Continuous Small Treats

The following is a reprint of a previously published post, from Easter 2009…

Our dear sweet neighbor gave us this Easter basket. He baked the ginger cake himself. I can’t wait to enjoy it with tea tomorrow afternoon. It will perfectly embody the concept of Continuous Small Treats. By the way, the flag reads “Joyenses Paques,” which means “Happy Easter” in French.

The late British novelist Iris Murdoch said “One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.” She was happily married for 43 years to Oxford professor John Bayley. According to Bayley, one of Iris’s greatest pleasures was swimming.

So here is my list of 20 small treats for a happy life:

1. homemade ice cream
2. stroking a purring cat
3. listening to the ocean
4. the smell of freshly brewed coffee
5. a room lit only by candles
6. any track on Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue”
7. a cup of tea
8. a warm bath at the end of a long day
9. freshly baked bread
10. a note from my sweetheart
11. the cooing of a mourning dove
12. a good hard laugh
13. a walk at magic hour
14. a perfect margarita
15. a horse eating an apple out of your hand
16. fresh herbs
17. reading a good book in my favorite chair
18. black licorice
19. a footrub
20. a big hug

I’ll be enjoying my small treat tomorrow at tea time: fresh ginger cake with tea.

What are your favorite small treats? Please share in the Comments section.


  1. says

    Lovely post! Many of yours are on my list too. Some additional ones for me: hand-written letters, calico-anything!, a bowl of soup, listening to Tori Amos, secondhand dresses, watching reruns of Keeping Up Appearances, sharing banana splits at Friendly’s with my mom, among others. Isn’t it wonderful to have too many simple pleasures to name?

  2. Daniel says

    Great post Angela Barton. I would only add, “Seeing the world through the eyes of a child – least we never forget the wonder we take for granted… and sometimes find really funny”, and “Happening across a long lost friend.”

    • Angela says

      Dan Click – I only just came across this comment – is that you?! Send me an email at barton(dot)angela@gmail(dot)com.

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