…for me, the optimism and hopes for the year ahead mean the 1st of January is a day of promise, excitement, cleanliness. I suddenly rush to take down the decorations, discard left over chocolates, clear the larder, start again. There is something very sad about a Christmas tree after Boxing Day.
I want clean, sharp, sour flavours to waken my dull senses and keep me uplifted through the coldest depths of winter, safely delivering me to the warmth and hope of spring. New Year’s Eve supper paid homage to this – fresh, vibrant, fragrant curries followed by a sharp, lime-spiked fruit salad of clementines, lychees, cherries and pomegranates.
Today is the day we sort out the farm, we will have a big bonfire and start as we mean to go on. Windows will be flung open to let in the cold clean air. Mattresses turned, surfaces scrubbed – a chance to banish wintery coughs and colds and put a pan of nourishing noodle broth on the stove full of ginger and chilli and lime. I want my tastebuds to smart and sing. I also want vegetables – no meat this month, not just for me but for my man too – a time to detox.
I also crave long, cold walks, breathing in the cool air, spying milk-green shoots pushing their tips through the soil. We will have to wait patiently for a few more weeks before the glorious carpets of snowdrops and woodland bluebells appear alongside pockets of early crocuses nestled under trees in forgotten tangled woods.
This year I will paint more, sketch more, walk more, be happier, be calmer, be a better mother, be a better wife…well… I will try.
After an extraordinarily early morning wake up call from my little boy I am raring to go. But like all New Year’s resolutions, there is always a moment of hesitation, the merest whiff of defeatism before one has even begun, the beckoning calm of the old before the storm of the new – I might just tiptoe back to my warm bed for a while – just until the sun rises on my newest of days.