Tag Archives: january

Birdies in the back yard.

This weekend was the Big Garden Birdwatch in the UK and because my little back yard has been quite busy with bird visitors recently, I decided to join in. Apparently the Big Garden Birdwatch, organized by the rspb is the world’s largest wildlife survey! From previous years results the data collected has shown which birdlife is thriving and which breeds are not doing so well. Once common garden visitors such as the starling are now on the decline, though numbers of the tiny wren are happilly……on the up. Through January both of these birdie breeds have frequented my yard. Of course when you only have one hour to record the species that visit, its pot luck which , if any , will turn up. 😉

Female sparrow.

The survey was short and sweet…..and quite relaxing too. The idea being that you took one hour out of your time on Friday, Saturday or Sunday to sit and watch which birds appear. I chose an hour on Friday morning, settling down with a brew, cereal bar and my Big Garden Birdwatch Pack.

For what seemed like ages, I sat there wondering if anyone would arrive. 😐 But then luckilly a sparrow and a dunnock turned up. Dunnocks are shy brown and grey birds that mostly forage on the ground ,as they like to nibble what has dropped from the feeders.

Male Blackbird.

My next visitor was a male blackbird. He and his mate are frequently seen feeding on the fat balls, swinging on the feeder. I was pleased to see him.

Bluetit.

The true acrobats at the feeders are the pretty bluetits with their yellow fronts and black eye stripes. Usually I see quite a few enjoying the half coconut shells , but during the hour, only one graced the yard with its presence.

Snowdrops. 🙂

So there you go, I recorded 4 bird species in the hour. Not as good as I hoped, but it was still interesting and I hope my filled in survey helps the RSPB.

Did you take part this year?

What wildlife visits you?

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Hygge and enjoying the Winter months. 

This is a re blogg of a post from last year. If you are feeling a bit meh about January, here are a few ideas to fill winter with fun.

sunshine and celandines

The tree is down and the decorations have been put away. Yet the happy times don’t have to end. Winter is so often dark and cold but maybe we should embrace our longest season. Maybe we should do as the Danish do and bring on the Hygge!!  Hygge ( pronounced hoogah) is a Danish word that describes a feeling of cosiness and joy. It embodies the pleasures we take in simple things such as enjoying a mug of hot tea whilst the rain beats at the window, reading a favourite book by candlelight, getting together with friends in a cosy pub or snuggling on the sofa with a pile of blankets and cushions and a good film. It seems that people in Denmark cannot wait for Winter to arrive and their contentment with this time of year surely contributes to their nation being ‘the happiest’ in Europe. 🙂

Snuggly Socks…

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Snowdrops and Tabby Cats in Clapham.

On the way  home from a recent weekend away in the Lake District we decided to stop for lunch in the pretty village of Clapham. This lovely Yorkshire village deserves a whole day out to appreciate it’s babbling beck, it’s little stone bridges and it’s wonderful walks and nature trails. We will return!  For now, here are a few snaps I took on a brisk walk round. 🙂

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A  Cafe, sadly not open on a chilly afternoon in January.
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Clapham Beck.
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Market Cross.
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Got warmed up in the Local Pub. 🙂
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Village Shop.
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Always happy to see Snowdrops. 🙂
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Let Me In That Brook!
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Fancy a seat.
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Hedge Dwellers.
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Where to next….
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St James Church.
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A Vintage Shop. 🙂
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Treasures !
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I went into the shop and was greeted by….
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Miss Stella. She sold me a dvd of the film ‘Rebecca’.  🙂
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The Millennium Stone in the Car Park.

Thanks for stopping by. More posts about my Lake District trip coming soon. X

Hygge and enjoying the Winter months. 

The tree is down and the decorations have been put away. Yet the happy times don’t have to end. Winter is so often dark and cold but maybe we should embrace our longest season. Maybe we should do as the Danish do and bring on the Hygge!!  Hygge ( pronounced hoogah) is a Danish word that describes a feeling of cosiness and joy. It embodies the pleasures we take in simple things such as enjoying a mug of hot tea whilst the rain beats at the window, reading a favourite book by candlelight, getting together with friends in a cosy pub or snuggling on the sofa with a pile of blankets and cushions and a good film. It seems that people in Denmark cannot wait for Winter to arrive and their contentment with this time of year surely contributes to their nation being ‘the happiest’ in Europe. 🙂

 

Snuggly Socks. Image via Pinterest.

With this in mind I have consulted ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wiking of The Happiness Institute in Copenhagen ( yes there is such a place! ) and written a list of ideas to help us get through the rest of January and February. No two months need the concept of Hygge more, I feel.:)
Indoors. 

Light candles. The home always feels so much cosier by candlelight.

Feel toasty. Snuggly socks, slipper boots, cozy cushions & throws all add to that super cozy feeling.

