Recently it seems like everyone around me is a grumpy old sod.
Yesterday was Valentine's Day and while I know we brits don't celebrate it anywhere near as fervently as the Americans do, I was sad to see so many people calling it 'just another day on the calendar' or 'another excuse for the shops to get money out of us'. My first thought is that they all must be resentful of the couples who are celebrating it, but shockingly quiet a few were happily coupled up. So then I had to wonder why exactly they couldn't just celebrate Valentine's day as the one day in the year where you will find people walking around with giant heart-shaped balloons or have a stack of roses anonymously delivered to your door. It's not like romance is dead or anything.
Personally, I think this severe lack of joy is a serious problem. And it got me into thinking of a few ways to combat the hate and hostility towards what I see as a perfectly innocent little day that would never purposefully try to hurt anyone.
As of now, ladies and gentlemen of the United Kingdom of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, you all should adhere to the following rules to ensure the love is spread evenly across the surface of our little spot on earth:
1. Smile. All the time. At people who you dont' know. At people who look particularly grumpy. Because when you smile at them it will guarantee to brighten up their day a little bit.
2. Be nice to everyone. Open doors, say your pleases and thank yous and if you're in no hurry, why not let that poor, ruffled young man slip before you in the queue, because you can bet he'll be really grateful.
3. Do a good deed once a day (at least). Yes, even if it's quickly running to the shops for your sister because she has a stomach ache.
4. Play happy music quietly. Let it seep into their consciousness. Before they know it they'll be whistling 'Singin' in the Rain' and feel happier.
5. Tell your loved ones you care. Nothing says happy like a few words and a cuddle.
With any luck your entire community will be grinning like fools by the end of the week, and you'll feel good about yourself too. Let this guy be your guide: