaze upon my lovely flowers, I feel content in finding pleasure in the transient vibrancy of their beautiful, colourful petals. And who knows what I'll find in the florist to tempt me next week?


verity said...

Flowers are cheering out of all proportion to their expense, yet so frivolous as they will just die! I must get myself some daffodils.

Sophie said...

So true, Verity! I might buy some daffodils myself next week. They really are the epitome of Spring.