Mi­randa Hart on spread­ing joy

The ac­tress and co­me­dian is on a mis­sion to spread joy

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Walk­ing my dog in west lon­don, i have to ad mi ti am par­tial to a lit­tle eaves­drop­ping. it has al­ways been one of life’ s great plea­sures: my mother says i used to stare open-mouthed at peo­ple in restau­rants and parks when i was younger, and she was con­stantly re­mind­ing me it wasn’t po­lite. But dog walk­ing is a safe way to hear some lovely snip­pets.

my re­cent over hear­ings have all been on the sub­ject of whether spring is in the air or not. i heard one mother ex­plain­ing to her daugh­ter, ‘Spring is when the plants all start to flower again, the leaves come out and we all start to feel a lit­tle bit bet­ter… hope­fully. Wait there… i’m just get­ting some wine from the shop…’ The next thing i heard was, ‘… well, if the plane does plum met then you are gone any way, so you might as well just get on it… and if you get back for spring, then that’ s a bonus .’ and fi­nally, ‘… se­ri­ously, i’ve had enough of doris’s wind, come on spring .’ if you didn’t know that the re­cent storm was called doris, that would have been a very con­fus­ing sen­tence.

Th­ese mut­ter­ings co­in­cided with me re­ceiv­ing the first hard copy of my new book for Comic Re­lief, called

Mi­randa’s Daily Dose of Such Fun!. i am not shar­ing this with the sole aim of pro­mot­ing the book (all pro­ceeds go to Comic Re­lief any­way, so ia­mun ashamed ), but be­cause i needed to road­test it. my eaves­drop­ping had made me aware that there were some fed-up peo­ple out there, need­ing the wine pur­chase be­fore the yardarm, hav­ing a mor­bid fear of fly­ing, and des­per­ate for some spring warmth. So i thought, let’s see if my book does what it claims to do: ‘pro­vide daily tasks to pro­mote a more en­gag­ing, car­ing and jolly life’.

i opened the book and read that day’s en­try. The task was to make a ‘blind­fold pur­chase’: go to a shop of your choice, close your eyes or blind­fold your­self (both eas­ier with a friend), and buy the first thing you put your hands on (steady on, mat ron ), then give it to some­one on the street. i felt slightly awk­ward about go­ing through with the task, but i fi can’t do it the ni can hardly force read­ers to, and the book has been printed now. Still, i made some­one else do it. i grabbed a friend and off we went to my lo­cal shop. He shut his eyes as we walked in and grabbed some­thing, which turned out to be a jar of in­stant cof­fee. We were a bit dis­ap­pointed be­cause it didn’t feel like the best gift to give, but i said we must ad­here to my rules, and buy it we did.

Then the mis­sion be­gan to find some­one on the street to give it to. it led to a fun con­ver­sa­tion with a deeply con­fused man. ‘you are giv­ing this to me ?’‘ yes, it’s for you, you are won­der­ful, have a lovely af­ter­noon .’‘ What is it?’ ‘it’s cof­fee.’ ‘no, but what is it re­ally?’ That was odd be­cause it was clearly a jar of in­stant cof­fee, so i said again, ‘Umm, cof­fee,’ and ex­plained the game. He smiled and said, ‘you’ve just made my day you silly fool,’ a nd bum­bled hap­pily off be­fore turn­ing back to shout, ‘i don’t drink cof­fee.’ We laughed. He laughed. We then went back into the shop and did an­other blind fold pur­chase, and a tired mother ended up with a box of Roses choco­lates.

it felt so good not only to have a lit­tle mo­ment of fun away from work, but to en­gage with peo­ple and make them smile. my book bloom­ing well works, i thought to my­self. an dig ave my­self a counter cul­tural pat on the back. We’ve got to get bet­ter at self­con­grat­u­la­tion, i think. So, well done me. Spring is in the air… Such fun! Mi­randa’s Daily Dose of Such Fun! (Hod­der & Stoughton, £6.99) is out now

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.