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.