This is a website to celebrate possibilities, creativity, & the little joys.
Often, it is small things that give our days their shape. A good meal, a good book, singing at the top of your lungs, or listening to a storm batter down on your house (from the safety of your warm bed!) – these are all things that are at once ordinary, and extraordinary. There should always be a space to discuss & enjoy them; and that is the aim of this website.
In times when we cannot control big things, we can always celebrate small things. Little joys provide us with huge possibilities.
I hope that the little joys collected here give you some happiness, & grow more joys of your own.
Why the ampersand?
The ampersand (&) in the title is there to suggest something else, some other possibilities. Instead of being closed and whole in itself (“The Little Joys.”), the ampersand in the title represents openness, possibility, and a bigger whole in which the little joys are part. The “hanging sentence” that the ampersand creates is deliberate and allows you, the reader, to fill in the blank with your own lives and desires.
The word “ampersand” is, by way of etymology, a contraction of “and per se and”, meaning, “and (the character) and by itself”. Traditionally, when reciting the alphabet in schools, any letter that could also be used as a word in itself – such as “A” or “I” – was preceded by the Latin phrase per se (meaning “by itself”). Moreover, it was also common to recite the “&” symbol at the end of the alphabet, so that the recitation was “X, Y, Z and per se and” (that is, “X, Y, Z, and by itself, &”. This became slurred into “ampersand” and the term became more commonly used in around 1837.
So, the ampersand represents both individuality and community: the letters that form words in themselves, as well as being part of bigger words. Similarly, the little joys in life are whole in themselves but cannot be extricated from the bigger whole which is our lives.
Also, I just (very much) like ampersands.
All photos, unless credited otherwise, have been taken by me. The Header of the website shows a “Pink Suzy” from the gorgeous Orlando di Castello Cafe in Vienna (on the far left); alongside a plate of Bavarian Sugar Cookies and a Button Bag, creations of my own kitchen and craft table.