Friday, 9 January 2015

January Blues …

Feeling a little blue in January is normal ~ Marilu Henner

 

Abigail Halpin - 

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It is a strange time of year – after the excitement and anticipation of Christmas and the New Year – suddenly everything seems to go flat – a sort of limbo – waiting for something to take us through the rest of the winter and eagerly expectant for the first signs of Spring.  Because of this bloomin’ cold I feel even more low in spirit than usual – a constant hacking cough for which vast quantities of herbal cough mixture plus honey and lemon drinks, can’t seem to stop.  I have cossetted myself, tried to keep warm and quiet – too much exertion causes coughing fits – hence a lot of reading and Christmas gift DVD’s have been watched. 

The weather hasn’t been conducive to going out – lots of heavy rain – then hard frosts – then high winds – a real mixed bag.  But I have managed to take a few photos along the way even though I have felt like a cross between a limp lettuce and a weak kitten – pathetic, I know! 

“The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer.  Minute by minute they lengthen out.  It takes some weeks before we become aware of the change.  It is imperceptible even as the growth of a child, as you watch it day by day, until the moment comes when, with a start of delighted surprise, we realize that we can stay out of doors in a twilight lasting for another quarter of a precious hour. ~ Vita Sackville-West"

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frosted webs

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frosted seed heads

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“January is the quietest month in the garden.  …But just because it looks quiet doesn’t mean that nothing is happening.  The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while micro-organisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients for the next crop of plants. The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come.”
-  Rosalie Muller Wright

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indoor hyacinth bulbs starting to flower

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using up Christmas leftovers for pea and ham soup and the last of the Stilton cheese

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a Bullfinch in the hedgerow

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just finished  - an excellent read

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half way through – a medieval detective story by C.J. Sansom – not the genre I would normally read but finding it most enjoyable and well written

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the pile of books waiting to be read grows taller by the minute

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"Bare branches of each tree
on this chilly January morn
look so cold so forlorn.
Gray skies dip ever so low
left from yesterday's dusting of snow.
Yet in the heart of each tree
waiting for each who wait to see
new life as warm sun and breeze will blow,
like magic, unlock springs sap to flow,
buds, new leaves, then blooms will grow."
-  Nelda Hartmann, January Morn

 

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a rather tatty Hellebore in flower

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the cotton wool puffs of Clematis

Christmas present to myself

Christmas present to myself

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January sunset

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“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home.” 
-  Edith Sitwell

And then along came something that really cheered me up.  It was food shopping day – the first time I had been near the shops since Christmas – it was raining and miserable – I hauled the bags in through the front door and noticed a note from the postman on the floor.  My first reaction was - oh no another trip to the depot to pick up a parcel – but then I read ‘parcel left in greenhouse’ hurray  - a postman with a bit of common sense!  Inside the parcel were some bulbs, sent out-of-the-blue, by a dear blogging friend.  She had remembered that I had said I was having trouble finding Camassia bulbs – she came across some in and end-of-season sale and treated herself and me to some.  Wasn’t that a lovely thing to do – who says bloggers aren’t the kindest of people.  Thanks C – you made my day.  And then to top it all the sun came out.  Perfect.

56 comments:

  1. So glad things picked up Elaine! Ferries are all cancelled, so so is our trip to Glasgow. But I warmed my hands at your fire. I hope that cold and cough go soon.

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    1. I should imagine that that is one of the drawbacks living where you do - it certainly has turned very nasty weatherwise. I am supposed to be going to the ballet next Saturday and unless this cough goes by then it looks like I will have to cancel.

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  2. Lovely photos. That soup looks delicious. Seems odd seeing the frost. 30 degrees C. in my front porch yesterday.

    How nice of your blogging friend to send the bulbs.

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    1. We have a little longer to wait for our temperatures to go up that far.

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  3. How lovely and cheering to receive those bulbs from your blogger friend. A kindness guaranteed to make you feel better. Your soup looks so tasty and warming as does your fire just the thing when you are feeling under the weather. I love your 'Christmas present to yourself' painting:)

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    1. It was a lovely surprise that certainly made the day seem a little brighter.

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  4. Good Morning Elaine,
    I understand your January blues.......made worse by being under the weather.
    This year is different for me.....I have a feeling of great excitement. I cannot wait to get out into the garden, although the weather will not allow me to at the moment I believe because my husband has been so ill during these last few months, seeing him become well again has given me such joy. Life is precious............

    Your photographs are beautiful...............I love the sheep and horse in the field.
    Also the roaring fire and your Christmas gift to yourself :)

    We all need a surprise now and then..............hope your Camassia blooms bring you Springtime joy .....

