Mitzi, where are you ?

Everyone loves a good news story but particularly when it involves a lost dog being found. Mitzi, a young female Jack Russell was being walked by her owner in Knighton Woods, in Buckhurst Hill, Essex when she was chased by another dog. In her panic she ran off and her owner was unable to find her. Her owner Alan Whitton scoured the area for hours but was forced to give up. He posted on a lost dogs website and was called by someone whose own dog kept sniffing at a fox hole when they were not usually interested. Contact was made and Alan and other volunteers went to the foxhole/ storm drain and dug away some of the entrance. Shortly after Mitzi crawled out from her adventure.

The video of Alan reuniting with Mitzi has gone viral and been featured on the BBC News. The love between an owner and their dog is truly heartwarming and definitely part of a really great good news story.

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We all stood united

During this week of Remembrance we have seen services, events and commemorations all over the country and from these untold stories of kindness. The poppy sellers were all volunteers, people gave up their time to take people to events, first aiders volunteered to staff these ceremonies to name but a few. A photo of all the taxi drivers waiting in a queue on Waterloo Bridge to ferry the veterans to the Cenotaph and back again for free I thought was particularly impressive.

What also struck me was that during the ceremony on Remembrance Sunday there were people of so many different ethnicities, the majority of religions, every political party, people from different backgrounds, different areas, different countries, different ages, different social status’s and yet everyone was there for a common purpose to remember the glorious dead and also to learn from the horror of war. If people can all stand at the Cenotaph with this unity then why can’t some of the horrors we see on an almost daily basis benefit from this spirit of unity. Surely all the tales of good deeds must outweigh the bad news stories but yet again it is the stabbings, unrest in the world that seem to make the headlines. If these positive deeds and actions do get mentioned enough then we can all hope that maybe we have learnt something and that the world can unite and the actions of all the war heroes over the decades can continue to unite and bring people together. It is after all the least we can do.

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The news that everyone has been waiting for….

Thursday was a huge day for all of those with Cystic Fibrosis and will go down in history as a day to remember.

For many years people with CF have been fighting for access to the drugs Orkambi and Symkevi. Six weeks ago Scotland announced a deal to license the drugs but nothing came from NHS England until this week. Wales and Northern Ireland are still waiting but surely with the precedent that has been set by Scotland and England it is just a matter of time.

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust made their announcement on Thursday 24th October and thanked the CF Community for all their support and campaigning. To read the whole press release click here.   Over the years that Banana Crumble have been in existence we have featured several pieces from people asking for this so it is really good to know that when so much around us at the moment seems to be doom and gloom that there really is some good news about.

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The Daily Telegraph agrees with us…..

The Daily Telegraph agrees with us about everyone needing good news and they are launching a brand new weekly newsletter called The Brightside featuring good news. In its launch feature it says that if people focus on the bad things then all this negativity passes onto people and gets reflected in their moods. It says this can transfer and cause stress. We have been producing good news and weekly newsletters for over 100 weeks now – they should have listened to us!!!

We know how concentrating on the good things really does help people. Even if it is just a smile, a laugh or something to inspire or motivate. It can be something huge or sometimes just a smile but all it needs is everyone to concentrate on the good news and positive things. Read our feature article that we wrote almost two years ago with the reasoning behind our idea. So many people have read our features and we hope that have helped make the world a better place with all of our Good News.

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Sometimes it is just the way that you think that makes Good News…

Recently it was a friend’s Wedding Anniversary and she posted some photos of her and her husband having afternoon tea. It certainly looked as if they had a lovely time. One of the photos really struck me, it wasn’t one of them or one of the food but of a phrase. I assume the phrase must have been on a poster or picture at the afternoon tea venue. The phrase was the following:

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination; is to be found along the way not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it’s too late. The time for happiness is today not tomorrow. – Paul H Dunn (”

This really made me think of how often we think about when things are done or achieved and don’t think about the pleasure found in achieving them. We are always looking forward to the next challenge, new item or next stage in life but what we should be doing is enjoying the here and now and appreciating all of those little things along the way.

If we are able to think more like this and realise how much we do actually achieve then that would be Good News.

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Our Chief Banana gets to spread Good News on the BBC

On Sunday June 17th our Chief Banana was invited to BBC to review the newspapers on the BBC Essex Sunday morning radio programme with Peter Holmes.

Matt was asked to choose three items of news from the Sunday papers. Why not have a listen as he talks about Banana Crumble and see which news items he selects and why he choose them!! He did manage to find three  positive pieces of news!!

