Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

Jackie at the very London chic blog HOME nominated me for this award the other day! Now awards are a bit of a pass the parcel affair and not always welcomed by bloggers far and wide. But I must tell you that I quite like them (at a rate of one or two per year max!!), for the following reasons: They give us a chance to get to the essential of who we are, tell a few secrets and reveal a little more about the person behind the writing. And for me, they give me a creative challenge. What in heaven's name am I going to write about? Goodness, now I have a theme, how do I approach it and how does it fit in with me and the essence of what I am trying to communicate? And this one is just up my alley I must admit.  So here we go for 10 things that all make me equally happy !

Being alive. I don't think there is one day in my life that I have ever woken up without being full of gratitude for living (Although, nobody knows the trouble I've seen...). This is not due to any particular faith, other than the one that naturally bubbles out of me. I just can't help myself. It seems as natural as getting out of bed in the morning. And can be quite annoying I'm sure but I try not to be too chirpy all the time and let my joy out in my art instead.

Finding new ways of doing things. I love it when a new solution to a problem that has been niggling at me pops up out of the blue. You could call it 'Epiphany' happiness if you like and it runs from finding new ways to talk to my messmonsters through to accidentally discovering the hidden qualities in a calligraphy that I was thinking of ditching. Nothing is quite as rewarding as when the 'AHA' light goes on!

Having a bona fide project that I want to accomplish! I've been mulling over it for 2 years now and just having a project of my own, that is uniquely me, brings me intense happiness - whether I meet my goal or not. It's the journey towards it that brings the joy... Is it not the same for you? These wise words express it better than I ever could (Thankyou Serendipity for the quote):

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” 
santiz Patanjali quotes

Getting older! I am really enjoying not being a kid and having the confidence in myself that comes with approaching 40. I don't feel I have to justify my actions anymore, although I am currently making a bullet proof case for homeschooling my own children as the 'intuition' argument doesn't pass in France AT ALL. And "what will other people think?" is a question that belongs back in my 20s.

My messmonsters. I openly admit that children were not high on my list of things I particularly yearned for when I was younger and I felt, at 28 that I was still far too young to even entertain the thought. Then I had them. Every day since then they have been a source of happiness and wonderment for me. As much for who they are, all 3 individual characters, as for the source of daily challenge they provide to their parents! 

Change. Change makes me happy. When things don't change around me, I set about making them change: Country, job, house (no it wasn't me that took a match to the last one), furniture... husb...! To me nothing natural is eternally static, which means a certain amount of ...change. This means I have been known to paint the bathroom a bright shade on a whim because it hadn't changed in a while. Beaker used to leave the house in fear of what he would come back to. The landlord lives in eternal fear that I will calligraph on the walls in electric blue. I have of course reassured him that my rebellious streak and need for change is tempered both by a small element of common sense, a profound respect for other people's property, and a slight matter of good taste... But change definitely makes me happy.

Mud. I love mud. When I am adequately dressed for it of course. Splashing through a large, muddy puddle on my mountain bike is one of the most happy and exhilarating things I can do. It's a thumb your nose at convention way of saying I can be a 'pretty girl' and 'live' too! Mind you - a day spa mud bath is just as good for the soul as a tomboy, wind in your face, mud splashing mountain bike ride. I'm not picky! Both make me equally as happy ;-) 

Photo courtesy of Issy Aventure

Silent Solitude. Because it brings me peace. I never feel bored or alone in my own company. I get an excited sense of happiness when I am all alone in the silence of a house, or outside in a forest. It is the major reason we live in the country other than giving fresh air to the messmonsters. Solitude makes me happy as it brings me balance. I naturally love to be with people and have to force my self not to put other people first all the time. Solitude gives me the inner resources to spend the rest of my time enjoying the company of all my wonderful friends and family. Which brings me to the next point ;-)

Friends and Family. Well, even in her struggle for solitude, a woman is not a hermit! I am blessed with good friends and a family who cares and who I would do well to call more often. Unfortunately, with my tendency to be equally as happy in my own company as in other people's, I tend to forget to phone. Naughty girl.

GIVING. LIke Jackie, I too love to give. More than anything because I am happy making other people happy around me.  And to that end, with no further ado let me give you the winners of my 'give away.' The messmonsters had a great time picking the winners again. I do believe they are getting used to Mum's crazy blog addiction! Girls please stand up and make yourself known!

Mme Photoblog, aka Elizabeth Avedon
And Mme Brismod at Fun and VJs! 

As much as giving makes me happy, I'm always left with a sense of disappointment after a competition in that I can't give something to everyone who participates. All I can say is, luckily I didn't have to choose a favourite quote from the pile or I would still be here deciding! 