    Hope you feel better soon..............sending healing thoughts.

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    1. Thanks Cheryl - yes, the surprise certainly lifted my spirits. I shouldn't really moan a cough and cold is nothing compared to what others have to go through. Your healing thoughts are helping.

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  5. Such a wonderful post. I love the present to yourself, that is wonderful! Hope that you have a good weekend! xx

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    1. Thanks Amy - hope you have a good weekend too.

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  6. How lovely. A gardeny gift when things are cold and drippy outside. Love those frosty photos, Elaine, but I'll settle from admiring them from this side of my computer screen. A nice pile of books -- enjoy them!

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    1. Frost certainly makes for good photo opportunities. It is bright and windy today so I shall be wrapping up warm and taking a walk to blow away the cobwebs.

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  7. Sorry to see that you've not been feeling well and hope that you get better soon. At least now it's slowly starting to get lighter. Lovely photos, I especially like the frosted seed-heads, your Christmas present to yourself picture and that hand warming last one. Happy reading! Flighty xx

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    1. Wouldn't it have been nice if there was the sound of logs crackling too. I have a lot of books to get through bought from a Book Fair whilst we were away at £1 each definitely a bargain.

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  8. I feel the same way about winter. I don't know why I don't move to another more temperate climate. I get so low in winter and wonder how it must be to live where it is 70 degrees with warm sunny days year round.

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    1. I suppose we would get fed up if the weather was the same all year round - at least when you have four seasons every day is different.

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  9. I loved your pile of books containing my favourite green Virago books. I have a small collection of them. So nice to dip into especially when it's cold outside.

    Jean
    x

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    1. I am determined to read all of them all the way through and savour each one.

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    1. Yes it was Sue - most unexpected.

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  11. A lovely post Elaine except for you're feeling down right limp.
    Some of the images you've captured do convey though the beauty that lies amid this cold time of year. And the indoor flowering bulbs help to lift the spirits...
    It has been four days straight here now of temps in the minus 10C range with bone chilling wind chills of minus 20's. If that doesn't get your knickers in a knot nothing will.
    Stay warm my dear and hope you're feeling yourself soon...
    Susan x

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    1. I am getting better by the minute Susan - it certainly sounds extremely cold where you are - brrr!

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  12. How wonderful that you were surprised with those bulbs! That is awesome! The little things right?!?!?! I am with you on this January thing...too cold to venture out and the beans are jumping off the walls. I absolutely love those shots of the fields with the sheep by your home! And do you really have hellebores blooming right now??!?! Nothing better than warm soup and good reads when you aren't feeling well. I hope that you are feeling better soon friend...you take care! Nicole xoxo

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    1. Thanks for your kind wishes Nicole. The hellebores are about the only thing blooming right now - I keep looking expectantly for buds and shoots - a few more weeks to wait yet.

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  13. Blowing a hoolie here tonight. A bowl of soup, a bit of stilton and maybe a glass of wine (?) sound just the ticket.
    Get well soon Elaine.

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    1. Thanks Jessica. Yes we have had our fair share of strong winds just lately.

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  14. Hang on Elaine - the days are lengthening, the sun is getting higher in the sky, and hopefully soon your cough will be a thing of the past. I could happily join you for a bowl of pea and ham soup with stilton on crackers.

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    1. You are right of course - let's look on the bright side.

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  15. Even when you're feeling blue you manage to pull off a post that as always, feels so warm and welcoming.
    You poor thing, sorry to hear you still have that horrid cough, here's to you getting shut of it...SOON!
    I am enjoying the extra half hour of daylight, spring will be here soon, and yes, it's all happening underground.
    That is a good stash of books, I'd love to know how the Angelology one goes....sound fascinating.
    I love your pics, and how lovely to receive those bulbs, three cheers for lovely blog friends!
    Gorgeous fire, and pressie to yourself, that's what you need to cheer yourself up....MORE pressies to yourself!xxx

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    1. Husband says I sound like a seal when I cough - not very flattering!

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  16. Despite how poorly you feel, your photographs are warm and friendly. I love your present to yourself and the sheep and the frost on seed heads. While I am enjoying good health (I rareley catch a cold unless the little grand kids show up with sniffles), I have sequestered myself inside too for the same reason: bad weather. Here we have snow on the ground and it is very cold. Yesterday it warm a bit, but not for long. January is a dud, isn't? Hubby took a look at the calendar and announced that in a few weeks he would tiling the garden. Since he was working harvest, he didn't do the fall garden clean up as usual, so it will be a mess. Now under snow, we don't have to look at the mess. I do hope you recover soon. Lots of hot tea and C.

