This simple little sign sitting on a bench strategically placed on the street outside a hair salon here in Leytonstone, East London made me smile this afternoon 🙂
Today was the first in what feels like forever that neither my husband nor I had the news on. It’s Bank Holiday Monday, neither of us are working and we’re both thoroughly sick fed up with nothing but Brexit, Trump, violent weather storms and violent mass shootings on the news. So we decided to switch off from it all, and spent a relaxing morning and much of the afternoon completely out of the media loop, enjoying the break from all that sickening stressy stuff.
Anyway, not too long ago I picked up my laptop to surf a little bit before making dinner, only to find out – from a blogger in America, would you believe – that Harry and Meghan have had their baby boy today and the news has been full of excitement and happiness instead of endless negativity and heartache. And I completely missed it!
The birth of a new baby is always lovely to hear about, so it’s been so nice to have something good happen in the news at last. Sending huge congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their beautiful son, and thank you both so much for giving me something positively perfect to smile about today 🙂
To have such spectacular wildflowers growing so comfortably within a big city is often a surprise to many people, residents and visitors alike, but here are this year’s beautiful bluebells flowering in Chalet Wood, Wanstead Park, East London. Some years they come slightly earlier, and some years they come a bit later, but their breath-taking abundance every spring never fails to make me smile 🙂
Out for a walk on Wanstead Flats earlier on today, I saw in amongst all the usual greeny brown trees a bush completely covered in what from afar looked like orangey red berries. Intrigued, I went closer to have a look and found to my surprise they weren’t berries, but tiny flowers! A few minutes later I noticed another flash of orange amongst the green of the grass, so explored further to see if this was another flower, but was delighted to see instead this butterfly sunning itself – I got quite close too, to take my picture, before it flew away. And then on the way home I took the shot of the ferns in the grass just because the little nuances of shape and colour of all the different fronds pulled me in. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I smiled at the thought of living in London yet having such an abundance of nature right on my doorstep – some days it just feels good to be alive ❤
I learned to read in the late 1960s with the iconic Ladybird books, always set out in the same format of text (written in varying levels of difficulty depending on age and reading ability) on the left hand page and an artist’s illustration on the right. Some of our original reading books are still at my mum’s, so my kids also grew up clearly recognising Ladybird books.
I’ve recently acquired a few tongue-in-cheek adult versions too, probably created specifically for my age group – The Ladybird Book of the Shed, The Ladybird Book of Dating, The Ladybird Book of the Hangover, and How it Works: The Grandparent. The format is exactly the same, various original illustrations have been used, and the wording is in the same idiosyncratic 1960s tone but nevertheless discussing the new adult topic.
Anyway, when my 36-year old son Simon thoughtfully sent me this very retro-style personalised card for Mother’s Day last Sunday in the same style as the books, I simply couldn’t stop smiling… and I pointed out to him he was not only a special edition but my First Edition too! 🙂
Walking along to the health clinic this morning on my way to have my blood test I passed several excited young school children walking to school in fancy dress – I passed a pirate, a spiderman, a Snow White, a rag doll, an Alice in Wonderland, a tiger, a princess and a Darth Vader! The smiles on their faces (well, those faces not covered in a full face mask) certainly made me smile 🙂
There’s something so satisfying about the fresh-air smell of washing dried outside on a washing line – it’s something I truly miss living as I do in London, in an upstairs flat with no garden or outside space for drying clothes. So while looking after my elderly parents in the North of Scotland recently I really enjoyed the sensation again, and it certainly made me smile.
And I was out really early in the day with this load, the winter sun is still quite low on the horizon so the hanging clothes were sillhouetted beautifully and I couldn’t resist capturing the contrast 🙂