Back in the final days of December, in the midst of the move, I decided to find a strategy to get me through January. I do not usually enjoy this month and so in the interests of good mental health and a more positive attitude to winter, I resolved to try to embrace January and all it's associated wintryness. Every day I find one good thing to notice and celebrate. Finding good things is easy if you're looking for them. If I have my big camera, I take a photo on that. If not, I always have my phone on me. And this blog gives me somewhere to record and share my finds.
So, here are my daily doses of January goodness, from the first seven days of the month.
1/31: Eating my cranberry chutney with some post-Christmas Camembert and crusty bread, and feeling thankful for fridges full of good food that linger into the new year.
2/31: A beautiful winter's sunrise and dry weather for moving day.
3/31: After the rain, seeing blue sky and trees reflected in the puddles.
4/31: A long, cosy, delicious lunch with my friend Abigail and her family on Sunday in Horsham. It was a bitterly cold and foggy day and we stayed inside for as long as the children would let us. I also rather liked these building facades. Horsham is very pretty.
5/31: Porridge for breakfast on a chilly, grey morning, with demerara sugar and sultanas. (This prompted a fun exchange of favourite porridge toppings on instagram. I'll list them at the bottom - there are some inspiring and delicious ideas in there.)
6/31: A new calendar for a new year.
7/31: Working the final rows on my crocheted blanket provided not only warmth but also much needed colour on the greyest of days.
What are your strategies for coping with January, or do you enjoy this month? I'm discovering that there's a lot to love about the slower winter months if you look closely enough.
Thanks for all your good wishes for the house hunting. We've looked at eight properties this week and are going back for a second viewing on one tomorrow which looks promising. Nosing round people's houses is fascinating! My main observations so far are that people are messy, and that if you have two cats and two dogs and a guinea pig in the living room, your house will smell of animals.
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Ideas for toppings on porridge/oatmeal:
- Honey with sultanas/wheatbran/banana.
- Maple syrup and dates.
- Banana and coconut.
- Golden syrup with banana/sultanas/blueberries.
- Grated apple and Greek yogurt.
- Stewed or sliced apple and demerara sugar.
- Pears with a dusting of cinnamon.
- Peanut butter and sliced banana.
- A spoonful of mincemeat - a very Christmassy topping.
- Homemade blueberry syrup.
- Maple syrup with cinnamon and cream. Decadent!
Something sweet combined with something fruity seems to be the theme here. Someone also suggested grating apple and pear into the pan and cooking it with the porridge. My mum does the same with dried apricots, cranberries and other fruits in her porridge, so that they swell up as they absorb water during the cooking process. But if I had to choose one topping above all others, a generous spoonful of golden syrup would always be first. Happy porridge eating!