The Friday Happy List – 18th March 2016

Spring has sprung, the daffodils are daffodilling with a certain daffodilly panache, and sunlight is flooding abundantly in to your whole life, every day.

Spr… Spring?

No, I’m joking. Spring has just limped into view and apologised for the state of itself.

If you are sad that you still have to wear thermal gloves to go outdoors – if you’re staring up at the grey sky trying to remember what’s missing, something big and bright and warm that was definitely there last July – this Happy List is for you. Similarly, if any of the following applies:

You’ve just had a birthday that nobody remembered

Your pet is trying to court other humans as potential owners whenever it can

You gave yourself a jaffa cake as a Special Achievement Award this week

Your Special Achievement was that you can reach everything you need (laptop, snacks, woolly jumper) without getting out of your bed


Here. This Happy List is for you. It is a veritable fondue of good, nice, funny things.

First up: someone tweeted the Paris Review to ask them ‘so is Paris any good or not?’


Secondly: over at my favourite foodie website The First Mess, the recipe for Feel-Good Tea included this news just in: a man called Lars Petrus is building an IKEA dictionary. Did you know that Isdans is the Swedish word for ice dance? Now you do! And how often does ‘ice dance’ come up in conversation? Let’s hope almost all the time. Kelig is the Swedish word for cuddly. Flort is the Swedish word for flirt. Which sounds like what I used to do when I was a teenager, chasing after some terrified English Lit student or tortured poet/barman. How to flort: deliver some sort of laboured, confusing joke about grammar; feel too nervous to balance; inexplicably fall over. Then ask the object of your affection to please leave and never speak to them again. What can I say, I couldn’t help myself. I was just a natural flort.

Also at The First Mess – the Chipotle Miso sauce in this salad recipe changed my whole world.  Unfortunately I have to live knowing that I’m the kind of person who has raw cashew butter in the kitchen cupboard. I just have to live with that now.

A library in Orkney attempted to lure JK Rowling for a visit, with cake. It worked.

Neko Atsume is a Japanese cat collecting game for your phone. At first I was like ‘What is the point of this? Why would I waste my time building a yard and leaving out sheep-shaped-pillows and plates of sashimi, so some cats called Joe DeMeowgio and Conductor Whiskers can come by to hang?’ but I had already downloaded it before I’d finished that thought.


Global poverty continued to fall last year. Grand-scale good news.

Here are the satisying right angles of old Berlin tower blocks – something to stare at while having zero thoughts. Save for that time (say, 8am on a rainy Monday) when life is awful and overwhelming.


Photos of Indian movie theatres! Check out the photos of Keralan churches too. An inkling of that elusive sunshiny joy.

Now go onward, and be happy. That is an order. I’ll stay here and cheer you on with pom poms.

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