Some months ago I read something on someone’s blog (sadly I can’t remember whose) that really stuck in my head. It wasn’t anything to do with babies, pills, supplements or injections, rather a simple trip to the gym followed by a Starbucks Vanilla Latte. At that point I had never tasted a Starbucks Vanilla Latte – I usually hate syrups in coffee, let alone drink the kiddies coffee milk that is Starbucks, but the way she wrote about it well, it sounded so delicious, so good for the soul.

So, that very morning, I went right out and bought one. And that Starbucks Vanilla Latte, well, it was everything she promised it would be; warm, sweet, comforting, like the moment you submerge all your limbs in the hottest, most fragrant of baths. Since then, I have bought ten, maybe twelve of these paper cupped drinks, mostly on occasions when I feel a bit crap and a bit cold. And on each one of those occasions, I have felt better.

Having had a week of professional cul-de-sacs and fertility freak-outs, I elected to fill my weekend with as many Starbucks Vanilla Latte moments as I could. But, not being of the constitution to withstand that amount of caffeine, and knowing that I would both impair my fertility and annoy the fuck out of my husband if I even tried, I came up with some equivalents:

1. Sleeping until I woke up, then forcing myself back to sleep some more. Then, finally waking up and doing that stretch with all your limbs; the one that feels so delicious, that feels like your muscles are filling with warm water, that carries you so gently and chivalrously to wakefulness.

2. Thick cut marmalade on hot buttered toast and a strong cup of tea, in bed.

3. A Vanilla Starbucks and chocolate brownie chaser on the way to a writers meeting, bought whilst sporting my new, elephant coloured, only for Springtime, coat.

4. An afternoon meeting of romantic novelists, indulging in their stories of wayward love and imagined crimes of passion.

5. An impromptu manicure with white pearlescent nail polish, on the way back from the writers meeting (at a nail bar, which I didn’t think existed anywhere else other than New York. Nothing like a discovery to lift the spirits, even if I am decades late.)

6. Cooking dinner for my husband. Who’d have thought chopping onions, sautéing garlic and sweating aubergines could be so soothing? Particularly while listening to BBC Radio 4, sipping red wine and rearranging the spice rack.

7. A swim; spending as much time as possible under the water where it’s quiet and feels like being in a different world. In my aquatic wonderland I imagined a big friendly turtle swimming alongside me. He sounded like Morgan Freeman.

8. Reading a new book whilst holding squares of dark chocolate in my mouth until they melted and made me a bit high.

9. Spring cleaning my wardrobe. I never realised I had so many bras, and now they look like a big box of fancy chocolates all folded, pattern side up and packed in a purple satin shoebox.

10. Cleaning out the freezer and finding some frozen fish cakes that will feed me nicely later in the week. But better than that, I’ve put the chillies in a freezer bag so they’re not rolling around willie nillie with the peas we use to calm Mum’s arthritic wrists.

In conclusion: Tending to newborn babies, giving advice to newly pregnant friends, whilst still keeping an eye on my own precarious situation, has had the sting drained out of it just by diving headfirst into life’s Vanilla Starbucks moments – pleasures that are simple, sweet and good for the soul. These are mine, what are yours?

Advertisements