It's been far too easy lately to sink into a low level depression after reading the morning's news - the climate crisis, the political state of the world, the shocking treatment of people in all kinds of distress, the corruption and inadequacies (now there's a mild word) of our disgusting government.
But this last week I found a way out. Dave and I have been watching an episode every night of Who do you think you are? - the programme that traces people's ancestors and their life stories. Many of these stories are moving and tragic, and I am left at the end of the programme thinking how fortunate I am to be here, now, to have my own particular life.
And there are other cheering things - both large and small.
1/ the 3000% raise in donations to the RNLI after criticism by an unpleasant former politician because the RNLI are rescuing asylum seekers and refugees in distress, those trying to cross the channel from France in inadequate boats. How wonderful to see such tangible evidence that there are many, many people in the UK who want to help people fleeing war and persecution.
2/ the huge success of the women's BMX riders at the Olympics. It makes me happy, not because they are team GB, but because they are daring and skilful and determined young women executing amazing feats on their bikes. Watching Bethany Shriever - who had to fund herself by crowdfunding - win her race was fabulous, but watching Charlotte Worthington's performance in the BMX freestyle brought tears to my eyes - Here.
3/ nearer to home by a few thousand miles - having a 30 minute facetime with Lux in Colorado who was 11 last week. What a joy she is.
4/ nearer still, the wildflowers on the Trail in the video I took from my bike, but I don't know why it's blurry...
5/ my sweet peas
6/ the latest and last series of Atypical on Netflix, which is one of my favourite TV programmes. I thought it was finished and complete at the end of Series 3 but this final series has concluded the story perfectly. Atypical is a comedy drama (my favourite genre) and combines so many excellent characteristics I am going to have to think hard to list them all. Here are some: quirkiness, humour, sadness, insight, compassion, warmth, morality, challenge, love.
7/ making chocolate brownies and licking out the mixing bowl. Yum.
What brings you joy?