I never intended to leave it this long between posts. More than in previous years, this January has been a long and tedious month. Always my least favourite time of the year, it has proved even more challenging than usual. The cold weather and lack of sunshine, along with the limitations of lockdown restrictions are enough to test even the most positive outlook - and I was never blessed with one of those :)
Sunday 31 January 2021
Still, I've been keeping busy, although I am beginning to grow weary of the repetitive days. Much like last year, for now at least, my diary remains empty aside from birthdays and anniversaries. Weekdays are filled with home learning - both Lily's and mine, and with much more structure than during the first lockdown there is a greater expectation to keep on track, leaving us with little time to relax.
With tensions running high one day last week, I holed myself up in the kitchen making marmalade. I was pleasantly surprised by the therapeutic properties of carefully shredding the orange peel, the delicious aroma of simmering oranges and, of course, the finished product made it all worth the effort, especially with the added brandy. My taste buds definitely approve and peace was restored.
As you can see, we've had some more snow. Both snowfalls came as quite a surprise. The first covering lasted a while longer than the second, which disappointingly began to thaw later that same day but it still looked so lovely for a short time. Tomorrow is the start of a new month. In January it often feels as though time is standing still and I'm just marking the days until I see them noticeably begin to lengthen. Evidence our wheel is turning.
This afternoon I saw some lambs in the field. Spring is on it's way.
Sunday 10 January 2021
This wasn't the start to the New Year that I'd hoped for but even though I've found the last week rather challenging, I woke this morning determined to shake myself out from my feelings of melancholy. I can't help but think that it's going to take a whole lot longer than expected before we see a change to the current situation and I need to become more accepting of this.
The snow all but disappeared overnight and today the fells were hidden from view by a dense fog. The temperature had risen above freezing for the first time in a week, and for once my morning routine did not include tentatively treading across the frosty garden to check the bird seed and replenish the water. From the kitchen window I could still see two thick discs of ice, which had been previously emptied from the water tray, laying stubbornly at the edge of the grass but even they had thawed by midday.
We're back to home learning once again and, after an intermittent start, we've got the hang of the new system. Already it seems to be working much better than the platform we used last time. Instead of completing all the work during the morning, I've been breaking it down into several short twenty minute sections slotted throughout the day, as I've discovered this more relaxed approach works better for us.
I'm still working every day, and this gives me a sense of routine and normality.
We are getting out walking most afternoons, although keeping our routes close to home for the time being. The winter sun has been beautiful in the woods and it's lovely to see the snowdrops are almost in flower. Wearing lots of warm layers has been essential in the freezing temperatures but more often than not Lily will still insist on removing her jacket. Children just don't seem to feel the cold do they.
Christmas already feels like a long time ago and although most of our decorations were taken down last week, I've left the wooden snowflakes, a star and Lily's snow globe on display. Also, to keep a cosy glow in the kitchen I've kept my little tree in the corner, complete with lights. I'm happy to see it has some fresh green shoots on some of it's branches.
I went for a short run this morning and as I passed by the fields which, in a few weeks, will be full of lambs, I reminded myself spring is just around the corner.