January ~ a month in review

The Blog: The bra post was the most popular I’ve written and attracted many more responses that usual. I decided to use it as the basis of a letter to the Daily Mail and the day after I sent it I received an email from them asking for a photograph of me wearing the dress I’d bought for my daughter’s wedding. Two days after that, and much to my poor daughter’s mortification, there we were, heading up the letters section. Whilst I’m glad they took the issue seriously enough to print, I was less happy at the many changes they made to my text.  There may be more to say on this subject soon. Watch this space! 

The book: Getting there. My self imposed deadline of being ready to submit by 30th April is looming. 76,000 words written with around 5,000 to go.

The gym: Although in theory I attend three times a week, the reality is that it’s more often twice. I’m trying to improve. January = 9 visits. I’ve also attended two Mobility sessions (for core strengthening) but it’s not enough. Note to self –Must do better.

Slimming World: Having lost 4lb in the first weigh-in after New year’s Day, I aimed to lose a further pound a week in January.   Actual losses by weigh-in on 29th January totalled six pounds. Now aiming for a further 9lb by the last weigh-in in March (8 weeks).

Weather: Cold and damp, cold and rainy or cold and snowy. Apart from a few sunny interludes January, as is so often the case, has been pretty horrible.  I keep buying daffodils to remind me that spring is on the way.


Cramp update: When it’s bad, it’s very bad but fortunately hasn’t happened too often. Continuing with the four pronged attack – magnesium supplement, magnesium rich foods (e.g.bananas), Epsom salts baths (for the magnesium) and hot water bottles. There’s a heavy reliance here on magnesium so I really hope that is doing the trick!

New experience: Meeting the lovely Luca, my daughter’s rescue dog.  I’ll visit again soon. 

What I’ve been reading: Very little in fact. I’ve been concentrating on my writing, but I have just finished Robert Galbraith’s (JK Rowling) Career of Evil featuring private detective Cormoran Stike. Did you see the TV series Strike? I thought it excellent (as was the book). This book is the third in the series and she is promising at least six more. 

What I’ve been cooking: Decided to save this for  another day as there’s quite a lot to tell. 

What have been your January highlights? 



  1. Enjoyed reading your January review; sounds like you had a pretty good month. Congratulations on the weight loss. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated for the cramping.


  2. What was the highlight of January? Getting through it, ha ha. Only joking, but I can’t think of a particular highlight. I didn’t give up anything, I didn’t go in for a ‘dry’ January as we aren’t what you’d call ‘drinkers’ and I certainly had my fair share of flowers, books and magazines this month.
    Personally, it’s not in my nature to go in for any of these challenges, such as 52 books in a year. I read for pleasure and I would feel pressured into reading very quickly in order to read a book a week – and much would depend on the length of the book (Rosamunde Pilcher’s novel, Coming Home, is close on 800 words, the length of at least two normal-length novels) and how involved I was in the story or, if a factual book, the subject matter. But if you don’t read very much, this might spur you on to reading more – it’s certainly one of life’s pleasures and it can be almost cost-free if you borrow from a library.
    Highlight, I think, has been watching the nights drawing out, so that the street lamps don’t come on until 5.30 pm instead of around 4.20 pm on the shortest day (21st Dec). Spring is coming!
    Margaret P


    • I think that January often does feel like a month for ‘getting through’. My theory is that it feels extra long because once Christmas is over we forget that there is still a week of December left ans we sort of slip into January mode before it actually starts. I noticed just the other day that at 5pm it wasn’t dark. Not sure how that happened because in my head it was still getting dark just after 4. I used to easily read a book a week though I didn’t consciously aim to do so, but I don’t think it’s something I would want to set a target for.


  3. My January review:

    Books – I decided to do the 52 book challenge. To read 52 books in 2018. I’ve completed four so far and currently working on two others (one fiction, one non-fiction). Favourite in Janaury was The Girl Who Takes An Eye For An Eye.

    Given up – crisps. Another challenge, in 2018 I’m going to give something up for that particular month. January was crisps. February will be harder, chocolate bars.

    Cooking – I’ve been using Gousto & Hello Fresh boxes for the last few months. Wonderful and very much recommended. Some of my January meals were:
    * curried coconut, cauli, kale and quinoa.
    * Harrisa hummus, roasted veg & freekeh salad.
    * sticky sausage, apple & root veg bake.

    Weather – I’m definitely ready for spring now!


    • All sounds great. Time was when I read at least one book a week but back then I did very little writing. Work, home, grandchildren, writing , gym, friends and cooking leave not a lot of spare time. Giving up work is clearly the answer!


  4. Just come home from seeing Beautiful at Birmingham Hippodrome. Great show
    Really enjoyed it. High light of the week.


    • Glad you enjoyed it Wendy! Grandson was disappointed that I hadn’t got caterpillar cake like I did on his birthday!


  5. Looks like a good month.
    I read the first JKR Strike book but the next one seemed to get a bit more violent and I’m such a wimp I gave up on them!


  6. Cramps! How annoying. Someone who uses supplements told me adamantly that you have to allow three months for them to work, so here’s hoping. This January was mostly spent looking for a new home with a family member. It didn’t happen, but I had given notice for wee cottage. Rest of January was spent clearing out belongings to send to the hospice shop. A bit worrying, knowing that I may have no fixed abode soon. I mysteriously dropped 4 kilos (about 8 & 1/2 lbs), which I suspect have decided to return, with me having been all over the place with eating. I ventured into the international bloggosphere and made new friends.


    • Oh I hope you don’t end up homeless! A good clear out is very cathartic though, and the hospice will benefit. I wish I could drop 4 kilos without effort!


      • I had read a slimming world diet thing where you take out a third of your meal and replace it with “free” (?) vegetables. Sometimes I used fruit, as in porridge for breakfast. I don’t know if I got it right but that was it. Earlier to bed. And moved more.
        Then, chaos! House hunting so lots of driving, people wanting to catch up at mealtimes in cafes and restaurants. And sorting and throwing out, getting ready to pack. My meal plan went out the window.


      • It’s hard to focus on an eating plan of any kind when you have so much going on that needs immediate attention. We have a little (unofficial) mantra at Slimming World…..On plan when you can.

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