Hello 2017! I hope it’s been good for you so far.
I’m emerging from my Christmas hibernation and beginning to make my way into the new year. I love the festive season and I’m always sad to see it end. A fresh year is inspiring, but also a little scary. I’m never one to exactly leap into it. I’m gradually feeling my way, unfurling and stretching out – both mentally and physically.
Early January is a funny time – some people are raring to go, others are weeping quietly as they pack away the baubles. I’m a bit of both – but my ideas and inspiration are beginning to reawaken.
Here’s what I’m enjoying thinking about, doing and making right now. Things that are a bit frugal and minimal, but also nourishing and gentle.
Make a nature diary… My six-year-old son loves birds and nature. Creating a simple diary is a great way to spend time together outdoors, but also helps him along with his reading and writing. The other day we took a gentle walk through town to a big park nearby. We went at his pace and stopped to spot interesting things along the way. We jotted things down in his notebook and drew a map as we walked. We wrote down what the weather was like (freezing) and which birds we saw (a robin and a blackbird). Some of the things we gathered along the way (skeletal chinese lanterns, snowberries, a leaf…) can be pressed and stuck into his book. Other things I’ve photographed and printed out so he can stick them in. Such a nice activity to share and you don’t even need to go further afield than your garden.
Simple, minimal flowers… After all the pomp of Christmas it’s great to get back to basics with my flowers. I’m enjoying a sense a space and light and I don’t want to fill my house with too many. Small, simple arrangements dotted about are what I’m after. I’ve been going to the market and seeing what I can buy for not much more than a pound or two. A small bunch of yellow carnations for a pound looks delightful in a few jam jars or vintage bottles. It satisfies my desire for frugality and minimalism after the excess of Christmas.
Do a bit of clothes sales shopping… I can’t resist a look. My budget is limited and sales give me a chance to stock up on things from brands I love (but can’t always afford). Avoid sequins and party dresses and look for simple, versatile pieces that’ll cheer you up now and be useful all year. I’m leaning towards a simple, utilitarian look – and I’ve picked up these trainers and a great denim shirt which feel perfect for now. My sales shopping tips are White Stuff for beautiful bargains, Joules for great coats and New Look for quality basics.
Don’t forget about Twelfth Night on the 6 January… in the not-so-distant past (ie. about a 150 years ago) this used to be a really big deal. These days the traditions are very sketchy and most people (me included) just think about it as the date to get their decorations down by. I still don’t know much about it, other than that it was traditionally a day for merrymaking, fires, games and fancy cakes. This year I feel like giving a nod to the past. One tradition I read about was for Twelfth Night fires – which were lit in some areas of the country to bring luck to the crops in the coming year. So this year I want to light a fire, have a drink and think about new plans.
What’s on your early-January list? I’d love to know.