I am all for counting blessings instead of just taking things for granted. In this blog post I simply want to share with you some of life's blessings that I enjoy, and which all start with the letter P.
I hereby challenge you to come up with your own. It will be an exercise in finding things to be grateful for.
Pleasure # 1) PEONIES
I just love peonies! It was one of the flowers in our garden when I grew up, and it brings back good memories from a happy and carefree childhood in a small town on the west coast of Norway.
Peonies come in several variations, from the pure white via soft pink to a dark red. The buds have a beautiful round shape, and when the flower is in full bloom, it's bold and lush with big petals, and it smells good.
I just had to grow peonies when I married and got a house and garden of my own. If there's anything I miss right now, it's having a garden, but I will have one again soon, for sure, and then I'll plant peonies again - lots of them! I'll have white, pink and red ones.
For now, I'll just have to settle for the occasional bouquet from the florist's, like the one in the picture above. But that's nice, too. They're only in season for a few weeks every summer, from June and onward, but I make sure I enjoy them whenever I can.
Pleasure # 2) PEUGEOT
This is the car I drive at the moment.
I changed from Mercedes to Peugeot not very long ago, and I'm very pleased with it! The Mercedes-Benz that I had was a very elegant car, but after having driven it for a while, I found it "heavy", too noisy and not a very good car for winter conditions (which I absolutely need here in Norway).
Peugeot has always been one of my favorite car brands, ever since I got my driving lisence. Just after I got my lisence, I worked as a secretary for the bosses at a ship-yard and had to go on many errands into town for them. Since I didn't have my own car at the time, I got to use whatever car was available, and after having driven one of my bosses' Peugeot 505, it immediately became my absolute favorite. If that car was available, there was no doubt: That would be the one I used.
No wonder, then, that when I finally got around to buying a car of my own, Peugeot was my choice. I got myself a Peugeot 305, and it served me well for quite a few years. I probably wouldn't have swapped it in for another car until it was absolutely no chance of driving it anymore, had it not been for the fact that I got married and expected my first child, and a bigger "family car" was needed. But I've always loved Peugeot ever since that first car. Not only because I'm a Francophile and Peugeot is a French brand, but I think it's a really good brand.
Pleasure # 3) PHOTOGRAPHY
Photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels
I've always enjoyed photography and filming.
I'm constantly trying to improve my technique and shoot good pictures.
I always try to compose a picture in the best possible way on the spot, rather than editing it afterwards, and I enjoy shooting close-ups of beautiful flowers and other nature elements, as you can see from the pictures in my Picfair shop.
I also love to travel the world and shoot pictures of what I see there,
whether it's landscapes, culture related pictures, buildings,
animals, nature or people.
I decided a while back to make my photography into something more than just a hobby. That's why I started uploading some of my photos to Twenty20, which is a stock photo website, and I hope you'll take a look at my profile there and perhaps "like" some of my photos. I would really appreciate that!
I'll be building more categories on Twenty20 soon,
but my main focus from now on when it comes to photography, will be on my Picfair photo business, so that's where you'll find my best photos from now on.
I would love it if you would take a look through my store there, and of course I'll be thrilled if you find that you like one or several of my photos well enough to buy from me!
Some of my pictures are taken as souvenirs and in a hurry, and are therefor not planned or "composed". Most of them never find the way to my online photo store, but are for private use only. Others are taken with a purpose and therefor more "staged".
No matter what: I shoot pictures because it gives me great pleasure. I can only hope that you take some pleasure in them, too. Please feel free to give me your feedback. Constructive critisism or advise on how I can become a better photographer will be appreciated and taken very seriously.
A lot of photos have been taken on my travels, and can be seen on my travel blog,The Passionate Globetrotter.
Many of my pictures are from my own country, Norway.
To see more pictures from my travels and read more about
my journeys, you can also visit my travel blog The Passionate Globetrotter.
Now, let's move on to
Pleasure #4) PARIS
L'Arc de Triomphe on a cloudy day in July 2010
Sous les ciels de Paris ...
I fell in love with Paris even before I had ever visited the city. In fact, I fell in love with everything French as far back as in my early childhood, when I first heard the language (probably on TV) and watched French movies and travel documentaries about France. It was an instant crush.
For the record: I have always had a passion for languages, - even different accents of my own language have always fascinated me, - and foreign languages are like music to my ears. The French language more than any other.
I first visited Paris in 1984, and it was everything I had dreamed of, and more. Le Tour Eiffel... L'Arc de Triomphe... Les Champs-Elysées...Pont Alexandre...Le Louvre... Montmartre... all the famous places, of course.
But most of all it was the sounds, the smell of fresh baguettes from the bakery, the restaurants, the elegance of the French women, in all its simplicity... the green areas ... Jardin des Tuileries... La Seine... les bateaux mouche... Notre Dame... le Sacre Caeur... le Quartier Latin...
