When I was a child of eleven or so, I truly believed that I looked like Hayley Mills. Hayley, a beautiful & gifted child actress who Greatly Disappointed Me as an adult because she lost her bloom & became kind of ordinary, is in the top photo in her signature role as 'Pollyanna'. I absolutely adored her, the film, and Walt Disney, who made it. I was desperate to go back to the early 1900s which was when the film was set so I could wear Enormous Bows & Pinafore dresses instead of crappy nylon capri pants with matching tops.
I can barely remember the story now, but Pollyanna was some poor little orphan who was sent to stay with a snotty old wealthy aunt in a town with lots of other snotty women who spent most of the time looking like they all had a bad smell under their noses. No one was happy.
Anyway, Pollyanna cheers the whole joint up by going around smiling & 'Being Glad' all the time. I remember my Mum saying that she'd imagine that a kid carrying on like that would drive everyone up the wall after a while. But it didn't seem to in the movie.
Recently, I decided to take a leaf out of Ol Pollyanna's book. Since Being Dumped I've been feeling a little like those Womenfolk with the Bad Smell under their Noses. So I decided to do something about it, but didn't as usual know what that something might be.
But last week I struck up a conversation with Carina, a v. young sport-type teacher at school. As we were both supervising Year 8 girls who were practicing vile dance routines to the tune of 'Nutbush City Limits', she told me about her Mum, who had totally transformed her life from a miserable downtrodden wife with no job skills, dependent on a control freak husband, to a happily divorced mum with her own reflexology practice. This woman had used a number of strategies to help her make her big Transformation, & one of them was using what she called a Gratitude Book, a little book where each day she records five things that happened that she is grateful for.
I immediately pounced on the idea with gusto!
Five Things! Surely I can come up with Five!
But first I had to find The Perfect Gratitude Book. I rummaged around in the drawers at home & uncovered this Twee thing featuring a sad version of Monet's water lilies. It was one of the few things that Mr. Middleaged had left behind. Just the ticket! I ripped out the first couple of pages where he'd made some lame notes about paintings he'd seen at the Tate, & the Gratitude Book was ready, only I decided to call it The Glad Book.
The next day I went to school , & on my desk lay this magnificent wooden shoe mould, also known as a Let. It was a gift from my wonderful colleague Trixie Belden. Of course it had to be the first entry in the Book.