A January stock-take

One of the best things about blogging is connecting to others throughout this wonderful world of ours – peeping through blog windows into the lives of people I probably wouldn’t ever meet in ‘real life’. One of my favourite windows is The Shady Baker‘s, where Jane writes about and photographs her life in the Australian outback so beautifully and evocatively. This stock-take is borrowed from her latest post (thank you, Jane); she in turn got the idea from Pip (where you can also copy the list if you wish). Taking stock in this way helps to gather my slightly chaotic thoughts into a vague sense of order, which feels altogether the right thing to do in early January.

Making: marmalade this weekend. David is bringing two boxes of Seville oranges home this evening. Making marmalade (and eating it) is one of my favourite things to do.
Cooking: anything that is quick and easy without being too unhealthy (it’s toad-in-the-hole tonight).
Drinking: too much coffee.
Reading: the Persephone catalogue and deciding which books to buy with a Christmas gift voucher. Decisions, decisions.
Trawling: through cupboards and drawers for a lost camera charger. Does anyone else spend far too much time looking for ‘lost’ things?
Wanting: everything to be organised and in the right place.
Looking: for signs of spring.
Deciding: to be more disciplined in my daily routine (yeah, right).
Wishing: I had a magic wand.
Enjoying: bright, cold, early-morning dog walks with friends.
Waiting: for all the daffodils and tulips I planted to peep out of the soil.
Liking: these cold, sunny winter days.
Wondering: if we’ll have snow this year. It snowed the very first winter we were here, in the winter of 2012/13, but there’s been none since.
Loving: the light and the shadows that the winter sun throws.
Pondering: planting ideas for the front terraces of the garden. Fruit trees, grasses, roses…
Listening: to the birds. I heard a lapwing ‘pee-wit’ today – I haven’t heard that sound for years. Three of them flew up from a field and wheeled about in the sky. Pure joy.
Considering: what to do for David’s birthday in a few weeks’ time.
Buying: my daughter a new winter coat in the sales to wear over her school blazer. She currently goes off to school with a scarf…
Watching: the ever-changing clouds and sea.  
Hoping: my daughter will actually wear her new winter coat.
Marvelling: at the excuses my children come up with.
Cringing: at the amount of card and paper recycling we put out this week from Christmas packaging and wrapping.
Needing: to spend more time away from the computer screen. My eyes would benefit, as would my brain.
Questioning: everything and making a conscious effort not to take things at face value.
Smelling: my dog. She needs a bath.
Wearing: layers and layers. I try not to put the heating on during the day, so I end up with jumpers upon jumpers.
Noticing: the lengthening of the days. I’m closing the curtains later than I was before Christmas.
Knowing: that I am fortunate and have a good life (and I am grateful).
Thinking: about the website I’m working on. All the time. I wake up thinking about it and I go to sleep thinking about it.
Admiring: my mother-in-law. She’s in her mid-70s and she has more get-up-and-go than most people I know.
Getting: to grips with mothering teenagers. It’s a constant learning curve.
Disliking: the lazy journalism that seems to abound these days and misuse of terms like ‘liberal elite’ and ‘establishment’.
Opening: a new packet of biscuits more often than is advisable.
Closing: the door to the cold utility room to try to keep the kitchen warm.
Feeling: hungry. I blame the festive over-eating.
Hearing: crying gulls outside and my spluttering coffee machine.
Celebrating: a few January birthdays. It’s hard to muster great enthusiasm after Christmas but it has to be done.
Pretending: to be a competent woman.
Embracing: 2017.

I hope you have a good weekend.

15 thoughts on “A January stock-take

  1. Thanks for the great link to the The Shady Baker’s, Sam. As you say, in so many respects we live in extraordinarily wonderful times, at the start of a year, all the possibilities ahead of us are limitless, so as a result, the lists are endless. (My dogs would love to veto baths but as I’m tsar in our tinsy-winsy world they have no choice 😉.)


  2. A great list. Discipline and organisation wanted here too. I live in hope. Many layers here also, we keep the heating off in the day. And the quick but healthy recipes as well. It’s the January way. Hope you enjoy spending your book vouchers and that you have a good weekend Sam. CJ xx


  3. I always consider you a competent woman; it’s in your words. I liked the list idea, a pause for reflection. With you on teenagers, especially the coat part. Was overjoyed when L announced he wanted one a little before Christmas and now he wears it everywhere. Phew! Hoping you get the same result. Enjoy the marmalade, I’m going to make a marmalade and almond cake next weekend for a birthday xx


  4. Oh my, you have much more discipline than I do to go through such a taking-stock. I pretty much want to sweep away last year’s garbage and consider three things–just three–that I want to dig into with all my heart this year. I’m trying to keep it simple! Soldier on, Sam!


  5. Oh lovely Sam! Thank for for the kind link. It is a good way to gather our thoughts when things seem a bit jumbled isn’t it? The light in your photos is gorgeous as usual. I could almost agree and relate to all of your points! Except that it is 40 degrees Celsius here today so no jumpers, heating or winter coats x


  6. You did it 🙂 This is such a good way to start the year – a sort of count your blessings post instead of the doom laden magazine articles about dreary January. I must have lost days if not weeks of my life looking for lost items. Most annoying is when something has been put away just a few inches from its normal place and for some reason become invisible to me.
    I look forward to following you as you embrace 2017.


  7. Ah stocktaking, I should probably do that, too. I started on this same list but my mind goes blank. Teenagers are a strange lot. My oldest goes to school with just a jumper (we don’t have blazers at our school). He claims that his coat smells of wood fire and cannot be worn in public. Not even after a thorough wash and proof. No coats seems to be en vogue, come snow or rain. If you find that magic wand, could i please borrow it for a day or two? I’ll magic all those lost things out of their hiding places. Have a lovely weekend. xx


  8. What a great list to begin the year with. I might steal the idea and do a similar post on my blog. Thanks for the link to The Shady Baker. I’m off to check out her site. Happy New Year!


  9. That’s a great idea doing a stock take of your life. It made me smile as many of the comments are familiar to me too! The camera charger, the layers of clothes,the dog needing a bath and wanting to be more organised! Sarah x


  10. That’s a great list. One of the things I enjoy so much about blogging is seeing similarities and moments of “oh, me too!” in my blogging friends lives. Like you I am hungry much more than usual (definitely a result of over eating at Christmas!), drinking too much coffee, wearing layers to avoid switching on the heating (my poncho is brilliant for this) and looking for signs of spring. We had toad in the hole on Friday night, it was perfect for a rainy January evening. I have yet to make my marmalade though. xx


  11. A list like this is a good lesson in mindfulness, making us notice the smaller things as well as the bigger. Thanks for reminding me that marmalade oranges should be around now….


  12. Quite a few items on your list rang true with me, Sam. Lost cables now a thing of the past thanks to Lakeland’s handy mesh travel bags (good for keeping stuff together in the car as well – or is that just me?). Teenage coats, yep my son kept refusing to wear his but has now come to his senses – it only took seven years 😦 Getting organised! Wow, soooo many hours spent post christmas doing lots of sorting and moving around. It just feels so damn good when it’s done! And, finally, rearing teenagers? Keep the communication channels open, pick your battles and think like a fast food chef. Caro xx


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