And I was lucky enough to be visiting my French friend, who lived with her newly wed husband in a Paris apartment close to La Place d'Etoile, and thus I was able to experience first-hand what it was like to live in one of those wonderful old buildings. The solid wooden door... the concierge downstairs... the spiral staircase... the high ceilings of the apartment and the large windows, opened up to let the summer breeze play with the light curtains...
And the kitchen, facing the backyard, with a large window where the sounds from the neighbours came in and tickled my ears, with their laughing, the sounds of their pots and pans as they were making their dinner in the neighbouring flat.. the smell of food... a dog barking... all familiar sounds, but yet so different there... Because the backdrop was different from what I was used to.
And I loved the Paris shops, all the specialized shops: boulangerie, pattisserie, charcutterie ... even going to the local supermarket and buy food was an adventure! What a selection! The Bon Maman jams ... the cheese... the sausages... the wine ... oh-la-la!
But even going to the big malls, like Galerie Lafayette and Printemps, was a more pleasant experience than visiting many other malls I've been to. And the Paris life ... starting the day with a bowl of café au lait and some croissants with confiture de laframboise... perhaps not the healthiest alternative in the long run, but my God, what a joy!
Lunching out at a restaurant, watching the people walking by and having a nice conversation with friends ... flaner sur les quais... listening to someone playing the accordion in the French way ... the sound of Edith Piaf on the radio, or some more modern music on Radio Énergie ... In 1984 they played "Red, red wine" with UB40 and "Neun-und-neunzig Luftballons.." - and my friend recorded the radio-program for me and I played it again and again when I came back home, and longed back to Paris.
I will always long back to Paris. I've been there twice since that first time, but hardly often enough. As much as I love the rest of the world and want to see it all... Paris will always have a special place in my heart.
Paris, je t'aime.
Pleasure #5) PROVENCE
Aix-en-Provence, August 2014
Provence is a place I've always dreamed of, and in August 2014 my dream came true: I went on a road-trip in Provence, all by myself. I'd been to France before, but never to Provence, so it was with great anticipation that I finally went there.
The Norwegian Airline took me to Nice, which was really the ideal starting point for me. I rented a car there, and started exploring the area. At the time, I hadn't started a blog and therefor focused on living the dream there and then without writing about it. But I have written an article (divided in 2 parts) about How I accidentally fell in love with Cavaillon and 8 reasons why you might, too over at my travel blog, The Passionate Globetrotter.com. I have also written a few articles here on this blog that you're reading now, about authors from Provence, which I hope you'll find interesting.
There will be more articles about Provence from my hand, for sure, both on this blog and on The Passionate Globetrotter blog, because I don't think I'll ever get enough of this lovely part of France. My desire is to buy a house there, and one day I will, but until the current pandemic situation is over and the world is back to normal, that plan will have to be on the back-burner. For now, I keep dreaming about Provence and doing research for my next trip there.
Pleasure #6) PIZZA
Picture from Pixabay
I just LOVE pizza! I don't think I'll ever get tired of it! I especially love Italian pizza, but the American type is also good.
So what kind of topping do I prefer? Honestly: There are such a lot of delicious variations to pizza that I won't even begin to mention any favorites. What I can say, though, is that I tend to not like variations with seafood on them (schrimps, tuna, etc.). Apart from that, I'm open to most suggestions! Do YOU like pizza? Feel free to leave a comment about it!
Pleasure #7) PAGNOL
By Studio Harcourt - RMN, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76212655
Marcel Pagnol (28 February 1895 – 18 April 1974) was a French novelist, playwright, and filmmaker. Regarded as an auteur, in 1946, he became the first filmmaker elected to the Académie française. I love his books, and the film adaptions of them are pure delight! I highly reccommend that you check them out!
Pleasure #8) PRIDE & PREJUDICE
Photo by Leah Kelley from Pexels
I simply LOVE "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, and in particular the 1995 TV-series version of it, starring Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet and Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy! If you haven't watched it already (something that would be absolutely unbelievable if you're a lover of British period dramas...) - you really should! I won't give away the story, because that would ruin the experience for you. Just take my word for it: It's totally watch-worthy! :) And of course reading the book is a pleasure, too, if you like to read.
Pleasure # 9) POLDARK
Another British period drama that I love and adore! I'm waiting for the last season - season #5 - to be broadcasted on Norwegian television, and I definitly must buy it on DVD so I can complete my collection of all the seasons. Again: Highly reccommendable, especially if you love period dramas.
Poldark season 5 - Screenshot of Ross and Demelza: "You have no idea how glad I am to be home"
Well, these were 9 of my "guilty pleasures" starting with the letter "P". I hope you've enjoyed this article and have found something that has inspired you to come up with your own list of pleasures. I would love to know what those are, or if you share any of mine!
Please feel free to leave a comment, and also share this article with someone you think might find it enjoyable!