I will admit that I haven’t spent much time in front of the computer recently. It has been a time for cosying down and enjoying things of warmth and comfort. Warming curries, unctuous lamb stews with lentils made in the slow-cooker, and very little else. The heated blanket has been used daily and blankets of the non-electric variety have been used at all other times. Our lowest temperature was -9ºC and we haven’t managed more than 0ºC for a couple of weeks now. Thankfully, today things seem to be melting and the dangerous-looking, 2ft icicle hanging from the neighbour’s roof seems to be gone.
I have been itching to get out to go walking somewhere – anywhere, but due to the momentous amount of snow covering just about every square inch of space, I haven’t been able to get out in the car to the supermarkets, let alone out for a walk. It has been a dark time – literally, in terms of both latitude and mood. I sit in bed and am only vaguely aware that the world is waking up and I am very much not. January has been a life-sapping month of stress and unwellness. But it has, on its positive side, also been a month of realisation and discovery.
I also made the decision to purchase some non-Christmassy LED (yes sacreligious, I know) lights for putting up around the house. I usually really dislike LEDs compared to normal incansescent lamps, but these are a very warm colour and with their clear wires wrapped around the staircase make the place look like it is a fairy grotto. They are incredibly cheap to run, will last approximately 20 years and brighten up what was an otherwise very dark, dull corner. I plan to buy some more soon, so that I can pop some around the bedroom. I also really want to make a lit wreath to hang in the living room. As LED diodes are low voltage and do not get hot, you can put them into hurricane lamps to create really interesting (and pretty) effects. As they are cheap and look so good, it’s something that I am going to look into doing!
Apart from that, January has been a sedentary kind of month. As a desperate attempt to grasp some vitality and hope in this very darkest of times, I bought myself a £1 bunch of daffodils in Waitrose. I dug out a squat (and quite pretty) jam jar and filled it with these tightly-encased blooms. For my efforts, this morning I was greeted by the sweet, beautiful, smiling, yellow faces of the daffodils. Suddenly, just from one little thing, spring feels a little bit closer and life a little bit sweeter.