I've spent a lot of today floating.
It's been, as my new friend Rebecca would say, a "week of win".
I spent a substantial part of Thanksgiving Day tweeting, and wishing I were in America. Nothing new there, you may say, and you'd be right, although the turkey cravings were perhaps slightly more unusual.
But the tweeting got me thinking. As I think I may have said last year, I love the idea of having a day to think about what you can be grateful for in life. Grumble, grumble, I thought, I don't have much to be thankful for, but then I was walking down a snowy street and it occurred to me that I have central heating, and then, once I had thought of that, somehow the thankful thoughts started tumbling through my brain quicker than I could update my Facebook status. Oboe lessons. Affordable flights to America. Cocoa. And that's without even having to resort to all things Aaron Sorkin.
Anyway, Sunday at Church I used this as a springboard for discussion: what are we thankful for? Then, seemingly unrelatedly, I read my Writing Magazine in the train on the way home, and it mentioned this wonderful website, where the blogger lists three beautiful things every day - the often small things that make her smile, that we so easily forget about and yet that would make us more grateful, happier people if we just remembered.
What a great idea, I thought, I will do that too, and then promptly went off and wasted more time tweeting. So I haven't done it yet, but by the end of this week I will have many, many things to be thankful for.
Firstly, the happy news as recorded in a previous blogpost, that Starbucks is coming to Brussels. The even happier news, for me, that when I pitched this as a basis for an article in an expat magazine, one in which I've wanted to write for a while, they came back within days and said yes please. I used the same news as a basis for an assignment for my journalism course and my tutor said lovely things about it, and encouraged me to pitch it. (I'm not sure if there are enough expat mags in Belgium, but I will certainly bear it in mind.)
Then, my currently all-consuming hobby got some coverage in the press, and that's been a lot of fun.
Then, then, today I got an email from Writing Magazine, Britain's best-selling, erm, writing magazine. They've got a new section where they review 300 words and a synopsis of a novel. They've chosen mine this month! I'm so excited about this, not just because, well, it's always nice to be chosen, but also because of the coverage it gives me, and the boost in confidence.
Add to that the fact that someone close to me is out of hospital, and that my oboe teacher keeps heaping praise on me and telling me how much better I'm sounding, and we have a happy Claire.
All I need now is turkey, and some pecan pie... Anyone?