Sally: I listen to the radio alot. Craig Charles on a Saturday night, old soul records on the radio, and I dance around the house for a couple of hours, along with my family, trying to cook, it makes me smile. The whole family jigs about and dance around the house.
Julie: When I held my grandson in my arms for the first time, slow, loving and tender. The first tme I was scared to death. Thinking about dancing around with my husband makes me smile, particularly now he’s gone.
Margaret: My son and grandchildren decided to bath their donkey during lockdown for the first time. They rubbed in soap and they donkey ran around then as they tried to wash it off, his big teeth showing as if in a big grin, eeyores and kicking his legs as they ran around after him. It was the first bath he had ever had, they think he quite enjoyed it. He looked like a racehorse in the end! They sent me a video of it, it really made me smile.
Rosie and Charlotte: What makes us happy is dance, gymnastics, and friends. When we are at dance and gymnastics we enjoy laughing with our friends and having lots of fun together. The best thing about dance is feeling the moves and learning new steps. The best thing about gymnastics is that we can try to learn cool tricks to do while having fun!
Valerie: Where we used to live in Surrey we had a very neat garden and it had 15 forest trees: oak trees, chestnuts and so forth David liked carving and woodturning so we got a tremendous wooding of the sections of trees all on a big palette and if you went into the garden there was a foot step with paving stones round to the back and this great wood heap was there very near the edge and we knew we had a vixen living underneath and one day we had three cubs come out. She brought them out and lined them up sitting on the slabs at the edge of the step, all looking the same way at a fence and she sat in front of them looking at them for a minute then she got up and rushed across the garden and went up and over the fence. Clearly she had told these cubs to stay put but one of them got up and went over to the fence and tried to scrabble up the fence but couldn’t. She clearly heard him scrabbling and so she came back over the fence and she came down and sort of glared at him then she got him by the scruff of the neck, carted him across the garden, dumped him in line with the others, turned him round the right way then she didn’t quite cuff him but you could see her sit in front of him and cross her paws and glare at him and then she went off again.
Valerie: Vera Lynn: We heard her about her singing on the news so we all got together and stood outside and sang the White Cliffs of Dover around the trees in our courtyard singing flat. It happened because several of the chaps in our street heard that she had died and rigged up the radios, they could all remember the words and we all stood and sang together.
Gill: I didn't mean to move to Corsham I was directed to the nearest Post Office. The true impression of Corsham was to walk into the high street and was immediately captivated by the architecture and the atmosphere and I knew this was where I wanted to live. The more I came the more I realised what a smiley place it was and that’s when I christened it the Smiley Town. Everybody spoke and everybody smiled and I thought that this was just small town delight and it struck me and I just wanted to be here. I still feel the same today as it is such a lovely place to be.
John: I smile when I think of the time I met my wife Val. I was in the church hall and Val had two children one of them called James who was exceedingly fast on his feet with a football at the age of six or seven and in the church hall there were several times when he knocked me over or almost did and Val was always calling to him to ‘leave the man alone’. I went round to their house one day and said would they like to go mass at Easter. I thought she was married and her husband just didn’t go to church so on Easter Sunday I called at the front door and saw James, he called to his mum ‘it’s the man with the camera from church’ she told him to invite me in so I went in to the fire where her ex-husband's parents were because I didn’t know they were there and they had lamb and the cat had pulled the finished lamb joint onto the floor right in front of me, she was so embarrassed but we had quite a long conversation and the end result was that she agreed to go for a walk on bank holiday Monday with the children. I was up at nine o’clock just like when I was a coach driver, she sat inside with the two children on the settee watching me through the window waiting for me to come over to the door. She had them all ready to go.
We went to Bourton-on-the-water together. At the time I had had operations on my back I had five discs removed and so I was struggling a little bit. I carried one of the children on my shoulders and when I think back on it now it still makes me smile. We stopped for coffee on the way there, by the time we came out of their all I wanted to do was hold her hand, we were like two old shoes, we fitted together.
