You Beautiful Things

The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.

Helen Keller


I’ve been watching a reality television show recently where at least one of the characters is besotted with all things designer labelled – as ostentatiously labelled – as possible. She is almost presented as an unsuspecting parody of herself, and I’m certain she cops a lot of flack from viewers but of course, if you want your 15 minutes of fame, sadly it comes with the opinions of others.

Labels are rather an odd phenomenon, aren’t they? Although self-evidently silly and unquestionably shallow in themselves, they work on many people, to command spending, and hold power in some cultures as something to aspire to.

I am into paying what something seems to be reasonably worth for its quality and its beauty. Labels are the last thing I consider. Sometimes they truly indicate the old-school quality that birthed them, other times I fear they are the fallen shells of their former selves, profiting from sweatshops.

I like beautiful things and many, many beautiful things are not labelled or branded at all. Often they are bespoke to requirements. Sometimes they come out of nature, comfort or homemade, care-filled simplicity.

I like to keep life minimalist, but there are things you just need. Choosing things that feel beautiful to you personally, wherever possible – regardless of being labelled or expensive, promotes deep contentment and wellbeing. They feel good when they’re personally lovely to us, beyond a mere symbols of status for someone else’s evaluation. We benefit most from objects and environments that make us feel good in soulful ways, like feeling nurtured, comforted, supported, lifted and affirmed.

If that has something to do with money by default, so be it, but it would be a pity if that were the sole defining aspiration of our lives. Money buys some good comforts, but it doesn’t go deep enough to be the only thing to aspire to.


Travel always heightens my awareness of what matters most in all the little things of home, the multitude of comforts that you don’t have when you’re out of your own space. It shows up all the missing things that fly under the radar of awareness, but matter so much for simple happiness.


A real cup of coffee, tea from a china cup in a proper pot, real milk if you take it (not the long-life stuff of hotels), and your own big bottle of good hair conditioner or perfume instead of some travel make-do mini version. Facing the reality that fresh, clean, filtered water is not available everywhere keeps my feet on the ground and helps spark gratitude.

What’s your everyday beautiful, your everyday pleasures that you might easily take for granted?

What are your most important comforts, ever-present and woven into the fabric of your everyday?

What makes your life your work of beauty, to your tastes?

I like my coffee just so, my tea quite right, my pillow my way, I need something to write with always… but most of all, I want my people, my family either present, or clearly accounted for.

Our precious beings and our passions – our three loves – they keep calling us home, physically and emotionally.

They make life beautiful.