The song "Reasons to be Cheerful" by Ian Dury and Blockheads came onto the radio and reminded me that whilst I might be feeling a bit snuffly and sorry for myself, I don't really have much to complain about. It was time to look around and get some perspective!
So ... reasons to be cheerful:
1 An evening to myself. My husband was out and the girls were tucked up in bed. The fire was crackling away and I sat down to watch a favourite film from the early 1980s - it looks a bit dated now but the story is still pertinent and there is a wonderful and evocative soundtrack. I had my mug of hot Ribena (I heard on the radio once that it's good for the snuffles and although I'm sure it can't be as it's full of sugar, it certainly is comforting when you can't taste anything else!) and some knitting and I was a very happy bunny. And one day, you will see this yarn in it's true beautiful shade!
2 Happy happy tete-a-tete narcissus bulbs flowering already and sitting on the windowsill of the study which I've now claimed for myself (I'll show you around another day) - a gift from a lovely friend who knows how to cheer me up! Even the pot makes me smile!
3 Books! I lost the reading habit a few years ago after finishing my Master's degree - I think I'd read so many academic papers and got so deeply into the habit of skimming and speed-reading that reading for pleasure just didn't hold any ... well, pleasure any more. It's taken me a long time to get it back, but I'm very much looking forward to wading my way through this pile this year. Interestingly, I now read non-fiction much more than I ever did, so perhaps the degree reading has done me a favour!
I've just finished An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield and I enjoyed it very much. It's an account of how he became an astronaut, culminating in time on the International Space Station and I've wanted to read it ever since I heard Chris Hadfield being interviewed on the radio a couple of years ago. He has the skill of deftly combining (potentially very dull) technical information with real life anecdotes and it makes for a compelling read. I do think his wife should get a medal though - I think that the life of an astronaut's wife sounds tougher than many!
Next, I plan to start on The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell, which I read about on Angel Jem's blog last year. I've read a few living-in-a-different-country books over the years and it's always fascinating to get an insight into how cultures are different. Plus, I've got a soft spot for all things Scandinavian!
The Chimp Paradox is a psychology programme written by Dr Steve Peters who has coached many Olympic athletes to success. It's based on the principle of the "monkey" mind that insists on trying to take over our lives - something that fascinates me - and although I've only dipped into it so far, I've still spotted lots of "I do that!" moments so it should be an interesting read.
Finally, I realised that although I'm familiar with many Agatha Christie plots, I've never actually read any of her books. It's time to rectify that!
They should keep me going for a few weeks - not so many that I get over-faced, but enough to give me a choice when I've finished the next one. I'm hoping that it will be the start of getting back into more reading this year, and I'm looking forward to that very much.
I hope you are staying germ-free, dry and warm at the moment and have plenty of reasons to be cheerful!