Hot drinks. Your favourite coffee, tea or hot chocolate in a lovely new mug. Why not try an unusual  tea , add a flavoured syrup to your coffee or some ginger to hot chocolate.

Bring Nature Indoors. Treat yourself to a few plants or flowers. Or when your out and about look for fir cones, greenery, berries etc and arange them inside.

Take up a creative hobby. I’m always saying I will learn to crochet! Or how about rag rugging, knitting or cross stitch.

Bring out the boardgames. Invite friends or family round for boardgame fun. Remember Scrabble, Monopoly, Connect 4, Kerplunk?

A good book. Hunt out your library card and take out some stories by  your fave authors to read over Winter.

Old Movies. Oldies are the best I think. Some of my faves include Rebecca, The Ghost & Mrs Muir, To Catch A Thief and Roman Holiday. Snuggle down with some of your fave films.

Slow Cook. Make Winter warming stews and fill the home with amazing aromas. Oh and invite  friends round for a hearty supper. They can always bring pudding. 😉
Discover a New Box set. There are so many! Currently binge watching The Killing on Netflix and just caught up with The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Any recommendations?

Dig out old photos. Or print out some of your favourites  and put in a photo album to enjoy flipping through on a cold Janury evening.

 

Snuggle down in your own Hyggekrog. Image via Pinterest.

Create a Hyggekrog. This is cozy nook in the home where you can snuggle  in a blanket with a good book and a brew.

Build a Hygge Emergency kit. For those times you just want to curl up with all favourite things. Add candles, a book you love, notebook & pen, chocolate, your fave film, some snuggly socks, pjs, a face mask, a pretty teacup and your tea of choice. Or whatever makes you  happy. 🙂

Daylights at a premium in January and February so  I will try and make the most of it. 🙂 Here are  a few ideas.

Out & About.

Blustery Beach Walk.  The UK is full of almost deserted beaches in the Winter , so why not wrap up warm and blow those cobwebs away with an invigorating walk along the coast. Look out for wintering water birds and big skies.

Hire a Beach Hut for the day. Why not rent a base for your day out at the seaside. Be sure to take essentials such as warm blankets, hot water bottles, flasks of hot chocolate and your fave board games. Heres a Beach Hut day rental site in St Annes.


Hunt out Street Art. Fill a flask with your favourite hot beverage and explore your neighbourhood on foot.

Find a Cozy Cafe. There’s nothing more comforting than finding a cozy cafe to relax in when the weather is miserable outside. You can even get that Hygge feeling in one of the many Scandinavian cafes that are popping up around Britain such as Baltzersens in Harrogate and Nordic Bakery in London.
 

 

Snowdrops. Image via Pinterest.

Snowdrop Walks.  January & February bring out carpets of snowdrops. A sure sign that Spring is tentatively on its way. The National Trust has information on Snowdrop walks near you. 🙂


Book A Weekend Away. The great thing about booking a few days away out of season is the price! Look for somewhere with a wood burning stove or open fire for that extra Hygge feeling. I used Sally’s Cottages to find a cozy cottage for a weekend in January.

Borrow a Dog.  If you don’t have a four legged friend, borrow a pooch from a friend or family member and take them out for a long country walk. Fresh air is honestly one of the best cures for the Winter Blues and your new companion will be very appreciative.There’s even a website Borrowmydoggy.com that you can sign up to.

Spa days. Look out for pamper package offers at local spas and treat yourself.

Ice skating. Find your inner child and get out onto the Ice. Some outdoor rinks are open throughout January, like this one www.canarywharf.co.uk

January & February Celebrations. Take note of winter celebrations such as Burn’s Night at the end of January, Chinese New Year, Shrove Tuesday or ‘Pancake Day’ , Candlemas/Imbolc and Valentine’s Day. Or make that Galentine’s Day to celebrate the girl pals in your life!


 

The Little Book of Hygge.

Hope this post gives you a few ideas of how to combat those Winter Blues. Oh and if it does actually snow, make sure you dig out that sledge!! 🙂

 

 

Snow Day.

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It’s amazing what a difference a day makes  We went up to Keswick in Cumbria yesterday and there was  a covering of snow in the mountains. The snow followed us home and this morning I woke up to a world….that looks like this!

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I thought I would share a few photos of our usual walk with Hugo before the white stuff melts. It’s been three years since we last had any snow!

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Yep new wellies. Again!  I do not have any luck whatsoever with posh wellies. By posh I mean anything other than my trusty green dunlops. Hunters,Joules and Brakeburns all split within the last twelve months. And silly moo that I am, I mislaid each pairs receipt. This time though, my new red Barber’s ( a sale bargain) receipt is pinned to the notice board. I’m hoping I will have better luck with these…..

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I saw a few birds feeding near the Campsite. Some kind soul always puts food out there. I was trying to take a picture of a beautiful Bullfinch who was enjoying his breakfast…but he was to quick for me.

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January looks so much better in the snow!

Have you got out and about in the snow this year?