The first month of the year has always been a celebratory time in my family because of all the birthdays. Now there's just the one but I really don't mind these dark days at all and they give me the perfect excuse to switch on all the lamps and light all the candles. Shame it hasn't yet been cold enough (our central heating is seemingly dancing to its own tune so I'm mafted most of the time) to warrant the wearing of a new Nordic jumper.
The current book at bedtime had been on the reading list for quite some time.
Then I came across a selection of Christmas reads, which included a copy, at a ridiculous price. Some of the books I already have in different editions but five quid for eight festively 'wrapped' books? A bargain that just could not be passed by. You're welcome.
Like other parts of the country, the north east was treated to a fall of snow at the end of last week but it was fleeting and by Sunday there was just a hint of what had been. It seems such a long time since we've experienced a thick blanket of white. Yes, I appreciate it can cause all sorts of problems but, oh, you just can't beat waking up to a transformed landscape and that unmistakable crunch as you first step out onto that pristine layer.
There was a Terry's chocolate orange, superfluous to requirements when filling the Christmas stockings, lurking in the cupboard. So I selflessly made brownies for the other two here, using this recipe (I scattered big chunks of the chocolate orange across the top and gave them a dusting of sugar snow).
They were quickly mixed, out of the oven and into mouths in no time. As the munching progressed, I asked what they were like. 'Cake', was the helpful response.