As far as months go, January does not score particularly highly with me. There are some good things about it, like the feeling of a fresh new year when good things can happen. And it is my sister’s birthday month so that is a happy thing. But the weather, the darkness and the depleted post-Christmas wallet…not so good.

To help get through this least favourite month I have worked out a few things that I find make it a bit easier. My first tip is to schedule house projects for January. It is such a boring time and you don’t want go out anyway – getting things done around the house turns that hibernation period into something positive. It is a nice feeling to start the year by getting jobs done that you have been thinking about for ages. Our project for this year is to sort out our bedroom, finally turning it into a grown up comfortable room instead of just somewhere we sleep. We are well underway and it is coming along nicely – will show more of that another day.

The second tip is to book in dates with good friends. December is always so busy socially with Christmas parties and work events that it is hard to get to see anyone, so the last few years I have planned get togethers in January instead. Yesterday I cooked lunch for a few dear friends, poured some bubbles and talked until well after dark. Can’t think of a nicer way to spend a dreary Saturday. And – a perfect time to make a bit of an effort with the table and flowers to cheer everyone up. I went a bit wild and bought a bucketful of daffodils. Anything en masse is gorgeous and daffs are so affordable you can really go to town. I love them in tight bunches like this, they really brighten up the whole room and smell quite beautiful too. Looked like spring inside even though it was grey and drizzly outside.

They next day, enjoying the flowers from the table setting and thinking of the conversations that were had, feeling grateful.

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