First month of the year, done. How was yours?

Mine has been quiet. I mean, life has been happening. Dog walking, child wrangling, Netflix watching life. But nothing momentous. So much so that I nearly didn’t write this post. But I enjoy writing them and they are fun to look back on so…here goes. My January looked a bit like this:

The January Recharge

I posted earlier in the month about taking January not as a month of resolutions but as a month of recharge. And it has gone really well. I’m no health guru but I have managed to drink a bit more water and a bit less coffee. I’ve been eating more plant based meals and embraced the gut friendly qualities of kefir and kombucha. FYI, I’m loving that I can now buy Kombucha in good old Aldi. When I first started drinking it years back, you had to hunt it out in obscure health shops.

Watching Netflix

As always!

Kicked off the month with a cosy, low key spooky movie in the form of The Scary House. This Austrian production centres around sixteen year old Hendrik and his struggle to find his feet after making the move from the big city to a rural home with a dark secret. It’s tense enough to keep you guessing, but warm enough not to be at all disturbing. If you ever had a bit of love for Goosebumps or Point Horror, you’ll love this one.

Promotion image of Netflix Series Archive 81 featuring male and female lead on a red background

Oh and being set in rural Austria, you can also expect a side order of beautiful scenery, pretty Austrian villages and traditional dress. Gorgeous!

Changing the pace from low key spooky to genuinely chilling, Archive 81. This one did actually spook me out a bit. It’s very hard to describe without spoilers but it’s a found footage mystery that will have you confused and intrigued in equal measure. The plot gets to you, you’ll be suspecting everyone and trusting no one. The clever, tightly knit story line has you questioning what is real and who is losing their grip on reality. And the final scenes inspire shouting at the screen. It’s a brilliant series and if you watch it, or already have, please do let me know what you thought in the comments.

Side order with Archive 81 is main character Melody’s cracking 1990’s, New York wardrobe. Boot cut jeans and a hobo bag. Had me wanting to go back to dressing like 90’s me. Although, slightly depressingly, 90’s is now classed as ‘vintage’.

Went to Ikea

For the first time in ages. Anyone else love an Ikea trip? Poor Mr THL had a weeks leave before he goes off army-ing overseas and what’s my idea of a hot date? A trip to the Swedish superstore. Whilst there, I found this lovely little display involving Her Majesty the Queen, which was very pretty if not particularly Swedish. Also, tell me if I’m being picky. Is that picture a bit unflattering?

But let me tell you why I’m including such a mundane thing in this post; because it was the first time we’ve been there in ages that it felt like the old times. Pre covid. Pretty normal, just masked up. We went to the cafe for coffee and meatballs. We meandered round picking up things we didn’t need. We marvelled at the tiny, recreated rooms. I read out the name of everything in what I imagine to be a Swedish accent because if you do that it practically feels like you can speak Swedish. Or some other Scandi language. Honestly, try it.

On a serious note, it felt right and hopeful and like 2022 could be the year we put Covid in it’s place. Lets hope so, hey?

First of the Spring Blooms

I’ve spotted Daffodils popping up here and there and my favourite local churchyard is sprinkled with the prettiest little clusters of Snow Drops. It’s such a lift to the spirits to see them. I think Mother Nature got it exactly right timing these blooms to come when we all need a little reminder that the days are getting longer and the the seasons will turn. Spring is incoming.

Snow Drops always give me a lift. These tiny, delicate, pure little flowers can bloom out of Winter hard ground, in chilly conditions when day light is still late to show up and early to leave. There is a lot of hope in that, isn’t there? And that’s a nice note to end on.

Helen x

11 thoughts

  1. Cheering post for February, thank you! My daffodils are being a bit shy so far and hiding from me, only tiny tufts of leaves appearing so far but today on my walk along the back streets of my town – because the main streets are all closed for 2 months because they are installing Fibre cables which none of us are sure we need – I saw a gorgeous white camellia shrub in full bloom. It looked so unusual and I fear for it. If we have a cold snap of only a day or two it will go brown.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Mari! Hopefully Spring will chase off Winter sooner rather than later and the blooms can get on with blooming!

      How annoying having the place dug up in the name if progress youโ€™re not even sure you need, hope they work quickly and leave the place as it was.

      1. Forgot to add that I’m another IKEA fan. Fortunately we don’t have one near us so it means a journey to get there but once there, it’s a whole day browsing. My biggest buys are always their sauces and the salmon which is imported from Sweden – yes, it does taste better – plus Ginger Thins and Almond Thins.

  2. Yet another cheery monthly round up to enjoy from you Helen. I also like an occasional trip to IKEA and as with everyone else I always return home with unnecessary things that I fall in love with but which I didn’t set off to buy! Snowdrops are a welcome sight too as is the lengthening day. I don’t mind the cold if I’m wrapped up snugly in my duvet coat but the biting north wind of the last few days has been a different matter. Enjoy February. Marion x

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I did watch a T.v show once about the psychology behind how Ikea is laid out and marketed and the bottom line is that itโ€™s absolutely not our fault if we come out laden with things we never knew we needed. Itโ€™s designed to get you!

      I think the North of England has had it quite bad storm and weather wise, certainly worse than Wiltshire. Stay safe and warm and have a lovely February, Marion ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. A lovely Round Up. You watch such interesting stuff on Netflix! I am terrible at watching anything remotely scary, though I mostly kind of enjoy them when I do. Haven’t been to IKEA in absolutely ages. Glad you enjoyed your trip! Have had little success in trying to involve friends or even OH in going Champing, much to my consternation. Especially as there is a Champing church quite local. I will keep on pestering!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thatโ€™s a lovely comment, thank you so much! Took me a little while to convince the Mr about champing but itโ€™s worth it. Keep nagging ๐Ÿ˜†

  4. I do miss snowdrops and croci, but you can’t have everything. The almond blossom is fabulous here this year. January was a little slow, but there it is…gone! A new month tomorrow and lots of visitors.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Everywhere has its pretty blooms, I do love a good blossom even though the blossom season is so fleeting… probably because itโ€™s so fleeting! Enjoy the month ahead, i feel like itโ€™s going to be a good one ๐Ÿ˜Š

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