Six Things on a Sunday

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Dalai Lama

There’s a lot of darkness in the world right now.  I am mindful that we are all in the same storm but each in a different boat.  An important reason to acknowledge and be grateful for the good that is around me. 

Two years ago, Paula at Book Jotter began an occasional series of posts entitled Three Things…  Every so often others have taken it up and adapted it to suit their needs,  just as I did in June 2018.  Now seems an appropriate time to pick it up again.  So here are my Six Things on a Sunday as we pass into the second half of May.  Focusing on the good – in words for the here and now and in pictures from May in previous years.

Learning                                Online Courses

I’m finally getting to grips with Kernewek – the Cornish language which continues its revival.  I have a long way to go but I’m gaining so much.  I’m relishing the challenge, the opportunity to experience a little of Cornish history and culture and to meet – even if online at the moment – so many new people all of whom are so passionate, patient and welcoming.  Meetings to practice conversation are now virtual and Bernie and I have switched to an online correspondence course with a local tutor which suits our needs perfectly.  I’ve got a regular daily routine now for practicing and learning and I love it.  This will linger long after the lockdown lifts.  (The aliteration wasn’t intended but now it’s here I can’t resist.  Apologies!)


It’s been some years since I looked in detail at Positive Psychology.  Now is an apposite time to revisit.  Two resources have made their way into my inbox in recent weeks.  The Science of Happiness course is available for free from the University of Berkeley via EdX.  I’m working through it slowly and discovering plenty of new concepts alongside much of what I once knew but had allowed to drift.  This includes the benefits gleaned from writing down what went well each day: what to be thankful for.  Which is partly the genesis of this post!


The Science of Happiness course will take me some months to complete.  For a much faster positive psychology fix, I’ll be starting the new 10-day online coaching programme from Action for Happiness.  I haven’t looked at this properly yet but if it follows the usual pattern from this group it will be short, accessible and a worthwile boost for these challenging times.  We all need that.  I think I might make a start today!

Anticipating                         Festivals to come

This would have been the final day of the Du Maurier Festival in nearby Fowey.  Like many events, it has been rescheduled and hopefully it will take place in September.

the rook with ferryside may 2018
The Rook with Ferryside in the background. My visit to Fowey Festival May 2019.  Looking forward to September 2020

Indulging                        Festivals online

The very much larger Hay Festival is a little later in May but of course it can’t run in its normal guise.  Instead of rescheduling the whole event, the organisers have chosen to go online and make it free and available to everyone!  I’m having a lovely time choosing between online events and I’ve been booking my spot for several virtual sessions.  I’m looking forward to listening to Dara McAnulty talking about his upcoming book, Diary of a Young Naturalist.  I came across Dara a few years ago when he wrote a blog under the same name.  This inspiring young activist is passionate about nature and conservation and I’ve followed his journey with admiration and joy.  I’m keen to join the session with Rutger Bregman, discussing his book, Humankind: A Hopeful History; Jonathan Bate will be discussing his biography on Wordsworth and I couldn’t possibly miss the session with Rosie Boycott talking to Hannah Rothschild about her new family saga set in Cornwall. Those are just sessions I’ve picked out from the first few days; there are a great many more including talks with Elif Shafak, Maggie O’Farrell on Hamnet, Ali Smith and Hilary Mantel.


The online festival runs from 22nd to 31st May and the full schedule can be accessed from here.

Remembering                     I’ll be back here soon

Sailing into Looe
It won’t be long before I’ll be returning to Looe.  Looe beach May 2019

Appreciating                       everything that’s being done to keep our country                                                               running and our spirits lifted

Health and careworkers, keyworkers, politicians – would anyone want their jobs right now? – Joe Wicks, Jay from the Virtual Pub Quiz, the marvellous Captain (now Colonel) Tom.  And countless more.

Thank you.

thank you appreciated

Celebrating                    The eternal

May 2016 sunset 2
Sunsets: always constant, ever-changing and always a gift.  This one from May 2016.


“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Dalai Lama





56 thoughts on “Six Things on a Sunday”

  1. What a lovely, soothing post, Sandra, thank you. I was thinking about the Dalai Lama’s quote just yesterday. It is perfect at any time but particularly these days. And I agree with you about feeling grateful for so many things, not least access to amazing online events. I have booked a few things for Hay – incredible that it is all free. And did you catch the Big Book Weekend? Some really great interviews there, all of which are still available at – I can highly recommend Alexander McCall Smith’s session – 20 minutes of pure joy. X

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love your sharing of all the opportunities available because of the pandemic. It is too easy to get completely discouraged of all I can’t do rather than rejoice in new and free on-line offerings. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, Elizabeth. There is so much grief and challenge at the moment but people have been endlessly creative in finding ways to bring cheer or new opportunities. The Hay Festival is a major event in the UK but one I would be unlikely ever to visit in person. This virtual alternative is a gift!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I do hope so Elizabeth. I’ve just ‘attended’ my first two virtual events at Hay digital and thoroughly enjoyed it. What made it even better was seeing the locations of people from all over the world. People who would never have been able to experience this under normal circumstances.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Isn’t it! An old friend sent me a video from my previous village. Such a joy to see old friends even if just on a screen.


