There are lots of small things at the moment that are contributing to a general feeling of happiness :o) I thought I'd share some of them with you.
First off, the clocks have gone forward so we're into British Summer Time and the evenings are so much lighter. The sun has been out and actually quite warm (my car thermometer said it was 18C this afternoon!), so that I've actually dared to go out a couple of times without the armour of a fleecy coat.
I'm enjoying the photos I took of my nephew when I saw at the Easter weekend. I have many that make me smile, but this is one of them. He's such a happy little fellow and I think you can see that in this photo. I'll just mention that he doesn't usually have a flannel sitting on his head ;oP
Next up in the list of small things is that my young crab apple tree in the small patch of mud at the front of my flat that passes for a garden of sorts has new buds on it. It won't be long till they come out, and although I know they won't last long, the blossom is so pretty while it's there.
I went to the cinema this evening and saw an excellent film - 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly' I read reviews for this when I was in hospital and decided then that I'd like to see it. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be on general release so I had a job tracking down a cinema that was showing it in my area. The small independent cinema in Newcastle (though it's currently lodging in Gateshead) had two showings of it - last night and tonight. In case you can't be bothered to click on the link I'll tell you briefly what it's about, though I'm sure I can't do it justice. It's about Jean-Dominique Bauby who was the editor of Elle magazine in the 1990s. Quite out of the blue, and at a very young age for such things to occur, he had a massive stroke and was left with what's called 'locked-in syndrome', meaning that he was completely paralysed, unable to move or speak, but completely lucid and 'with it' mentally. The one part of himself he could move was his left eye, which he could also blink, and through blinking he was then helped to communicate. There was the 'usual' one blink for yes, two blinks for no, but then the physiotherapist (at least I'm fairly sure she was a physio) hit on the idea of running through the alphabet and watching for Jean-Do to blink when the right letter was reached. Through this method he was able to say what he wanted to, and ultimately dictated a book (which goes by the same name as the film). It was a fascinating film, done with sensitivity, insight and wit, and also managed to avoid sentimentality. One of the things I found very interesting also was how a significant portion of the film was presented from the first person point of view, which is unusual in a film, but one that I could relate to especially in its hospital setting. Yes, a great film and definitely worth seeing sometime if you get the chance ... or get it out on DVD when it's available.
My next thing on my smile list has been that I've been able to breathe enough to go swimming. I'm trying not to over do it, as I have a tendency to when I get any window in my health that's big enough to leap out of (and forget the parachute). We'll see how it goes, but I've loved being in the water again as it's something that I used to do a lot of as a child and a teenager (I actually used to represent the city). Last Friday evening I went to the community-owned pool not too far from me as they have a 'chill out' session between 9 - 10pm on Fridays. This is basically swimming, but they have the main lights off, under water lights on, 'easy listening' music on and use of the steam room and sauna are included in the price (£3.50). It was wonderful, and I'm going again tomorrow night.
I know it's some time now since the ban on public smoking came into force, but I'm loving it. I love that I can go to the pub with friends and not have to leave because I can't breathe, or not go in the first place because I know the smoke will start an asthma attack. I've been organising a group of friends from church to go to the pub this coming Saturday and I'm really looking forward to it. We sometimes go on a Sunday evening after the evening service, but it tends to be a small, select group who feel up to it, where as it's quite possible there may be quite a band of us on Saturday. I love spending time with my friends - they make me smile :o)
Ever since my last hospital admission I've been playing catch up with my Open University studies and have been feeling the pressure. Although I haven't had the time to take proper notes, which may cause problems when it comes to revising for the exam in October, I do appear to be back on track now. I've also, in the past week, managed to write an essay for the course on Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. I only had 1500 words to write what could easily amount to a thesis, so I didn't feel like I could get anywhere near everything said that I wanted to, but I was quite pleased with what I did. I guess time will tell whether it's actually what was wanted.
Oh, speaking of assignments, I got my last one back last week and I was very pleasantly surprised by the mark - 85%
Another very pleasing thing is that one of my friends whose been extremely unwell in hospital is now home. She's still not right, but she's a lot better than she was and, when speaking to her on the phone, she sounds stronger now. I was so worried about her so it's great that she's well enough to be home.
And two final pieces of smiley news are that my sister-in-law is pregnant again, and my friend H is also pregnant! :oD
I love it when the small things build into a big ball of happiness. I wonder, what's on your smile list?