Jaqui's Daily Blog

Magnificent Magnolias and the Happiness Quotient

Yesterday, according to the TV, radio and various newspapers, was Happiness Day. Well, I don't know about you but I reckon being required to be happy on any one particular day is calculated to make even the most generally happy-hearted feel downright curmudgeonly. Don't you just love that word, incidentally?

Take me, for instance. I make a habit of trying to be happy at all times, if at all possible. There is, you will note, a get out clause there. It would be totally inappropriate, would it not, to be happy in the face of someone else's great sadness. But mostly I like to make Happy my default position - so it was strange to find myself querying the whole concept of a Day of Happiness.

Today was not, of course, Happiness Day, being the day after, as in tomorrow in terms of yesterday. I hope you are following me, it really isn't that difficult. So I determined, just to be awkward, that today would be my day for spreading happiness.

It is such a lovely, sunny day that I persuade Mr B to accompany me on what I grandiosely term "The Magnolia Trail." On my regular trot to the local shops there are two absolutely magnificent magnolia trees, just coming into bloom. It would surely gladden Mr B's heart to see them.

Getting out of the house is a major challenge for Mr B these days. I drive the mobility scooter out of the garage and round to the front door, positioning it as near to the front door as I can manage - once astride the scooter, I say, encouragingly, he will be Off, Off and Away. Mr B raises a protesting eyebrow but continues his painful progress with only the occasional grumble and off we do, indeed, go.

We pass by the garden where the first of the magnolias is blossoming. "Isn't it beautiful?" I enthuse. "Too large," comments Mr B, dourly. We move along the road until we reach the second of the Magnificent Magnolias. Again. Mr B' s one comment is that it is "way too large.." At which point I realise that we are at Magnolia Related cross purposes; he thinks I am trying to persuade him we should plant a magnolia in our garden while I am simply wanting him to enjoy the spectacle which won't, let's face it, last as long as we would wish.

Mr B takes a detour. I initially think this is for the purpose of locating a dropped kerb but it turns out he wants to show me the back of our house, viewed from afar. Did I not realise where we were going? he asks, adding that I have no sense of direction. Guilty as charged, m'Lord.

Outside the butcher's, Mr B hails the shop owner, Chris, whom he hasn't seen for ages. Chris immediately sets about persuading Mr B of the outstanding value of his latest "Special Offers." He tries this on with me every time I enter the shop but I always manage to resist. Mr B however decides we need to buy a Beef Madras curry and two breast fillets of Gressingham Duck with an orange sauce. Even though he isn't sure he fancies duck, with or without an orange sauce. At least he has made Chris the Butcher a happy man.

We stop outside the baker's and buy coffee and a savoury pasty each. It's a bit chilly sitting outside the shop while we eat our lunch. A troupe of teenagers are heading our way - French students, I guess, here for the Easter break. I smile at them and they all wave and say "Hello!" I expect they are pleased that we are happy to see them and that they have had a chance to try out their English. I would try out my O Level French on them, but I have a mouth full of sausage roll and I don't want to splutter flaky pastry in their direction so creating a Bad Impression. At least we have ensured that they feel welcome in our country, I tell Mr B, virtuously. At this very moment: "Not foreign students already!" moans a passing shopper, loudly. She is clearly not a Happy (Easter) Bunny.

In the afternoon, I leave Mr B happily at home and make my way for an afternoon playing cribbage at Delia and Jim's house. I win two games and lose two games. This is the perfect Happiness Quotient, given that the results give and receive pleasure in exactly equal quantities.

Could it possibly be, do you think, that I am Over Thinking Happiness?

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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