Tag Archives: reasons to be cheerful

Reasons to be Cheerful #63: Pancake Day

4 Mar

simpsons moving

Shrove Tuesday, much like Easter and Christmas is one of the predominant reasons that I am glad to live in a Christian (kind of) country. Much as the ideas of forgiveness and loving thy neighbour (obvs depending on fitness) appeal to me, neither of them really go with a lemon and sugar topping. So on today, holiest of days (well, in the top five anyway), I would like to share my reasons to be cheerful.

1. Pudding For Dinner

As someone who likes to prioritise stomach space by eating sweet before savoury, the one day of a year that elevates the best bit of dinner (aka the pudding) to the top of the pile is one that chimes well with me. And anyway, eggs and flour are pretty savoury so actually, a pancake covered in nutella, banana and ice-cream is just like dinner and dessert in one.

A well-rounded meal

A well-rounded meal

2. Let’s You be Quasi-Religious

For all the spiritually-curious who can’t or won’t commit, events like pancake day and the subsequent month of Lent are the perfect opportunity to broach the religious path with a non-too distant endpoint in sight. Stuff yourself silly, give up chocolate/bread/fags for a month and then when you decide that God’s not for you, noone will judge (or care). So much easier than reading the bible. And you don’t have to get up early on a Sunday.

For the love of Jesus?

For the love of Jesus?

3. It’s a Great Excuse For a Diet

Personally, I don’t go for the fad style of diet, but I think it’s fair to say that that statement either makes me a liar or a member of another minority. What I do know, is that wanting to be a size 10/8/zero isn’t enough motivation for most non-pro-ana people and this is why Mondays, new years, imminent meetings with exes and Lent are all popular diet starting points. I’m pretty sure that the original aim of Lent wasn’t to achieve a flat stomach through the self-denial of carbs, but whatever. If it works, it works.

4. Pancake Making is So Much Easier than Proper Baking

Before people start griping, I am aware that frying a pancake is not baking, but I’m going to go ahead and conflate cakes with pancakes anyway. They both include the word ‘cake’ and they both include flour and eggs. What more do you want? Anyway, the point is that baking a cake is hard. Even though Mary Berry is a great inspiration, her haloed and snazzy-jacketed image alone does not negate the bloody complicatedness of doing a cake from scratch. Pancakes though, are easy. They don’t even need to look nice. Rustic works as well as the next. Just drizzle a bit of chocolate a la Jamie Oliver and you’re basically a pro.

God in a Zara jacket

God in a Zara jacket



Reasons To Be Cheerful #8: New Neighbours

5 Apr
That's when good neighbours become good friends

That’s when good neighbours become good friends

Even though our deteriorating society knows nothing of community or social unpstandingness, I am willing to go out on a limb and say that neighbours still have a place in our world. And I don’t just mean next door. 

We’ve recently acquired new ones downstairs and though I’ve yet to meet them, there are a number of things that make me feel assured of their essential goodness. Here goes:

1. Plant Pots = Good People

My first sighting of the new neighbours, well, one of the top of their heads at least, occurred when he was putting out plant pots on the inside window ledge. This must be a good thing. We buy plants very occasionally  but at the times that we do have them I certainly feel better about both myself and my abode.

2. Prior Knowledge

As luck would have it, the male half of the newly-moved in couple just so happens to have once shared some goodtimes with my housemate. What a piece of serendipity. Surely this will mean shared interests…

3. They May Have a Cat

According to the afore-mentioned housemate, they may have a cat. The ‘may’ here could make this point look a little tenuous, but I would strenuously refute such a suggestion.

4. Finally, a Civilised Existence

Much unlike our refined selves, the previous neighbours were of a shady character and I strongly suspect that they were running a marijuana factory or a people traffiking one. Possibly both. Now that we have nice neighbours like ourselves I foresee a time filled with dinner parties, mutual milk buying and, of course, cat sitting.

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: The housemate link could, possibly, backfire)

Reasons To Be Cheerful #5: The North South Divide

2 Apr

north south divide

Based on a life spent in the south and a fair few trips to Manchester (plus several singular trips to Edinburgh, Newcastle, Glasgow, Yorkshire), I have formed an entirely qualitative understanding of what is generally termed the north-south divide. And I like it. Here is why:

1. Both sides get to win

While we southern fairies are smug about our better job prospects and less abrasive accents, those hailing from up north are content in the knowledge that southerners don’t even know the meaning of hardship, not to mention the fact that you can actually get a cheap pint.

2. We can all learn something from each other

Who knew that less than three hours on the train could be tantamount to a social awakening!? Yes southerners, you can talk to strangers without being a rapist/paedophile. And northerners, if you’re in a bad mood and not feeling inclined to respond to the smiles of strangers, simply do as Londoners do and put your head down, moody face on and walk like you’re the only one on the pavement.

3. It helps us to feel like a bigger country

We are all feeling the strain of post-Empire blues, though most of us don’t know it. Why else do we like to lord it over ‘young’ America so much? (but it is true, they have NO HISTORY). The north-south divide means we can show the geographically larger nations that size is not all. There are plenty of cultural and regional divisions here, thankyou very much!

4. It shows us two ways to do glamour

Now I’m not saying that everyone north of Birmingham is a WAG, but there is no denying that the make-up gets denser as you move up the the compass. When in Manchester I often feel like my barely painted face is looked upon with pity by girls adept in the Kardashian school of cosmetics. It’s not better, just… different.

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: Everyone loses on weather. Despite oft-heard protestations that the south is sunnier, let’s just be honest and acknowledge that all of the weather in Britain is shit).

Reasons to be Cheerful #2: Optimism at the Post Office

27 Mar



REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL: It would appear that the Post Office is in the know about  an impending heatwave.