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Happiness for me is a chaotic whirlwind of new people and opportunity

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The Office for National Statistics have declared Ribble Valley in Lancashire to be the “happiest place in the UK”. This beautiful countryside oasis would be a place I’d love to visit, but I imagine if I lived there, I’d have caused such a hefty snag in their research model and it may only have come in 37255th, just above Croydon.

Happiness is usually regarded as a gentle feeling, contentment – serenity. And this is how, I imagine, the ONS measure it. But it’s not the same for those of us who prefer life a little more risky.

This half term, my six-year-old daughter asked me “What’s your favourite feeling?” I know exactly what my favourite feeling is, but I lied to my child and I told her what I thought I ought to say: “Happiness, darling” and gave her what I hoped was the serene smile of a knowing Earth Mother.

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“Mine’s not,” she retorted. “MY favourite feeling is EXCITEMENT!” Yup. That’s my girl. That would have been my........

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