The sky may be grey, even snowy, it’s cold, but January is a month of freshness, and new ideas. Here’s ten to look out for.
1: Snowdrops pushing up through the cold earth, a week or two away from busting open to reveal their delicate white flowers, bringing joy and inspiration and signalling mid-winter and a corner turned heading toward warmer days.
2: If you can get to a beach on a cold sunny day, take a walk and be uplifted by the emptiness and the cold, icy-looking surging sea. It’s good for the soul.
3: Wear any new clothes you received for Christmas and check older items to give to charity shops.
4: Try out a new recipe or two; maybe passed on from a friend or found in a new, gifted cookery book.
5: If you have a garden, plan new projects, or if you don’t, consider an indoor one, there’s plenty of ideas and advice out there. Also consider joining a friendly, community garden scheme where you’ll work with others on various schemes that bring beauty and tranquillity to your neighbourhood.
6: Search your freezer. You might find a few mince pies!
7: If you were given a new book for Christmas, start reading it.
8: Try making marmalade, there are plenty of recipes around, and, although time-consuming, it’s easy. Seville oranges, essential for good marmalade, are around in the supermarkets from late December until early February.
9: Watch a new movie or box set. There’s quite a few around this year.
10: Try a new exercise routine.
A happy new year to you all and thank you for reading this blog.
New book: I’m just finishing The parents I didn’t know, about a man who looks back at his life and discovers poignant and disturbing events about his past. If all goes to plan, it should be available toward the end of the year.
My recent publications
Otto and Frankie, my latest novel, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter.
Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit.
Life in four stories
Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.
All proceeds of this book go the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC), who help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19. Thank you to all who have bought it.