Maisy Donnington's Guide to Perking Yourself Up and Feeling All Nice and Lovely

Maisy Donnington

Well hello!

Awww, feeling down?  Hmmm, I know what you mean - the weather's appalling, work is a bore, the family are just a nightmare and the sparkle seems to have gone out of life.  You're probably wondering why you feel so dull and listless all the time, and why everything around you seems to be such a pain, aren't you?

Yes, well, the answer is really quite simple - it's because you're a miserable old sourpuss, who jolly well needs damn good kick up the bottom to make you realise just how silly you're being.

Hello, my name is Maisy Donnington, and I'm here to give you a few tips on how to turn that frown upside down and make the best of what's around; just a few little pointers on how you can cheer yourself up and beat the winter blues.

You know, people are always remarking how jolly and happy I always appear to be.  "Maisy,"  they will say to me when they see me walking down the street, a spring in my step as I whistle a merry tune,  "Why are you always so bloody happy, you soppy cow?"

Sometimes I think people are a little jealous of my chirpy disposition.  In fact, just the other day my local newsagent told me to wipe the stupid grin off my face when I went in to pick up my copy of Cooking and Knitting Weekly.  And even the butcher resorted to smashing my head repeatedly on the counter and threatening me with a meat cleaver as, with much genial cursing and shouting, he bid me divulge the reason for my insufferable breeziness.

But it takes much more than persistent abuse, random acts of violence and death threats to get me down, I can tell you.  Oh yes, I've got a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to dealing with nasty little grouches and spoilsports, and if you want to be all jolly and lovely and nice like me, then you can do a lot worse than take heed of these five handy tips.

Tip One: Smile!

Yes, it's as simple as that!  All you have to do is stretch that mouth wide and show those lovely teeth - go on, give it a try!

Of course, I'm slightly hampered by the fact that I've had most of my teeth punched in.  Plus, quite a lot of the time, my face is all puffed up and swollen and bruised.  But anyone who knows me can be sure that I'm smiling inside - no matter how much agony I'm in!

Tip Two: Dance!

Ah, dance - what better way is there to express a boundless joy for life than with the flowing rhythms of the polka, the tango or the waltz?  I try to dance everywhere, if I possibly can - not only is it good for you, but it saves on cab fares. And, even if I do say so myself, I think I cut a fine figure as I prance and caper through the supermarket, doing my weekly shop.

I start off with a gentle quickstep in the fruit and vegetable section, whilst simultaneously slapping out the beat on a pair of melons that I hold between my knees like bongos.

Then it's off to the pasta aisle, where the hot Latin melodies take over.  I begin to lose myself in a whirlwind of sensual passion and a crowd begins to form.

By the time I reach the toiletries I am quite unstoppable, a whirling dervish with scant regard for my own, or anyone else's, safety.  Bars of soap and shaving foam are sent spinning across the shop, and toothbrushes are scattered like so much matchwood upon the floor.

At this point I am quite delirious in my ecstasy, and even the manager's arrival, his subsequent attempts to persuade me to desist, and his insistence on continually referring to me as a 'mad f@*!ing tart' do little to damage to my spirits.

Usually what happens then is that he calls for a couple of burly young men from the stockroom to forcibly eject me, but nine times out of ten I will Lambada out under my own steam, and then do the Timewarp up to the post office to buy some envelopes.

Ah, dance - I just love it.

Tip Three: Make a Happy List!

Making a happy list is a great thing to do!  A happy list is a list of all the things you've got to be grateful for, and it's a wonderful way of making you realise just how lucky you are.

So, for instance, if I was to make a happy list right now I would first write down that no one tried to kill me today.  This is nearly always a good thing, although it doesn't happen often.

Actually, when I was in the chemist's earlier, one of the girls there slowly drew her finger across her throat in a threatening gesture, but as she didn't actually lunge at me, it doesn't count as an actual attempt on my life.

Some of the other things on my list would be, oh, flowers, babies, Tom Selleck and puppies.  Actually, a puppy tried to bite me this morning, and a man looking suspiciously like Tom Selleck tried to back over me in his car... After consideration it appears that I may have to start this list again.

Tip Four: Express Yourself!

There's nothing worse than being unable to give vent to your innermost feelings and opinions.  But remember - the only thing stopping you is you.

Some people get a great deal of pleasure out of painting, or composing music, or amateur dramatics. Having said that, nobody gets any pleasure out of writing - that's just a fucking nightmare.

Anyway, maybe you think you're no good with a brush, or that you're tone deaf, but that's really not the point.  As long as you can express yourself, that's all that matters.  Speaking for myself, I have quite an affinity with sculpture.  I'm currently working on a twenty foot high representation of myself in my back garden, fashioned out of my own excrement - although at the moment I'm having a bit of trouble with the nose.

It's a bit of a talking point in our neighbourhood and the local residents have held several meetings to discuss what can be done about it.  Opinion seems to be divided.  Half the street believe that it is an eyesore, whilst the other half - those living downwind - have decided that it is a public health hazard.

Feelings have been running fairly high, and just two nights ago a rampaging mob converged on my house, bearing flaming torches. Fortunately they were unable to get within thirty yards without their eyes starting to sting.  I don't know what their problem is really - personally, I think the statue says a great deal about me.

Tip Five: Make New Friends!

What's the point in keeping your light under a bushel?  You're an attractive, intelligent, witty person and people will want to get to know you.  That's something to feel good about, so why not make the effort to make new friends?

Over the past couple of weeks I've been trying to make the acquaintance of my postman.  I get up especially early and wave to him from my bedroom window.  For the first couple of days he would look up and wave back, but I noticed that gradually his smile became more and more forced, and now he tramps up to the front door with his head down and won't acknowledge me at all.

I've tried calling out to him, but have received only cursory grunts in reply.  Then one morning I decided I would give him a bit of a surprise, so I hid beside my front door and waited for his approach.  When he posted my letters, I reached out and pulled his hand through the letterbox.  Well, I thought it was just a friendly gesture, but he reacted with some degree of panic, and rapidly snatched his hand back, tearing three livid scratches across my face as he did so.

I realised that it was my own fault for startling the poor man, so this morning I thought I'd write him a letter of apology.  I waited patiently behind the front door, intending to hand it to him personally.  He arrived later than usual - in fact he took me completely by surprise.  All of a sudden my mail was roughly punched through my letterbox, and I heard the rapid retreat of running feet.

I flung open the door and gave chase, managing to drag him to the ground just beyond my rose bushes.  There was a bit of a struggle, but in the confusion I was able to ram my letter of apology down the collar of his shirt before he broke free and ran off screaming down the road.

I guess he's just shy - I can see I will need to make an extra special effort to bring him out of his shell.  So what I'm intending to do is this: tomorrow I shall follow him home.  Then, once he's had chance to relax and settle down in front of the TV, I'm going to tap on the window and press my twisted, swollen and bruised face up against the glass.  Hopefully this will serve to break the ice, and will allow us to get to know one another on a more casual footing.

So, those are just five of the ways that you can pick yourself up and be a happy little sunbeam - without having to resort to illegal substances, lewd magazines or nasty, evil television.

There's no longer any excuse for you to be a crabby little misery guts, so pull up your happy socks, flex your giggle bone and let's see if we can't make the world a more plumptious and sugary place.

Bye bye!