A few good things

It’s been a good week. It wasn’t that any one thing happened that was particularly spectacular or extraordinary. Indeed, in most ways, the week was as ordinary as any other in my life –  I went to work, I washed the dishes, did the laundry.   It was more that, throughout the week, there was an accumulation of little things – things that made me happy, things that were beautiful, things that reminded me, in some small way, that life truly is profound. Good things.  I meant to write an actual post on something when I sat down today, but I found, after starting and deleting several times, that what I really want to tell you about, are these few good things.

Things like the moon that you see in the first photograph, so full and so bright and big when it came over the horizon, that I nearly dropped my plate in the sink when I looked up and saw it through the window.

Things like this video of a starling murmuration ( a beautiful word describing a beautiful thing) shot by two girls in Ireland, that gives me goosebumps every time I watch it.

Things like the smell of roasting chestnuts,  “a good, comfortable thing” as Dickens said, and the taste, more good and comfortable even, I think, than the smell. To make yourself, place a slit in each one, put them into a large dry skillet over medium flame, and heat, stirring occasionally, until the outsides are charred black here and there, the shells glistening and peeling open, and the flesh of the chestnut warm, sweet and tender and creamy as fudge. We tossed ours with flaky sea salt and a trickle of olive oil. 

Things like the apple I picked on our dusk lit walk the other night, glowing like a jewel in the twilight, whose flesh – crisp in cold in the chilly November air, tasted exactly like a spoonful of honey.

Things like this new cookbook I got in the mail last week (I’ll call it an early Christmas present to myself) that I’ve cooked exclusively from ever since it came out of the box. I’ve been living out of the Comfort Food section (the Sweet Potato and Peanut Gratin is to die for), and enjoying the beauty of celebrating vegetables – “the foods that do us the most good, and our planet the least harm” as Hugh says.

Things like this Pear and Chocolate Oat Crumble that I made the other night.  I’ve been playing around with gluten-free mixes, and instead of flour used equal parts almond meal, cornmeal and brown rice flour for the 45 g of white. It came out terrific – gooey, crunchy, chocolaty, divine.  Speaking of gluten-free cooking, you should also check out this blog.

and things like baked oatmeal that seem made for lazy Sunday mornings, and how there really is nothing better than the way a good, warm and nourishing bowl of soup makes one feel on a cold and blustery November eve.

I hope there were many good things in your week as well.


  1. marthasnail says:

    so many inspiring, good things. can’t wait to try that pear, oat and chocolate crumble.

  2. That video of the starlings is amazing. It gave me goosebumps too!

  3. You are my current inspiration, my anchor and my heartsbreath right now as I slowly claw my way back to health…your writings lift my spirit, give me hope and cheer…and dare I say it give my short writings “wings’ once more.
    Thank you sincerely…….much love n hugzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Danielle Charles says:

      I think you endow me with more than I deserve! But your words as always have warmed my heart and filled me with that wonderful notion of being helpful and valued 🙂 Thank you 🙂 I’m so glad to know, and to think, that each time I write it provides something useful to you. Many MANY well wishes to you in your healing, my dear, I will send you lots of virtual hugs and mugs of tea 🙂


  4. Found you via Shari. (Thanks, Shari!) Sweet Potato and Peanut Gratin, yum. I too recently saw the most fantastic moon. We were slowly walking along one evening, turned a corner, and there it was, in all its glory. These are the good things in life.

    • Danielle Charles says:

      Much agreed about the good things in life, and thanks to Shari from me too 🙂 Welcome to the blog and thank you so much for your comment!


  5. Hmmmmm, goosebumps indeed! Somehow my day suddenly got a sparkle to it. Thank you for all the inspirations! x

  6. I’m so glad your week was so nourishing and filled with little remembrances of beauty. It was a wonderful moon here across the ocean too.

    Your food looks delicious as always and I love the sound of that crumble, will have a look at the recipe now!

    Mark sent me that starling video last week and I too was blown away. i sent it straight to my Dad who is a life long bird watcher and he was very moved. There used to be an old pier where the starlings nested in Brighton and every year we would watch the wonderful murmuration open mouthed. Sadly it burnt down a few years ago and it has not been quite the same since. Have a look at this wonderful image from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition a couple of years ago. Was thinking of getting a framed print for my Dad for Christmas 🙂


    • Danielle Charles says:

      What an amazing photo! I opened up the link and found myself sitting here for many minutes, just gazing at it in awe. I think your Dad would absolutely love that 🙂 There is something about a murmuration – the way so many creatures move together as one, twisting in turning with such grace and beauty – that just awes me beyond words. Too bad about the pier burning down – that must have been some sight! I’m glad the moon was just as beautiful there as here – it is something I’ve always found consolation in when I’ve been away from people I love, that they might look up at the moon and see it just as I am.

      Much love to you,

  7. The murmuration puts me mind of the Aurora Borealis on fast forward, in black, and much closer to Earth. Thanks for sharing! It’s going to get passed on. 🙂 Isn’t it an amazing world we live in?

    • Danielle Charles says:

      Hi Kieron,
      What a beautiful thought! I think I’m going to have to watch it again with that in mind 🙂 It is an amazing world, I so agree. Good to remind ourselves of that as often as we can!

Speak Your Mind