My brain is filled with snow fog at the moment.
Seriously, I'm obsessed with it. Obsessed with it being -13, obsessed with the terrifying ice covering all the roads, obsessed with the ten inches of snow that still covers my back garden. OBSESSED. So, to save you all from yet more pictures of snow (forgive me just one) and more 'OMG it's snowing/it's snowed/is it going to snow' drama I thought I'd write a big list of happiness-inducing joy. Smidge passed on the Happy 101 award to me and what better way to pass a January evening than writing about happiness.
So.... "List 10 things that make you happy, try to do at least one of them today, and link back to the person that tagged you. Then tag 10 other bloggers that brighten your day."
My family and friends
Sappy, cliched but totally true. Last year was uncommonly rubbish for numerous reasons but they've been there for me through it all. My Mum and Dad are wonderful, supportive, loving people and, without them, I really don't know what I'd do. They've put up with so much from me throughout the years and always been there with advice (even though I may not appreciate it at the time) and whatever help I need. My friends are ridiculous, fabulous, incredible people and I feel truly blessed to have them in my life. At times of upset and distress you find out who your real friends are and I really have. I've known most of them for at least ten years and I love that I have that support network there. Your friends are the family you choose for yourself, after all.
I'm Alan Partridge, Peep Show, Nighty Night, Black Books, The IT Crowd, Monkey Dust, The League of Gentlemen. The list goes on. There are few things more likely to cheer me up than a bit of dark humour. Particularly good on a day when the hangover is brutal and you haven't actually been to bed yet. Just add wine for maximum joy.
Big costume rings, ludicrously shaped necklaces, chunky bracelets. I love it all. Current favourites are my gold perspex custom 'MCR' necklace (Manchester fo' life), teacup ring and Jackie Brazil resin bracelet because it looks like sweets and I adore it, always (it's similar to this one but infinitely better).
I love it. There is literally nothing better than throwing a few essentials in the car and setting off for a weekend in the country. Sleeping under canvas, cooking bacon in the mornings, listening to rain hitting the tent walls, waking up and breathing in the glorious clean air and then heading off for a bracing walk in the hills and following it up with a pub meal and a few pints of cider. I love it all.
Homemade gingerbread loaf cake with lemon frostingCooking
I really don't cook as much as I should but I absolutely love it. Putting some good music on, digging out my Mr Scuff apron and finding a recipe to follow fills me with utter joy. It's therapeutic and relaxing and incredibly satisfying. Each year at Christmas time I cook my parents a three course meal. from scratch The menu this year was breaded goats cheese with grape chutney, slow cooked lamb shanks with piperonata, mashed potatoes and curly kale, with key lime pie for dessert. It rocked.
Healthy eating/the gym
This might sound strange but I'm always happier when I'm eating well, drinking enough water and visiting the gym regularly. These three things are all paramount to my wellbeing and energy levels. I love fruit, vegetables and green tea and they make my body happy, which in turn makes me happy.
I'm a festival girl at heart and have been to more than my fair share over the last few years. I've been to Glastonbury (this year will be my sixth!), V, Bloom, Creamfields and Leeds (in the distant past). Festivals are a chance to take a few days away from real life, drink Strongbow at 8am without fear of being judged, and get thoroughly filthy (I abhor the idea of showering at a festival, haha). Some of the greatest, defining moments of my life have been at festivals and I think I've got a few years left in me yet.
Food/nice restaurants/good wine
I love food. Anything from Chinese, Thai or Indian to Italian, Mexican and good old British fish and chips. I appreciate good food hugely and I love a meal in a fancy restaurant once in a while. Food is a celebration of all that is wonderful and I truly don't understand people who 'don't like eating.' Sadly my food love has to be curbed for a while as I'm a porker at the moment. Similarly my love of good wine has been put on the backburner, at least for the moment. FYI, I prefer red but will gladly guzzle down a glass or five of ice cold Sauvignon Blanc.
Trying to better myself as a photographer and a writer are two of my latest loves. My blog is a mish mash of different topics and styles of writing but I like to think that it's very 'me'. I always write from the heart and am always completely honest in everything I say. I like to try and be amusing, it's always nice to make people smile and laugh but, to be honest, I write mainly for me. Because it's always nice to look back and see how you were feeling at a particular time, in a particular year. I'm currently saving up for a decent DSLR camera so that I can develop my photography skills further. I have the ideas but I just don't have the equipment to realise them at the moment.
Over the last year or so I've really started to enjoy challenging myself to do things and planning exciting things for the future. I used to be quite happy in my little rut, neither moving forwards nor backwards, but then I realised that I was just stagnating. If you don't challenge yourself or constantly try to be the best that you can be then you're selling yourself short. We are all capable of such fantastic, magical things and all too often we take the easy option and put things off 'until tomorrow'. 2010 is my year of not putting things off, of moving forwards and upwards and of saying 'yes'.
Done! I'm supposed to tag ten people but a lot of people have already done it and a lot of people won't want to do it. So, do it, don't do it... it's your call!