Why not have a listen on our YouTube page?



Reasons to be cheerful !!!!!

Today is Saturday 19th May 2018 and it is momentous day in the British calendar as Prince Harry and Megan Markle will be getting married in Windsor at midday. There will be hundreds, if not thousands of articles written about the society wedding of the year or probably even the decade!! Here at Banana Crumble we would like to wish the Royal couple a very long and happy marriage. We decided that it really should be a “feel good” day and we thought it would be great to look at 5 reasons we feel brings the country together and celebrate using the words of Ian Dury “Reasons to be Cheerful”.

A Wedding – everyone, or almost everyone, loves a wedding and it gives people the chance to celebrate. People are holding street parties and events all over the country and, in fact, all over the world. Here in the UK we are great at all the pomp and ceremony and people from all over the world look on in envy at what we have and what we do to celebrate such events. If you want to escape the Royal Wedding then it gives you a perfect opportunity to do something different. Not all weddings are as lavish as the Royal Wedding but to see young love being joined together will bring a tear to almost anybody’s eye.

A sunny bank holiday – our last bank holiday was one of the hottest on record and to see how people absolutely loved that weekend was amazing. Everyone had tales of BBQ’s, outside treats and it literally did make everyone smile. Roll on the next one and let’s hope it is just as sunny!!

Sporting teams – when our sporting teams do well and the whole nation gets behind them. Who doesn’t remember Jonny Wilkinson scoring that drop goal, Super Saturday at the 2012 Olympics, teams winning leagues and cups etc. We can’t forget that today is also FA Cup Final day and how all the fans travelling to the game and at home watching will have so many reasons to celebrate and be cheerful. That winning feeling is special and getting behind a team is one of those things we do well. Lets hope that the England football team can exceed expectations in the 2018 World Cup and we can have those euphoria days that happen when  any of the home nations are winning.  Bunting from cars and houses!!

A party or get together – be it a lavish birthday party, a small gathering and everything in between. Who needs an excuse. It is great spending time with friends and family as they all join in with a common interest. We are all so busy that time spent with our nearest and dearest is always to be cherished.

Winning a prize – of course a Banana Crumble free cash giveaway prize! So many of our winners have told us that winning one of our prizes really made their day. One said it turned a dreary Thursday into a great day. We will settle for that!!

These are our top five reasons to be cheerful but there are many more. Why not let us have some of your cheerful stories to feature on our Good News Page and help us make the nation smile!!


Good news, bad news – who can say ?

Sometimes when you hear a story it completely resonates with you and seems to fit perfectly into the scenario of life.  Last week a friend recalled a story and since then so many things have made me think back to that tale and has certainly changed my way of thinking. The story was very much like the one retold below but was about an Italian farmer. I suppose it could really be about almost anyone.

A Chinese farmer gets a horse, which soon runs away. A neighbour says, “That’s bad news.” The farmer replies, “Good news, bad news, who can say?”

The horse comes back and brings another horse with him. Good news, you might say. The farmer replies, “Good news, bad news, who can say?”

The farmer gives the second horse to his son, who rides it, then is thrown and badly breaks his leg. “So sorry for your bad news,” says the concerned neighbour. “Good news, bad news, who can say?” the farmer replies.

In a week or so, the emperor’s men come and take every able-bodied young man to fight in a war. The farmer’s son is spared.

Good news, of course!! Bad news – who can say?

It’s easy to understand why the ancient story of the Chinese farmer resonates now, in times that seem way too full of bad news. The farmer’s tale captures many of our emotions. Even something that seems dark and confounding now can turn out to be an opportunity, when looked on in hindsight.

There are many current situations where we can use this story. If someone were to lose their job, it may at the time seem like bad news but when looked at later it may have been the best thing to have happened” Lots of us have had something not turn out the way we wanted — only to find out that something way better was in store?

Since the launch of Banana Crumble and our link with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust we have obviously spoken to lots of people with CF. One thing that Sophie Holmes has said is that the CF has made her who she is and gives her the drive and determination she now has. If she hadn’t had CF would she have had that same ambition? So from something reported as bad news she feels something good has come out of it.

You don’t have be deeply philosophical to understand that from where we stand now, we don’t know the end of the story we’re living. We don’t know the twists and turns still to come. Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl famously said in “Man’s Search for Meaning,” when we’ve lost much, or even nearly everything, sometimes all we can choose is our attitude in the face of trials.

