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That January Feeling …

It is probably a good thing that I don’t do “New Year Resolutions”! If I did they would be along the lines of; draw every day, use the camera often, eat well, exercise more, update all my blogs and websites.  By now – 2 weeks into January I would have failed on every front.

January and I are not friends. At the start of every new year I turn into an apathetic blob and can hardly drag myself about the place. All my good intentions vanish into a blue funk.

The last few days however, despite the freezing nightime temperatures, (which to my mind are right and proper for January) we have had some golden days. Yesterday, Dobby, P. and Snowdrop dragged me out for walk along the “prom” in the glorious sunshine.

At the start of January we had gale-force winds that crumped the polytunnel and wiggled the fences but I didn’t realize how much sand the winds and the water had moved.

Long shadows in the January sunshine

No – we are not walking on the beach, but alongside the road to the harbour in Barmouth – which has been closed because of the amount of sand that the elements have dumped on it.

Despite the wind – the garden has held up pretty well. I find it hard to get my head around the amount of things in flower after the mild start to the winter currently I have everything from snowdrops and hellebores to pelargoniums and salvias flowering at the same time. I have to wonder how the rest of the flowering year is going to pan out!

Since I started this blog I have had 10,784 spam comments.  While Akismet is brilliant at stopping these spam comments from ever reaching a published page, I do have to glace through them just to make sure that a “real” person has not slipped through the net. There have only been 15 that have slipped though the net since October 2008 – for some reason a couple of years ago my spam prevention decided that Easygardener was a spammer and had a period of a few months where I had to retrieve all her comments. But wading through a pile of Spam comments “just in case” every evening is not my idea of fun so I have added a Maths question to the bottom of the comment form. I am sorry for the inconvenience that this might cause you – and I do hope that it will not stop you from leaving comments …. I also wonder if it works! Please let me know if you have any problems.

It was on this day 4 years ago that I started a “Garden blog” in January 2008. I moved to my current home here in October 2008. I would like to thank you for the 6.5 thousand comments that you have shared over the past 4 years and well over a hundred thousand pages views … You rock!


50 comments to That January Feeling …

  • I am struggling with that January feeling but mainly at work as opposed to at home.

    Glad you had a nice walk – now off to do my maths question hope it isnt too hard

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Yes those January blues can be a bit of a downer – but only a couple more weeks and the days will noticeably lengthen and all will be well!

  • I too spent yesterday walking in the sunshine – we climbed up onto the Dorset coastal path with ravishing views. It does the soul good at this time of year (pelargoniums or no pelargoniums :D)

    I too slide into a sludge of despond in January. How can it possibly be so difficult to get up and out when I’m usually raring to go. Roll on February. And March. And April…

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      That is the bit I dont understand – How CAN it be so difficult to get up and go?
      Dorset costal path is indeed wonderful.
      (Dug my pelargoniums up to-day!)

  • Strugglingtoo . Jan/Feb not good . Arum metallica marmoratum been in ‘full flood’ from October ! .

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Welcome Rex and thanks for leaving a comment – not long now until March and we will all feel better

  • This cold crisp weather has been great for walking in – the winter sun is very welcome.

    Congratulations on your first four years.

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Thank you Alison – it seems like no time at all. We had another crisp and sunny day here to-day, there is something very special about the sun at this time of year

  • p

    Well that’s the adding up done, and I have been for another walk. Just been looking at all the snowdrops, are they early?

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Glad you have finished your adding up – I still have a bit to go :(
      Yes, your snowdrops are about 10 days early

  • Oh, yes, I know that January feeling! I’m a potter, working in my home studio, and if it weren’t for getting ready for the coming season, I think I’d stock up on sappy novels and tea and hibernate! I’m in Canada, Ontario in fact, and we have snow. Now, I like snow, but it makes it hard for my dog to go for a walk in the woods – the snow is deeper than his legs. So how to get any exercise….not that I have that much energy for it anyway, but I try.

    Cheer up, everbody, Spring will be here before we know it!

