Nov 2, 2022Liked by Hannah Meltzer

My son was born at the start of the pandemic. I thought I was ready. I really did. But these 2 simultaneous events were the most difficult times I've passed through. We were isolated from family, friends and a helpful nanny to watch him so that I could sleep. That is all my wife and I wanted to do. We couldn't risk him/us getting sick. So we shut ourselves in. If time is money, having some 'personal time' was a luxury I wanted to afford. Things are more or less back to normal now. He is a happy 2 year old. Spending time with him, the important moments I might have missed (first words, first steps) I was here for everything. I work from home and his daycare is a quick 10 mins walk away. Sharing as much memories with him is the lil luxuries that I didn't know I needed but now can't imagine my life without.

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Thanks Hannah – always thought-provoking, and now I'm listening to the playlist too, though it can't compare to being serenaded by a Londoner singing Barbra Streisand songs in a Paris office...

We have talked about this before, but I do think too much luxury is a bad and disempowering thing, allowing a person to a) be infantilised and b) dehumanise the workers around them – you see that clearly if your work takes you into the world of the uber-wealthy, as you have in those hotels and I did in the fashion industry. Best to be a tourist in luxury, not a resident.

I was interested in your thoughts about the London commute. I used to quite enjoy it, sometimes – the feeling of being in the lifeblood of the city, and listening to music or reading a book surrounded by strangers who were also just living their London lives. I didn't like it quite so much when I couldn't get a seat on the tube though. When I stopped doing it, I also realised how physically exhausting it is; my big luxury now that I work from home is that I sleep well and rarely rush anywhere.

I love that quote from Stormzy. Here are some more of my luxuries: time spent doing nothing much with my parents, just watching TV, or sitting in the big chair in their kitchen while my mum kneads bread dough and my dad is out in his office shed frowning at his laptop. (This makes my parents sound very traditional, but my mum is actually a retired judge who just happens to like baking bread.) Steak (sorry): I buy and cook a steak once a month on my period, because that gives me a nutritional excuse to cook red meat, and it makes me so happy, even though I can't afford the best cuts. The dishwasher: possibly the most life-enhancing thing I've ever spent money on, except perhaps a good bed and bedding. And the bath. I have a bath every day, not with bubbles or candles or whatever, but just literally 15 minutes submerged in warm water. I know that's a wild and bad luxury, climate-wise. It really makes me happy and calm though.

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Stormzy is so right Hannah.

Social media has some beautiful things to offer, but hearing God speak is surely not one of them.

Instagram is the noisiest... people forgetting that their Actual life is right there in front of them to take joy in. Whilst they are dressing , posing and filtering the truth to make , an astonishing fib . Does anyone actually believe the second long perfection of an insta story?

My Granny would have said " oh do stop showing off dear and go and find something useful to fill your time with"

Babette? Dogs generally are about as real as it gets . Lovely interesting penpal article as usual Hannah .

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Hi Hannah, belatedly read this post today and saw: sauna! Paris! I've also been to the sauna in Malmö (the one on the sea) but have yet to find one in Paris.

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