The sun will not make you happier, no really, it won’t…

Oh look, it’s raining again. Look, I’m used to rain. I spent 5 years living in North Wales. I don’t let it confine me to the house. But what pisses me off the very most about our complete washout summer is the lack of ability to plan anything that requires it to, you know, not be raining.

We have already had to cancel a camping trip so far. Yes, we are fair weather campers, but really, there is nothing fun about being stuck in a tent, cold and damp with two children under 5. What sort of holiday is that. Not that I consider camping a holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I really like camping, but in order for something to be described as a holiday it has to meet certain criteria.

1) a phrase book should be required. This does not count.
2) there should be some sort of extreme weather, preferably sun, but snow is also acceptable.
3) there should be a body of water involved somehow, swimming pool, lake, ocean. Puddles do not count.
4) there must be a real bed to sleep in, not shared by either of my children.

So you see camping does not meet the criteria for a holiday, but it is a break at least. And the only one we can afford. But it is impossible to plan a trip for the summer.

Also most summer activities to keep children amused involve being outside, farm parks, theme parks, play parks. This is especially true for free or very cheap activities. As it is we will be spending most of the time at the library.

I love the seasons. The fresh crunch of autumn; cold but cosy winter; the feeling of rejuvenation that spring brings; and the welcome warmth and sunshine of summer, all the more coveted because of its scarcity. But it is times like this when I wish I lived in California, or somewhere else with eternal sunshine. There is something so cheering about the sun and blue skies. Even the drive to work is significantly improved by its morning rays, with the windows down and the Isley Brothers on the stereo.

But psychologists insist that people who live in sunny places are not happier than those who don’t. They call it the hedonic adaption, the theory that everyone has a set point of happiness, and while things like lottery wins, promotions, and sunnier climes might temporarily increase our happiness, pretty soon our happiness levels return to their state pre-change. As you life circumstances improve, so do your desires and expectations.

While I get the theory, I’m dubious of its veracity. I’m fairly certain that if you took away my money worries, I had a cleaner, and a glittering career, I would in actual fact be significantly happier. I’m sure people who have fled lives lived under the threat of domestic violence, brutal dictatorships or abject poverty, are in fact actually happier

And tell me that I would not be happier here

Ayada ocean villa, maldives
Yeah, I’d be totally fed up here after a while…

than here:

Home in the rain

Behind the scenes of a yarn bombing

So, it’s about time I did a proper write up of Tuesday night’s yarn bombing. I’d been planning it for weeks, spending most evenings making bollard cosies and lamp post tags.


We have adopted the Montpellier Chapter as our den of iniquity. It’s a very “naice” place (originally chosen because it was the only place NOT showing the football). This was the second time we had been in there, crocheting away, the table strewn with wool. The waiter came in periodically, a faint look of bemusement on his face, but unfailingly polite. We finished up our creations there with a cup of tea. Actually Georgia was still sewing hers up as we were walking to our target!

Our initial target was a big public garden in the town. Wednesday was the start of the local music festival and all the festivals are based in this garden. Well, nearly all of them. We turned up at the gardens with nary a marquee or even a tent in sight. I quickly checked on my iPhone to see if I’d got the right dates. I had, but no mention of location. Stitch This suddenly had a brainwave that the music festival is usually held at the Town Hall. So we traipsed in the pouring rain to the Town Hall. “Are there even any bollards near the Town Hall?” I wailed, bollards being central to this yarn bomb. “There’d better be. I’ve just spent two chuffing hours on this train finishing this thing getting weird looks” replied Stitch This. Except she didn’t say “chuffing”.

Through an alley way and outside the Town Hall we found a bollard-tactic vista and got cracking straight away. It was getting late for us poor tired mothers of young children (sorry to ruin the mystique for you there).

It was lashing with rain, but it didn’t really matter. It just made things a bit awkward that we couldn’t put our bags down while we were sewing up. Instead we were manically running around, swapping scissors and yarn needles.


Most of the bollard cosies had been pre-sewn to make it easier to just slip them over but a couple still had to been sewn on as did the lamp post tags.


This was Stitch This’s first foray into yarn bombing and she was giddy with excitement. Her yarn bombs were a green sea creature closely resembling a head on a stick, and a magic wand with the words “Music is Magic” sewn on, and even some gold sparks! The wand was actually a mash up of some UFOs including a scarf of doom.

I ummed and ahhed over whether or not to add a tag. It seemed very self promoting and I thought it might ruin the air of mystery. However I put a lot of work into the project and it would be nice to have more visitors to my blog. In the end I did and I added a message saying that if people wanted to take the yarn bombs to please think about it and remember the yarn can be undone a recycled. I love yarn bombing, even if it has become less subversive and more ubiquitous. But the only slightly negative comment I have ever had was questioning the wastefulness of all that yarn, which was a good point. I have to hope that people who take the yarn bombs do so because they want them for decorative purposes, and if not hopefully my note will make them think twice.



All in all they made for a great sight. I haven’t actually seen them in broad daylight, but I have been updated by various Twitter observers that they are still in situ. The Cheltenham Town Hall staff were very pleased with them and have been tweeting about them and putting pictures on their Facebook page.

Picture from the Cheltenham Town Hall Face Book page
More from Cheltenham Town Hall Face Book page

My new posse and I have big plans for the next festival, and we are going to keep meeting at the Montpellier Chapter (you think if I mention them enough times they will give us a discount?) so watch this space…