What doesn’t seem like very long ago, I decided to do the 100HappyDays challenge again. For those of you who don’t know, this is a very simple concept; you take photos of things which makes you happy, one photo every day for 100 days. I did it a couple of years ago – around when I first started this blog actually – and I really enjoyed it, it made me really notice and appreciate the little things in life, and generally contributed to the happiness I had at that time. So a few months ago, when I realised that I’d lost that happiness, I decided to do it again. As I say, it feels as though I’ve only just started it, but I’ve just realised I’m already two thirds of the way through. If I’m honest, it hasn’t had such a strong effect this time, but I still enjoy it (mostly, there are a few days when I forget to take a photo of something or worry about what I can get one of), and I think I am getting to feel a bit better again most days. But I’ll when I finish I’ll share some of my photos from it, and see how I feel then.
As promised, some of the photos from my #100HappyDays Challenge. These aren’t necessarily my favourite photos, but they’re ones which a) I don’t mind sharing with the internet because they don’t have any people or personal things one, and b) have a bit of a story to them.
Day 22. This is some pretty fabric and ribbon which I bought to make into a dress. Day 54 was a photo of me wearing the dress which I made from it, which was the first dress I’ve ever made (I made a top earlier in the year) and it’s actually good enough to wear, so I was very proud of my achievement.
Day 26. I bought this ukulele on that day. It’s just a cheap one, but I like playing it (Day 58 is me sitting on my windowsill playing it). I chose a red one because red is my favourite colour and it goes with my room colour scheme. And I’m one of those people who names my instruments, so she is called Sally. If anyone was wondering, my cello is called Lily and my clarinet is Harry (but he hasn’t met the ukulele yet).
Day 27. Walking home from the bus stop, the sun was shining, I took this photo just to show what beautiful weather we were having at the time. I generally don’t cope very well in heat and sun (see my Happy Cafe post) but at the beginning of this summer we had weeks of warm weather, where it was always sunny and I could go outside in just a dress or shorts, and it made me really happy.
Day 28. I was looking through various amusing Harry Potter related images, and for some reason this just really made me laugh. It was pretty close between this one and a picture of Mrs Weasley running along Platform 9 3/4 holding Scabbers, with the caption ‘Ron! Don’t forget the man who murdered your best friend’s parents!’
Day 53. I saw this sign in the shop Evolution and I really liked the quote. I think it’s true, things don’t just magically happen perfectly, you need to make your own happiness amongst whatever is happening, and I think we all need to remember that.
Day 72. On our way to where we were going on holiday in Scotland, we decided to take a detour up the Bealach na Bà, which is a very steep, windy and high up road. This photos doesn’t really do justice to the sharp corners and sheer drops along there. I’m not sure I will ever be brave enough to drive it, I was terrified just being a passenger, especially when we met cars coming the other way and had to reverse into the side of the road. But my Dad did a great job, we all survived, and it was also very exhilarating. Also the views were incredible.
Day 79. My friend sent me this link to this video, which as you can see he was very excited about. And for good reason, because yes, what you’re thinking is right, this is Captain Jack Harkness (well, John Barrowman) singing The Wizard and I from Wicked, but with a Doctor Who twist! I got this while on holiday so I sat in the Leisure Centre (only place to access internet) smiling to myself as I listened to it.
Day 91. I love musicals, and have been lucky enough to see several in the West End – I have relatives in London so whenever I visit I try to get some cheap theater tickets. I especially like the ones by Schönberg and Boublil, I’ve seen Les Mis three times, and this summer I was very excited to finally be able to see Miss Saigon, which only came back to the West End in May. It was just so amazing, I could probably write a whole post just about how great it is seeing shows live. In fact I might do that at some point.
Day 95. I was feeling a bit under the weather on this day, and i really had a craving for freshly baked buns (Cupcakes/muffins for any non-Northern folk). So I baked some buns, and because I felt like it I made them pink, then decorated them with glittery icing. This had the added advantage that my Dad was reluctant to eat such girly buns so it was all the more for the rest of us.
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, François 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 naïve 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!
Today is a reasonably significant day for me internet-wise.
It was one month ago today that I started this blog, and I’m definitely enjoying it. I’ve enjoyed writing what I want to write, and I have a list of ideas for posts which I haven’t got round to writing yet. But I have slightly mixed feelings about the success of this blog. On the one hand I had been prepared for no one reading it ever, so the fact that people have, and I’ve gained followers is a very pleasant surprise, so thank you anyone who’s ever read anything I’ve written on here 🙂 On the other hand, if I’m completely honest, there’s a part of me that wishes I’d had more views, comments and likes (having said that, I never comment or like other people’s posts which I read, so I can’t really complain). However, I started this for me, and it will probably be nice to look back at in the future, maybe show my children (Hi to my future family if you ever read this 🙂 ), so I am definitely glad I started it and I shall continue writing. Anyone else reading and enjoying it is an added bonus 🙂
The second occasion which today marks is the quarter-way point for my #100HappyDays challenge. My photo today was this heart-shaped petal I passed on the pavement this morning on the way to the bus stop. It’s not a very good photograph as I forgot my camera so had to use my phone, but I still thought it was nice. I must confess there have been some days when I’ve struggled to find something to send in, either because I haven’t noticed anything which has made me happy, or because I’ve been unable to take a photograph of it (I fear the latter may happen more now I’m going back to college, can’t really take my camera out in lessons to take photos). I have managed to send in a photo for every day though, and i am enjoying the challenge.
