Today has been a bit rubbish. Actually, I should rephrase: Today I have felt a bit rubbish. Not totally awfully bad, just enough to be in danger of shouting / bursting into tears at any given moment. My ‘bit rubbish’ mood is probably because I’m tired, but this knowledge doesn’t really help to improve how I’m feeling. One thing that does usually help, though, is to compile a ‘gratitude list’. I like to think of this as having an Oprah moment, as Oprah Winfrey promoted the concept on her show. Basically, every night you write down three things that you are grateful for that day. You then re-read the list in the morning. The writing it down & re-reading it is the key to making it work; simply thinking it doesn’t have the same impact. Apparently experiments have proved it can make a real difference to people’s moods & outlook on life. It has certainly worked for me in the past: I used to do it every day, then gradually I found that I couldn’t stop at just three things. When it got to the stage where I was regularly listing 60 or so items, I figured I was in a happy enough place in life to cease writing the list. But everyone needs a reminder sometimes! So here is my list for today so far: 1) My white towelling robe. I put it on after a shower & then like to pad around my room while various lotions & potions sink in. Everyday this ritual makes me feel like I’m in a spa when actually I’m doing glamorous tasks like making my bed. 2) Plums. One of my favourite sights in life is a very full fruit bowl. Maybe I have unconcious Marie Antoinette fantasies. An ex once made me stop using a glass cake stand as a fruit bowl – he said we didn’t live in Versailles & he was fed up of bruised apples (every time the washing machine went onto the spin cycle, the apples would fall off the stand, off the table and roll across the floor. Annoying, I admit, but the fruit looked so lovely all piled up). Anyway, today the fruit bowl was very full with plums & I had the most beautiful juicy plum while waiting for the kettle to boil. 3) Clouds. Today has seen some amazing, huge fluffy white clouds drift by my window. How can cotton wool clouds not make you feel happy inside? 4) Ian, the nice man at the Co-operative Bank call centre. I received a letter informing me of an error on my account. Somewhere along the line, a transfer hasn’t gone through. Phone up telephone banking & in a three minute conversation, I am utterly charmed by Ian & his flirty ways. Thank heavens it wasn’t video calling as he would have seen me blush! Best of all – he waived the fee I’d been charged. He also gave me his ‘direct number’ in case I have ‘any further problems’ – not entirely sure this was necessary, but it made me smile. 5) The news that Lucy in the BT ads is pregnant. I don’t know why, but I feel emotionally invested in this BT family. Maybe it’s because I secretly hope that I look a bit like her; maybe it’s because I’ve always had a penchant for ginger men. Whatever the reason, I’m genuinely pleased that she’s pregnant – especially as I voted in the poll twenty times! Well, that’s five reasons to be grateful not three, and I could write a few more, so I guess the gratitude list has worked its magic once more. I am ready to face the fundraising event I’m going to this evening in a far happier mood than I was earlier. Maybe today has not been so rubbish after all!