Well didn’t the first month of 2024 just go by in a blur?

January may not be everyone’s favorite month, but as I get older I like it more and more. January and February are the fallow months, a very-needed respite from the chaos that is December. An enforced pause in the calendar to reflect on the year just gone, the good and the bad. To take this on board as we make plans for the year ahead.

The urge to retreat under the duvet and not emerge until spring compounded this year by the awful weather we’re having here in England. The cold and the rain I can just about tolerate. But the gales – blimey – it feels like the very roof could blow off at any minute. I half expect to see the Wicked Witch of the West go flying by on her broomstick.

The last of Christmas finally packed away , the focus at home on keeping cosy. Fairy lights left in the kitchen -because I do believe the long dark nights need a little sparkle. winter candles above roaring fire. My Kindle stocked with compelling reading matter, the ridiculously warm fleece slipper boots I got for Christmas, and a glass of good red wine.

Winter does not have to be a trial, but a cosy interlude to sit back, take stock and plan our tomorrow.

This Month I’ve been…

Drinking: Lady Gray, and Twinnings detox tea. When I’m feeling virtuous. Red wine when not do much.

Bing listening to the wonderful ‘How to fail’ podcast by Elizabeth Day whilst I work. This has led me to such cultural delights as The Traitors’ on BBC and FleeBag; the latter I devoured every episode of over the course of two days. Please say there’s be a series three!

Cooking .Trying out a new recipe for caramel pear cake. Baking as much as I can. Because winter weekends should either be spent devouring a book in one sitting in front of a cosy fire. Or baking. I have no time for deprivation.

Making. Knitting a gloriously chunky striped jumper

lusting After. This very unglamorous, but imminently practical, heated clothes dryer. I was shamed last week when comparing energy tarrifs- to be told we’re using 180% more energy than our neighbours!

I never have the heating on while the kids are at school so I think the laundry may be the culprit. With 3 children the washing machine is on constantly. so maybe this low-energy device will be the answer.

organising. The weekly shop. For isn’t it the case that 2 days after doing the big shop, the we will have run out of milk, then two days later, bread, and so we end up shopping every other day. But no more. This is the year I will take full advantage of my free delivery pass. Decide what shopping we need for the month ahead and do one big post-payday shop, supplemented by occasional extra online-only orders. Heckity peck I’m even considering getting a milkman !

Celebrating three family members have birthdays at the start of the year. So present shopping doesn’t stop in December in this house. The Middle child turned double digits- and became the proud owner of his first mobile phone. oh gosh they’re growing up too soon! He’s such an enthusiastic little – well big- thing. bouncing from one obsession to the next so fast we can barely keep up. At the moment it’s family history> he’s writting a family free by hand going back to 700AD

Looking forward to Spring! Already the afternoons are getting lighter, daffodils are starting to poke through the muddy ground, and on rare occasions when the sun comes out it can almost feel like spring is around the corner.

In the meantime, I’m browsing the Sarah Raven catalog for the most fragrant of sweet pea seeds and dreaming of summer.

Have a lovely February


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