2014 – the Year of Galloping Happy Wooden Horse

I so often seem to be apologising for not posting more often. This is my first post for 2014 and we’re already most of the way through February. To be honest, my year got off to a slow and sad start. After about three weeks in palliative care, and six weeks altogether in hospital, my father passed away on the 19th of January just shy of his 77th birthday. When the Chinese New Year of the Horse came galloping in, I felt like the year truly was just kicking off. The waiting that my mother, sister and I had been enduring is over and we are ready to steel ourselves for living life a bit differently to before, without my Dad. Friends and family have been immeasurably amazing with their love and support.


During dad’s hospital stay, I found myself one afternoon sat in front of the computer writing frantically to meet the Happy Project submission deadline. As I’d mentioned last year, I had been mulling an idea over with the Binky crew for a month or so, written notes and thoughts on scraps of paper but nothing solid had formed. Originally I had planned to take advantage of some child-free time to sit down and write out the submission but my hasty trip to North Queensland had altered all my well laid plans.

Imagine my surprise on returning to Brisbane to find that our submission had made it through to the top 10. Over 100 submissions were received by the Happy Project, and although we didn’t get to be in the final two, top ten feels pretty awesome, particularly with such an amazing judging panel (including Edward De Bono). It was such a boost that we’re thinking we might just go ahead and do the project anyhow. And to just demonstrate how nice the guys are who are managing Happy Project, a bunch of flowers arrived thanking me for my efforts. They cheered me up no end at a time when I was feeling quite low.
Just last week I found out that one of the two lucky Happy Project finalists in the running for the $12,000 is Hayley from 365 Grateful. How exciting that a Queensland project idea made it through AND that the project is connected to gratitude. Our Grateful Project was originally inspired by Hayley’s 365 Grateful challenge. Her Happy Project pozible campaign The Little Things is seeking support to do a street art project in Sydney, and hopefully Brisbane and Melbourne too. You can support the project, get great rewards and enter your images for the possibility to be a part of the project.  It’s kind of like our Grateful Salon taken to the streets, encouraging people to see the things that make others happy and spreading happiness further.

Which leads me to our upcoming Grateful Salon from our successful Pozible campaign (did you see what I did there?) The Grateful Salon will be held at Bleeding Heart on Ann Street in Brisbane on Friday March 21 and will feature music and art that make you happy!! Tim Steward and Kellie Lloyd, stalwarts of the Brisbane music scene will perform, as well as up and coming teenagers Emy and Billy Farr and local songster Glenn Dixon.  And there will be art, images, illustrations and text to blow your mind – in a good way – and they’ll be for sale too. Louise has been super busy collecting submissions for printing, which we have been able to do at no cost to participants thanks to the campaign. It’s going to be amazing. All this on a Friday afternoon and did I also mention it’s free? Drinks on sale at the bar, sausage sizzle out the front. We got you covered. Proceeds go to Multicultural Development Association to support refugee settlement which is oh is relevant for our show is also on Harmony Day!!

We’re going to be investigating adding a photo gallery to the blog so we can show off our show to all our interstate, overseas and far away Grateful Group members. We’re printing a postcard series to support our future Grateful Project collaborations and they’ll be on sale at the show as well as available via the blog. One of those collaborations is with the Di Sana Project, an international cultural development initiative. We want to explore the notion of gratitude across cultures, the common threads that join us as human beings and how gratitude might contribute (a lot) to a happier and more content life. Binky is also happy to help out anyone who’s interested or has an idea for participating with Di Sana. Let us know.

Phew, this horse is galloping so fast I can hardly stay in the saddle. As it turns out, my Dad was quite the trick rider in his youth. Let’s hope some of that skill has passed down to me. Love you Dad xxx Leonie


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