Monday, August 02, 2021

What brings you joy?

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?


Anonymous said...

Quick, non-grovelling response - opening your blog (even if there isn't a new post) and seeing that lovely header!

Those white anemone and the atmosphere of calm in the garden - instantly uplifting.

Thea xx

Sue Hepworth said...

I'm so pleased. Thanks for telling me. x

Shafia said...

1-This year, I grew cosmos and dahlias from seed and every time I see them on my balcony, I feel happy.
2-Replacing sugar with agave syrup in a coconut cake and pleasantly surprised to find it tastes good.
3- Working from home. Since the first lockdown, I've been able to work from home and I love it.
4-Halfway into reading Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers and it's a soothing, easy going read with a good central plot. I think you'd like it too.
5-Heavy rain fall against my window (whilst I type this comment).

Shafia x

Sue Hepworth said...

Dear Shafia, that’s such a lovely list. I can relate to everything on it. I understand how you feel about seeing flowers you love that you have grown from seed, and I am intrigued by the agave syrup in the recipe. The only time I use it is when making margaritas. Why did you put it in the cake instead of sugar? Is it healthier?
It’s great you like working from home, would you mind telling us what you do?
I will check out the book. Xx

Unknown said...

Hi Sue, I used agave syrup thinking it was healthier to use because I'd heard or maybe read somewhere that it has a lower glycaemic index than regular white sugar, but researching on the internet, I can see it isn't any better! I like to try using natural sweeteners in my baking as a couple of family members have type 2 diabetes and aren't able to eat as much cake as they'd like. I'll have to keep trying by the looks of it!

Sure, I don't mind telling you what I do for work. I have two part time jobs, making up full time hours. One of my roles involves supporting women who are survivors of domestic and sexual abuse through the provision of alternative treatments at a women's centre in Camden. The other half of my week involves supporting charities with advice and training on their volunteer programmes which can include anything on recruitment, support and supervision, training resources - anything to do with volunteers.

Shafia xx

Sue Hepworth said...

That is such terrific work, Shafia. Thank you for doing it and thank you for telling us. xx