I suggest, if you're looking for more Sunday secrets, you visit the Altered Page while I announce the wonderful bloggers I'm sending this HAPPY 101 award on to as a consolation prize. Their blogs are both inspiring and rich, and I personally would love to know 10 things that make each of them happy...

Lisa at The Wright Stuff
Meredith from Count it all Joy
Julie at Being Ruby (Because she sent my very first award to MOI!!)
Faerwillow at Serendipity
Sophia at Blue Chair Diary
Laura at 52 Flea
Leeann at Fabulously French
Kimberly at Mimi Charmante

There's another TOME finished, and now "It's goodnight from her, and it's goodnight from her!" - Once again!!
PS I am normal you know, other things like singing and dancing and eating out and sparkling all make me happy too... But I mean, I had to stop somewhere!!!


  1. what a beautiful list of things that bring you joy!!

  2. Dearest Ange
    Congratulations on the award. Who better to list Happy Things than you.. I do think your entire blog is an adventure in happiness and and brings me joy with every visit. Although we have many traits that differ, we also have many the same... I love this list of yours... it captures your essence.

    Congratulations also to the three lucky winners.... a very happy day for them indeed!! Have fun out there xxx Julie

  3. I adore this list Ange! The quote from Serendipity, which I had never read before, gave me chills of recognition. That's exactly how I feel when I've decided upon a project. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    Thanks for nominating my blogster...I'll get cracking on a list that will hopefully do the honour justice. Hope you're having a good weekend. Meredy xo.

  4. Dear Ange,

    Congratulations on the award and it was wonderful to learn more about yourself. I would also like to congratulate the three winners of your giveaway.

    I should also note that I marvel at the images you have selected for your post as image and text flows very well together.

    Wishing you all the very best,

  5. Oh Happy Day is for certain! It's such a great list of joyful things and it's always good to reflect on them.

  6. I am so pleased that MUD made your list...One of my fondest memories of you Ange is one of you delightfully gallivanting in Coes Creek one Cross Country at school many, many moons ago before some of your other Happiness Makers ever existed...

  7. Your response is so joyous and insightful.

    And woo hoo! Thank-you so much. I am very happy (it was my b'day yesterday so I think it's entirely appropriate that I win!).As I said, carte blanche with colours/design (we have white walls...well they will be soon). I like to let an artist create freely and I will look forward to seeing your lovely work in person. Thanks again! xx Anita

  8. Love the picture of the baby falling into Daddys arms. I remember my husband doing this with our girls, followed by squeals and "Do it again Daddy!" Lovely picture, great memories.
    I love your post, I love your blog!

  9. Jules it is tooo hilarious that someone (like you) would remember the cross country at school. You are right, even back then the only sport I liked involved MUD. I remember doing anything in my power to shirk sport at school... Guess it's in the bones. Thanks for dropping by!!

  10. I do love your blog this morning! you are right on!I am quite a bit older than you ,yet I can relate to your words.
    Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
    ~Hans Christian Anderson

  11. Wonderful post Ange...each and every point. Wonderful way to get to know you. Jeanne :)

  12. Congratulations Ange! You are indeed a bit of sunshine to me....I love your list and feel the same way about a lot of items...not so much the mud though! Congratulations to the winners of your give away! I hope that you have a beautiful day filled with joy!

  13. I loved reading this Ange, you are a lovely writer.

    I could identify with an awful lot of it actually.....sometimes I have to keep my chirpiness to myself too and I love my own company too.

    Simone xo

  14. Thanks, Ange,
    I knew that you would come up trumps. You have filled the brief so well, with fun, sensitivity and joy and I loved reading your 10 things.
    Big high five to the winners of your wonderful giveaway. They are 3 very lucky ladies.
    Once again, Ange, many thanks for joining in.
    You really stepped up to the mark....... and, I LOVE mud too !!

  15. Thank you for the award Ange. This post will need some careful mulling over I suspect, so keep an eye out in the next day or so. Enjoyed reading your list. I only have one mess monster, I can't imagine what it must be like with 3! My friend just had her third boy (after a one hour labour??!!!!). I suspect it will be chaos in her house for many years to come!

  16. Congratulations on your award/meme. So deserving. :) And thank you for passing it on to me. What a nice suprise. :D

    I chuckled at the "messmonsters". :)

  17. Ange,

    It must have taken a good deal to create this wonderful post and to share the details of your happiness with us. I completely enjoyed getting to know you a bit more! xo

  18. Fantastic list! Wonderful things to brighten my day too!

    Congrats to all the winners!

    Here's to happiness every day!

  19. Dearest Ange, merci beaucoup for the award.
    I love your list, but none come as a surprise my ever so effervescent ami.

    Cannot wait to see your snowy photos, it is very cold here minus something :-)

    L xx


Can't think of a famous quote that says 'communication makes the world go round' so you 'll just have to get my clumsy way of putting it instead ;-) Your comments are precious. Thanks for dropping by!