John Johnston's Poem: I hear a screech that makes me jump and turn around and I spy a feather display, what a beauty. The colours of a rainbow head topped with a crown, this bird, a peacock, has run of Corsham town. I continue my walk around an area of trees, a lovely walk through Corsham Court there’s a light breeze, the autumn breeze enrols the colours of the leaves such beauty is from the hand of God, I do believe. Along the roads to the houses such pretty architecture the history of Corsham shown in such great splendour. The old schoolroom from yesteryear is still here, school children show an insight into the past without fear. St Bartholomew's stands with grace from days of long ago, the walls stand tall and strong, the roof vaults high and arched. The sound of voices in song are ethereal in their sound, I cannot but be moved by the ambience that is found. I view Eva's cottages from a trade of times gone by, I stroll past cafe’s pubs, independent shops where you can buy or sample the things that make this town so sublime. It is why my family chose Corsham in which to reside.
Margaret: When I moved in I sat in that car park with my husband waiting for the keys and all the peacocks came to see, now that was nice. All the peacocks were walking around us in the car park as we waited for the keys. We have now been here for Fifteen years.
Marilyn: Down at Charmouth in Dorset and the first time Bramble had seen the sea. Although she had seen rivers and loved playing in water, she was so excited, there were lots of other dogs on the beach with ball throwing and she was straight in through the waves. Luckily she didn’t go too far like some of our other dogs, which just keep swimming and it was just so nice to see her enjoying the beach with all the other dogs. We were lucky because Charmouth beach was very good and had a side that was dog friendly and all shape and sizes were there and people as well as dogs and all the dog owners are very friendly and she loved it so we went down every day and when the weather was off it didn’t make any difference, big waves or small waves pitching other peoples tennis balls. She was very good and short-haired and the last one we had was not pure lab and had a bit of spaniel in him and had longer hair. Whereas she was very short-haired and was like a self-drying dog came out of the sea and wasn’t sandy, she smelt a lot better for going in the sea every day.
Valerie: It started with my husband’s boss who’s son had grown out of his pet rabbit and into golf. So there is a pet rabbit living in the back of the garage not really getting any input. So I said she should have some company so she came to live with us and everybody down the road got the message that I took in cast off animals. We went out to Cheltenham to a friend of David’s and he knew a lady that kept animals like foxes and goodness knows what. She had two chinchillas in the cage in the garden and the chinchillas were unhappy with the fox. I had always wanted chinchillas and this came out in conversation and she said that I could have them. It was a very hot summer and they didn't like the heat so we drove home from Cheltenham and we built this cage that was about six foot tall with three levels and a ramp inside. And we had our bungalow was the bungalow from the garage with a continuous roof and so we had a door front and back and a passage and that opened into the kitchen and there was a recess so that is where the cage went. So we built this for them and then we went back down to Cheltenham with a lot of space blankets and put them in the carrier cage all wrapped up in space blankets to keep them cool and then took them home and put them in this cage which they loved. They were running up and down the ramp and because their cage was there we also had another ramp down which they also ran on and two guinea pigs lived underneath so they ran around. I was in the kitchen one day and I could hear a kerfuffle going on but I didn’t think much about it when suddenly there was a thump on the kitchen door. I always kept the kitchen door open, and these two chinchillas, I actually saw them through the door. They had run down their ramp, they had thrown themselves at the wall, they used their tails to guide them and they were hitting the walls and hitting the kitchen door and then they sat on the boiler and I know they aren’t smart but they sat there saying ‘ aren’t we clever’. It was like the red arrows, they were one above the other.
Sally: I like my music even when in the bathroom and I have radios in all of my rooms: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, sitting room and there is a radio in every room. Normally Radio 2 but anything with a beat is ok. I adore Reggae and Hawaiian and I usually have Classic FM on overnight because sometimes I don't sleep very well. I used to go to Theatre a lot and I love musicals but today's comedy leaves me cold. I watch a lot of recordings of travel and documentaries and on Saturday I watched all the George Clark doing the National Trust Programmes and fast forwarding all the adverts. I like to go out on day trips and I have to meet and I like driving. Les Mis is my favourite Musical the original South Pacific with Mary Martin I like. I just have a little old car that goes very nicely and knows its way to Sainsbury’s. It's only a little Nissan but I like driving and I used to be a company driver for Lincoln and Lissan to day centres and things like that.
