You should appreciate the little things in life. How many times have we heard that? Loads! Do we do it? Nah. Until we don’t have them, that is. But sometimes you don’t value something when you have it, and still don’t value it when it’s gone, but then realise how much you’ve missed it once it’s back in your life.
Such was the case with a few things in my new temporary home in Russia: my hotel room is great – it is clean and tidy, has running water, windows, a bath tub, a comfortable bed. But these basic things aside, it also lacks a few items you would usually find in a hotel room, like a kettle and, for the first week – the internet.
I knew there would be no kettle before I came, so there was no disappointment on my part. But I didn’t realise how happy the possibility of boiling water would make me until I regained it. A colleague had tipped me off that a small shop nearby sold kettles for a mere £3! So I went for it and bought one.
It certainly didn’t look like the safest device one might want to plug into an electric socket, but, ‘what was the worst that could happen?’, I thought. As soon as the kettle, which can hold up to two medium-sized cups of water, started operating I realised that the possibilities were vast:
I could make cups of green tea; a hot drink of lemon; cups of black tea; instant coffee; cappucino; cups of fruit tea; and, even more excitingly, fill up my hot water bottle – the ultimate comfort-giver in all situations of life (see picture below). Beautiful. I was so happy, I wanted to tell the world… and so I wrote this blog.
The internet was a similar scenario: I knew there wasn’t going to be any in the rooms until Friday, January 24. But then one evening prior to this life-changing date I saw a little icon popping up on my laptop screen: a wireless connection! And I could successfully connect to it! And then I opened my browser and a page loaded. It was like Christmas. I quickly got on the phone and sent off a few WhatsApp messages and checked my emails.
What was even better than checking emails, news pages and Facebook, was online radio. I usually get woken up by my radio alarm which is normally set on Radio 4 at home in London. So when I got up the next morning, I hooked up my laptop to the wireless, got the iPlayer up and running, plugged in my new speaker and listened to the Today programme. Amazing. I was so happy I wanted to tell the world…
I’ve also recently discovered the pleasures of scented candles. I’d been looking for a nice smelling candle for months, and so my boyfriend gave me a fancy one for Christmas. I took it with me to Russia but then forgot I’d had it in my suitcase. So when I finally pulled it out of my bag and lit it, it brightened my room, my mood, my LIFE!
But unfortunately, it burnt down really fast and – after just a week, I was left with this:
What’s gone is gone. I have little faith in the small shops around our hotel selling scented candles, so I’ve had to accept this tragic loss begrudgingly. At least I really appreciated while I had it!