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This is my entry for Graham’s monthly Photography Hunt. The theme for November is ‘happiness“.

REM Concert, Toronto, June 2008

REM Concert, Toronto, June 2008

I’m usually a quite happy person. Granted, I complain because, well, I’m French, but I enjoy life. I find happiness in a lot of things: a steamed hot cup of vanilla bean latte, a nice evening out with friends, reading books, taking a hot bath, laughing over a silly joke, getting a work done, doing yoga, watching a good movie, relaxing, sleeping, chatting, hugging, traveling… the list goes on. I’m easy going. Not easy. Easy going.

One of the thing that usually bring me happiness is music. As far as I can remember, I have always liked it. I was lucky to have been raised in a family where Pink Floyd and Led Zep lines were quoted over diner and where music played all day long on the stereo. We went from records to tapes, from CDs to MP3s. I have just bought my first Ipod, a nano 4th generation, to go traveling. Every night, I go through my music library and tag, choose and lovingly add music in the player, music I know I will listen to late at night when I will be sitting in the bus or laying on a hostel bed.

I love live music and I was lucky to attend quite a few concerts these last few years. The Rolling Stones, The Police, Manu Chao, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead… The R.E.M concert in June was magic. We were in Toronto, at the Ontario place, outdoor. It was hot and steamy and the band played beautifully. This is probably one of my best concert memory, and a moment of happiness… among others.

How about you guys? What makes you happy?


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Great to hear you are a happy person!
    I am also a happy person… traveling is probably my biggest happiness in life… but I also like music, meeting other people, walk with no purpose…

  2. Hi Zhu, loved your post. You must be so excited about the Central A trip. Oh, iPods are great, I agree. I love not having to carry CDs around, but also, sometimes I don’t want the whole CD, I only want one song — so it’s perfect!

  3. Music makes me happy too. That’s why I’m glad I get to listen to my iPod while I’m at work! But the one thing that makes me happy more than anything else is my husband. He makes me happy and it makes me happy to know that I make him happy. We’re so happy and in love that it’s almost nauseating!

  4. Music from the 70s, classic rock, makes me happy. I’ve yet to hear better drums than those on Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain.” Btw, surprise gifts from funky, artsy Canadian blogger friends make me extremely happy. Thank you, Zhu, for such a perfect gift. I love those kitty sketches and you know I’ll be using those bookmarks all year long! You made my day here in Miami today! I’m paying it forward, baby! 😉

  5. As I look back I think different things make us happy at different times in our lives. When I was younger it had to do more with money, status, “things”, being “cool”.

    After college I married and had a family. As my kids grew up happiness was being active with them, we did a lot of camping. With 4 kids and their accompanying friends camping is the only activity we could afford on a regular basis. I was always so busy with work, family, and various responsibilities that maybe happiness was the odd time I could stop long enough to enjoy what I had.

    Now I have another life, another wife and her family which is now mine too. I’m retired, disabled, sober 17 years. Different things interest me and make me happy.

    But through it all has been music, like a soundtrack to my life. I was in high school when rock and roll was born. We danced to Bill Haley, Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, all those guys. College was the Kingston Trio and the Beach Boys, then I found Brubeck, Desmond, Miles Davis, and cool jazz.

    By the time I was out of school and starting a family I fell in love with the Beatles, the Stones, The Grateful Dead, Jimi, Janis, Led Zepplin, all the stuff I saw in passing. It was too late to be a hippy but I listened to it on the radio as I drove to work and back and let my hair grow out a little.

    As I got older I began to really like classical music and made some friends who were able to help me understand what I liked and how to appreciate different styles and periods. When I had a bit more disposable income I started buying recordings and really got serious after CDs came out.

    Then the iPod happened. I was an early adapter and built up an embarrassingly large digital library. Now it is like my entire musical life is loaded onto a large external hard drive where I wander around revisiting old friends and smelling the flowers.

    Blah, blah, blah. As I think about it maybe music was always my drug of choice. It accompanied whatever else I was doing. Music made me happy and didn’t get me in trouble. Well once, but I was drunk at the time. It still makes me happy.

  6. i love your remark about complaining because you are french. that’s funny. my best memories of france are all the cigarette smokers, the doggie poo on the sidewalks and how people would ride the subway (what did they call it? I’ve forgotten now), people would ride the subway and pretend nobody else even existed. they would never make eye contact with me, even though i looked at them openly. but hey, when people ask about paris, i tell them it was wonderful. wonderful, wonderful. i love paris.
    so what makes me happy? making my comics. i like surprising myself. oh wow, did i make that? where did that come from? being creative makes me happy.
    also orgasms. the good ones. you know what i mean. you’re french. that’s why french people smoke so many cigarettes.