That’s why I decided to tell you the tale of the farmer in the hope it encourages you not always to think of bad news as bad news!!

We never know what gifts will follow “bad news,” and encourages us to take both good and bad as simply what happens in life.


Doris’ Story

A really good family friend of ours, lives in an apartment in Brentwood, Essex. I periodically phone her just to check up on her and see how things are going. She is always happy to chat and seems genuinely pleased to hear from me. After the bad weather last week and the fact it is almost Christmas I wanted to give her a call.

We chatted about the usual things and the subject of the weather came up, as it always does. Doris then told me a story and my Banana Crumble Good News radar was alerted!!

Doris – I won’t give her age away but needless to say she isn’t 21 any more had decided she needed to pop to the local supermarket just to pick up a few bits. When she got down to the communal entrance hall there were two lads standing by the door. Doris said she thought she had muttered “Oh no” under her breath but it was obviously louder than she thought and one of the lads who was waiting asked her what the matter was. Doris said that she hadn’t realised the weather was quite so bad and just how icy it was and that she wasn’t confident about walking in the ice.

The young lad told Doris he would go with her and he walked with Doris on his arm all the way across the road to the supermarket, he said he would wait outside and be there when she came out. Doris picked up the bits she wanted and Doris being Doris picked up a box of chocolates for the lad. The lad, true to his word was waiting and again he took Doris’ arm and made sure she was safely back home.

How nice is it when you hear a story where someone goes out of their way to help someone and doesn’t expect to get anything from it. The lad was apparently visiting a grandparent at the time.

Why is it only the youngsters that do bad things that make the headlines. This is a true Banana Crumble Good News Story and if this gets back to the lad then we hope he realises in our eyes and Doris’ he was a true gentleman and a real credit to himself and his family.


Good News vs Bad News …

We constantly moan that the news is dominated by negative headlines but have you ever wondered why we love to hear bad news?

Newspapers, TV broadcasters, news apps are all constantly filled with stories of disaster, acts of terror, political corruption. When you read the news, it can often be overwhelming with the amount of depressing headlines but our minds are drawn to the negativity, the fear. Why else would the media focus their efforts on reporting all things bad in life? Where is the good news?

The Audience

Not only bad things happen in this world, the media just feeds the bad to us – but what does this mean about us as the readers? Our brains home in on the terrible events and we as the audience seem to get a ‘buzz’ from it. It’s not that we necessarily enjoy hearing bad news, but that we are intrigued by it. It catches our attention because it’s not the everyday norm, therefore it interests us. Hearing bad news and hearing good news sparks contrasting emotions, it comes down to which emotion is stronger. Bad news is more exciting and grips us, whereas good news has a less stimulating reaction. As readers we seem to respond to words such as “terror attack”, “cancer”, “devastation” more than the positive words “happy”, “joy”, “fun”. It seems our human mind tends to prioritise negativity over positivity, it increases our alertness and spikes our inquisitive mind. Take a second to think about it, “Puppy stuck in drain rescued” or “Twenty-five dead from car bomb” – which one catches your eye more? The headline about a car bomb instantly grips you, it’s natural empathy, it shocks you yet thrills you at the same time. Whereas the headline about the puppy simply gives a quick thought such as “oh isn’t that nice” and you continue with your day.

We love to hear about the bad in the world; the natural disasters killing thousands and devastating communities, the wide-spread government corruption, the acts of terror on our country’s soil. But why don’t we love to hear about the milestone achievements, amazing charity work or accomplishments in life?

The Effects of Social Media

News stories are broadcasted via social media channels quicker than they are put out on news websites, TV channels and radio stations. These social media posts get shared, retweeted, commented on and liked within a matter of seconds, soon filling the internet with a variety of reactions (generally the bad outweighing the good), soon a Facebook post becomes a forum of people venting their anger. Could this be why journalists continue to pour out the bad news, because of its value? Do journalists report more bad news than good news because it gets them higher ratings? We say we want good news, but is it actually true?

Social media is truly fascinating, the power it holds and influence it has is outstanding, so let’s use it positively! Share your achievements, share your good deeds, share your stories and experiences…because we all love to see it, we just need reminding of the good in the world (you’ll soon be racking up those Facebook likes, don’t you worry). One day the good will outweigh the bad. The question is, whether we know the adequate balance of negativity and positivity?

At Banana Crumble, we love to go bananas (ha ha get it?) for good news stories! Our aim is to brighten your day with happy and exhilarating stories. If you have a good news story you want to share with us, we’d love to hear from you!