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  • Writer's pictureAndy Bell


Updated: Mar 28, 2020

Go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something. -Kurt Vonnegut


A study carried out by Arts Council England looked at the link between cultural activities and wellbeing. This was done through a specially created app called the Mappiness App. The app was installed on participants phones and randomly prompted them to complete short surveys asking them to rate themselves on three dimensions of momentary wellbeing, stating how happy, how relaxed, and how awake they felt. They also had to give details about where they were and what activities they had just done.

The results were collated and a ranking of cultural activities in terms of the positive effects on happiness and on relaxation were created.


What was the last thing you saw at the Theatre? What’s the favourite thing you’ve ever seen? Where was it? Can you describe it up in just four words? Wicked, New York – Exhilarating, Powerful, Poignant, uplifting (ArtSpeak's Project Coordinator Hannah) If you’re in need of a bit of escapism and a theatre fix, the National Theatre are going to be streaming a number of productions for free on YouTube. The productions will be ones that were previously screened in cinemas globally as a part of National Theatre Live and will be screened live every Thursday at 7pm. They’ll then be available on demand for seven days on the National Theatre's YouTube channel. Kicking things off on Thursday 2 April, will be Richard Bean's One Man Two Guvnors featuring a Tony Award-winning performance from James Corden. Other productions will include, Jane Eyre, Treasure Island and Twelfth Night.

POETRY NIGHT - Join a different kind of Open Mic Night

DIY Poets are hosting a special online open mic night tonight!

They’ll be sharing Poetry, stories and songs from 7- 8:30pm and invite you to join in.

The event will be taking place via the video conferencing platform Zoom – log in via this link and you’ll need this meeting ID – 503 290 707

If you’re on facebook, they’ll be posting updates on their event page in the comments section.


The five steps we can take to help improve our wellbeing were developed by The New Economics Foundation. Even during a state of lockdown, there are various ways we can still practice a lot of these steps, we might just need to be a bit more creative with how we do it.

Take Notice -

Getting closer to nature:

If you can, step outside or lean out of a window. Observe what you hear, what you feel and what you can smell. What's the sound closest to you? What's the sound furthest away?

Gardening -

The National Trust is known for their beautiful, well-kept gardens so who better to get some gardening advice from?

Spring is always a busy time in the garden, and their expert gardeners express that if you get it right now, you’ll be set for a brilliant summer.

Here’s a handy list of the top five gardening tips they’ve put together for Spring.

Garden wildlife -

What are your favourite flowers and plants? Do you have any of these in your garden? Holly, Ivy, Thistle, Sage, Cuckoo Flower, Forget Me Not, Thyme, Buddleia, Verbena, Scabious, Viper’s bugloss, Lavender or Hebe? If you do, or if you fancy adding any of them, you could be on your way to making a mini haven for wildlife.

The Wildlife Trust are encouraging people to create Secret Buttery Borders or Butterfly boxes in their gardens or local green spaces to help protect these amazing insects and everything else that depends on them.

Sign up and make your pledge on their website so your patch can be added to their map and help inspire even more people to get closer to nature!

They also have lots more fantastic tips for how to attract even more wildlife into your garden including bees, badgers, hedgehogs and birds.

Friday sweet treats -

We all deserve a treat now and again, and for some, baking can be very therapeutic. Here are three easy recipes taken from a recipe book by Katy Beskow. They require very few ingredients so hopefully there's something you can make with what you've got in the cupboard. These were originally vegan recipes so alternatives can be used to make them vegan if you wish to.

Answers to yesterday's Trivia Quiz -

How did you do in yesterday's Trivia quiz?

Check your answers here -

1. In what year was the first ever Wimbledon Championship held? 1877

2. Which planet is the hottest in the solar system? Venus

3. How many tastebuds does the average human tongue have? 10,000

4. What is the smallest country in the world? Vatican City

5. What is the name used to describe a group of frogs? An Army

6. What was the highest selling album of the 1980’s? Michael Jackson Thriller

7. Which English artist was famous for his industrial Lancashire townscapes filled with matchstick figures? L.S Lowry

8. According to Greek mythology who was the first woman on earth? Pandora

9. Which fruit has more genes than humans? Tomatoes

10. Rain contains which vitamin? B12

11. Which flower can help in cleaning radioactive waste? Sunflowers

12. Earthquakes have the ability to turn water into which element? Gold

13. What was the name of the Beatle’s first album? And what year was it released? Please Please Me, 1963

14. What was the name of the 1980's British Pop Group that won the Eurovision Song Contest with their song 'Making Your Mind Up' and what was the exact year they won it? Bucks Fizz, 1981


Don't forget to send in any photographs, extracts of work or images of anything you've been doing or have created recently to feature in tomorrow's news post.

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Pat Thomas
Pat Thomas
Mar 28, 2020

Thank you for a very stimulating week. I've enjoyed so much- particularly the Saturday segment, bringing back memories from school days when I first heard Peter and the Wolf. Big thank you for contributing to a good week .Pat Thomas

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