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    1. This is the first winter for a long time where I have had one cold after another. As you can tell I'm not a happy bunny - I hate being ill that's for sure.

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  17. January blues for you, and foggy greys for me! I thought your quotations were right on the mark, so full of truth ~ as Spring is quietly working underground in preparation. How frustrating that your cold got hold of you and won't let go without a fight. Seems like you are doing all you can to become well ... soup looks so yummy, and resting with your stack of reading material at hand is a good plan. What a thoughtful blogger friend... and mailman ... Very good timing, too, to lift your spirits. Always enjoy your posts, and noticed that the photos of your frozen seed pods mimic those on the mugs on your new picture...and you also have NeighBaas! Sending you get well hugs, and hope you are as right as rain (or sun) soon!

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    1. When you're not up to the mark you forget about the little things that are going on without you noticing. Yes you are right about the seedheads and the mug in the picture I hadn't connected them. Thank you for your get well hug - I feel better already.

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  18. Elaine - so sorry to read about your cold but hope that by putting your feet up and drinking that tea and reading you will recover quickly. Your pictures are beautiful. I have never grown Hellebores but think will add them to my list because they must love cooler weather. Take care - will email you soon. Sending you blessings that you soon will be better. P.S. I always love January because the postman brings me seed catalogs and gardening ones - for sure they bring cheer.

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    1. Thanks Debbie - always nice to hear from you - I shall soon be checking out which seeds to order soon - and yes that little job always cheers me up too.

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  19. I hope your cough has gone by now and yes the January blues has caught me too. We have some horrible weather the last few days with lots of rain and storm that keeps me inside. So cheerful to see your Hellebore already in bloom, between the showers I did a round in my garden this afternoon, no flower to be seen. Your soup, books and fire look so attractive, I´m going to make a cup of tea, settling myself in front of the fire with a book.

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    1. I have been looking after myself in the hope of getting rid of this cold - but I suppose it will go when it is ready. Today the sun is out and it is so much brighter out there I think I will go out for a walk with my camera - a bit of fresh air will do me the power of good.

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  20. Hello Elaine,

    Soup is just the perfect food at almost any time in our book but, when one is under the weather, it really is the most comforting of food. We are sorry you are not well and do so hope that you will soon be restored to full health. Somehow when the weather is dreary an illness seems even more depressing. Take good care of yourself!

    We notice in your book pile that you read Elizabeth Taylor. She is certainly a favourite of ours.

    Wishing you every joy, peace and success in 2015.

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance
      Lovely to see back it has been too long. Thank you for your kind wishes.
      I look forward to reading the Elizabeth Taylor books - a new author for me.
      Wishing you all the best for 2015.

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  21. It'll soon be spring! Or so I keep telling myself. Lovely photos and I'm very envious of your flowering hellebore, mine are nowhere near out.

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    1. Yes it won't be too long now. They are the only hellebores out so far but I guess everything will flower when it is ready.

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  22. Your show such good things to ease the bleakness of January! I love those frosted seed heads. Sarah x

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    1. Not had that many frosts this winter so I sent husband out in the cold to capture what he could whilst I stayed inside keeping warm.

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  23. Oh I do hope that you are feeling stronger by the day Elaine. Still a chance to put your feet up and read. Himself has read several of C.J.Sansom's books and tells me that I would enjoy them. What a lovely gift to come home too. That beautiful hellebore isn't tatty - just needs its old foliage removing when you're feeling stronger :)

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    1. Thanks Anna - at last I am on the mend - it's taken it's time though. I blame all that kissing on New Year's Eve.

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  24. That is a lovely cover - "Hidden Lives"

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    1. Yes it is. Thanks for visiting Haddock.

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  25. Sometimes the little things mean more than the big and your bulb gift was just that. Spring will be here in a blink of an eye..get well soon x

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  26. Yes January is a time of limbo, but also a time of incredible beauty :)

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    1. A different sort of beauty - the bare bones of winter.

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  27. Bloggers are the best people! I do hope you're feeling properly better soon.

    Your print is delightful, who is the artist?

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    1. Thank you Annie I am much better thank goodness. The artist is Abigail Halpin.

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  28. Your January is beautiful! It is a good month to read! The books look wonderful! Reading gets us through January here. I am ready for Spring as we have had very little snow and I am a snow lover!! I hope to blog more this year as it helps build my own creativity. I just wish I had more quiet time in my days to make that happen. Your blog is always such an inspiration! I love the quotes, your writing, and your beautiful garden!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment Erin - looking forward to seeing more blog posts from you.

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