It is definitely January. Outside, the sky is a dull grey and it can’t decide whether it wants to snow or rain, so it’s doing a little of both. It’s my last day off before work and I had great intentions of a purposeful day of doing, organising and sorting so I can start the new year in a productive and energised manner. Instead, I eventually hauled myself out of bed at getting on for midday, made myself a peppermint tea, wrapped myself in a cardigan and woolly socks, and got right back into bed.
Every year I think I’m prepared for the sheer dismalness of January and promise myself that I won’t let it affect me, But each time it rolls around the cold, skin, flatness of the month manages to hit me afresh.
But this year I’m determined to meet January head on and this time I have a plan - hobbies.
I don’t know if it’s my age but in the last couple of years I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of having lots of interests, and discovering new ones. When I was a teenager my mum despaired as I gave up one extra-curricular activity after another - at weekends all I wanted to do was find new and more interesting ways to drink and meet boys.
I’m still a fan of drink and boys, but now they have to fit around dance classes, writing groups, sewing lessons and yes, even knitting. I’ve toyed with the idea of taking up the piano again. But I gave that up for a very good reason - I was crap.
So I’m going to fill this month with activities and projects. I’m already signed up for more sewing lessons at the Folk House, on Park Street, which I suggest as an excellent place to start if you want to keep yourself so busy that you don’t even notice that Christmas has been and gone for another year.
Hobbies don’t have to be expensive. Find a local book group, or a supper club. Teach yourself to play the ukulele on Youtube, or ask someone you know to share a skill with you and offer to teach them one in return. By February you’ll be full of goodwill once again, and you’ll have a new talent to boot. Happy New Year.
To get you started with a few ideas, check out the Folk House website:www.bristolfolkhouse.co.uk