    1. I can’t pretend to be always positive, Maria. I have my moments like everyone else and I still find I have to take care with what I take in from the news etc. I grieve for the losses and I cry at the good stories too. But I’m finding my way through all this alongside everyone else, each in our way 🙂 Hope you’re safe and well x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish I could say my Spanish study is going as well as your Kernewek…. It’s the speaking that is most intimidating. The reading and writing is coming along, though.

    And I just heard about The Diary of a Young Naturalist yesterday. I am hoping to find a copy.

    And thank you for the reminder to see the positive. I need that reinforcement ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My Kernewek progress has been a long time coming, Laurie, and it’s still only baby steps. I still totally freeze when asked the simplest question (as happened several times this morning in our online conversation group).

      I’m delighted to hear that awareness of Dara’s book has made its way across the ocean. Mine is on pre-order 🙂


  4. So many lovely things for you to look forward to! And what a beautiful sunset!
    This post has made me smile, from start to finish, thank you, Sandra. I’m tempted to ask you how to pronounce that “linger longer” sentence in Kernewek 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a lovely post. I’m so interested about your learning Cornish – it reminds me that my Spanish is somewhat in abeyance, but conversational Spanish is hard on the net. However, like you I’m doing some online learning, in my case via, a course called ‘How to Make a Poem’, offered by Manchester Metropolitan University. Highly recommended. And I’d forgotten about the Hay Festival, so thank you – see you there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used futurelearn a lot at one time; I daren’t look again now because I know I’d be tempted! I love the Cornish language, unique perhaps because it’s a revived language. It’s not spoken naturally here but there are increasing numbers of learners and of fluent speakers. I have no ambition to be fluent – to not freeze when asked a simple question would be enough for me right now!

      Enjoy making poems, Margaret, and I’ll look out for you at Hay!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a lovely post, Sandra. How busy you are. I’m seriously impressed with your learning commitments, particularly the learning Kernewek – and intrigued. I’ve not come across anyone using it when I’ve visited Cornwall. I wonder if I’ve just not been observant enough…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like most of us I think, it took me some time to absorb the impact of these dramatic changes in the world. I’m very fortunate compared to many and it feels right to find the positives where I can.

      As for Kernewek, you would be very lucky to find it used in everyday life. Unlike Welsh, it died out entirely for quite a while. But it’s gaining momentum and its taught in some schools and preschools now as well as to interested adults. If it were spoken in shops etc. I would have more opportunities to practise!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very generous of you, Derrick 🙂 I’ve become alliteration-phobic recently, having read something somewhere about what bad form it is in ‘good’ writing. But then, I tell myself, I’m more concerned about enjoying the writing process and its result than in creating something which is defined by another’s rules. So the alliteration stayed!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a reminder of all the wonderful things that still exist and that we can indulge either now or soon will be able to, we were never meant to only be concerned with one subject, and yet it seems that the world’s attention has been diverted to a single narrative. It is a joy to resist and let nature be our guide, even if that means just the flowers on my balcony and the trees beyond them, I find them wonderful company and thank you for the Hay Festival link, I like the sound of Diana Beresford-Kroeger and her discovery of mother trees at the heart of a forest. Thank you Sandra.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Claire, the single-track focus that currently fills our news channels has been remarkable. Of course I understand why this is but I ask question now whether all the other news we used to wade through was ever necessary. I completely agree about focusing on nature. I am gaining true solace from the sensory experiences nature provides at the moment.


  8. A really positive and uplifting message Sandra, in a world where we’re inundated with negativity thrown our way by the broadcasters and a section of the press. There are so many marvellous things around :I’m amazed at the ingenuity and determination of event organisers to ensure we don’t miss out, and , in fact, to reach an even wider audience than usual. You, of course, astound me with the variety of interests you pursue! Memo to self: must try harder!! I shall try to follow up a couple of your suggestions…………………….xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we are seeing human ingenuity at its best at the moment, Pat. In terms of responding to the direct medical and social challenges from the virus but also in connecting socially and creatively. (2 emails in my inbox! I’m saving them for later when I shall settle with a cuppa and enjoy!) xx


    1. Or an old language depending on how we look at it! Cornish died out really, as a spoken language, but it’s gaining ground again. Maybe a long way from being spoken in everyday life as in Wales, for example, but at least it’s not languishing. And I’m loving it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely post! So glad you included the politicians – I do criticise them often, but I firmly believe they’re doing their best in atrocious circumstances and yes, I’m very glad not to be one at this moment in time!

    Liked by 1 person

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