January has felt like a long and hard month. Obvious sadnesses aside, the endless days of grey, rainy weather have taken their toll, I have another cold (this winter has been my personal record for colds), and I felt tired and out of sorts. I usually like this time of year, the quiet of midwinter, but this year it's not been easy. I knew on Friday that I just needed to do as little as possible this weekend, and that is what I aimed for. Of course this is life and there are children, dogs, chores etc, so I couldn't just lie on the sofa watching back to back Gilmore Girls (more's the pity), but it was peaceful, and so it was restorative.
Saturday morning was slow. I have been wanting a waffle maker for some time now and was delighted when John, while doing the weekly shop on Friday night on his way home from work, found one in Lidl for £9.99. It's easy to use, has the prettiest waffle pattern, and they were delicious, so we had waffles for breakfast yesterday instead of our usual pancakes. After various errands had been run, we spent the afternoon indoors, away from the rain. I baked marmalade-rippled brownies, flapjacks, and made homemade pizza for tea. When the weather is disagreeable for days on end, I retreat to the kitchen. The warmth, good smells, noise and mindful bustle always soothe me, and I find the quiet activity more helpful than just sitting and reading or crocheting.
Today, another slow start. I did some sewing with Bella and some knitting. Yes, knitting. Something I have not done in about five years. I recently spotted the Dreaming Jumper at Wool and the Gang and thought two things: one, it's gorgeous, and two, if it really is just four rectangles of garter stitch then surely, surely, this is something I could knit? So far so good -and the wool is sublime - but heaven help me if I drop a stitch. I live in fear of dropping a stitch. This afternoon we went for a long walk in the woods then John cooked a roast dinner while I did the ironing. We were both happy with that arrangement.
We recently had the strange and sombre experience of visiting my late Grandpa's house to choose items that we might like to keep, as his possessions are slowly being sorted in his house in very slow preparation for it being emptied and sold. It's a desperately sad thing to have to do, but also lovely to think that, all through his family, various books and pictures and other treasures are being put in new places and cherished anew. I brought back some vintage Observer pocket books to add to the few I've picked up at charity shops and car boot sales over the years - I think I have the beginnings of a little collection now - and a pair of framed ship drawings, and the most beautiful model boat that currently sits on the mantel. I cannot tell you how much I love it. I remember it always sat on his book shelves, one of the many fascinating object that filled his house, and I treasure it. It is a thing of beauty.
How has January treated you? It seems we've either had lots of rain or lots of snow in the UK, both of which have their challenges. I am ready for February which I hope will be a month of celebration and happiness. We have lots planned - a day trip to London, a possible weekend in Yorkshire to see old friends, a few nice trips out - and John is off for half term, which is only two weeks away. I just know that something good is gonna happen.