I hope you’ve managed to be positive this Monday, bye for now 🙂
Yesterday evening I came home from having a few days of holiday with two of my friends in Devon. I had a very good time, went to beaches, paddled in the sea, shopped, watched films, walked in the woods at night, generally had a laugh. The only real downside for me was getting severely sunburned on the back of my legs when my friends wanted to sun bathe, despite wearing suncream (I have very sensitive skin). Luckily that happened on our last day so it didn’t spoil the trip, but I’ve been in a lot of pain and it was tricky navigating all the stairs at college today…so the moral is, wear loads of suncream. Seriously. Even if you think you don’t need it. My friends wanted to tan so didn’t wear any but were still complaining of it hurting today.
I mainly just wanted to share these pictures of the outside of a café and some houses I saw in a place called Westward Ho!. The café looked fairly grotty, but it was called the Happy Cafe, which made me happy, and I used that for Day 20 of my 100HappyDays. And I just liked the colours of the houses. And what I also think is awesome is that Westward Ho! is actually called Westward Ho!. With the exclamation mark. All the signposts and busses say Westward Ho!, which is just thought was so cool.
Have a Happy Friday 🙂
I always get sad when things end or change. Leaving primary school, leaving high school, even just changing classes, leaving a holiday, clearing out old stuff, basically I never want things to stop. But then at the same time I like starting new things. A good example of this is me last summer, explaining to a friend that I couldn’t wait to start college. And I didn’t want to carry on going to school. But I didn’t want to leave school. College has so far been very enjoyable, but I still found myself today wishing I was in a high school RE or English lesson. I didn’t even like those subjects! I guess it’s understandable with something like that, even if you hate high school, it’s still the main part of your life for five years, there’s bound to be some nostalgia. But this is getting bad. Really bad. Over Easter some of my family went to stay where my Mum grew up, and we went to her old Church for the Easter service, and there was a woman there who was moving away so it was going to be her last service there. At the end she made a short speech and was obviously rather emotional about leaving, and I found myself close to tears! I’d never been to the church or met the woman before!
Now I admit that, especially that last example, this may just show how overly emotional I get about things (I cry all the time, usually over nothing), but I recently had a sudden realisation about my hatred of change and ending: I’d rather be sad that something is over because it made me happy, than happy it’s over because it made me sad. Yes, there were many boring or unpleasant parts of high school, but today I was remembering all the times we just watched films in RE, and glue stick wars, and the hilariously crazy things my English teacher did, and the scariest teacher in the school singing Post Man Pat…
So I guess basically I’m saying that if you’re like me, constantly wishing things didn’t have to change, but at the same time wanting the new things, then it’s just a sign of how happy and full your life is. It’s a bit like the saying It’s better to have loved then lost, than never to have loved at all, which I completely agree with. And I hope now that I’ve realised this it will allow me to appreciate things more at the time, and accept that things have to end for new things to begin. Although I’m sure that won’t stop me from being very upset this time next year about leaving college.
On a different note, today is Day 11 of my 100 Happy Days, and I think it’s starting to have an effect. Here is my photo for today:
Some may say it’s sad that the happiest thing I could take a photo of all day was my lunch, but I think it’s great. I’d never before realised how a bagel and bag of crisps can bring a smile to my face, but I think I will appreciate my lunch a lot more now, knowing that it can brighten up an otherwise fairly dull day 🙂
So there’s some nice positivity, it is a Monday after all, hope you’re having a good day and well done if you’ve read this far, it means you actually got beyond the fact that I just posted a photo of my lunch on the internet 🙂
So as you may have realised, if you’ve read any of my other posts, I’m always on the look out for ways to spread happiness, and I’ve just come across the website 100happydays. If you haven’t heard of it you can check out here, but the basic idea is that for 100 days in a row you take photos of something which made you happy, and either share them on a social media site or email them to an address given on the website. After 100 days, just over three months, you are hopefully happier in yourself, and better at appreciating the small things in life which can still make a big difference. I thought was a great idea, so I have signed up to do my 100 days, starting today and finishing, if my counting is correct, on 30th August. I decided to keep it a bit more private and not clog up my friends’ Facebook walls by sending the pictures via email, but I may share some of my favourite ones on this blog, with a . I’m determined to keep this up for the full 100 days and not be in the 71% who give up because they don’t have enough time, but the one thing which I foresee could be a problem is that several times over the next 100 days, I will be out of internet for a few days at a time, so I’m hoping sending a few days worth at once when I have access to a computer will work for those times.
So here’s my happy photo for today:
The weather today is awful, but when I just stepped outside to get to the green wheelie bin, I just looked at the trees across the road, with the rain and fresh air on my face and the sound of the rooks who nest there (my dad hates the sound, but I kind of like it), and i just smiled, so I grabbed my camera and took this. I know it’s not a particularly good photograph, and I have no idea what those white stick things are, but oh well.In fact, I’m going to go and have a look. *30 seconds later* Ahh, it’s the tips of the plants on our wall. Mystery solved.
Anyway, I’ll see how this project goes, but I think it’s a great idea, I’m always on the look out for new ways to be happy. If anyone else has done this or is going to, leave a comment to say how it’s going. So I hope you’re all having a Happy Friday, and for me that’s 1 down, 99 to go.