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Elizabeth, thanks for visiting and taking time to leave a comment much appreciated. One of my sons gave me a kindle for christmas – and I have to say that curling up with it + copious mugs of tea sounds very tempting …. Although here in Wales we don’t have snow! (yet)

  • I must say, I usually get the ‘January Blues’ but I think I’m so excited about the months to come this year (first in the new house with garden) that it is some how passing me by. I’m even enjoying the cold weather but only want it for 2 weeks max – if that can be arranged!!
    We used to drive to Barmouth regularly when we lived further away from it! Haven’t been since we moved, must try harder. Now, where is that calculator…

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      I cannot remember whereabouts you live in Wales … if you come this way … drop in for a cup of tea! :)
      So exciting to have a new garden it will be interesting so see what comes up for you this Spring

      • Kare. I’m a little late responding, I know!! We live near Oswestry and will definitely pop in for cup of tea when we finally get to Barmouth, thank you :-)

  • January can be so tiresome though I have to say that this year, what with plenty of sunshine and crisp blue skies, I’m rather enjoying it. Is that heresy? Probably. I’ve only been blogging for a little under a year but have only had, what? 2 or 3 spam comments. What’s wrong with me? I feel left out.


    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      David – please don’t get anxious about your lack of spam! 😉
      I suspect that because I have a self hosted website – I only get a few on my (old) wordpress and blogger sites.
      I feel better now that we have had a few bright crisp days

  • Happy fourth blogaversary! Spambots can’t count??

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Thank you.
      Apparently spam bots cannot count – spam can be counted on the fingers of one hand since I installed the Maths question plugin. Result

  • Dobby

    And a lovely walk it was too. Just as well there was sand on the road as the tide was high and we wouldn’t have got to walk on it (sand) otherwise! January has been exciting as I have started a new job, but am not normally a fan.
    Happy 4th blogaversary and many more.
    Thanks for the simple question. I don’t need to go and find my calculator!

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      It was a good walk – well perhaps stroll is a better description, it will take me a while before I can tackle the mountains again (And I might need walking sticks)

  • As a January babe I have to stick up for this much maligned month, though it could be more considerate and not send forth gale force winds that damage polytunnels etc. Many congratulations on four years of blogging Karen :) xxx . Was slightly apprehensive at the thought of having to answer a mathematical question but think that I can cope ….. so far.

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Sadly Anna, I never used to be bothered by January or February – but it seems to be getting harder with each passing year :( Glad you are sticking up for January though.

      I opted for the Maths as opposed to the reCAPTCHA – which I always find very hard to decipher – Glad the question didn’t thwart your comment!

  • No that this is v annoying, but I love this time of year. So much you can do and prepare for and things beginning to move and all.
    Finding the sum frightening. Supposing I were non numeric, which I am not?
    Have urge to put 2002 and see wot happens

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Did you put 2002?
      Did it politely tell you that you might like to try again?

      I think it is the fact that there IS so much to do that I find overwhelming …. so much to do and it’s only January! :)
      Thanks for visiting

  • Hey, great shadows in the sand!
    Congratulations on four years blogging. Maybe that should be the math question – how many years blogging? You would know if people are actually reading or just looking at photos!
    Mississippi, USA

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Lea – thanks for taking time to leave a comment and so glad you liked the image.
      In case anyone is wondering I am the well padded one second from the left 😉

  • I’m not a January person at all. I tend to come alive about April/ May.
    Whisper it ..I haven’t had any spam …yet!

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Excellent – glad that I am not the only “non January” person and doubly excellent that you have not received any spam (see my reply to David above)

      Mind you I also think that once those spam bots get hold of a web address they just pass it around :(

  • I’m refusing to give in to Januaryitis. I turn my back on it and sneer in its general direction. Because my crocuses are up and fab…

    (I get spam, but not quite that much. A maths question????)

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Kate – I love your sneering at January … I shall practise it immediately
      Yup Maths question – because usually I have enough fingers to deal with them on other blogs, or failing that a handy on screen calculator

  • In my teenage years I used to prefer the Winter months. This was in part because I lived in a town that attracted foreign students for the summer months… and the foreign students – blonde Swedish, chic Italians, sultry French – attracted my winter boyfriends. Every summer I got dumped for girls from more exotic climes. The winter warmth of a cosy pub had its compensations, I didn’t have to compete in a bikini.

