The mood in Britain is rightly quite sombre at the moment. In the last 3 months we’ve endured 4 terror attacks, a snap election resulting in a hung parliament and a horrific inferno that claimed the lives of dozens of people.
To me, it’s starting to feel like the opening chapter of The Half-Blood Prince. To those of you who have never read it, (if so, get yourselves down to Waterstones THIS INSTANT) the Muggle Prime Minister is experiencing catastrophic event followed by catastrophic event due to Voldemort wanting to spread terror amongst the wizards. I have never been more convinced that Harry Potter is real than during the last few months.
We have watched with mounting horror and anger as it seems that Britain is vulnerable in a way that we have not experienced in our lifetimes. Those of us with loved ones in the police and security services are trying to hide how scared we are when they go to work. And you know what, I have had ENOUGH.
Yes, get angry with the government for failing to protect people in poverty. Yes, feel sickened by the kind of people who can hurt children at a pop concert. Yes, condemn a man who thinks that it is right to drive a van into a peaceful group of people leaving a mosque.
But at the same time, celebrate what this country actually is. The people who ran selflessly into danger at every attack. The outpouring of help and support at every disaster. The very fact that after each atrocity, people quelled their tears, pulled their shoulders back and carried on their lives as normal.
Do you know what I did on Friday night? I went home, had a glass of wine, closed the blinds and danced round my living room like a lunatic. (Huge apologies to the neighbours who probably thought a tone deaf orchestra had moved in.) I’ve also made a list of things that make me happy, and I’ll try to do it all over the coming days and weeks.
Things like lying on my best friends sofa watching bad TV, playing on a trampoline with my beautiful goddaughters, having a cold beer on a hot day, having a catch up and pizza mid-week, listening to my musical Spotify playlist full blast, rereading my favourite books in the sun, painting my nails and booking spontaneous trips away.
So my advice to you all, hug your babies a little tighter, make a list of your own, and celebrate the fantastic people we have right under our noses. To quote a man much wiser than me: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”