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Tuesday 16 February 2016

Thing To Do Today: be uplifted.

I have it on good authority that a train company in the north of England regularly reminds its customers to uplift your personal belongings when leaving the train.

This is rather annoying English, though it's good Scots, and it's fine in New Zealand, too. In England people shudder because to the English uplift tends (unless provided by a particularly firm brassiรจre or the geological forces of mountain-building) to be moral or spiritual.

But how can we be uplifted?

Well, as Noel Coward said in Private Lives, it's extraordinary how potent cheap music is. National Anthems are specifically designed for uplift, and in fact any familiar music, especially remembered from the teenage years, tends to flood the mind with excitement and joy.*

Uplift may be found in a place of worship, at a football match, in a choir, an art gallery, a wood, a mountain, a valley, a book, a website, or even a restaurant.

I'm told that going to the gym is good, too: but I don't believe it.

So, let's be uplifted, and let joy be unconfined!*

Thing To Do Today: be uplifted. Lift came to English in the 1200s from Scandinavia. The Old English lyft meant sky.

*Unless it's The Birdie Song: that just makes me want to kill people.

**Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Actually, poetry can be pretty uplifting, too.

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