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Arabella I love your comment – it has conjured up all sorts of wonderful images of a teenage Miss Sock!
      Thanks for taking time to leave a comment

  • wow, you have things in bloom…our garden is under a lot of snow now…I find January a blah month, too..:-) robbie p.s. when said math, I was worried it would be a college math question–phew…I’m good:-)

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Robbie Hi and thanks for visiting – and yes, our climate is slightly more temperate than yours! 😉
      Glad you could tackle the Math question OK

  • Happy blogaversary, Karen!
    I’m glad you’ve had some sunshine to help with your January blues. I like this time of year better than summer, but I know a lot of gardeners find it difficult.
    I’ve not had many spam comments but I do seem to be getting quite a bit of referer spam in my stats for traffic sources, which is irritating as it skews the figures, but at least it can be ignored.

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Juliet, thank you.

      Yes a few days of sunshine has lifted my spirits. As I mentioned above I think spam is a bigger problem on self hosted blogs although the spam catchers are very good and it is really just an irritation. Only a few since I installed it. In my minds eye there is a gaggle of spambots sitting in cyberspace working out how to crack it and overwhelm me again! :)

  • Hi Karen,I know what you mean about January, but these last glorious sunny days have been very cheering- even if nicer from inside looking out!

    • Karen - An Artist's Garden

      Hi Linda – actually I have done a fair bit of pottering these last few days, yes I know I should be in the studio, but I am sure it will get grey and rainy again before the end of the month! 😉

  • I am entirely with you about January although these last few bright days have been lovely. I think it might be the greyness which normally gets me down. I think I need a plan, a plan for some garden visiting in the summer perhaps…

  • I’m quite enjoying this particular January. No snow – which is a bonus. Not much frost here in London either, though the last few days have been sunny and crisp. Christmas was a bit hectic, so it’s nice to get back to normal – and to blogging!

  • Glad you found me among the Spam :-)I occasionally glance at mine but it is so depressing I usually give up after the second page.
    I don’t perk up util March and that is probably because of my birthday (the presents not getting older).
    I still miss a proper cold snowy winter with blue skies. Purifying somehow – which is more than can be said for damp gloom even though the plants prefer it.

  • Congratulations on your 4 years of blogging, that makes me just a beginner! Have sometimes found people in my spam box who I have had to retrieve, therefore check it every few days. Glad you had a lovely day for walk, reminds me of when I lived in the NW near Southport on the coast and all the sand would be blown inland – happy days!

  • Congratulations! It’s always a treat to to pop over here and see what you and the garden have been doing! We’ve had strange weather, no snow, lots of wind and rain. I think February is going to be a kick in the pants! I see that the math problem is an easy one! Love it. xogail

  • Karen I hope you are starting to feel a bit better, reading this post today is timely as yesterday I went for a walk to the little cove near me and was shocked at how far the gales had blown sand and debris on to the croft land, areas usually green with grass were well sand coloured,
    sorry you have had so much spam and yes I sometimes find people sent to spam that have previously had comments ok by akismet, Frances

  • January isn’t my favourite month either but not much longer now. The nights are getting lighter and people are appearing at the allotment again, emerging from their hibernation. I can feel the sense of anticipation building as my seed orders arrive. I’m just bracing myself for the frantic months of March to June. Going through the spam is certainly an eye opener. I, too occasionally get a real one slip through, the rest well there is only one place for them. It’s a shame everything has to have a down side.

  • Gaz

    Wow four years! Well done at sticking with it for so long.

    Its great to have some sunshine at this time of year, makes the cooler days much more pleasant!

  • I have no idea where Barmouth is but oh that sand. Shadow photograph made me laugh and think. Great blog post.

  • Thank you for a great blog post! Love the shadows in the sand. I have fond memories of Barmouth as a child visiting my grandparents. It’s been cold here in Essex today but lovely sunshine and the dog has extra long walks on Saturday and Sunday’s whatever the weather, he seems to know its the weekend, I don’t know how! Once again thanks I have loved reading your blog!