Forget June, let’s embrace July with some reasons to be cheerful

Something to look forward to: The World Snail Racing Championships, held in Norfolk on July 16. Pict

Something to look forward to: The World Snail Racing Championships, held in Norfolk on July 16. Picture: Matthew Usher - Credit: Archant

I can't chalk June 2016 up as a good month, although it started strongly.

At the beginning of the month, I was in France with my beloved and the Norwich and District Normandy Veterans having a whale of a time watching fireworks, eating cheese, drinking wine, singing the French national anthem and celebrating the laidback European lifestyle that puts ours to shame.

By the end of the month, I was living in a country that had rejected Europe and left the country careering towards an uncertain future without clear leadership: frankly, I preferred the fireworks, cheese and wine rather than this unpleasant nationalism we appear to have adopted overnight.

In between, we had the horrific Orlando shooting in which 49 people were killed and a further 53 injured, their lives stolen from all those who loved them by hate, and days later, the death of Labour MP Jo Cox who was killed before holding a constituency surgery in West Yorkshire, a woman who had dedicated her life to fighting for a better world.

Since the American massacre, Congress has turned down commonsense gun laws four times and Scotland has had to endure a visit from Donald Trump, as if living in the coldest part of the UK wasn't bad enough. Just how does someone prepare for a visit from a man who says things like: 'Good people don't go into government' before...going into government.

There was the horrific gun and suicide bomb attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport, the third busiest in Europe, which killed 42 people, injured 239 and left many in intensive care last week, and reports of racist attacks here on home turf as a minority of voters took the decision to exit the EU as tacit permission to ask anyone not White British to 'go home'.

Gordon Murray, the producer of Trumpton, Camberwick Green and Chigley, died on June 30; the world's most tattooed senior citizen is gone; Christina Grimmie, a 22-year-old contestant from the American version of The Voice was shot after coming off stage; the lady who created the beehive hairstyle has gone to the salon in the sky; guitarist Scotty Moore has joined his buddy Elvis; and Muhammad Ali left us. Rubbish.

Most Read

The pre-Brexit campaign and post-Brexit fall-out have been unpleasant and unsettling, the unrest in both the Tory and Labour camps has been unpleasant and unsettling, I had a takeaway that was unpleasant and unsettling and the weather has been dreadful. So, it's official, June was a terrible month.

I'm hoping for better from July.

Here are a few reasons to be cheerful. Yes, the country is in flux and none of us knows what's going on; yes, the garden is flooded and we've barely seen the sun all year; yes, ITV really is adding a sixth episode of Coronation Street every week. But there are pearls among the swine – we just have to find them. It's not going to change the world or stop bad stuff happening, but a few nice things might keep our chins up.

Reasons to be cheerful (part one):

• Boris Johnson isn't running for prime minister.

• Roald Dahl's The BFG will be in cinemas soon and it looks amazing.

• The World Snail Racing Championships are in Norfolk: More than 200 l'escargots slug it out in this annual competition held on Congham's cricket field (this year on July 16).

• Lynn Lumiere is still on in King's Lynn and it's stunning – light shows projected on buildings FOR FREE from dusk until 10pm. Go.

• Georgia O'Keeffe's incredible art is at The Tate in London until the end of October which gives me an excuse to go to London. She painted flowers that look like hoo-hahs and everything.

• If you hate sport, lots of it will soon be over. And the Tour de France is actually quite restful to watch.

• The police officers who proposed to their boyfriends at London Pride in front of the crowds – love overcoming hate, right there in a proposal.

• This column was filed before Iceland played France, but hopefully the puffin-filled islanders will have given their commentator something to cheer about – I know they made us look like idiots, but you can't help but like them, can you? I doubt they won. But they've still all got something to tell the grandchildren/barnaborn.

• Poldark is back in the autumn and he still has lots of fields that need scything.

• According to Finnish researchers, Tuesday is the most boring day of the week which means it's also the day of the week when we sleep the best (on the basis that sleep is preferable to being awake on a Tuesday). So at the very least, you can look forward to feeling refreshed on Wednesday.

• Donald Trump might not win the US election in November.

• On which note, search online to find David Tennant reading out tweets from the Scottish when Mr Trump visited. Not suitable for work.

• The world average life expectancy has increased by six years since 1990.

• It's 20 years on Thursday since The Spice Girls released Wannabe and they haven't re-formed (yet).

• Aladdin the Disney musical has opened in the West End. And the bloke who plays the Genie, which was vintage Robin Williams in the film, is supposed to be almost as good.

• Contrary to what might appear to be the case, the world is becoming more intelligent every year – IQ is rising by three points a decade, although apparently this is mainly to do with the fact that we can now use Google.

• Food can now be grown on Mars, which is nice. Scientists have been using soil which mimics the conditions on Mars to grow a variety of crops in – so when we pop over to our timeshare apartment on the red planet, we can be sure the allotment will be ready for us.

• The Olympics begin on August 5 and IMAGINE the opening ceremony that Rio will put on. I am already planning my fiesta headdress.

• There is a cat in New Zealand called Brigit that has been stealing men's underwear.

I'll keep working on it and get back to you.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter