I have been giving a lot of thought recently to what makes people happy. For myself I used to believe that it was having something to look forward to at some future time, such as a day out shopping or going abroad on holiday. It wasn't necessarily that it needed to be something costly but I did feel that it had to be something significant to justify the wait. At the time I didn't live my life in abject misery; it just seemed that achieving real happiness was always just around the corner. There was probably also an element of feeling that happiness depended on achieving certain things or acquiring particular possessions. I freely admit that I gave this belief a very thorough testing indeed - particularly where my credit card was involved - but that feeling of lasting happiness always remained tantalisingly out of reach. So what changed, you might ask. I did. Less income meant less treats. Gradually I came to realise that no amount of 'having' was ever going to work and that 'doing' is so much more rewarding. Really getting involved in an activity I enjoy - like taking the photographs for this blog - is a hundred times more rewarding and happiness-inducing than any shopping trip I ever went on, no matter HOW many shopping bags were involved! Secondly, I now wonder why I wasted so much time thinking that happy was at some future point, when there are so many little things to brighten our every day if only we care to notice and value them. Do you like the picture at the top of this post? You will probably smile when you here how it came about. I went into the garden to hang out some washing and found that the wind had snapped a little piece off a trailing geranium. I brought it inside and grabbed the first thing I could find in the cupboard of a suitable size to put some water in. I then plonked it on the windowsill behind the sink so that I didn't knock it off whilst I was tidying up. But then everytime I went to the sink my eye was drawn to it; to the intensity of the pink flowers, the contrast of the pink flowers with the blue egg cup, the ability of the flowers to perk up once they'd had a good drink. Each time I looked I felt a little buzz of pleasure. Such a small and simple thing and yet it really brightened my day. Being able to photograph the flowers at their best prolonged that pleasure further. Yesterday, Si' and I built a fruit cage out of an assortment of odds and ends that we've been given - old scaffolding net, some warped roofing laths and wooden posts and ironwork that came with the allotment. It took us most of the day but we were able to spend that time together, doing something we enjoyed, to produce something incredibly useful that cost us nothing! Later we enjoyed a bowlful of our first homegrown strawberries for tea. I have added a new category to this blog called 'Simple Things to Make Your Heart Sing!' in which I hope to include posts about the simple things that I feel make life worth living. Perhaps happiness is there to be found every day after all.