I’VE used this column over the last few weeks to basically just moan about how I’m stressed out all the time. You’ve probably been reading my stuff over the last wee while and thinking to yourselves, “Jeezo, what a torn-faced, ungrateful man”. Well, it stops now, you’ll be pleased to hear. I’ve committed myself to trying to be more positive and it’s been easier the last week or so now that January is finally almost finished.

As a writer, I’m supposed to always be on the lookout for anything that I can use to spark an idea for a story or even just a line of dialogue. Listening into other people’s conversations has been a hobby of mine since I was a wee guy. My maw would always give me a row for “earwigging” when I’d quiz her about stuff I’d overheard her say in conversation with her pals or my granny.

“Is it true that her next door has split up with her boyfriend?” I’d ask her, six years old and already a wee gossip. I was essentially an old woman from the steamie in a skinny child’s body. I always thought it must be class being a taxi driver, all the gossip, patter and conversations you’d hear between pals, lovers, family members and co-workers in the back seat. All the stuff they’d say cause they didn’t realise you were listening.

All the bits of information you could take and spin into a cracking story. If I was a taxi driver I’d end up just staying out driving forever, wringing every last bit of patter out of the people of Glasgow I could. Like the city was a big wet face cloth.

So to try to cheer myself up a bit I’ve been taking five minutes here and there when I’m out and about to just sit and observe people and enjoy any wee moments in my day that eke even just a crumb of serotonin from my brain. It sounds a bit creepy, I’m well aware, but it’s done wonders for my mind and general happiness.

On Saturday I got back from the shops with rolls for my breakfast then cursed myself, cause I’d said to myself that morning I really fancied a bit of caramel cake or something to go with my cup of tea but I forgot to get anything. After I finished my rolls, I was satisfied, but there was something missing. I needed a bit of sweetness. I checked the cupboard, as you do when you’re desperate for a wee munch, hoping that somehow something had just materialised in there.

And there they were.

An unopened four-pack of pineapple tarts I’d bought a couple of days before and forgot about, hidden behind the crisps. Greeting me like an old pal. The best thing was they went out of date that day so I was forced to eat them all, it was magic. You need to celebrate those moments of joy, it was what I imagine finding a suitcase full of money would be like.

The next morning I went to the shops to get more, chasing the high, and thought I’d sit in the car park for five minutes (in my motor, not on the ground or in a trolley or anything) and see if I could see anything good or weird happen. I was sitting with the dug on my knee and had the window open. A woman saw him and started telling me all about her dug and how it was like “living with her worst enemy”. I thought that was brilliant.

When she left I thought, right, that’s enough for today – when a taxi screeched into a space just across from me. An older guy got out and pointed over in the distance with a big smile on his face.

I looked to see where he was pointing and it turned out he was gesturing at another older guy who looked exactly like him. They were twins, it was amazing. I watched as they did a wee dance, a sort of walking to the dancefloor dance, as they approached each other. One shouted, “There he is!” and the other shouted back, simply, “Haw haw!”

Two identical, extremely happy men just filled with joy to bump into each other. They embraced then walked into the shop together, laughing and carrying on. It honestly very nearly brought a tear to my eye.

I’ve not seen such a perfect scene of unbridled happiness in years. It’s going to keep me going for ages.

There’s loads of wee scenes like that unfolding everyday if you just keep an eye out for them. It’ll do wonders for calming you down and making you a bit more appreciative of what’s round about you.

Take a couple of minutes to do a bit of people watching and earwigging at some point this week.

Just give it a go and see what you see.