Although I'm all for big appetites and extravagance, I like to be reminded that good things can come in small portions.
:: A teaspoon of very cold lemon curd (I use Nigella's very easy recipe in How to Eat) straight from a jar in the fridge is sublime. Especially with a cup of tea as a variant on the old Russian habit of having a spoon of jam with a glass of tea (one of my favourite domestic details in nineteenth century Russian literature).
:: A long short story or a short novella is a treat for a rainy afternoon or a quiet evening. The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow is gripping; it's difficult not to rush the reading in order to find out how the mystery is revealed and resolved. It has surprisingly modern themes for someone who is perceived as a stalwart of Victorian fiction, and is just right for a single reading gulp.
:: A little £1 pot of pansies from Petersham Nurseries. I couldn't bring myself to buy plants at twice or even three times the price of their Columbia Road counterparts, and the tiny pots of pretty, nodding pansies were probably the cheapest plants in the place.
:: A 75p postcard from the V&A. I wanted to splurge on the Frederick Sandys catalogue raisonné after seeing this painting again at the excellent Cult of Beauty exhibition. The painting has some of the most exquisite flowers I've ever seen in a painting - at Proserpina's feet - and I would happily take just that portion of the canvas and frame it. (The exhibition is very lovely and all 'utterly utter' as they said at the time, with a good number of 'bored ladies' as Simon describes the Rossetti stunners, and plenty of images of a very mournful-looking Janey Morris.)
Instead I bought the postcard because it made me laugh. It was part of the Punch-led lampooning of the Aesthetes and the joke that they tried to 'live up to their tea-pots'. Not something that ever troubles me, although I couldn't possibly live up to my tea cosies.
:: I bought a small pack of very thin Clover quilting pins to go in a tiny pincushion made by Susie of Duxhurst Quilting. I love the dinkiness of the cushion and spend too much time arranging the pins by colour.
:: I have seen and felt the very short and slim books in the new Penguin Great Food series whose covers are beautiful. I don't really like short collections and selections as it's all down to the editing and I feel I should be making my own choices (and how do you condense someone like MFK Fisher or Samuel Pepys?) but if they sold the covers on their own, I'd have the lot. (Good article here.)