Friday, 25 January 2019

The Beaten Track - January 2019

January has flown by with a mixed bag of weather, as expected for Northern England at this time of year. It is a month for reflection, planning ahead then several false starts at getting back into the swing of things. I'm currently balanced on that see-saw of bursts of high activity versus daily routines. It may be time to step off and find another way of finding equilibrium.
The daily news is disturbing. Social media is disturbing. People are becoming more disturbed. As a writer of disturbing stories there is plenty out there to inspire a dark tale but sometimes it is wiser to ignore the playground of screaming kids and find that one area where silence leads me to an even darker truth.
Misty view from my garden Jan 2019

Living in such a picturesque place helps. Living high up helps. The petty cares of petty individuals, the daily news, melts away.

Fog gathers around my garden Jan2019

January appealed to my dark side but I'm now looking ahead with a vengeance. We had snow this week. It lasted for one day and was quite beautiful to look at as it nestled on the tops of the surrounding moors but I soon tired of it. Looking at it through a window then walking in it are two different experiences, particularly when it is just a spattering and ices over. My garden however, is an oasis. Sheltered enough for a micro-climate. I had this to look at while the snow was still clinging to the hills around me.
First crocus of the year
My pink helebores flower Jan til Sept

My white helebores flower from Dec

They remind me that Spring is next, my favourite time of the year. No matter what the daily news tells us, no matter how mad people get about the slightest thing, no matter how society de-evolves, I only have to look out my window or take a walk down the road and look around me to see the things that endure. Will you remember today's news in a months time? Will you care what latest celebrity puts their foot in it because they dare to have an opinion? No. Will you remember that walk you took in icy snow and descending fog? Yes. You will remember the sound your shoes made when they made contact with the ice. You will remember the uncertainty of placing your feet firmly. You will recall the dampness of the fog and how it muffles reality around you. Strange shapes disguise the familiar.

On a lighter note....I have a new family companion. Meet Woody who is just seven months old. He has only been with us for a few weeks but it seems that he has been here forever.
Woody the Wonder Dog

Woody likes his walks and so do I. We pass houses where dogs sit on window ledges or on blankets covering the tops of settees and look out but never get a walk. Woody experienced snow for the first time this week. He couldn't understand why his paws were making holes in the snow so he stared into one for a long time before attacking it. Speed-boating around the garden forced snow up onto the tip of his nose and when he became cross-eyed he fell over. I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere.

Todmorden Park last Sunday

Todmorden Park

Last Sunday, before the snow, we visited Todmorden. Not only does it have a good flea-market and book stall, it also has a wonderful park and Woody loved it. Even in Winter it looks good.

All the recent walking, the extremes of weather then coming home to a warm house and frothy coffee have made my January a memorable month. My plans for the year ahead are now set. I've dusted off my laptop, opened a new notebook, made lists of all the ideas to come to me during the month and my new novel awaits completion. New ideas will take it into a new direction. I hope your January has been as eye-opening as mine.


  1. We've bad weather, but for the most part, I've taken advantage of all the wonders around me. I'm not on social media, so my days are not filled with white noise and nonsense.

    Woody is adorable. He looks like he might have some Jack Russell in him? We have a Jack Russell/Maltese mix named Shakespeare.

    Enjoy the rest of January!

  2. Yes, Woody is a Jack Russell but only a pup. Thank you for your comments.