100 Happy Days 9 – drawing princesses

I know I’m late by a day, but I couldn’t find my SD card yesterday and I’d rather take the photographs myself than find images online.

So here’s my sketch of Rapunzel – it looks wonky on the photograph, but I promise it’s not THAT bad in real life:

One of my favourite princesses

I’ve been pinning a lot of game and film characters on my Pinterest, but I have found a particular interest in princess stories at the moment. I still remember the film “A Little Princes” (haven’t had the pleasure of reading the book) when she says all girls are princesses deep down. I do think the idea is rather romantic, and I do accept that a lot of the princess character portrayals in Disney films kinda fail a little at times. But I like to look at the strengths of the girls instead of the negatives.

Snow White, for her time, is quite assertive. Aurora does do a whole bunny-in-headlights vanishing act but, to be fair to her, she’s lied to her whole life, told she’s forbidden to marry the guy she likes, and the bombshell is dropped that she’s a betrothed princess who now has a tonne of expectation on her, not to mention the imminent meeting of the parents she’s not seen since she was a baby. And she’s only 16 in the film! While Snow White is only 14. Cinderella takes her life of servitude with a level of grace and good-humour that I find quite inspiring. She takes so much stick, and just keeps taking it, while still finding the inner strength to keep her spirits up right until she’s pushed too far. Everyone has a limit, after all.

And, once again, bearing in mind the times these films were made, the characters are actually fairly fleshed out. These days we demand more from our characters. And, before my fellow feminists jump on me – what EXACTLY does Prince Charming do, apart from dance, have a stupid name and carry shoes? Snow White’s prince doesn’t even have a name! Only Phillip really does anything much, bless him. I know the princes in Disney films aren’t “meant to be role models” in the same way society seems to want the princesses to be. but I also know the first thing you do to decide if something is sexist is compare men and women in the same context. And I can’t honestly say Charming did half as much as Cinderella. Nameless Snow White Prince doesn’t do anything! Apart from scare doves and kiss girls. How is that a role model? Most boys can do that at 7!

And I’m not just entranced by the princess characters from the franchise, or even from Disney itself. Look at Anastasia! That film’s stunning! And I don’t really like The hunchback of Notre Damme much as a film, but Esmeralda is amazing! I had a doll of her when I was a child. I had an Ariel doll too. Now, there’s a girl who isn’t afraid to fight for what she wants, even if it means leaving everything she knows behind.

I’m going to go watch Enchanted again. I do love that film, it’s silly but, at the same time, really romantic and touching. Bless him, Prince Edward is such a clueless little bobcat!



100 Happy Days 8 – a hand written letter

Today I wrote a long-overdue letter to my friend in Portugal:

Got a long way to go

Apart from that I’ve been busy all day. Done a lot of walking, which is good. And I got my hair cut! The medication has killed my ends far too much. Now they’re gone, and I’ve dyed over the rest to make it one colour again.

I know I have a long way to go before everything’s back to normal, but every little step lights up my day.


100 Happy Days 3 – arts and crafts

Today I woke with a bit of a sore head and a lack of, to quote a favourite film of mine, “gumption”. So it became a crafty day:

Arts and crafts

Firstly, in the foreground, you can see a bowl. It’s not the neatest of bowls, but I made it myself using clay. I’m hoping to use it under a plant as a water dish when it’s finished.

Next, we have the lampshade. My old one was broken when someone put a foot through it (don’t ask) and the new one was rather dull, so I decided to spruce it up with some decoupage. Finally, the box is a work-in-progress project intended to house some folders when it’s finished.

I was reading a crochet book last night. I might start a new blanket project later on, or pick up my cross stitch again. See what we feel like as the day winds on.


100 Happy Days 2 – choosing a records book

This was a necessary action – as the owner of a snake it helps to keep a detailed record of the pet’s sheds and feeds. So I picked this notebook for Sheena:

Sheena’s new records book

I have no shortage of notebooks, most of which I haven’t found a good use for yet. This one just struck me when I first saw it in a shop, and I’m glad I picked it up.

