Dear Sam,

Well done to J and his schoolmates for raising so much during the Souper Bowl  – what a fantastic idea. I certainly think there’s potential for a similar event during the Six Nations next year  – Six Donations perhaps?

Did you know that today is International Day of Happiness as well as the first day of Spring? Both reasons to be cheerful and to spread a little joy, don’t you think?

The UN launched IDOH in 2013, based on an idea from Bhutan, where they value Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product; it recognises that ‘progress’ should help to increase human wellbeing rather than being just about economics.

I think that’s a really interesting idea.  Dr Johnson said, “Kindness is generally reciprocal” and, as usual, I agree with him! We can all do small things to make a difference and it’s not just other people who feel the benefit when we do. It could be something as simple as letting someone into a queue before you (is that a very British example?), picking up some litter or taking something good to eat into work to share with colleagues. Or, you could visit someone who’s ill or lonely or even organise an event to help others like Souper Bowl.

That’s why I’ve chosen a picture of some balloons for today’s post. When Piglet was pondering what would be a suitable gift for Eeyore’s birthday, Winnie the Pooh wisely said that “No one can be uncheered with a balloon” – a reminder to contribute, and enjoy, the little things in life.

Much love,


P.S.  Two songs for today: Happy by Pharell Williams (of course) and a personal choice, Bring Me Sunshine by the inimitable Morecombe and Wise (dancing optional).