Sunday, 19 January 2014

January survival kit

There's something about this time of year: you seem to be either full of optimism and ideas for the year ahead, or you're feeling low because of the lack of light, the cold, the greyness.

We went into town today to buy Joe another of his Grobags - he only has one thick one and I don't really like the washer and dryer on the go constantly. Whilst we were there I had a look in Waterstones. So many lovely books, so much beautiful stationery. I could have spent hours (and many pounds) in there. But what really made me smile was the 'tween' girls excitedly looking at the notebooks and craft supplies. I saw similar little groups of them in Debenhams, trying on makeup (very expensive makeup) whilst the beauty assistants looked on. It reminded me of the shopping trips my friends and I used to take into town, all hysteria and silliness. My entire spends would go on bus fares and pizza.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that, even in the gloominess of January, little things you notice really do cheer you up.

I often think about the little things. Here's a list of what's making me smile at the moment:

Joe imitating me talking with my hands
Going through my photo archives and editing pictures
Hot bubble baths
A new jumper (bought with Christmas gift vouchers): a navy Fisherman's knit
Earl Grey tea
The Casual Vacancy - can't put it down
Grilled artichoke hearts in oil
My Christmas present from Jay
Organising, organising, organising
A very warm and cosy bed
BBC 4 documentaries (Ladybird books and biscuits - separately, not together)

Hope you're not feeling too low this month - and I hope you've got your own list of little things to help you get through January...


  1. I think I need to write one of these lists and stick it up in my house so I see it all the time. Love lots on your list - oh that Angie Lewin bag! Beautiful. You've reminded me that I still haven't got round to watching the Ladybird books prog on BBC4 - perhaps that'll be this eve's entertainment. x P.S How did the marmalade go?!

  2. Hi, in case you didn't get the reply on my (not very reliable) phone - I bought up the last of the Seville oranges from the greengrocer but came home and according to Nigel Slater I also need lemons.
    Will buy them tomorrow.
    There's no going back now as I've been promising jars of marmalade to all and sundry (not to mention a marmalade cake for Jay)...
    The Ladybird programme's a good one. Talk about nostalgia - the Snow White and Rose Red book is the one I remember most. Can't believe they're now collector's items! Must keep an eye out for any on my travels x

    1. nope, didn't get your reply - what a shame Nige hadn't told you earlier about the lemons! You'll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of marmalading now - everyone will be asking you in a few months if you've got any left as their jar has run out... x

    2. Maybe I'll start charging ;)

    3. would you like the things to make and garden flowers ladybird books? I want to find them a good home and my local charity shop will chuck them because they are the sixties version. I'd be glad to send them to you (I don't want any £) to say thanks for your lovely blog if they were of any interest to you (the things to make one might be nice for Joe because it is full of easy crafts). Do let me know, and no worries if they aren't what you'd like.


      ps I haven't worked out how to sign in properly which is why I'm anonymous!

    4. Hello! Nice to meet you - I love hearing from people who visit. And don't worry about the anonymous thing, I know several family members and friends who read but don't leave comments for the same reason!

      That's really kind of you. I would love to have the books. Joe only has one (on the seaside). How sad that the charity shop would throw them out, although the one I volunteer at have sent some gems out for recycling too. Luckily I rescued a little box set of pony books from the rubbish bag a few weeks ago... I suppose 'value' depends on how you interpret it!

      If you contact me at I'll let you have my address? Again, thank you so much - you've brightened up a very grey afternoon x

  3. I was an avid Ladybird book reader and collector when I was little but now have no idea whatever happened to mine in South Africa :o( I am so pleased your book reading is going well, I too am loving mine and an am nearing the end, need to think about my February book soon. I too am having hot bubble baths with lots of cosy evenings with yarn and story telling. January is a challenging month and I am please we are more than half way through. I did notice that it got dark around 5pm today so that's always a good sign xox take care lovely x

    1. You too! Without getting all profound, I think of this time of year in relation to bulbs. They're dormant underground and are now just emerging. This is our dormant time - to rest, keep warm and get ready for the year ahead.
      Hot baths and books are definitely the way to go. I have to say, longer days certainly have a positive effect on my mood too x

  4. I remember days like that with friends when I was a teenager....hopping on the bus and giggling all the way there.

    Happy New Year,

    Nina x

  5. It brought back some memories! I can't imagine how annoying we must have been - but then again, at that age I don't suppose we gave it much consideration. Happy memories...
    Hope you're having a wonderful New Year too x

  6. We love baby sleeping bags here as well...they're just so useful for not having your child wake up as they're cold. I love your January list.

    1. Thank you!

      I do wonder what I'd do without the sleeping bags. Whatever people used to do I suppose - probably apply lots of very secure layers! They are a Godsend though - kind of wish I had a grown-up version (but I refuse to wear one of those weird fleecy babygro things that are currently in all the shops; I spotted my neighbour in one the other day and Teletubbies immediately sprang to mind!) x


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