Friday, 17 April 2015

A List of Happiness

This week a list has been published of the top 50 things that make people happy. Its an interesting list and is obviously compiled from polling a large array of people. Reading this list got me thinking, what things make me happy? At a time when life in Britain for most people is unbelievably tough and miserable its easy to forget the good things and ignore the small things that make us happy or smile or laugh out loud. So in an effort to concentrate more on what makes me happy instead of all the things which make me sad, or frustrated, or angry, disappointed or fed up I started to compile a list of my own. To my surprise I got to 40 things which made me happy! So I thought I would share them on my blog. Here are the 40 things which make me happy (in no particular order, other than as I thought of them):

1. Spending quality time with my Dad, having a laugh.
2. Spending time with Andy or getting a catch up email from Andy.
3. Spending good times with my Mum.
4. Spending quality time with Cheryl, Claire 2, Nat & Cat.
5. Westies!
6. Stroking or cuddling puppies & dogs such as Westies, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels or my friends long coat Chihuahuas.
7. Watching dogs play, run around and be naughty! Seeing their individual cheeky characters always makes me smile and laugh.
8. Going Stationery shopping/window shopping.
9. Buying Stationery.
10. Looking at/Going Craft shopping.
11. Buying craft supplies.
12. Receiving lovely parcels in the post (books, DVDs, new papercrafting stuff, etc).
13. Snuggling down in a comfortable chair/sofa to read a good book.
14. Buying new books.
15. Getting into bed with fresh new sheets.
16. Chasing the cold bits round the bed on a warm night.
17. Eating a rare-medium rump or sirloin steak (unfatty) cooked to perfection or cooked by my Dad.
18. Bovril on toast with medium chedder cheese. Very comforting!
19. Eating Cheese on Toast when the cheese is still gooey... yum!
20. Season & Shake Cajun Chicken with Jacket Potato, carrot batons, petit pois peas and sweetcorn. Cor!!!
21. When someone else does the washing up!
22. Watching an entire box set back to back, especially when its a new season I haven't seen yet.
23. Sunshine & feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin.
24. The smell of rain on a summer's day or immediately after the rain has stopped when it smells all fresh and cool.
25.The smell of barbecues on a sunny warm day.
26. The smell of baking bread or freshly cooked bread......yummy!
27. Watching Aiden Turner in Poldark... or The Hobbit films, Being Human, etc!.
28. Watching new series of shows I love such as Atlantis, The Musketeers, Supernatural, The Originals, Bones, The Flash, Poldark, Call the Midwife, Forever and Dr Who to name a few!
29. Visiting Museums and Heritage Sites (Castles, Palaces, Stately Homes, Forts, etc).
30. Visiting the Imperial War Museum, London.
31. Watching history documentaries about subjects I find fascinating (WW1, WW2, Homefront, Social History, way we lived, shopped, ate, etc, Suffragettes, Workhouses, Asylums, Prisons, Royal History, Local History...)
32. Watching the Sea.
33. Watching a thunder/lightning storm when I am safely indoors.
34. Being told I have got the job I really really wanted ..... well I imagine that would make me deliriously happy when it finally happens!
35. Having stalls at craft fairs and people actually buying my creations.
36. Colouring in or doing Zentangle.
37. Listening to my favourite music (The Script, Pink, cheesy 90s music, boybands, pop, musicals..).
38. Working on a project with others in a team. The project could be anything from exhibitions, research, and fundraising events to craft fairs, dog shows, parties, music night, quiz night, school visits, education days...!
39. Nice surprises, particularly on my birthday, but also when I least expect it. I find it very touching when someone goes out of their way to do something nice for me that they know I will love.
40. Being creative, making cards, drawing, painting etc! Bliss.
It was actually very therapeutic compiling this list as it reminded me how many lovely things I am lucky enough to have in my life, which I must confess I often forget when things get tough. I must make sure I take the time to do more of the things which make me happy, especially when life is tough!  

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

My Many Blogs

I mentioned in the last post that I had started a new professional blog called the Curious Curator. I also have a few other blogs which I thought you might want to know about! So if you have enjoyed my ramblings, opinions and general style on The Book Worm, then please take a look at my other blogs!

The Curious Curator (my museum and history blog - Professional or my "day job" blog)

Stationery Pigeon's Crafty Adventures ( my latest blog where I share my crafty creations, adventures and favourite products).

The Diary of a Neo Food-Phobic (my battle to overcome SED and now my road to recovery)

Monday, 16 February 2015

2014 and all that!

OMG! I cannot believe its been over a year since I last updated this!! It was not for the want of trying, but after completing my Masters and becoming self employed everything became very busy! So before I can pick up this blog again, I thought I should give you a recap of the year gone by!

