05 August 2009

what makes you happy?

When I walked through Trafalgar Square the other day, a woman on the Plinth was holding up a card that said "What Makes You Happy?" It was a bit of a zen moment, because it was just the right question to ask in relation to a forthcoming challenge that I will write about soon. More immediately, the question had some resonance because there were some little things that were pleasing me. Like the fact that there is a post box in the middle of Hyde Park. And that I specifically wanted to make sure that the Park Story writers were sent their prizes from that very box (to consolidate the provenance, of course).

Using the post box was right up there with discovering that in Richmond Park they have two shire horses who work for a living rolling bracken and the like because they can reach places more easily than tractors; and in Regent's Park there is a man whose job it is to breed wildfowl for all of the Royal Parks, and he has been doing this for years. Knowing all this makes me very happy indeed.

More selfishly, my happiness quotient has been boosted by raiding one of John's school gardens for overblown flowers...

... eating a lovely supper of our own beans, beetroot and potatoes...



...and finding a reference to U.A Fanthorpe's poem Men on Allotments on the letters page of Allotment and Leisure Gardener - "round flushed globes", "the stout red stems of beetroot", "the unruly loveliness of beans".

Happiness.

7 comments:

60 Going On 16 said...

Well, the postie delivering my very own copy of William Boyd's Park Story was an instantaneous moment of happiness. And now that I know which letterbox it was posted from (a letterbox I used so often), the happiness quotient was even greater. Thank you so much, Colleen. (Love WB's writing, by the way; thought Any Human Heart was superb.)

My newest source of happiness is being able to walk by the Thames with my dog every day, especially when the early morning sun is falling across the water (not often this summer, it has to be said but we travel hopefully). Quite magical.

kristina said...

Yes, the beans, beetroot, and potatoes seem to be just as prolific as the courgettes! K x

emmat said...

at last one of the plinth people does something that actually seems to rise above the boring. That is a great sign!

Rattling On said...

Post boxes make me happy. I'm not kidding. I've blogged about them (and have a post for tomorrow that has one in it!!)and am always photographing them. So, your pictures have cheered me up.
The thing I like most of all, though, is to open the curtains in a morning and see snow. That makes me happy.

Lara said...

This was such a lovely post - I love all the hidden gems in the parks and your dinner looks scrumptious!

Liz said...

My cats. They make me happy. And sometimes a little bit mad.

Kate said...

The sight of your marvellous veggies makes me very happy indeed.

Best of luck with the challenge. A sea change?