Saturday, 19 July 2014

feeling happy inside: 10 things that bring me joy

What makes you feel happy?  I'm not talking about winning the pools here, but the simple little things that bring a warm glow.
Sunshine! And a wind turbine, which doesn't make me
especially happy, but it's better than a coal fired power
station or some fracking numpty.

Here are ten things that bring me joy:

1. Sunshine 

The warmth in your bones, and the sheer joy of a sunny day.  It might get boring in sunnier climes, but for me, in Scotland, you can't beat a glimpse of that big ball of fire in the sky.

2. Singing

I love to raise my voice and sing. I am happy to sing by myself (I've been singing along with Depeche Mode in the car today), but I really love singing in a choir. There's a Singing event in Glasgow on 27th July.  Want to come with me?

Cuddles. They're awesome
3. Cuddles

I get a lot of cuddles, and they can be annoying, especially when children are tired, and trying to cuddle your legs while you're walking. But I adore the cuddles where you just get stopped in what your doing and spend a few moments just appreciating the people you love.

4. Walking

I don't feel like doing it when I start, but I know that going for a walk will help me feel happier if I'm glum or fed up. Especially if it's a sunny day (#1).  Singing can also be involved.  It's a win all 'round.

5. Yummy food

I was going to put 'cake'. But it's not cake that makes me happy. Not unless it's really good cake. I love to eat a tasty salad too.  Really good cheese makes me very happy indeed. I just finished some Gigha Cheddar, made with milk from Jersey cows.  Beautiful texture, and a nutty, rich taste to die for.  Mmmm. Cheese.

6. Pear cider

While we're on the theme of consuming, I love pear cider. I'm so glad it's trendy at the moment, because I've always loved it, although I'm not so keen on the big success stories (Babycham and Lambrini). Pear cider used to be known as Perry, which is what I used to love, but nowadays, with big cider manufacturers getting in on the action, there is a distinction. CAMRA defines Pear Cider as any cider type drink with a pear flavour.  It can be made with pear concentrate (like Bulmers), or with apple cider, and then pear flavoured. Perry on the other hand is only the drink made with genuine perry pears. Babycham used to be genuine Perry, but it's now made from concentrate. But Lambrini is still genuine.  Shame it's so sweet. Personally I'm a big fan of Koppaberg.

7. Friends

We have moved a lot, and I've made new friends everywhere I've lived. I'm grateful for all of them. But I'm still in touch with the friends I made as a teenager. Back then we were called the Bohemian Romantics of Valhalla. Tee hee. Lots has happened, to all of us. We hardly see each other any more. But if I have something on my mind that I couldn't talk to anyone about, I can talk to them. They will listen. They will question. They will challenge. And they will support. I am profoundly grateful.

8. Family

It seems a bit harsh that they come in at number 8, but perhaps it's because it's so obvious. My family are my everything. I'm so lucky to have my three beautiful, intelligent, creative, stroppy children, and my lovely husband too. My in-laws are so supportive, and it's wonderful to see them so much. And it's such a shame that we live further away from my family than they're willing to travel much, because I would love to see more of them all.  I think we're going to have to register for house swapping or something so we can get there more.

My 'to read' pile, and my big kids, laughing at me.
I've got a lot of books on my Kindle too.
9. Books

I love getting lost in a good book, and by good I don't necessarily mean high quality. I love a well crafted world, I love fairy tales, I love things which are not real, but which contain truths nonetheless. I am a huge fan of George RR Martin, and also Kate Atkinson, Charlaine Harris, and Philippa Gregory.  There are others.

Truth be told I love books so much that I'm writing one. And I adore doing that. I like the way the characters develop and have a life of their own, that characters that weren't even going to get a name because I thought that they were insignificant at first, turn out to be very important. I recently introduced a new character, and although she was a minor (if odd) character in this book, I know she's coming back in future books. It's exciting.  I'm trying to finish the first draft of the first book by the end of the holidays. Wish me luck.

Sleep: The little girl has it sussed... apart from the bit
about doing it in your own bed!
10. Sleep

I do not get enough sleep. Often, when I do get the chance to catch up on sleep (after the kids have gone to bed for instance), I resent the idea, and stay up to write things instead (I'm writing this after my bedtime), but actually, when I get enough sleep I feel a lot happier. I can appreciate good things more, and notice bad things less. Sleep is certainly A GOOD THING.

What are the things that bring you joy?

This post is part of a series of 50 I'm doing. I'd love to see your take on one of the titles.  Find the full list here.

The book challenge
Words at 18/7/14 - 103,500. I've broken the 100,000 barrier!
64,000 words done since the challenge began! 10,000 so far this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 36.
What I did last - Plotting. My favourite comes to an uncomfortable conclusion. The heroine will not be happy.