Sunday 4 February 2024


January was a quiet month, a month for hibernating and recharging social batteries. After a very wet and windy Christmas we had a really cold, dry spell at the start of January which was a welcome change. We lit the wood burner at home most nights and put the winter duvet as well as woolly blankets on the bed. I wore my thickest jumpers to work, scraped frost off of the car every morning and the sun shone through smeary windows into the house. 

We went on some local countryside walks, some old favourites, others new to us. I love the sparseness of the landscape at this time of year, the muted colour palate of brown and grey. I love the way you can really see the shapes of the trees and plants without their foliage. I find it calming.

We have watched a lot of TV. I have worked my way through a few different series (Fool me Once - disappointing, Lessons in Chemistry - excellent, Slow Horses - also excellent) and we have watched films together. Ziggy also occasionally enjoys a bit of TV. I have also been listening to audiobooks and podcasts when crocheting in the evening. It seems to take me ages to crochet anything lately, hopefully I will have something to show you soon.

Weekends have, for the most part been quiet and domestic. Our routine is usually food shopping, washing, housework and errands on a Saturday and baking, batch cooking, ironing and a big walk on a Sunday. If I have school work to do (most weekends) then that can be anywhere between 2 and 6 hours on a Sunday.

We have pottered in the kitchen a lot,  made soups and stews.

Candles have become a daily pleasure. These beautiful ceramic tea light holders were a lovely surprise: my friend Kate, who lives in Australia, had sent them to me for Christmas. They arrived late and I found them round the side of the house, in a soggy cardboard box. Luckily they didn't mind a bit of soggy packaging. 

I bought my first tulips of the year. I saw some in the shops during December and was tempted but there seems something wrong to me about tulips in December, but January is fine. I always try to hold off on the daffodils until February. I have no idea why. I just like to enjoy the season I think. 

Food has been of the comfort variety. Decadent hot chocolate (a Christmas present) infused with spices and not too sweet, which is good as the kids won't steal it.

Porridge with the last of the mincemeat from Christmas stirred through, with a little brown sugar and orange zest. 

The most delicious hearty minestrone soup which was great for lunches all through the week. 

Another soup, but this time using up all the sad, scraggy bits of veg in the fridge.

Sausages and mash for dinner.

Orange and almond cake for snacking. I burnt the top slightly, but it was still really good. 

I have been reading and reading So far this year I have read two very enjoyable romantic fiction titles (The Christmas Book Club and The No-Show) and the very enjoyable but much more challenging Spilt Milk. I am now reading Confess and listening to I'm Glad My Mom Died, for my next book group. I managed to read 30 books in 2023 and this year I'm aiming for 36. Three a month seems do-able. 

As well as all the reading, resting and nesting, I did manage one day out in January. I met my friend Debora in London for the day, a sort of tradition we've started in recent years.

We went on an architecture tour of The Barbican Centre and it was fascinating. Having someone guide you and point out things you might otherwise have noticed is really worthwhile.

I am looking forward to February. It is short month and contains half term, pancake day and my birthday. All good things.


  1. A lovely post, Gillian. Our January has been very similar. Full of simple things that bring comfort.
    Although I love to hibernate in January, I am looking forward to Spring now. I'm already making my gardening plans.

  2. Wonderful post Gillian. You do pack a lot in your days! ❤️

  3. I always think your weekends sound so relaxing - productive but also very nurturing.

  4. Beautiful photos as always. Hope you are seeing some daffodils now as you come out of hibernation!

  5. Good to catch up with your blog again. Lovely photos x

  6. Lovely pictures and words. Have a well earned half term and a good birthday!


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