1st February.

Unlike most months, January always seems to pass slowly and, with the exception of this week (which was really no different from the rest) the month plodded on quite slowly, which I in no way objected to. Weather-wise it's been quite eventful: we've had snow storms, rain storms, subzero temperatures, mild days, grey days, and even some sun. The first day of the month began with clear skies, a little frost, and the deliciously cool feeling one associates with very early spring. This morning I woke up to snow: it's still all very changeable and will no doubt continue at least until May!

January was a quiet month: I did have that cold in the middle (it seems to be an annual tradition) but fortunately that's over and I'm planning some gardening projects (a herb garden) and some spring cleaning starting this weekend - my target is the utility room which is particularly nerve-wracking as we have a window that doesn't shut properly so spiders is a very real issue. And, today, I'm hoping to make some progress on The Lusiads by Luís Vaz de Camões, which I've started and so far love. January was a very good month for reading: I read a lot (and so far in February I've read very little, but it's only the morning of the third day!). I'm hoping this month will be the same, and my main goal is to finish Adam's TBR Challenge: I have Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck to blog about next week, the rest of The Lusiads, and then just one more (not including the alternates) - Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, which I'm very much looking forward to. After that I would particularly like to read Scarlet and Black by Stendhal (a re-read, and I'm hoping to do better the second time!), as well as The House of Ulloa by Pardo Bázan and Against Sainte-Beuve by Marcel Proust, both of which I've been meaning to read for ages.

As for the birds, they're all well I think, but I was a little concerned that Bess didn't run for her breakfast this morning and I'm hoping it's not the start of something. The rest of the hens, though, are all well - Meg looks amazing with her new feathers, Ruby has finally finished her moult (three months, that took her!), and Clover's even heavier than ever (Clover and Bessie actually weren't drastically thin when we first got them, and now after four months of having them, they are our heaviest hens!). The budgies are all well too, but I have decided to get another one: Snow is a perfect little bird but she has a lot of energy and wants to play all the time, and Bram and Pepys don't so she's often very frustrated. A young male budgie would be a good balance. We had four budgies for years and it worked perfectly, so it would be good to get back to that dynamic.

And, as it's been such a quiet month (how grateful I am for such an uneventful month!) I'll just finish now with some pictures!

Blue skies!

Pepys on the left, Snow in the centre, Bram on the right.

The chickens have now emerged from under the coop where they spent most of January.
Ruby's at the back, Meg left, and Bess in the centre.


A rare moment: Ruby consenting to have her picture taken...

... Before being quickly joined by her sisters (Meg on the back right, Bess back left, and Clover, the little blur at the front).

This morning's snow.

Last night's sunset.

Happy February, everyone!


  1. very nice pictures... so would those be the Cheviot Hills? the girls look healthy and happy!

    1. They're not the Cheviot Hills, no, not sure exactly where they are in relation to where I am but they're not that far off :) And the hens are looking good I must admit, and Bess seems more enthusiastic about food as the day has passed :D

  2. I love the picture and I agree, the girls are looking good!! All the best with the Spring Cleaning (I am still trying to motivate myself) and here's to a great reading month!

    1. Thank you! So far I've managed to tidy the utility room (it was vile - every time I moved something a spider came running out) and I've just finished sorting out books and cds. Problem is I've put them in a box on the landing and I can't lift the box. Got a feeling the bottom will give out, no doubt half-way down the stairs! :)

  3. It looks so peaceful where you live. Can we trade for awhile? ;-) My area is peaceful but so close to the city, you lose that peace very quickly. I've had no time for reading. I've been working for a bit, which has been good but of course cuts into any free time I might have. Still, if I organized my time better, I should be able to manage a little. I hope your February is just a peaceful as January!

    1. Thank you, same to you! And I hope you find a little reading time :)

      PS - I owe you an email - I've been terrible with correspondence of late :S


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