Taking Stock – January

Making: freeform crochet pieces. Having a play around with scraps of DK. Also I’ve been trying Russian Joins versus Magic Knots to make a scrappy yarn ball. Magic knot wins, but not by much. I think I’d rather darn ends and make small motifs with scraps. Or donate to a school for craft. The knot is too hard to hide in crochet. Have you tried either, or freeform?

Cooking: Cullen Skink with homemade cheesy rolls. Delicious dinner!

Sipping: Vanilla & Macadamia coffee. Hawaiian coffee I was given for Christmas

Reading: Things in Jars by Jess Kidd, still…. I keep reading and reading, but I never seem to get to the end. I don’t know what’s happened to my reading speed. It’s a pretty good book, though quite dark so don’t read it if you’re not feeling in good spirits

Waiting: still waiting

Looking: at all the hellebores, snowdrops and croci that are appearing everywhere. They are a welcome sight!

Listening: to Taylor Swift’s Willow on the radio

Wishing: for a dry weather, blue skies and sunny day again SOON

Enjoying: Friday baking sessions. During January I’ve made focaccia, cornbread, stem ginger & sultana fruit loaf, cheesy rolls and lucky dip cookies

Appreciating: having a comfortable warm house in a quiet area

Eating: 30 plants a week. It’s quite fun listing them and seeing how well we’ve done. I’ve been reading and listening to Tim Spector guesting on a few podcasts to talk about gut health and diet

Liking: Simon Mayo’s announcement that he’s coming back to hosting a Drivetime show in March, on Greatest Hits Radio. I’m hoping there’s no, or at least few ads though, my listening loyalty depends on this to a large extent

Loving: crocheting and knitting regularly

Buying: Daffodils, they’re £1 for a bunch for instant sunshine, delivered with my groceries. “Hello there!” I say when they open.

Ah these went to the Great Compost Bin in the sky garden the next day and were greatly missed. Until the next bunch was delivered a few days later…

I’ve been in two shops in four weeks, one was the P.O. I miss museums, browsing large Sainsburys, local pubs, going to London, walking by the sea, travelling on buses and trains, going out for lunch with friends, buying new clothes, buying freshly made sushi …. the list goes on

Managing: to stay steady and plod on. We will get through this. I’m so sorry though for those who have lost their lives and their people who are grieving

Yes, we’ve had proper snowfall! This is a dodgy looking Snowhare we made the weekend before last. Enjoyed driving to visit my Social Bubble person and seeing lots of snowmen (and an impressive snowdog) on verges and by front gates

Watching: It’s a Sin on All 4. The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. Taskmaster series also on All 4. We’re taking it in turns to choose past series. At the moment I’m watching and cringing / laughing as the series features someone I used to know when they were a child and babysat occasionally…!

If you fancy a silly, fun film then try ‘Tag’ a film on Netflix (or for a small price it’s on Prime)

Hoping: they vaccinate a second time soon. Three family members have had the first so far

Wearing: my favourite fleecy top

Following: the ShantyTok thing on TikTok. I’ve always enjoyed a good sea shanty

Noticing: the lingering daylight at 5pm, it’s definitely lighter later

Sorting: receipts

Getting: a pint of whole milk every week for porridge. It’s a game changer

Bookmarking: recipes. Always the same answer. I made a chicken orzo pasta bake last night, based on one I cut out of a magazine last year. As always I tinkered with it and added lots more veg too

Stem ginger & sultana loaf – lots and lots of sultanas, it was chock full

Coveting: FREEDOM

Feeling: restless for a long walk later. A 5-6 miler. Please don’t rain (as forecast)

Hearing: the heating clicking


I’ve been adding to this list during January, but hadn’t got around to writing it up properly. Oops!


What are you up to? (Particularly if you’re in the UK, or somewhere else where there’s also a longterm strict Lockdown. Are you managing to stay steady? What’s occupying you?)

People’s spirit and steadiness here in the 1940s has always been lauded. But what’s struck me lately is in the midst of great uncertainty, fear and loss, people are generally so uncomplaining. People are being stoic and carrying on as cheerfully as they can. It’s made me feel so proud of my friends and community.

11 thoughts on “Taking Stock – January

  1. You have reminded me of things that are on my try one-day list: focaccia and freeform crochet. The stem ginger and sultana loaf looks yummy. My life has settled into a gentle rut. Not sure if I am sad that we didn’t get enough snow to build a snow creature or glad that it was never so icy that I couldn’t get out for a walk. All those crocuses are wonderful, don’t think mine are flowering yet, though I do have snowdrops.

    • We have some cyclamen in the garden too. I forgot to mention those – I was picturing my walks really.
      We’re all in that rut along with you. I think most of us are yearning for freedom, travel and variety. One of us is definitely yearning to go to the pub too!
      Focaccia is superb with soup or a saucy recipe. We had some of mine with a Spicy fish stew. Lots of smoked paprika and tomatoey sauce.

  2. Your blog today was just what I needed! Thankyou. My ‘get up and go’ was nowhere to be found this morning but reading your words helped me to get moving.
    And my son and my daughter-in-law both recommended “Queen’s Gambit “. They really enjoyed the series.

    • Thanks so much Jane. I hope you have a good Tuesday.

      Funnily enough blogging sometimes has that effect on me as the writer. I’m not sure why, enjoying the writing and choosing photos definitely, but maybe also something to do with reaching out and communicating with others?

  3. You certainly make some damn fine-sounding foods!!! Just as well I don’t live with you, I’d be the size of a house…
    I don’t seem to be quite able to muster the energy to write a post myself. It’s SOOOOOO hot here, my brain turns to mush. At least, that’s the excuse I use. A bunch of daffs for just one quid? – sounds like a bargain. They are beautiful :)

  4. Your daffodils and croci warm my heart!!! We won’t have them here for quite a while yet (probably not until March) – we may get some snowdrops though.
    I feel tired and find it hard to keep my spirits up. Last week, a good friend from a town near our cottage died of Covid. I still can’t comprehend I won’t meet her again on this Earth.
    Work helps – I’m looking forward to seeing my online students tomorrow.
    Stay safe and healthy and keep on taking those wonderful pictures, please!

  5. What a lovely lot of crocuses in that churchyard- I’ve barely seen snowdrops this year- I really miss my old garden, I planted lots of bulbs in the forlorn patch but none in flower yet. As to the rest- well I know the way to the Churchill without the sat nav, and there is a wood full of snowdrops on the way there. Living a day at a time… stitching, knitting, crochet, cooking, quilting, scaring myself with new stuff too. Spring is on its way, and life will be better when we can go out again. I’m missing museums too.

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