Today’s been good for a few reasons. Lovely sleep, lots of snakey cuddles, a walk into town in which I got everything done I needed to, bumped into someone I’ve not seen in a while, spoke to someone else on the phone I haven’t heard from in ages, and saw quite a few members of my family. I’m feeling quite positive, all things considered. Now I’m having a chilled evening to myself with pyjamas, snacks and Black Books (which I found when I was looking for notebooks – another happy moment!)


All change places

Three things I need to mention:

First of all, I’ve changed the name and tagline of the blog. The relocating writer has relocated, but not as far as was planned. I’m getting a lot better health-wise, but there’s so much more I need to focus on before I take the big step and leave my home town. So the blog has shifted focus a little to reflect my personal situation.

Secondly, The Happiness Project is on stand still. I am not ignoring the steps i have made so far, but i wont be adding to it. As my health improves I need to spend my time wisely, pace myself properly and give my attention to things that matter. That’s why much of my online presence has taken a backseat of late. I’m just following my instincts on what task I’d be most productive doing at any given time.

Thirdly, and finally, I’m going to start the 100 days of happiness challenge. Considering everything I’ve just said this might feel a bit odd, but it’s a light little piece of fun to keep my days varied. I already feel like I’m quite a cheerful person, and I never struggle to find the silver lining even on the worst days. but my friends who have already started the challenge post so many wonderful pictures on Facebook that I feel like joining in.

So watch this space.


A dabble into feng shui

Because moving house isn’t complicated enough, I’m planning on having another bash at feng shui in my new flat. I’m going to bob my posts about it over on my spiritual blog, so it actually gets some exercise.

As far as everything else goes, I’m still plodding along, still quite poorly, but working on getting better and sorting my new flat. I’ll post with more information when I’ve made more progress.


March – all about routine

My first month focused quite heavily on my environment, and my second was supposed to tie that down to looking at myself a little more. both of these were ambitious, and set me up for a lot of positive energy. But march is going to bring those two elements together, while appreciating the fact that I am moving into a new home in the first week.

All About Routine:

  • Figure out the frequency
  • Make the time and the space
  • Be informed and connected
  • Experiment with different methods
  • If in doubt, make it visual

A lot of that probably seems self-explanatory, but I’ll divulge my thoughts all the same.

Frequency refers to tasks and how often they need completing. I know that a regular cleaning routine, for one, makes the large spring-cleaning binge a lot less daunting. But, at the same time, I don’t want to overdo it, especially not with my current health issues. I will also need to make the time and space for these things alongside my other resolutions. Moving house doesn’t mean I’m done de-cluttering, and if anything it’ll be a setback in the organising. Then there’s the February routines, like skin care and nail painting.

As for informed and connected, this refers more to external bodies, like medical appointments. Then there’s the dreaded address change with every human being of any importance I’ve come into contact with for the last two years. I made a special effort to find out the opening times of my local shop, as well as making sure they could top up my gas and electric keys. These kind of details need to be faced, dealt with and updated.

Still, routines are never fixed without flexibility, and a new environment is the perfect chance to try new things. I’m hoping to research and experiment with different ways to do everything in hopes to find what works best for me. Like cleaning, for example. Anyone can clean, though not everyone can clean well. I don’t want to live in a home full of dust, dirt and grime. And there are easier ways to do things – I even bought a book which proudly boasts that it’ll tell me how to clean anything to perfection. What it will succeed in doing is giving me options.

Finally, the visual element. We’re talking contact cards, address books, time tables, to-do lists, reminder notes – anything that works to keep it fresh and active in my mind.

March’s resolutions are partly huge and partly nothing compared to the first two. In a way, looking at your whole routine is a pretty big deal, and this is a wholly encompassing resolution. but at the same time, everyone has routine to their lives. Even the most unstructured person can follow through with eating as hungry and sleeping as tired, or have particular ways to eat, clean or complete daily tasks. I’m not about to turn my life into a schedule. But by the end of the month I might have something of a schedule-nature on paper. It could even just be in my head, and as simple as remembering to change the bed on certain days of the week. This resolution gives me lots to play with but no pressure, time to bring in past month’s challenges and a really positive step towards settling in to my new home.

All in all, it’s looking good for March. I’ll be sure to update you all on the other side of the move, from the comfort of my new flat, on how everything is going.