01/03/2017

Feeling Happy?

Are you happy?

I hope so but if you're not blame the year. A new study says we Brits were at our happiest in 1957.

Some people are surprised by that fact. Back then most homes had an outside toilet, but maybe that's the secret to a happy life. We brought the loos inside but then buy air fresheners making it smell like an alpine forest. That must mean something.

I looked at some of the things that happened in 1957 to see if we can learn how to be happier.

In April 1957 the BBC did their Panorama spaghetti tree hoax that showed long strands of the food being harvested from trees. It's seen as a classic broadcast but it's rather patronising, laughing at the fact people didn't know where fancy foreign food came from.

In May Britain tested its first hydrogen bomb at Malden Island in the Pacific. It stayed there and didn't head off towards America by mistake, so I see why we were happy.

In June actor Noël Coward returned to Britain from the West Indies after criticism that he was living abroad to avoid having to pay tax. We don't have people doing that any more.

And in July Prime Minister Harold Macmillan said, "most of our people have never had it so good." But we've got it better now. We moan in the news about people living longer but people in the past would love to have that as a problem.

Maybe the problem is gratitude. In '57 people were happy that rationing had ended. These days I heard someone in a supermarket saying, "I suppose I'll have to get the non-organic pasta but this is really not good enough."

Sit down, be grateful, and eat your pasta. It doesn't grow on trees you know.

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