Sue: My daughter has a little dog, a chihuahua, a tiny thing. We came downstairs one morning and said ‘ooh looks like she has put on weight all of a sudden’ and so we took a closer look and it was next door's cat which had come through the cat flap and couldn’t get back out, It was a one way thing so it was stuck. Luckily the dog didn’t go absolutely bonkers.
I read that if you pick conkers they deter spiders so I put conkers in the utility room and went back in the morning and there were three spiders visible, one in the fruit bowl. The day after I did some toast and decided to clean the toaster, I found a toasted spider in the tray.
Val: What makes me smile is my grandchildren although the older ones are far less spontaneous we have got an eighteen-month old grandson who peeps round the door and gives you a sideways grin, runs off and comes back again to give me the biggest cuddle that’s what makes me smile.
Stories from Debut Dance Company
When I saw my kitten and burst into tears because he was so precious, I love him.
I walked to the shops and saw my friend Annabelle. We went thrifting and got some amazing new clothes, I paid for the clothes and took them back. It was a great day with a great friend.
I laugh at the dumb things he says, and stupid things he does. I never see him sad, which always makes me happy. His smile is literally infectious. When he tries to speak French, but just speaks English with an accent. Getting Dominoes and wetting ourselves over fat Amy in the hustle, looking like trash.
On the last day of school my friends and I decided to have a fashion show. After a dispute over the material we were finally ready. My friend set up her phone to record our masterpiece when a teacher walked straight in and just laughed and said she was going to miss us.
In the summer I went to the beach with my friends and we had a fire. We ate pizza and then went swimming in the sea whilst watching the sunset. Then we had a nap on the beach and went home.
I spent all afternoon making brownies. Just as I was taking them out of the tin I dropped them on the floor. They went everywhere and it wasn’t long before my dog had eaten them all. At the time I was annoyed but now I just laugh about it.
Lying outside on my trampoline in the rain because I find it very calming.
When it was really cold and my friend gave me her jumper, it made me feel like they care.
We were in our geography online zoom lesson and my teacher had her microphone on. She said she was going to mute herself but didn’t then she started singing a song. Then one girl in my class unmuted herself and joined her. Then another teacher joined the meeting and everyone went silent.
My kitten (Pablo) is like my de facto son. I feel like his father and find that his cuteness makes me smile whenever I see him. I find his irritating murder of pigeons heartwarming, despite the corpses he leaves in the kitchen, and I also weirdly enjoy our bond as he viciously and mercilessly attacks me with his cute, little paws. He is a serial killer: but he is MY serial killer. Pablo is also astonishingly adorable.
So basically, my friend had just received a new phone, and was coming home on the X31 bus via Chippenham. She slipped and dropped her phone as the slippery wet road meant that the driver ,who seemed a bit drunk, had to brake hard around the corner. As her phone tumbled down she reached down as he braked, perfectly timed. Meaning she was wedged between the seats waiting for help.
Me, Georgia and Maria were in ballet and the bar was too low. So we lifted it up and it wouldn’t go back down. Sally then came along to show us an exercise. She jumped on the bar and Bang. she fell all the way to the ground. To his day she still is unaware we are responsible for these events.
When I went on holiday to Cornwall with my family, we stayed in this villa. I must have been around 4. It was a Monday morning and me and my mum had croissants out on the table outside. We both went in to get the pot of tea and two seagulls stole our croissants and I cried.
Me and my friends had been walking a while when we came across a big field so we decided to have a picnic. The sun was just setting. We sat there eating and talking with the sun in the background. After an hour, we packed up our stuff and walked back home.