Friday, 17 January 2020


 So far this month, I have been enjoying:

:: Getting back into my usual routines of weekend cooking, making salads for my lunches and baking flapjacks and cookies for the cake tin. There is still a very little bit of Christmas cake left, too.

:: Bare branches against a winter sky. I love how this tree looked like it had little pompoms hung on the branches.

A tempting bedside reading pile, a mixture of Christmas presents and new purchases. Unusually for me, there's more non-fiction than fiction here, and I've been enjoying early nights with these books. Although I try to read downstairs, I find myself too easily distracted. In bed before going to sleep seems to be the only time and place I can read with any real concentration - until I nod off.

Mincemeat porridge. Recommended by a lovely colleague friend, it proved the perfect way to use up the half a jar left in the fridge after Christmas. I usually stir the mincemeat into the porridge just after pouring it into the bowl, then let it stand for a minute of two, while the preserve heats through and dissolves into the grains, and the porridge cools down a little. A sprinkling of demerara or muscovado sugar here is very good, too. It's a very decadent way to start the day.

:: Admiring, and trying to photograph, last weekend's full moon.

:: The afternoon light. Sightings of the sun have been rare and precious this winter.

:: A new crochet project, especially when it's on an 8mm hook with chunky yarn and works up quickly. This will be a jumper.

:: Getting out and about at the weekends. 

:: My usual January "itchy feet" approach to decorating. Once Christmas is over, I always find myself looking at our home afresh, dreaming up ways we can refresh and improve the space we have.

The kitchen-diner has really needed a fresh coat of paint for a while now. It's such a high traffic room, constantly in use by all of us, with a muddy dog going in and out of the garden the whole time - it was looking dirty and tired. We decided to keep the white paint in the kitchen but change the grey in the dining half of the room. I will share pictures as soon as I have some.

I moved the six framed embroideries that had previously hung on the grey wall in the kitchen-diner and added them to the big family gallery wall in the living room, where I much prefer them. I plan to fill the whole wall eventually, given half a chance. 

Other January treats await, including buying Seville oranges to make marmalade, more reading, more walking, more crochet. There will also be more decorating and then, inevitably, more faffing and pottering. I love winter. 


  1. Wonderful misty photos, you really have captured the winter countryside beautifully. And I love the picture of children and dog on the sofa in perfect harmony. Have a lovely weekend, CJ xx

  2. CJ, thank you so much for a most wonderful post full of lovely pics and your commentary. Such a delight to enjoy with my morning coffee. Cheers my dear lady and I agree, winter can be enjoyable............

  3. Oooooh love the blue's on that grey wall. Recently painted my bedroom in a dreamy blue with a lilac white wall. Tent to make all blue. Have to leave some white, like your walls. Decoration is also important, love the mix and match paintings. You're such a talented photographer.

  4. lovely pics. Your house looks so homely. I thought for a moment that you had started another golden rod jumper. Love the look of this pattern. Should be finished by next week, haha. I made my golden rod with short sleeves. Ideal for wearing long sleeved t-shirts underneath.

  5. I have home envy!I appreciate you are talking carefully arranged photos to some extent, but really there is nowhere in my house that could be cleared for photos like yours! Definitely time to ramp up the decluttering, spring cleaning and do a bit of painting. Thank you for the inspiration - and, with mincemeat porridge, the fuel too!

  6. Faffing and pottering are the best! I love it too. Have a great weekend.

  7. The photos are indeed lovely - and what a clear one of the moon! What camera do you have? What strikes me as a northern Scot about your winter is how misty it is. We have had quite a bit of sun - cloudless blue skies in face - but usually with a near gale force wind. Obviously can't have everything!
    Looking forward to seeing the reveal of your newly painted wall. And I marvel as usual at how TIDY your home is!

  8. I really enjoy your posts. If you like making flapjack who about trying it with a fruity twist with this recipe( )It is great. I have made it with blackberries too really lovely if a little softer than normal flapjack.

  9. Love your photos!!! I feel the same after Christmas. I just want to have a fresh look for things. I did buy a nice orchid at Trader Joes and that freshens up the buffet/dresser in our front room. Sometime this year I will repaint the kitchen. I just keep it white( Benjamin Moores, Simply White).

  10. The gallery wall is looking colourful and gorgeous... Waiting for the January itch here - sadly at the moment I seem to be in cosy mood!

  11. I love winter too. I used to hate it, especially how wet and muddy everything was, going to and coming home from work in the dark and how there was no colour anywhere. I've changed my mind, thankfully. I see it as a time to hibernate, rest and re-coup from a busy time at Christmas.


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