Be Nice It's Tuesday

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Bye for now

I have just realised how long it is since I posted anything, which I’m slightly annoyed with myself for as I currently have quite a few blogs-in-progress. I’d hoped to finish and post at least one of them before I go away for two weeks with limited internet, but it was not to be. I will however try and do some writing while I’m away – good old fashioned pen and paper – which I can type up when I get home again.

So tomorrow I set off to Scotland for two weeks which I’m really excited about. I’ve been there so many times but it never ceases to be the most wonderful place on Earth (in my opinion at least). In the meantime though, I hope you are all enjoying your summer, remember to make the most out of it and have a good time whatever you’re doing, because you deserve to be happy ūüôā

I will leave you with my #100HappyDays picture for today (day 70, only one month left) which is these Brownies I made:
After all, it is a Chocolate Thursday ūüôā (and by the way, these brownies are delicious, I can post the recipe if anyone would be interested)



The Joy of Life

Do you ever think how wonderful and beautiful and amazing the world is, and feel like you could just burst with happiness at it all? Because that’s how I feel when I hear a truly amazing piece of music for the first time, find an unexpectedly great book or film, funny lessons, laughing with friends, seeing people smiling.
But most of all I’ve recently been noticing this when I’m out in nature. I’m sat in my room and just feel a need to be outside. I have a little walk I always do, out through some fields and woods behind my house. It’s beautiful countryside, and it’s been lovely with the hot weather lately, but even when it isn’t sunny I love being outside. I keep being out there and being filled with joy, so much so that I can’t contain it all, I feel it should be pysically possible to scoop up the extra happiness and save it for later or give it to someone else because I can’t cope with so much all at once. I end up acting like I’m in a cheesy musical, skipping through the grass, throughing my arms out and looking to the sky, spinning around, making strange noises like a cross between a laugh and cry.
I have been through some fairly terrible things over the past years, the worst thing ever to happen to me was over a year and a half ago, and while I’ll never fully get over it, I feel like I’ve reached the other side.
These things which make me so happy I can’t stop smiling aren’t big things, just the many tiny wonders of life. Maybe it’s because I have experianced such intense sadness that I can feel intense happiness, and really appreciate the little things, but I hope that anyone can be this happy with the right mindset.
So get outside, notice the little things that make you smile, and love life. It’s all we have.

Happiness often sneaks in through a door we didn’t know we’d left open.

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4 Books and a Film

I love reading, and I’m quite a fast reader which can be annoying, as it means I rarely have new books so instead keep re-reading. However over the past few months I have read quite a few books, so I thought I’d write a bit about some of them which have particularly made me think. These aren’t full reviews, and I shall try to avoid spoilers, so if they sound interesting then definately check them out. (I’ve put age and gender suggestions, but these are just my rough guesses, don’t let that stop you if you like the sound of them).

  • The Life Boat, Charlotte Rogan –¬†I found this in my sister’s room when¬†I had nothing to read an liked the cover of it.¬†This is a¬†story set on an over-full, abandoned lifeboat in the aftermath of a shipwreck.¬†Considering almost the whole book is set on a small boat¬† with about 30 people on, and not that much actual action, it is fairly fast-paced and exciting, impossible to put down. This book really made me question what I’d do in that situation, would I let others die, or kill, in order to save myself? Would I really be able to sacrafice myself to save some¬†strangers? Would I even have the physical and emotional strength to survive the ordeal? This book is definately worth a read for late teen/adult of either gender.
  • The Declartion, Gemma Malley – This is another really thought-provoking book, although more about society rather than individual. It was recommended and lent to me by one of my friends a while ago.¬†I don’t want to say too much what it’s about because I like the way it’s gradually explained in the book, but it puts an interesting perspective on the potential consequences of improvements in medical care, and it’s something I’d been thinking about for a while anyway. In terms of the plot there are some weaknesses; it feels a bit like the ending is all rather rushed and squashed, and I’m not sure I’ll be reading all the rest of the series, but these story-line flaws are made up for by how well the issues in the book are explored. My main problem with this book is that the edition I had has a very prettily patterend pink cover, but it’s not at all a ‘girly’ book, so guys, please don’t be put off by that.
  • Hector and the Search for Happiness, Fran√ßois Lelord – Another one I borrowed/took from my sister. This is slightly strange book, a cross between a novel and self-help book, but I think it’s obvious from the title why I wanted to read it. It’s written very well, managing to be na√Įve and simple without being patronising, and it has some really good lessons in there. Probably more of an adult book, maybe 17 and upwards, but a good read not just for people who want the therapist side of it.
  • What I Was, Meg Rosoff – I have no idea where this book came from, but it was lying around in my kitchen for a while with no one claiming it, so¬†I thought it would be rude not to give it a read. It’s a story about a boy in the 1960s starting his third private boarding school, and the adventure he has there. It’s a fairly gentle story line, but when I finished it I just wanted to read it all again to see how I could have been so wrong about what was going to happen in it. The very ending disappointed me somewhat, but I enjoyed it over all. The only other thing I have to say about it is that if, like me, you’re a girl who tends to fall in love with boys in books, this one will really mess with your head. I can imagine only certain people will enjoy this book, but in terms of age and gender I’d say it could be appreciated by anyone¬†from the age of 13/14 to old aged (we think the book may have been left by my 80 year old Nana).


