Keep smiling through winter chill

THE pursuit of happiness need not be confined to Will Smith on the cinema screen. Features editor TRACEY SPARLING has been hunting down some reasons to be cheerful in the depths of winter- or at least some reasons to smile, this fortnight.

By Tracey Sparling

THE pursuit of happiness need not be confined to Will Smith on the cinema screen. Features editor TRACEY SPARLING has been hunting down some reasons to be cheerful in the depths of winter- or at least some reasons to smile, this fortnight.


Direct from CBBC, Basil Brush booms into town with his spectacular laughter show for the whole family! Basil heads a star cast in a show packed with sidesplitting comedy, spellbinding magic, song, dance and buckets of audience participation and surprises!

This year's must-see treat for all ages! At the Regent theatre in Ipswich. See


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If you haven't got a date for Valentine's Day, don't despair. Send a love note instead.

The British Heart Foundation is encouraging local businesses and shops to show they care with a BHF Love Note. All money raised will go towards a £1million appeal to help fund BHF heart nurses and an information line.

To spread goodwill can order a free Love Note pack call 01892 890002 and, encourage caring colleagues to write their own Valentine message for £1, stick it to the poster supplied and display for all to see!

Or walk into the charity shop in Carr Street, Ipswich, Hamilton Road, Felixstowe or Ipswich Street, Stowmarket, and pledge support by completing a love note with your company name and message. These will be placed in the shop window alongside other love notes.


It's not too late to see how Will Smith manages to find joy despite the odds. The Pursuit of Happyness is still showing at Cineworld this week. Struggling to make ends meet, Will's character Gardner and his five-year-old son are evicted from their San Francisco apartment with nowhere to go. When Gardner wins an internship at a prestigious stock broker firm, he and his son live on the street and in shelters, in pursuit of his dream of a better life for the two of them. I've seen it and can thoroughly recommend the feel-good factor it leaves you with.


It's the end of the working week - what better excuse to celebrate by eating out!

Today in Ipswich you can choose from Mexican, Thai, Portuguese - even Vietnamese in Felixstowe, as well as Italian, Indian and Chinese, so be adventurous and pick the most exotic, then treat yourself.


Become a net producer of happiness by doing something for someone else. Take a housebound neighbour some flowers, sponsor a child in the world's poorest countries (see www.worldvision) or volunteer to help a local charity.

To mark Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 12-18) life coaches at Life Resolutions are on the hunt for generous and caring individuals within Suffolk. Founder of the Stowmarket-based business Christine Whiting wants to find people who deserve a bouquet of flowers in honour of their kindness acts - and a free coaching session. To enter, write a statement (up to 150 words) about the nominee's kindness over the past year, and why they deserve to win. Include your name, address and telephone number as well as the nominee's contact details. Send to Life Resolutions Ltd, PO Box 156, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 1XD or e-mail no later than February 18.


Take walk on the Waterfront this Sunday morning, and say hello to someone on their boat. Pass the time of day and imagine they might whisk you away for a trip!

Feb 19

If you get The Biography Channel, tonight's the night to watch Gene Simmons Family Jewels - Food or Sex? at 10pm. Gene thinks he's going on a romantic trip, but the former rocker is staying on a health farm with rationed food and a separate room from his lover. This can't end well, and should give you a laugh or two!

Feb 20

Ring a friend you haven't spoken to this month, and make plans to meet up. Psychologists say the three most important ingredients for happiness are having close friends, long-term goals and a belief in something bigger than yourself - whether that be religion, philosophy or community.

Feb 21

Derek Acorah is on at the Spa Pavilion in Felixstowe tonight. His first supernatural experience came as a child when the spirit of his late grandfather visited him. When young Derek told his grandmother she was not surprised as Derek was to learn that she herself was a medium.

Chances are he will have a good message for someone in the audience - and that could be you. Weblink:

Feb 22

Wear a loud tie to work. It will make your colleague laugh - at you, and also help raise awareness of bowel cancer. The Loud Tie campaign is run by Beating Bowel Cancer throughout 2007. See

Feb 23

Join a gym, not for the chance to beat yourself up a month later about the sessions missed and cash wasted. Instead sign up to make friends and feel better about yourself. A three-year study by the University of Manchester revealed gyms are as much about our need for kinship as they are about keeping fit.

Feb 24

Volunteer to look after a friend's child for a day. Children can be so amusing and you'll wonder where the time goes as you get covered in stickers, and read endless stories to keep them occupied. It also gives you a great excuse to spend the afternoon lazing in the park while they try the swings. You'll make your friend happy too.

Feb 25

Celebrate the wood at Spouse's Vale near Sudbury as this is a free event for all the family. From 11am to 1pm get out into the fresh air to join a tree planting and tree dressing event. For details call Suffolk Wildlife Trust on 01473 890089 or see

Feb 26

Britain´s best-loved cartoonist Giles lived and worked in Ipswich and is commemorated with a statue of his famous "Grandma". You've probably walked past her many times but why not take the chance today to stop and see her? You'll see that even someone of her squat stature can smile, there's no excuse for you not to!

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