Sunday, 26 June 2016

50 Things That Make Me Happy

Coming hot on the heels of Orlando and Jo Cox's assassination, the referendum results on Friday left me feeling utter despair and sadness. As a post-Brexit tonic, Kezzie and Jennifer both wrote happy lists to remind themselves of the things that aren't shit. Their posts reminded me of a wonderful one Gaelle wrote a couple of months ago about 50 things that make her happy, which I had promised to do myself. Would I, in my depressed state, be able to I think of 50 things that make me happy? Turns out yes, I could.
1. Thomas. I can't even begin to explain how happy this guy makes me. I think I'm going to keep him.

2. Aspall cider. A cold pint of Aspall on a hot day (or any day really) = bliss.

3. That we are getting a cat next weekend. Her name is Missy and she is the sweetest, stroppiest cat in the shelter, therefore perfect for sweet Thomas and stroppy me!

4. Cheese. It's why I can't be vegan. Baked Camembert, grilled halloumi, runny Brie on crackers.... hmmmm cheese.

5. Fresh bed linen. Is there any feeling better then climbing into a bed made with fresh linen.

6. Music. But especially the feeling when a song you really love is played out of nowhere.

7. Laundry drying on the washing line. Especially the first day of the year it's warm/dry enough to do so.

8. Sunshine. It really does make everything better.
9. The feeling of getting into my own bed after a few days away. Bed rules.

10. The last mile of the drive to my mum's house. I've lived away from home for 20 years, and I still feel so happy as I come off the motorway to see her.

11. Teen comedy films from the 90s & 00s. Bring It On. Clueless. 10 Things I Hate About You. She's The Man. Pitch Perfect. You can take your award-winners and your Scorsese films, I'm really only interested if it's 90 minutes long and set in a high school/college.

12. Shopping. Socialist in the Tweets, Capitalist in the streets, that's me. I know it's not a great thing to base happiness on, but I really do like shopping.

13. Swimming. Although I do not love post-swimming hair.
14. Fresh flowers. Having them in the house always makes me smile.

15. Zine making. I'm so glad I returned to zines after a ten year break, the process is so therapeutic for me and I love creating something outside of this blog.

16. Earl Grey tea and a slice of cake. Because cake.

17. A pub with an open fire. There's little better in winter than to find a cosy pub with a roaring fire.

18. Getting post. Any post really, but surprise parcels especially.

19. Our house. I've loved it since the first time I came to view it almost eight years ago.

20. Buying gifts for people. I think I enjoy it more than receiving gifts.
21. Internet friends. Illustrated above with Becca, Elle and Laura but the list is looooooooong. I love the support and encouragement that Twitter and Instagram, particularly, inspire, and I have had so many good times with people I've met IRL after first meeting them online.

22. Our log burning stove. There's little better than having the stove lit on a cold winter's afternoon.

23. Being inside when it's raining heavily outside. Preferably curled up in a window with a book and a blanket.

24. Summer. This summer we've had rather more of 23. than of 8, but I live in hope we'll get some 'proper' summer weather soon. I love all the seasons for different reasons, but I am always infinitely happier and more content when it's warm and sunny.

25. New books. Old books. Any books. Goes without saying.

26. TV shows about dance. I still haven't got over the cancellation of the UK version of So You Think You Can Dance. My latest obsession is Dance Moms, which is terrible in a great way.
27. Being in a new place. I was going to say 'Travel' but actually I'm starting to hate the actual travelling bit, thanks to a combination of anxiety and things having gone very wrong our last couple of trips. But once I get to the place I'm going, I love it. There's something hugely relaxing about being somewhere new.

28. Listening to Andrew WK on a Friday night. Party Hard is my start-the-weekend anthem.

29. Pottering in the garden. Or just looking at my garden. At the moment it's a profusion of blooms and I love it.

30. Prosecco. Always.

31. The perfect charity shop find. Is there anything better than finding a hidden gem for 99p? It doesn't happen often (Leicester charity shops are both crap and expensive) but when it does...

32. Musicals. And songs from the musicals. My favourite is Rent but I love pretty much all of them.

33. Tote bags. Want me to love you forever? Give me a great tote bag. My latest acquisitions are a cream Salford Zine Library tote and a black Powell's Books bag brought back for me from Portland, Oregon by my brother.
34. Street art. And taking pictures of it, like the Instagram cliche I am.

35. Much Ado About Nothing. I'm not a total Shakespeare junkie like some English teachers I know, but this play is just wonderful. The Kenneth Branagh film version is a sun-drenched wonder of a comedy and never fails to cheer me up.

36. The lightbulb moment when a student just 'gets' it. I had a tutoring session with a student on Friday and to see her completely 'get' the poems we were discussing made me so happy.

