Farewell (for now, at least)

Time for an announcement.

As you’ve probably noticed, this blog has been dwindling away and looking a bit unloved for some time now… And I’ve now decided to officially close the Happy Things doors – at least for a little while.

The reason for this, as you may also know, is because I’ve been getting increasingly busy with my other blog, Theatre Things (if you like the theatre, please check it out), and have some fairly ambitious plans for its future development. All of which sadly means I’ve run out of spare minutes in the day to devote to Happy Things.

It’s fair to say writing this blog has been one of the best things I’ve ever done, not just because it led me to set up Theatre Things, but because it forced me to focus on all the good stuff going on around me. At times it’s hard, especially right now, to be positive and find the little happy things in life – but when you do, it’s so rewarding. I honestly think writing this blog has made me a happier person.

I’ve met some amazing people, and have really appreciated all the support and friendship I’ve gained from getting to know the awesome blogging community. Through working on Happy Things, I grew in confidence as a writer, and it even helped me figure out how to use Twitter. (And now I’m addicted…)

So this is farewell for now, but please do pop over and visit at Theatre Things, or come and say hi on Twitter @lizzid82. And hopefully I’ll be back one day – after all, there’ll always be sunsets to share…

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Kefalonia sunset

Today is my blog’s 3rd birthday! And even though I’ve been neglecting it a bit recently, I felt it was only right to mark the occasion. So – not that I want to be predictable or anything – here are some photos of a sunset.

A Kefalonian sunset, to be precise, because I just got back from a week there to celebrate my friend’s lovely wedding. (I know, I know, the things I do for my friends…) I took many photos during the week, because it’s a ridiculously beautiful place, and there will be more posts on the way, so brace yourselves.

But here for now are a few of my favourite shots, taken on an evening stroll along the beach next to my hotel. I was the only person there, so I could have fun pretending to be a real photographer and taking loads of photos, each of them very slightly different as the sun crept closer to the horizon.

Happy Monday 🙂

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In search of bluebells

In a week that had snow, rain, sleet and thunder, it was a bit of a surprise to wake up yesterday to blue skies and sunshine (on a Bank Holiday weekend – what?!). And just as well, because my friends and I had planned to head out for a walk and find some bluebells, after an aborted attempt a few weeks ago when we were still in the depths of winter.

We started in Chilham, a village between Ashford and Canterbury, with a pub lunch in the sun at the Woolpack Inn (no, not that Woolpack). Then we headed off on a six-mile walk inspired by Jane Austen, who apparently used to visit the neighbouring village of Godmersham and dined regularly at Chilham Castle. In fact I think the route was even called Mr Darcy’s Chilham Walk, although unfortunately we didn’t run into him.

It all started well; we set out from Chilham Castle, admiring the beautiful houses we could never afford, and into the woods where we finally found some bluebells. We crossed a pretty river, disturbed a flock of sheep and climbed over some very wobbly stiles. Despite a few wrong turns, we were well on track to make it back in the estimated three hours… and then we went quite spectacularly wrong. After climbing the world’s steepest hill* and continuing for quite a long way at the top in the stubborn belief that if we kept going long enough we’d eventually find a right turn to get us back on track, we realised that what we’d identified as a fence might actually have been a gate. (It was a gate.)

So what was supposed to be a six-mile walk ended up closer to nine, we ended up power walking the last mile (the last bit of which was also uphill), and my legs hate me today… but hey, at least we worked off the pub lunch.

*possibly an exaggeration

10 reasons to be happy right now

I’m baaaack!

So first, an apology. I’ve been the world’s worst blogger lately (at least on here – over at Theatre Things I’ve been a busy bee). But I’ve been feeling bad about it, and then I got a lovely comment the other day from Sarah that inspired me to try harder. So here I am!

Now part of the problem with happy blogging has been that recently I’ve been slipping back into some bad habits, and keep finding myself moaning about stuff to anyone who’ll listen (and, I’m sure, a few people who look like they’re listening but have actually gone to their happy place).

So I decided to get back to basics, and make a list of 10 reasons to be happy right now. And here they are:

  • Tomorrow is a new day. More importantly, tomorrow is also Saturday.
  • It’s bluebell season.

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  • Next month I get to be bridesmaid for one of my bestest friends. In Greece. On the beach.
  • I totally got 100% on this Friends quiz.
  • The Kinky Boots London cast made an album – not that it wasn’t fun to listen to the Broadway actors attempt a Northampton accent. (I promise you, if you’re ever feeling a bit blue, this show will cheer you right up.)
  • One of my colleagues bought us profiteroles today. They were good.

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This is not my route home from work (sadly). But it’s a nice photo.

What’s making you happy today?

Photo Sunday: a windy walk on the Saxon Shore Way

It’s been a few weeks since I blogged here (although there’s still plenty going on over at The Blog of Theatre Things if you fancy a visit!) but I thought I’d pop in to share a few photos from a couple of weeks ago, when a friend and I spontaneously decided to join a local walking group for a Sunday hike.

We started at Newington, a village in Swale, Kent, then headed across to Upchurch and along the Saxon Shore Way to Lower Halstow. After a very welcome pub stop for lunch (it was a freezing cold day and we’d been completely blown to bits walking along the estuary), we made our way back to Newington to head home.

It was great to meet some new people and be out in the fresh air – even if was a bit too fresh at times – after a busy week. And I couldn’t resist taking a few photos, particularly along the estuary, where the skies seemed to change by the second. I do love a dramatic cloud 😉

I hope everyone’s having a great International Day of Happiness, by the way! What made you happy today?