Inside this pot is the secret to happiness.
Well, lots of different ingredients to happiness, really. From making up a batch of Nigella's chocolate mousse to slipping on my threadbare red flannel pajamas, these are the things that have the power to turn any rough day into a smooth, rich and creamy day (yes, I've got my mind set on that mousse now...)
Of course, it works best if you can build up a stock of happy little slips when you're having a good day already. Whenever you bake a delicious new cupcake, discover a favourite new place to sit and read, hear a quote that speaks to you or a great song, add it to the pot, ready to be pulled out when you need to recreate that feeling. (Congratulations to Mumford & Sons, who made it into the pot less than a week after I'd heard of them!)
And it doesn't just have to be ideas. Along with the slips of paper, I keep a couple of stones in the pot. The chalky one, I found on the beach at Mariendal in Denmark, where we stayed this summer; it carries the taste of ice cream and Fransk hotdogs and the feeling of adventure. The striped stone is from Southwold, the nearest beach to my parent's home in England, and reminds me of long, peaceful walks along the shore, with the sea to one side and the bright beach huts to the other. Like tickets to another place -- and another state of mind -- just rolling them around in my palm is like an instant holiday.
So, all you need is a pot, a jar, a tub, and you're ready to start your own...