It’s a mixed bag is January. Long dark days, until recently wet and dreary. January and I have more of a hate less/hate more, than love/hate relationship. I have probably said this before, but I think I was likely a bear in my former life, hibernating in the warmth of a cave somewhere in the Canadian wilderness before coming out with the first Spring flowers and warmth. However, I try to keep myself busy so that this time of year doesn’t get the better of me. Lots of baking, decluttering, planning for the year ahead; this is often the time we look at a summer holiday abroad, dreaming of sunshine, however this year we will be missing two of three kids for most of the summer, one moving to Australia for a year and the other in Cambodia for three weeks, and the other is off on singing courses, so hubby and I have booked a week in a Shepherd’s hut on the edge of Windermere to get in some serious walking. We’re also going to take another week to decorate and move some rooms around. So I am spending a bit of my dark moments on Pinterest and putting swatch paint colours on the walls to find what I’m looking for (I secretly love designing things which is probably why no one room stays the same for long in our house!) Our eldest is studying in Melbourne for a year, so we will take some time before he’s home in 2021 to go and visit him.

One thing I find particularly hard when the weather is dull and morose, is exercise. I’ve been getting out more on longer walks with the dog just to ensure I get moving, it’s amazing how easily the invisible bonds of inside seal you in and you fall into a funk of not getting fresh air on your face or working up a sweat. I always leave the house grudgingly and return home refreshed, invigorated, with my mind cleared. This week the weather has been kinder, it’s been cold, yes, but there’s been a yellow ball surrounded by vivid blue up in the sky. The fields have been coated with frost, a fresh steam arising like mist. Gorgeous. I’ve also been watching the birds. We have so many red kites in this area thanks to a breeding/feeding programme in Buckinghamshire. They really like the fields at this time of year as the prey is less camouflaged if it moves, so they’re soaring high, often in pairs, with their eerie cries. Apparently there is a young white tailed sea eagle hanging out with some kites in this area somewhere! I have yet to see him and this county is a big one, so maybe I never will.

This morning, however, I went on an extra long walk, decided to really get my heart rate up, so more nordic style!! Somehow I managed to completely jam my foot into my Dublin muck boots. It took a further half hour of sweat AND tears, cussing and tugging but they just weren’t coming off. Somehow the whole of the inside lining had managed to come away and adhere to my sock which meant that as half of the lining was actually a fixed circumference band of leather, it wasn’t going to release my foot. The only way out was a pair of scissors. I am SO disappointed. These are not cheap boots and although I’ve had them a couple of years and they’ve been well worn, they are now useless.

Not a great start to the day.

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