January can be a difficult month. The Christmas decorations are back in their box and rooms are no longer filled with twinkling lights and glistening glitter. The sky’s the colour of under-the-bed-fluff and the ground squelches beneath my yellow wellies. Spring seems a long way off.There must be something good about January...
Well, it’s an ideal time to be ‘slow’.
Empty your veggie draw,open those tins of butter beans and chick peas you’ve had at the back of your cupboard for ages and make vats of nourishing soup to freeze - whilst listening to warming and passionate opera arias,(try Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon singing ‘O Soave Fanciulla’ – bliss, you’ll find them on YouTube).Keep some strings of fairy lights up throughout January and February.
Light lots of candles and sit and enjoy the sound of the rain beating hard against your windows.
Get cosy in your Christmas pyjamas and listen to a talking book. I can download them for free from my library via One Click Digital and the Flintshire.gov web page. For some extra warmth, choose a story set in a warm climate.
Visit a spa. My nearest one at Deeside Leisure Centre offers two people, two hours in the spa for £15. Laying on my towel in the muscle warming sauna, I could be anywhere I choose.
Write letters to friends you haven’t seen for ages, send silly things, stickers, leaves, doodles on post-it notes in the envelope. It’s great to receive a hand written letter through the post.
Plan an adventure. I love to unfold my maps and spread them on the living room floor. I lay down beside them and trace routes with my finger. This year I'm looking at cycling along The Loire, walking the Welsh Coastal Path - and then there's Rannoch Moor. Have you seen the O.S.map for that area? It's well worth lying on with your magnifying glass, wow!
Watch the birds. This morning we had 6 black birds in the garden, eating chopped apples and having minor skirmishes. I spied a plump, pink bullfinch pecking at buds in the tree opposite my window. A circus troupe of blue-tits came swinging and leaping from feeder to fat balls and a squabble of sparrows bullied for seed space. January 25-26 is the time to join in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.
Join an exercise class. I love my local spinning class where we all perch on fixed bikes and pedal like the wind to disco music. Clare's Dru Yoga class at Theatre Clwyd is wonderful on a dark and soggy January afternoon. And there’s coffee and cake to be enjoyed afterwards in the cafe and lovely art to gaze at along the corridor galleries.
How will you make the most of this SLOW month?