Finding the Joy De Vivre

I love all the french expressions that have found their way into english vernacular, and none more than joy de vivre. I’m not a french speaker but I don’t think it even requires a translation – it just sounds like it is bursting with all the good things. It’s pronounced ʒwa də vivʁ, just in case you’re french is as bad as mine.

But for those that can’t hear the meaning in the sound of the words, it means finding the joy in life. It is described as an exaltation of the spirit, a joy of conversation, a joy of food – a general delight with living.

So in other words, it’s finding joy in the small things. Stopping, taking a moment to look. Tuning in to the small things. To me, this is living slowly and mindfully. Today, these are some of the things that helped me feel the joy de vivre:

★  Walking my daughter to school on this fresh autumn morning. Rugged up in my new scarf, and a warm jacket, with the sun on my face and my kiddos chatting easily with me about life.

 Taking a bus with my youngest. We usually have the car, but not today – my husband needed it for work. So I thought we’d have a little excursion. We took a bus to the station, then a train two stops. On a recommendation, we had morning tea at The Sunbeam Cafe. It is as delightful as the name suggests. Established in 1945, not a great deal has changed in The Sunbeam Cafe since then, including the style of cakes. (Think cream puffs, apple turnovers, chocolate eclair… my mouth is watering just thinking about them.)

 Coming home, and on a whim deciding to make lentil rolls from the Lunch Lady website. How can anyone go past these, when the headline is “it’s a long way to shop, if you want a lentil roll”. And even better, the real song is stuck in my head. Here’s the result.

(I supplemented the pumpkin for a tin of cannelinni beans, added a zucchini and some LSA instead of breadcrumbs, and happily, none of this was to their detriment.)

 Whispering silliness into my four-year-old’s ear, and hearing her electric cackle escape loudly from deep within her belly.

Taking the time to reflect on these little, but magical things, improved the quality of my day in an immeasurable way.

Are you taking the time to find the joy de vivre? Tell me some the things that have left you delighted with life.


  1. says

    I love your day Collette! So good! Lentil rolls, how fab, I think I might make some of those for Harry’s packed lunch. Might be onto a winner ❤️ Xxx

    • collette says

      They are so good! You need to quickly put them in the freezer or risk eating all of them at once. They are so moorish! Making those rolls is an excellent procrastination from marketing! 😂

  2. says

    I think I need to try these lentil rolls. Coming out of a long month of moving sickness, I am finding mine in the very littlest of things, eating jonathon apples from the tree in the back yard, reading in bed between the flannelette sheets, that kind of thing xx

    • collette says

      How lovely to have an apple tree! And flannelette sheets – one of winter’s better offerings. I hope you’re all feeling better soon. xx

    • collette says

      Thanks Dawn. Yes, it is amazing that even when things seems to be going wrong there is joy to be found if we just look for it. x

  3. says

    I haven’t thought to try lentil rolls but those look good! The little things – hmmm, everything feels quite big at the moment, in a good way, but I’ll look out a little more 🙂

    • collette says

      That all sounds very exciting. Perhaps the lentil rolls can be your first ‘small thing’ – they’re really good, so won’t let you down! xx

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