Reaching the end of January always feels like quite the achievement. It’s not the easiest month to love with its dark, grey, cold days. I’ve been searching out winter beauty wherever I can find it, appreciating the stark elegance of skeletal branches; spidery pom-poms of old man’s beard; the transient prettiness of a brief snowfall and the cool brilliance of a clear January sky.
We’ve been braving the weather, wrapped in wooly layer after wooly layer, wandering up on the common and through the sparse woods, returning home brighter, of cheek and of spirits.
My kitchen is my sanctuary more than ever in these winter months. As well as the inevitable marmalade, I’ve been making soups and dahls, and baking loaf after loaf. My bread-making impulse has returned, and I’ve also been baking loaf cakes: banana bread and Madeira cake, to sweeten the dullest day. My knitting basket is never far away, with my socks still on the go, and a couple of fresh skeins of yarn crying out to be wound, and cast on as some mitts.
At this time of year, I buy endless bulbs. Hyacinths, muscari, tête-à-tête, crocus, primrose, potted up in a selection of mis-matched containers to remind me that these dark days are numbered, and spring is not far away. I gathered them together for this month’s Styling the Seasons collection.
This is my third year of monthly patchworks. At the end of last year, I wondered about calling it a day with them, they are so ubiquitous, but there is something so soothing about compiling the month gone by in visual form that I have found myself returning to the same. I have, however, given the blog a little freshen-up for the new year. Let me know if there’s anything that you can’t find- I have a little reorganisation still to do.
As ever, I’ve been looking back- to last January’s patchwork – and to the month ahead, with a Pinterest board for February.