I did indeed become self employed or as I prefer to call it "freelance". My first project was working for my local museum on a First World War Centenary Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It was successfully completed in December 2014. My work included managing the research group volunteers, conducting my own research, writing draft text for the exhibition and managing the public engagement phase. I also got the chance to work with the IT Consultant to construct a new digital in-museum resource called the Access Centre. This was really very enjoyable as I got to help with layout design, plan out content and write text content as well as editing the content supplied by others. There was also a database of local First World War individuals such as soldiers, nurses, doctors, factory workers, munitionnettes, conscientious objectors and civilians who contributed to the war effort. This was a massive part of the project and will also be the legacy of the project as more information about the individuals will be added as and when it comes in. During the project we managed to identify just under 4000 people! Although we only researched in depth about 150-200 in the year of the project. But that is still very impressive! Now the project is over the other themes on the Access Centre can now be worked on, although now there is no funding to pay me, so unless new funding can be found my contribution will be limited to voluntary when I have the time, with paid work taking priority.

As part of the WW1 project I was also asked to give a talk on the creation of the Bexhill War Memorial (which I studied for my Masters dissertation concerning war memory). I was incredibly nervous before hand and although it was only May, the room felt like a furnace! I am sure I was visibly sweating and shaking! Despite my own nerves it went very well and I was asked lots of questions at the end, as well as very lovely people coming up to tell me how good I was! Always nice to know something went well when you were panicking about it so much! It also helped that two of my best friends (Claire 2 & Nat) had "surprised" me by booking tickets to come along and support me. It helped to have at least two people in the audience who would be enthusiastic! I am really glad that I got the chance to do the talk and would love to do more! Bookings taken now! Tee hee!

As part of the freelance journey I also got my very own website!!! With the help of another of my best friends (the lovely Cheryl) I chose the design and learnt how to add pages and update content etc. I think it looks quite good and I am pleased that I can update it myself. I just need to do that a bit more often and also have more stuff to update! The website also came with a blog option, so I decided to add to my blog list and have a "professional" blog or my "day-job" blog! Its called the Curious Curator and does have some really good articles on there! Its just like everything else I need to find more time to write more content! I also got my very own business cards!!! Ooooo! They look gorgeous! I was so excited!! Sad, I know as they are just business cards, but I have never had my own business cards before! It was a momentous occasion!! And my website address on the cards just helped it look all professional and swish!

In 2014 I also became a published writer! Woo hoo! Yes I have had three articles published in our local newspaper about the town during the First World War! A few weeks after they were in the newspaper I then added them to my Curious Curator blog so they can still be read. I plan to continue this in 2015. I also had an article published on a website about the history of East Sussex during the First World War. I have more articles to submit in 2015. So maybe my dream of becoming a writer might actually happen! Just wish I could get paid for doing it!!

As the WW1 project came to an end I also had a few mini-projects. They were all WW1 themed but were very enjoyable. One was working with the Performing Arts students from the local college who were developing original performance pieces about the War. I provided the historical content for them to be inspired by! Another project was working with a primary school a few towns away who were doing their own WW1 Commemorative project and I had to teach them how historians research people from the past, particularly from the War and then help them to research their local men. Again I was very stressed before hand as I was teaching an age range from 7 years olds up to 10-11 years olds! They have very different abilities and attention spans so it took a bit of planning! Thankfully another of my amazing best friends (Andy!) was on hand to help guide me through my "aaarrgghhhs! and stresses. Andy was also finally back from Singapore so I got to spend some quality time hanging out with him although not as often as I would have liked and now at the start of 2015 he is back to his worldwide adventures this time in Borneo!

Another significant moment was having to say goodbye to my first car, my beautiful red Peugeot 206, and hello to my shiny new (well new to me) red Peugoet 107! I do miss my old car, but love my new car too, and its a lot cheaper on petrol and tax! My old laptop also decided to give up the ghost, so I am now typing this on a shiny new one (an expense I could have done without, but hey that's life!). I also continued my usual papercrafting and going to craft fairs to try to fund my crafting habit!

Since my last post there was also another big happening which occurred at the end of 2013... my friend's gorgeous dog Maisie had her puppies!! I was already in love with her first litter in particular the diva-licious Shelby (and my furry bestie) and the big softy Yoda who belongs to my other friend Claire 2. The new puppies were just as gorgeous and I immediately lost my heart to Charlie, who was later renamed Blaize which suits him much better, and my new other furry bestie Nibbler or to use her real name Skye! Of course the other puppies Spike, Timmy and Oliver are just as gorgeous (and I loves them too) but for some reason Nibbler and Blaize immediately found a place in my heart as did Shelby and Yoda. So 2014 included many opportunities for having lovely cuddles with the puppies and even a day of dog-sitting!I am hoping 2015 will continue to include cuddling my favourite doggies!

I think that's about it for an overview. Its the bits that come to mind anyway! Now I can move forward with 2015 stuff, so look forward to my rants (there's an election in May so I am bound to get opinionated about the rubbish they are going to come up with), moans about the way people of benefits get treated (unless more work can be found my freelance dream may be over, and the Jobcenter awaits) and general thoughts about what's going on!