It’s been a busy few weeks for me and probably for you too. I’m ready to enjoy a quiet weekend with a few simple pleasures–the types of quiet activities that Jane Austen’s characters may have enjoyed. Today I’d like to share some ways you might add a little touch of Austen charm to your weekend. Most of these things are inexpensive or free, and you can enjoy them with or without company.
Dine by Candlelight. There’s something about the glow of a candle that makes everything more beautiful. I love to imagine Anne Elliot attending that first dinner party with Captain Wentworth and watching him by candlelight. For this dinner, I got ready-made Indian vindaloo sauce and added chopped up rotisserie chicken. Delicious and easy! Plus, everyone behaves better by candlelight.
Enjoy a cup of tea. Imagine you’re Emma Woodhouse having a cup of tea with Mrs. Elton and secretly reveling in her stupidity.I like to drink Twinings tea because the brand was around during Jane Austen’s lifetime, and I prefer lemon ginger herbal variety.
Enjoy a walk in a beautiful place. Think of yourself as Elizabeth Bennet exploring the grounds of Pemberley. If you’re like me, and you’re having a cold winter, you might want to keep your walk short, but it’s still nice to get outside and experience the beauties of nature. I took this walk with my son and our dog. The dog loved watching the geese fly away from us.
Eat a nice, crisp apple. Tell yourself that these apples came from Mr. Knightley’s trees. Miss Bates loves them. Not only are they healthy, they look really beautiful sitting in a bowl on the kitchen counter.
Enjoy some piano music. Play it yourself as Elizabeth Bennet would have or use a recording and pretend you’re listening to Georgiana. I play the piano, but I’m more of the Elizabeth Bennet type. I wasn’t ever into practicing that much. Still, it’s fun to play every once in a while.
Write a letter . . . on paper. Pick your favorite character. They probably wrote a letter somewhere in the story. Personally, I love to write thank you notes because they bless both the writer and the receiver. My wonderful mother received a thank you note from her step-son last December that made her feel so good that she read it to me over the phone. A simple note can make such a difference.
Buy some flowers. Think Colonel Brandon. Hothouse flowers all the way. Unless you live in the Southern hemisphere, in which case you can gather wildflowers like Willoughby.
Bathe with lavendar scented soap. Honestly, I can’t think of a Jane Austen character who talks about soap, but I feel very elegant when I use Yardley soap because the company has been around since before Jane Austen’s time.
If all else fails, there’s nothing like snuggling up with a good book. Follow the example of Catherine Moreland and escape into the world of literature.
What are your favorite simple pleasures?