37. My vintage quilt. Found in a junk shop in Lancashire, it's been gracing my bed ever since.

38. Winning an eBay auction. Those last few seconds are a rush, let's face it.

39. Sitting in the sun with a good book. My happy place.

40. Stripes. I counted yesterday - I now have 7 striped tops, 1 striped jumper and 2 striped dresses. And you know what? I still think I need more.

41. Tattoos. Getting them. Looking at other people's. Planning new ones.
42. Being with my family. Spread out across three continents, the maternal side of my family are huge and we rarely have a chance to see each other separately, let alone all together. So any time with cousins, aunts, uncles, is oh so precious to me.

43. Pictures & prints. Our walls are covered, and yet I still always want more.

44. Pipers cheese & onion crisps. So cheesy, so good.

45. Walking. Walking briskly somewhere while listening to music relaxes me, I should do it a lot more often than I do.

46. Having candles lit on a dark evening. So hygge.

47. Polka dots. Obvs.

48. Necklaces. I have SO many, yet only ever wear the same few.

49. Squeezing spots. I know it's super gross, but it's so satisfying.

50. Christmas. Thomas calls me 'Elf' because I can get a little hysterical about my Christmas love.

What makes you happy?


  1. Love this list (and was very excited to see our ace photobooth shots - I have no idea where my copy has gone, must dig it out!). There's so many of these I agree with, I mean practically the whole list. This is why you are an awesome Internet-turned-IRL-friend! Might have to write one of these lists myself... X

    1. Oh yes, do write your own: I am sorely in need of new happy ideas to try and brighten my mood!

  2. Love this!!!! 50 things is FAAAAAR better than just 10!!!! Brilliant things too and I agree with most!!!x

    1. And I've already thought of at least ten more things I could have included (including real life friends, one of whom was none too happy about their exclusion from the list!)

  3. So nice to see a whole 50 things that make you happy :) Such a sweet post idea. Hope you're feeling a little better from the weekend's grim events.

    Alice | Whiskey Jars Blog

    1. With the exception of mega cat excitement, I'm still feeling pretty terrible. Not helped by the fact I have a horrible cold (great timing).

  4. I'm really cheered just reading this, well done on thinking of 50 things! Agree this week was rotten for just about everyone. The most recent teen film I watched was The Duff, it was pretty good I thought, modern and smart. I also just got into UnReal, which is about the MAKING of bad reality t.v., as a reality t.v. connoisseur it's absolutely hilarious and dark. I have a spot squeezing tool I got at The Body Shop years ago, it is my therapy! So gross but whatever! ;-0

    1. I'll have to check The Duff out - sounds right up my street.

  5. Reading this made me happy. :) I'm very impressed (and glad) you could think of 50. I know just what you mean about number 10; my mum's thousands of miles away, but the feeling I get when I go home is just the best.

    Have you seen the Joss Whedon version of Much Ado about Nothing yet? I think it's wonderful.

    1. I liked the Joss Whedon Much Ado... but I didn't love it like I love Branagh's. I think the best version I've seen was at the RSC in Stratford about 10 years ago, with Tamsin Greig as Beatrice, I cried laughing several times.

  6. OMG you are getting a cat!!!!!! Yey! Make sure you post lots of pictures of Missy on here and Instagram.
    Great list BTW Im with you on most of these things xx

    1. Getting Missy has made this shitty, shitty week infinitely better, that's for sure!

  7. Reading through your list made me think of my own happy things. I definitely agree with that last mile drive to see parents and I'm with you all the way about stripes, cheese and 90s high school movies!

    1. Give me a plate of cheese, some striped pyjamas, and Clueless on TV and I'm about as happy as I can be! Gah - which reminds me, I left of 'pyjamas' from my list!

  8. I love your list. I think I might have to make one of my own. At the moment I am struggling to think of 50 things but I bet once I start it will flow (and some of yours are certainly favourites - yesterday me and Mr Mac spent the day in watching the rain and it was excellent)

    1. Yep, when I started I thought there'd be no way I could think of 50, but it ended up being pretty easy (and there's still things I missed off)

  9. This is great. I relate to many of them, but also it helps to trigger my own happy thoughts.

  10. Oh the thrill of winning an eBay auction! I remember losing a kitchen dresser once at the last minute because I had to tell off a kid while I was on duty at lunchtime. I was gutted.
    I really miss our log burner, that used to be one of my favourites in the old house.

  11. This is such a great (and much-needed list)! I think I agree with most of these, but particularly cheese and Christmas. Christmas cheeseboard FTW!

    Liz x
    Distract Me Now Please