Finally, this morning I watched a German film called ,,Der Ganz Grosse Traum”. From my previous depressing experiances of German films I wasn’t expecting much, but I loved it! It’s loosly based on the true story of a teacher who first brought football to Germany in the late 19th Centuary, but it’s not just a film about football, it has humour, romance, drama etc. I didn’t fully understand everything, as there weren’t English subtitles, but if you understand German or can find it in English – I think the English version is called Lessons From a Dream – then I would definately recommend it. This picture of it was my #100HappyDays picture for today – day 57 already!

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Spread the smile

Today is Smiley Wednesday, so it seems a good day to talk about something I feel quite strongly about.

Let no one come to you without leaving happier.

As you have probably realised by now, I like happiness. I like other people to be happy and I like me to be happy. And I think one of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy, and there are some very simple ways of doing this.
First of all, on a practical¬†basis, it’s useful to know how to keep other people happy, otherwise you’ll spend your whole life rubbing people the wrong way and getting into confrontations. And a very good way of doing this is good old fashioned manners. A few months ago I was at a concert with a friend, and half way through a song two people came and sat behind us on the table we’d found to sit on. I was getting very annoyed about this as they were making the table move and had been whispering to each other, but as soon as the song ended one of them lent over and apologised to us, and explained that her friend had hurt her leg so couldn’t stand up to watch any more. All my annoyance instantly melted and moved the chair I’d been resting my leg on for the injured woman to use instead. It wasn’t the fact that they had an excuse that made me warmer towards them, simply that they were polite.¬†But now onto what I really think is important.

Smile…it’ll either warm their heart or piss them off…either way you win.

This morning I went swimming (can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that I’ve done exercise two days running…maybe this will finally be the summer when I actually get fit…haha, good one me), and as I was swimming up and down, i made sure that whenever I caught someone’s eye, I smiled at them. The whole time I was there, only two people smiled back at me. Maybe the others didn’t notice, or were concentrating on their swimming, but when those people returned the smile it made me feel so much happier.

Remember to be happy, you never know who’s falling in love with your smile.

I always try to go about life with a smile on my face. This is partly because the me I want to present to the world is a happy me. The way many people worry about their hair, clothes, make-up etc. to look beautiful, I want to look happy.
But I mainly do this in the hopes that me smiling may brighten someone else’s day. It saddens me when I walk through College or Town and everyone looks miserable, because there’s so much in life to be happy about.

The world always looks brighter with a smile.

Here are some facts* about smiling: smiles are contagious, if you see someone smiling you automatically smile back; smiling is easier and more natural than frowning;¬†smiling actually makes you feel happier; depressed people have said being smiled at by a stranger in the street has been the only good thing to happen to them in a day. In short, if you smile it makes you happy and it makes other people happy. What’s not to love? So I encourage everyone to start making a conscious effort to smile more, at strangers, friends, or just to yourself.

