Dear Sam,


Thank you so much for the sunshine and colour in your last post – it was just what I needed on a gloomy January day! Like you, I’ve been thinking about winter wellbeing and how to maximise health and happiness when the weather is cold and the days are short. 

I love citrussy scents, too, and as I type I can smell a lovely verbena, orange and lemon reed diffuser G gave me for Christmas.   While I was looking for somewhere for it to live, I realised that one of the things I enjoy about this time of year is using my gifts and finding new ways to brighten the house after the decorations have been taken down.  So, partly inspired like so many other people at the moment by the tidying guru Marie Kondo, I’ve been having a good old sort out.

Going shopping in your own home…

When the Christmas decorations have been packed away, pot plants can add a splash of colour in their place.

As well as the feelgood factor of the house looking tidier, an unexpected benefit of this is all the things I’ve rediscovered, so it’s been a bit like a shopping spree in my own home.  In no particular order, I’ve found:

  • a black jumper in the back of my wardrobe – just what I’ve been looking for in the sales
  • some cleanser and a new make up bag 
  • a set of slate coasters and a coffee grinder we’d forgotten about (perhaps I should tidy the kitchen more often?) 
  • Some candles, which I use in our fireplace at this time of year to make the evenings cosier
  • Several CDs I used to love which will brighten up February car journeys
  • A couple of pot plants that had been put out of the way while the house was decorated for Christmas which have kindly come back into flower
william morris bedroom
Useful and beautiful – William Morris’s designs

I realise that if I’d kept better track of our possessions I wouldn’t have needed to rediscover them, so I will try to maintain the new, tidier order around here. This year,  “Have what you use, use what you have” could be my version of William Morris’s famous instruction about owning only what is useful and beautiful.  At least I can try; perhaps you could check in the summer whether I’ve managed to follow my own advice?!

Much love,