Day 1: The Happiness Project


These are rather peppy.


It’s a cruddy, grey day today, with heavy white skies hovering low. Everything out there is sodden; the roof tiles on the houses opposite are matte silver with rain. The blossoms on the big tree in the back yard are falling to the ground, saturated. I’m shimmering with exhaustion after another sleepless night with a squirmy, howling, colicky baby who is trying valiantly to not come down with the bug that’s going around.

If anybody asks, I’m fine.

And I am- and not just in a Christmas-In-London kind of way, where I’m sending suspiciously perky mass emails to friends and family whilst collapsed in a miserable heap in phone booths around the city, waiting for time zones to align so I could call home and cry.

No, it’s nothing like that.

I’m fine.

However, it’s becoming very apparent that I need to focus a little harder on finding the little bits of daily loveliness, the small happy details that aren’t always spotted, noted or appreciated. Since moving to England– hell, since leaving China– I’ve felt a bit dulled, a bit fuzzier around the edges, a bit buffeted by foggy external forces. Maybe it’s because I’m neither working nor travelling nor studying. Maybe it’s because I’m living in a place too familiar to be exotic or challenging enough to note, but which is also foreign enough to be not my own home. Maybe it’s because I still haven’t quite landed on my feet here yet, compiling a collection of good friends and happy places and oddly satisfying hobbies (think woks and mops).

Maybe it’s because I haven’t really slept in weeks.

It could be that.

Anyway, I’m starting a new series for this season to make sure I don’t find myself in a self-perpetuated slump, where all I see are the grey sky and fallen blossoms, where sleeplessness makes everything just seem that much harder to deal with.

The origin of the idea is from here. It appeared in my facebook timeline yesterday, posted by a friend going through a similarly frustrating meh time. The idea is to post a photo every day for 100 days of something, however small or mundane or intangible, that made you happy. Possible results? An appreciation for underappreciated details; a tangible example of good things.

I’ll start with this one:



Coconut-mango muffins, fresh from the oven


The whole Happiness Project collection of posts can be found here.


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About MaryAnne

I live in Hanoi. I used to live in Shanghai (hence this blog’s title) but I left in 2013. I tend to travel. I cook stuff. I read a lot. I try to scare myself silly with regularity. I write about it all. A lot.