Keep smiling and one day life will get tired of upsetting you.

*The word ‘fact’ is used here very loosely; these are things I remember reading somewhere at some point, and I cannot guarantee their accuracy.

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Why do people do this to themselves?

For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.

I am confused. I am genuinely baffled. I’m hoping someone will be able to explain something to me, because I have no answer to this question. Why are some people so negative?
A couple of days ago, my Dad was driving me and a friend home from a concert we’d been playing in, and someone else did some rather stupid driving which could easily have lead to an accident (luckily it didn’t). Seeing the other driver shaking his head, my Dad wondered aloud why the other driver seemed to think he (Dad) had done something wrong. I had thought the driver was shaking his head at himself, in an apologetic way, but when I said this, my friend replied by saying ‘You’re obviously just trying to look for the best in people’ in a voice which suggested this was a bad thing. When I pointed out this implication, he said ‘Yes, it is a bad thing.’
This friend is generally quite a negative person. He often insults me and tells me that he enjoys doing it. He insults most things actually. In fact I can’t think of an example of him saying anything nice about anything. Wait, I lie, he once told me that I looked nice. However that was after asking me why I hadn’t changed into my nice¬†clothes for the meal, and me responding ‘I have’. He’s not the only one though, so many people seem to be constantly focusing on the worst, and¬†I feel sorry for them.
Yes, sometimes it helps to have a bit of a moan, but in general you’ll feel much happier if you look the best. Surely people want to be happy? Isn’t that the point of happiness, it’s good, it’s what one¬†wants to be? I don’t understand why anyone would want to go through life seeing the world as a horrible, miserable place, but it seems nothing I say to this friend, or others, can help them see my point of view.
If anyone can explain to me why, please leave a comment because I’d love to know, but I hope you can all see the world as, in the main, a wonderful place, because I truly believe that it is.

Positive minds lead positive lives.

Think like a proton and stay positive.

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Do I know you?

At the Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam there is a video of Otto Frank, Anne’s father, talking about reading her diary for the first time. I can’t remember the exact quote, but he speaks of how surprised he was. He thought they were quite close, but there were so many thoughts and views she had written in her diary which he had no idea about. He comes to the conclusion that no parent really knows their child.
This came back to me recently, and I’d say I agree with it. In fact, I’d go further than that and say that no two people ever really know each other. Yes, you can know a lot about someone else, what they like or don’t like, how they’re likely to act or respond to something, but even that has limits. There are people I’ve known well for a long time, I know their siblings and parents, I’ve been inside their houses, but I still can’t imagine how they live their lives there, with each other. I can’t imagine what my parents were like when they were younger. I know they love each other, and me and my sisters, but I can’t imagine how they actually feel. I’m often surprised when my sisters, who I feel I know very well, talk about things they’ve been thinking about, which I wouldn’t have expected, or maybe I just never considered that they’d be having some similar deep thoughts to me.
I keep a diary, but even in there I have trouble opening up and being completely honest, it’s more narrative than emotive. I write this blog, but I think about what image of myself I want to send to the world. I don’t think even the people who know me best really know what’s going on inside my head. I’m not actually sure I always understand my own thoughts. I often think it would be interesting if someone could follow me around for a month or longer, see everything I do, hear everything I say, read everything I write. What would their impression of me be? Would it match up to my own ideas about myself?
I’m writing this because, as already implied, I find it hard to open up to people, or talk about things which really affect me emotionally. I’m constantly trying to get better at this, and I feel I have been making progress, although I currently seem to be being very honest with people I don’t know very well, but still clamming up when it comes to my close friends or family. I also often think how much easier it would be if there were certain things about which people could just understand each other, without needing explanation. For instance how you’re feeling one day, or your really feelings for other people. But it struck me today that no one really knows what’s going on in other people’s heads ( I phrase it like this because saying thoughts sounds much too simplified).
I don’t know, maybe it is possible to find someone who you one day really will know, but until that happens to me, I think I shall have to conclude that no one really knows anyone, other than possibly themselves, and we just have to try and be as honest as we can.