Bring me sunshine

Ahoy, wonderful readers! It’s that time of year when your faithful Happiness Experimenter must away to the sun. England has had more than its fair share of the wet stuff this summer so there’s nothing for it but to seek out some Tuscan sun! I will most likely be away for a couple of weeks (but I do have the ability to publish blogs from my phone so you never know!).

And in the spirit of bringing on the sunshine and the happiness (no matter where you are right now) here’s a wonderful clip from one of the greatest British comedy duos ever – Morecambe and Wise. This is vintage 1970s – the song they sang at the end of every show – with their guest Cilla Black wearing a frightful neck-to-floor monstrosity. Keep with it though – Ernie’s dance at the end is bound to bring a smile to your face.

Bring me sunshine….!


The surreal and the prosaic

Well what a day.

UK temperatures in the thirties? – Surreal.

Driving to Heathrow? – Prosaic.

Air-conditioning in my car barely able to keep up? – Prosaic.

Standing in arrivals hall and suddenly confronted with the image of a beautiful lady dressed head to foot in orange-sherbet silk being escorted to a grand-piano by a security guard … she sits down and starts playing Chariots of Fire whilst cameras from BBC, and various other Olympic-fuelled media, whir. One tune and then it’s all over – our famous (I assume) vision floats away again on the arm of the black-clad security guy. The airport – having temporarily been suspended in la-la land – returns to the business of people coming and going.

Definitely surreal.



Julia arrives back from France after a fabulous week away. Priceless!


Stuck in traffic jam for an hour in the sweltering heat, my air-conditioning having finally given up the ghost?

Definitely prosaic.



The gift of a chuckle

Laughter – so infectious, so freeing, so healing.

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

(From a great article called Laughter is the Best Medicine at

Did you know that there are laughter clubs you can join? Here’s one in Bristol:

There’s even something called  ‘laughter yoga’:


So here’s a little gift from me and my niece Taissa – a wonderful dose of laughter to help all that healthiness flow through your body right now. Taissa is 18 months old and found Guy playing about with a piece of wood hilarious. I recorded this whilst we were in France last week. I guarantee you will be chuckling seconds from now!


“Oh, I say”, she said, “let’s DO something!”

Got a real happy-high this morning from finding this fantastic old girls’ annual. (I used to collect them). I just love the language!


Chapter II

“Well, the next hour or two was simply frightful. Delia and I shouted for help and shouted again; but we might have saved ourselves the trouble , for there wasn’t any one to hear. There was only old Timm’s house on the shore, and that was half a mile away, and the wind was against us.

“But he’ll find out that the boat is missing, and he’ll come out after us,” I said; “Do they know at school where you and the kids are?” I asked Gwynneth, as she came back from searching around the island…”

“No,” she said

“And we didn’t mention it either,” said Delia. “Oh begorra, there’s nothing for it but to make the best of things till Timms turns up.”

“But I’m frightfully hungry,” said Jean suddenly”….[she] began to cry and to cough too, and Mary looked as though she’d follow suit; while, to tell the truth, Delia and I had fairly lost our heads.

It was Gwnneth who spoke up. “I say, she said, “let’s do something!”

Now, she’d not said, “I told you so,” over the drifting-off of the boat: she’d been jolly decent about that; and quite suddenly, I felt awfully glad we’d got her with us…”

“Gwynneth… you’re a marvel,” I said…

Well, thanks to Gwynneth again, we’d a fine fire pretty soon, though it took lots of patience in the making. The children were quite gay again before long, bringing fuel and sticks to keep it up…”


[They have more adventures, Gwynneth saves the day, then later that night back at school….]

“Gwynneth,” I said that night in the dormitory, “you’re a brick. What we should have done without you, I can’t imagine. I’ll never say a word against your Guide Books again; in fact, I may as well confess I think Guides must be splendid!”


Hope you all have a simply splendid weekend!