Monday, 4 April 2011

Always look on the Bright Side of Life

IT has been a while since I blogged - after all the excitement of being a guest on Vulpes Libris I was such a high that I guess the only way was down. I had started a new job, as a mobile care worker, which was very different to my previous career in journalism. Sadly, I discovered it was not for me, and I had no aptitude for it, so I handed my notice in and turned my attention to trying to find a job, all to no avail. I got a little depressed with the lack of response, so I drew up a list of things to do.

First: Look on the Bright Side. In fact, I have resolved to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life... and I may even sing a certain song to help me along the way! And I am to always think of at least one 'Good Thing' each day. This can be something really small and unimportant, but it has to be something nice and joyful and upbeat, which makes me happy, or a positive outlook on a situation, which means tying to be a 'glass half full' kind of person, rather than maintaining my usual rather Eeyoreish glass half empty approach.

I feel I need to be more like my mother, who remains optimistic about the bleakest of situations, and can always see the good in people, however nasty they seem to everyone else. And if you hand her half a glass of water she will say: "Oh, how lovely dear, a nice refreshing drink, just what I wanted - thank so much." She is the same with everything - even when the weather is dreadful she will say 'the garden needs the rain' or 'the snow looks pretty'. My father on the other hand, despite his whacky sense of humour and ready smile, was happy to be a pessimist, and I fear I must take after him. If the day started sunny he would forecast rain to come and if it did rain he complained that we needed a dry spell! For a single sneeze (whether it was him or anyone else) he would make a diagnosis of pneumonia - and as for that 'glass half full', he would ask why it was full up, then decide he'd rather have tea, or milk or squash! So, having decided to adopt a more positive outlook on life, I sat and thought about all the good things that have happened since I wrote my last post.

  • A lovely evening with my friend Sonya and her friends at her spiritually group Anam Cara (take a look at her website We chatted about Mother Julian of Norwich and the English mystics, and ate hazlenuts (plain and chocolate-coated) - because in one of her visionary 'seeings' Julian saw God place a hazelnut in her hand, and believed he was showing her the world, and his love for it. As I have said before, I am not really religious, but I find these things interesting, and Julian suits my mood, for she said: "All shall be well, all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well." Now you can't get more optimistic than that?

  • Lunch with friends I worked with for many years BR (Before Redundancy), including prize-winning romantic novelist Phillipa Ashley, who has a fabulous website at We met up at the restaurant in a craft centre, where we browsed around looking at paintings, candles, little sculptures, jewellery, handbags, scarves and beautiful clothes. All very expensive though! There was also an incredible wool shop, with more choice than I have seen anywhere, so I bought two balls of an orangey browny yarn, with a kind of coppery glitter runnig through it, and knitted a scarf with a twisted ruffle down each side - looked impressive but was really simple to do. To celebrate my guest blog they bought me the hugest slice of home-made cake, the layers sandwiched together with cream, all topped with a freshstrawberry. Scrumptious!

  • A present from a friend of The Man of the House - he bagged a pile of books somone was taking to a charity shop, and among them was an embroidery book, in perfect condition, so he brought it round for me because he knows I enjoy fiddling around with needle and thread. Wasn't that thoughtful?

  • A lunchtime coffee with Elder Daughter on her birthday.

  • A Lenten 'souper' lunch with Sonya, her neighbours and friends from her church. We ate soup (naturally), discussed books, jobs, children, chickens, holidays and food, had a good laugh, put our spare coin collections in her Christian Aid Box, and left feeling happy and uplifted.

  • A day in Birmingham with Younger Daughter, when we had lunch out and wandered around the Bullring - which I usually avoid - so it was a new experience. Best of all, we roamed around Selfridges (which is much nicer iside than out) and I bought two Cath Kidston eggcups, because a) I liked them, and b) they were the cheapest items I saw!

  • Elder Daughter passed her driving test and is now sharing my car, which has its disadvantages, but I am very proud of her and, since the novelty of her achievement has not yet worn off, she is more than happy to act as a taxi for Younger Daughter - which means I don't have to!

  • A walk in the spring sunshine in the Castle Grounds, with the trees bursting into leaf, and the terraced garden below the Castle a riot of colour and perfume - I just wish I could post the delightful aroma of all those beautiful spring flowers on this blog! I walked by the river and watched ducks, and geese and swans, listened to the birds chirping away.

  • My size 12 jeans fit me for the first time in two years, so the diet must be working, even though I have blips.


  1. how beautiful. that's just what i need to do... :)

  2. here's another reason to be happy: you are a wonderful person and a lovely friend and much-loved mum. I hope things turn round for you, Chris - let's do another lunch very soon!


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