Country life · Farm life · Norfolk · The months

January…

I’ve decided to start charting the months this year to really think about what makes each passing one unique.

Now, January is not necessarily everyone’s favourite month. Post, Christmas it’s often given flack for being gloomy, wet and never-ending!

But for me, I’ve stated to love the good bits and the optimism it offers. January brings:

  • Longer, lighter days
  • Greener, lusher land
  • Buds forming on trees and shrubs
  • Bulbs poking their heads through the earth

  • Bright sunsets (on the days when it isn’t raining!)
  • Seed catalogues (I love planning what to plant in the garden for the coming year)
  • Long dog walks on fresh, bright days (as long as you’re wrapped up warm – my new favourite piece of kit is a pair of waterproof trousers)
  • Hares reappearing on the farm

It’s not to say that parts of the month really make you wish for the long, warm days of summer – this January the farm has been inundated with rain, the water in the pond is the highest it’s been for a long while and the land is sodden.

There has been snow, storm-force winds, power cuts and as I write this, hail is hammering on the roof and the wind is whipping round the farm.

But, in January, I look forward to the new year with hope as the countryside starts to come back to life, wildlife reappears, everything starts getting greener and at the moment the sun doesn’t set until about 5pm.

As I’ve been thinking about the month, I’ve found out some interesting tit-bits about January:

  • January (in Latin, Ianuarius) is named after the Latin word for door (ianua), as January is the door to the year and an opening to new beginnings
  • The Romans called January after Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions. Janus had two heads so he could look in both directions, back at the old year and forward towards the new year.
  • The Anglo-Saxons named it Wulfmonath as it was the month hungry wolves came scavenging at people’s doors
  • The only Shakespeare plays that mention January are Much Ado About Nothing and Winter’s Tale
  • The first recorded reference to a “January sale” in the UK was in 1865
  • January’s birthstone is the garnet, which represents constancy
  • Its flower is the cottage pink
  • The zodiac signs for the month of January are Capricorn (until January 19) and Aquarius (January 20 onwards)

Let’s embrace January’s good bits!

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