  7. Salut Zhu,
    Funny how we connected on the word “happiness” in your last post. I recently said a remark on where happiness doesn’t come from ( you’ll have to read my post…)

    What makes me happy ?
    Having a good friend with whom I chat,laugh & share things. This can be around my home or in the blogs.
    Because you can’t buy friendship.

    Have a nice day 😉

  8. I am sure you are happy person……….I have seen you taking out happiness through rough times so I really believe you! May you should always be happy!

    So your travel plans are all get set to go!! That’s nice. Have a lovely tour……

  9. Hi Zhu! Well seeing new places makes me happy. Helping others, learning new things, cooking a good meal, watching a DVD with my sweetie, and blogging!!!

  10. For me, seeing new things and places make me happy. I love traveling. Perhaps that is one underlying reason why I decided to be a linguist. I could go to different places and study languages, although for the most part, I study languages by running experiments in a lab.

    But yeah, no matter how simple a flight it is, I still get excited whenever I go to airports, seeing the aerodynamic architecture, the airplanes parked at the gates, and the idea that you can technically fly to anywhere once you’re in an airport. Geeky as it may sound, flying makes me happy, coupled with the idea that I am in a place I haven’t been to before.

  11. Listening to a song I like for the 12th time, when I know the melody and lyrics pretty well, but before I have it memorized.

    Waking up in a hotel in a different country – the moment right after you realize you’re not at home.


    The look on my wife and friends faces when I say something completely ridiculous, right before they laugh at the absurdity.

    The new pseudo-smile of recognition when I get home from work by that little creature that has 23 of my chromosomes.

  12. Hello my happy and complainy French friend. 😉 What makes me happy? My fitness classes, coffee, dark chocolate, a bit of sun on a winter’s day, watching a good movie with a friend, an interesting conversation, blogging, when my kids sit on my lap for a cuddle, a warm cat on my lap, a good joke….I could go on all day, but I’ll leave some space for the rest. 🙂

  13. @Agnes – I’m indeed very excited, but I have so many things to do before I leave that I haven’t thought about the trip much yet. I think I haven’t realized… I probably will the night before, as usual 😆

    @Sidney – Walking with no purpose, yeah, I like that one too. Especially if I have my camera with me.

    @Kirsten – I get to listen to my students all day, not as cool as listening to an Ipod 😆 Love always makes us happy, eh!

    @Scarlet – Cool, we have similar music taste! I’m glad you liked the kitties. It really made me think of some of your drawings.

    @Tulsa Gentleman – Your musical culture is really impressing. It seems to really reflect the times and different periods of your life.

    Your comment is really sincere and I like that. It sometimes takes time to find happiness and life is made of trials and mistakes, of good and bad times. You seemed to have a nice life now and I’m glad you shared your “happiness” here. Thank you.

    @Seraphine – Orgasms? No sorry, not familiar. I’m Canadian now 😆 (just kidding, I’m happy orgasms-wise of course, of course!)
    The subway is the métro, short for métropolitain.
    I understand that your comics make you happy – they make me happy too!

    @kyh – Oh, giving assignments make me happy come to think of it 😆

    @LINDA PRESTON – Exactly! It’s an amazing thing, isn’t it!

    @barbara – Laughing about silly things make me happy, as well as close and comfortable friendship. I can relate to that!

    @Bluefish – It’s been snow for a couple of days… not heavy snow, just a few centimeters at the time though. Coming tomorrow?

    @Annie – I’m a bit cynical and sarcastic sometimes but yeah, I’m an happy person 😉 We will meet one day, I promise promise promise!

    @Tulsa Gentleman – I loved your comment, no need to apologize! The only censorship on this blog is Viagra spams and Westboro Church BS 😆 You wrote a sincere comment and I thank you for that.

    @Brenda – Cooking doesn’t make me as happy as eating what I cooked!

    @Linguist-in-Waiting – I used to find airports really cool before the security thing. Now I don’t like it so much… it took the magic away.

    @johnada – I’m sure your two women make you happy. Post more pictures of Esme, I one saw one and I really want to see her – hey, I’m a woman and I love kids!

    @Mother Theresa – I love cuddles too. Cat on my laps… hmmm… sounds nice too – note to self, get a cat. And blogging, yeah, always makes me happy to write a post I think works and flows fine.

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