Tag: January

Hello January, Hello 2017

Lots of people go mad in January.  Not as many as in May, of course. Nor June. But January is your third most common month of madness.

Karen Joy Fowler, Sarah Kanary

And so Christmas and the New Year has come and gone.  I don’t know about you, but it always feels like it happens in a bit of a blur, like a photograph taken in motion, a fusion of colours and memories, over and done with, until the next Christmas.  Hope everyone has had a lovely time, albeit the madness.

Ah January, hello you, broody-grey-skies and cold, you.  It’s the time of the year where everything seems to happen in slow-motion, especially the days and all the noises, the ticking of the clock, a phone ringing in an empty house is amplified, as if the sound is in your head.  No, I haven’t gone bonkers, at least, I don’t think so.  But that’s how I feel at the moment.  The Historian has gone off and dropped my cousin at the University of Reading.  He also has a meeting tomorrow, so it’s just me, Doc and Boots bumbling along together in this cold-bleak January day.  T comes home later, only then will the house awaken.

Back to Basics

I’ve also decided to go back to basics with this whole blogging business.  Last year, I thought I’d give it a go and try to make it more “commercial”, whatever that means.  I fell in a rabbit hole of blogging groups and learning about DAs, and pumping up your stats and all that and the more I did it, the more I felt that every fibre in me was protesting, so I’m done with that now.  Don’t get me wrong though, while I loved the community and the bloggers behind them, in the end, it just became too much for me.

I guess it also comes down to personality.  I’ve always been a solo person.  I like doing my own thing and I’ve also been blogging on and off for more than a decade now.  Does anyone remember blogspot?  I guess that also shows my age…

I’m going back to writing the way I want, because I have this need to write.

I’m not going to be a hypocrite though and say that I’m going to stop accepting sponsored and collaborative posts.  If they come and it’s a good fit with Little Steps, I will say yes.  I’ve learned though to be choosy on what projects and fees to accept.  At the moment, admittedly most of the time, I decline the offers especially when it is too low.

Dear PRs, I do value my time and what I do and write in this little blog of mine.  No, I won’t just accept your offer, even though you all act as if I should be thrilled with the fact that you’ve gotten in touch.  Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way and no, I don’t accept follow-links.  Thank you for getting in touch with Little Steps.

I’m still going to join a few linkies like #countrykids, mostly because I’m friends with the blogger who runs it.  I have a couple of other favourites too like #animaltales and #wotw.  Linkies I’ve been joining in the past couple of years, I do enjoy linking-up with these lovely bloggers.

That’s what 2017 holds for me – going back to the basics, finding my voice again, being authentic.  I wish I could declare that I have big dreams or plans for 2017.  But I don’t.  Like most frustrated writers, I still have that unwritten novel in my head, countless short-stories to edit and write, poems screaming to be written.  I’m afraid I have forsaken my muse.  I’m ready to go down on my knees and plead with her/him – so mote it be.

Any big plans for 2017?

Surviving January

As little T’s dog eloquently put it, January can be a difficult month.  The days are long and dark and often, it is wet and cold too.

I knew the house would look bare once I’ve stripped off all the Christmas decorations.  I was prepared for it and was even for the very first time, relieved that the decors were gone, normally I dreaded it.  But one day, as I sat in our living room tapping away in the dark morning, that really looked more like later afternoon, I began to feel really weary of all the gloom around me.

Doc and I would stomp defiantly on the headland in the rain and glare at the grey sky.  Day in and day out I would pass by these forlorn-looking dry tree branches and would always think how sad-looking they were.

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And then one typical sombre day, I stopped and looked closely at them.  They actually weren’t bad-looking at all.  And then had a eureka moment.

Our next walk, I made sure I brought along a pair of secateurs with me, and stopped along the dry tree branches and managed to get one-dried branch.

As soon as I got home, I got an empty vase, put another smaller one inside, and made it steady by putting in small stones.  Then stuck my chosen branch between the stones.

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I knew what I wanted to do with that branch.  You see, I have a small collection of glass baubles, which I’ve always wanted to use year-round, but didn’t really know how, till now.  So off I went to our cold and dusty attic and hauled my precious baubles back down.

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But first, I decided to wrap the branch in fairy-lights – I wanted to brighten up a particularly dark corner in our house.

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Viola!

Here’s the finished product.  Since it was only a small branch though, I was only able to use a few of my glass baubles and my two birds made of glass.  And instantly, my mood was lifted.

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It may be dark outside and all the shades of grey, but inside my little warm home, I have a small branch to literally brighten up my day 🙂  Doc is right, the trick is to focus on small joys and I’m following his advice and you know what, it’s definitely working!

What about you?

Do you also dislike January?

The Reading Residence

Life Lessons from Doc

In some countries, January can be a difficult month for humans.

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The days are grey, cold and long.

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Everywhere you look are different shades of grey, light or sombre and also hues of brown.

Brown is actually one of little T’s mum’s favourite colour, but I don’t think she likes it when associated with winter.

There is green too, but not the vibrant kind.

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In January, it is more dull than vivid or bright.

And in our little village by the sea,

little T’s mum says it becomes like a ghost-town around where we live.

There is no life.

There are no tourists around.

If it’s even possible, our village becomes even more silent.

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Imagine long days without sunshine, sometimes it is even wet and windy.

I doesn’t really bother me though.

To me, days are just days.

When you’re feeling down, you must focus on the things that make you happy.

Little T’s mum calls them Small Joys.

As for me, I get really excited

when they take me out for a walk.

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The headland is my happy place.

Can you see me?

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I can run around like a loony, especially when there are no cows around.

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Little T’s mum likes to sit on this stone.

I think it’s boring to sit and stare.

Why sit and stare when you can run around …

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especially when you have a stick in your mouth?

Now that’s one another thing that really makes me happy, finding a stick and running around like a loony with it!

Other things I love:

* treats (especially when hidden in my kong).

* rolling over badger poo, any carcass (the smellier the better!)

* hugs (although admittedly my humans hate it when I’ve just rolled over something).

* old shoes, cloth I can chew and tear apart.

The trick is dear humans,

to embrace your small joys,

and before you know it whatever is making you feel sad

is gone.

If that fails,

you can try running around with a stick in your mouth,

always works for me! 😉

ANIMALTALES

What about you?

What makes you happy?