A Quieter Palette Now

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Quieter Palette Now

The colours of Christmas have gone. The house, so recently lavished with shades of scarlet and new penny copper, an iridescence not unlike song that enabled the rooms to lift up their voices like angels, now yields to a quieter palette.

Debussy and Satie have replaced Mozart and Handel.

Icy blues and greys are drifting down like snow.

The calm colours slowly fall and I feel their presence like a comforting hand on my shoulder.

I take deep breaths.

I sigh.

Despite the happy occurrence of my wedding anniversary at the end of the month, January has always tried to lure me into a melancholy mood. Over the years I have learned to outwit its blue intentions by treating the month as a holiday all its own, sweetly special in spite of itself, and to that end....

I fill the house with white flowers.

Hydrangeas, freesia, lily and rose.

My candles are scented with coffee and fir.

I indulge in pedicures and massages.

I see good movies and read good books.

I build roaring fires in the fireplace and curl up with Edward to re-watch Waking Ned Devine, The Secret of Roan Inish and Babette’s Feast.

From the watery depths of lime scented bubble baths I plan the vegetable garden and window boxes of Spring.

I read poetry.

I write.

In other words, I try, as a friend of mine declared as his resolution for the new year, to be “good to myself”.

I highly recommend the practice.

The icy blues and greys of January, though perhaps bleak colours to some, are now, to me, colours of serenity and repose which provide a restful background for a gathering in of myself - my thoughts, my plans, my wishes for the year. I now jealously crave this month and find that just like the hyacinth bulbs now asleep in the garden, I need the tranquil time it offers to be my best self throughout the rest of the year.


If perhaps you have found your spirits a bit sluggish since the departure of the holiday season, here are some colours of January to make you smile.

1. The Return of Downton Abbey

Sunday night!

I cannot wait!


2. Owl Cake

I’m making this cake this week for a little friend who’s a bit under the weather.

I think it will make him smile, don’t you?


3. Winter Yarn Wreath

And I’m making this to make myself smile.

I’m adding a wee bit of lavender to mine.

Read how to make it HERE.

4. Mohawk Hat

No you're right, I’d never wear this.

But you gotta love it.

Find it HERE.

5. Hugo

I highly recommend this magical movie.

The perfect antidote to a cynical world, Hugo is sublime.

And sublimely beautiful.

Especially in 3-D.

Also, The Descendants was wonderful.

And I’m counting the days till The Iron Lady!


6. London Shower Curtain.

I love the city of London in winter.

Even on a shower curtain.

Love this.

Find it HERE

7. Gretel’s Polar Bears

A lot of you know Gretel Parker, Cotswold toy-maker extraordinaire.

Everything she creates is magical, each creature seems imbued with a wee bit of seriousness that I just find irresistible.

Her polar bears are my favourite.

They remind me, of course, of Edward.

Visit her HERE.
And best wishes for your January!