Seasonality is at the core of my weekly Rosie Makes posts, and for a while I’ve been thinking about how I could make similarly themed lifestyle posts more of a regular feature. So seasons of Rosie was born: each month I’ll be sharing a Rosie take on the weeks ahead, with ideas for making the most of each time of year and embracing the joys of the season we’re in. January is a month of possibility, of plans, of… pressure. I’ve never really warmed to the “newness” part of new year; I quite liked the old year, thanks, and I don’t want to plunge headfirst into the new one quite yet – I want to hibernate, frankly. There’s something to be said for choosing January to recharge rather than rush (she says, publishing this post two weeks into January…), appreciating home and hearth and taking time to make the most of what we’ve got – rather than what we don’t. So without further ado, here’s a wee list of ways to make January less bleak, and that wee bit more Rosie.
1) Home and Hearth. I love to potter round the house, and no time more so than in winter. It can all look so bare when the decorations come down but I’m leaving out strategic fairy lights, copious candles (Winter by The White Company is my absolute favourite – seasonal without being overly festive) and stockpiling blankets. Cosiness, comfort and togetherness. Enjoying a new series or film – I thoroughly recommend the Brontë sisters’ story, To Walk Invisible, which is still on the iPlayer – is an extra treat when the weather is cold and miserable.
2) Cosy in the Kitchen. Leading on from my first point, on Winter weekends I could spend almost all day in the kitchen and lose all track of time. Although it doesn’t seem like much is in season in January there are some real gems, such as clementine (you can make my star anise, almond and clementine cake here, it’s so lovely to get messages from those of you who already have!) or blood orange – I’m going to make my blood orange and double chocolate rye muffins next. I managed to pick up some Seville oranges from my local greengrocer to make some marmalade this weekend too. There’s something about stirring a bubbling pot of jam that’s good for the soul, and it makes your whole house smell amazing too.
3) Get Outdoors. Frosty walks and cold, crisp days like today are my absolute favourite. It’s so tempting to succumb to the hibernation instinct at this time of year, but if you do, you’ll miss out on all those small seasonal changes that can bring so much joy. I love to take my camera and get snap happy on a walk – when it’s around, Scotland’s Winter light can be magical. There’s beauty in winter’s bareness, and frost makes everything look that bit more magical. Plus getting cosy at home after a freezing cold walk is somehow even better than staying in full stop. Just as well, because the cold snap has well and truly hit the country this week and I’m determined to get out there and enjoy Winter’s natural beauty.
4) Inside Out. Warm yourself from the inside out with delicious hot chocolate, steaming stews and spicy soups. There must be few things more satisfying than a flask of steaming tea on a freezing cold winter walk. Look after your inner world too; it’s tempting to succumb to the pressures of a new year but enjoy the peace and order of January while making plans in your own time and allowing your mind to mull over adventures and leave the ever-growing to do list to one side for a wee while. It can be nice at this time of year to mix up your everyday in small ways too – taking a new route to work can make you sit up and take notice of what’s around you, breaking you out of monotonous routines that can take over.
5) Winter Celebrations. It feels like the game’s up once Hogmanay’s over but thankfully the next lot of celebrations are around the corner. The feast of the Epiphany was just last week, and Burns’ Night falls at the end of the month. I love to make my own veggie haggis, and cranachan’s mix of raspberry, oats, cream, whisky and crowdie is delicious too. I shared my recipe for cranachan cake last year and look out for another twist on the Burns’ Night classic in an upcoming Rosie Makes too.
How do you embrace the seasons? What are you doing to brighten January?