And That Was January Speeding By...

I'm feeling pretty guilty that it's the evening of Friday 31st January as I type and this little jumble of words is the first blog post of the year that I've managed to put together for me. A shockingly bad state of affairs I think you'll agree but I am a wicked woman and I promise to hang my head in shame, shame I tell you, for at least a few moments.

But, perhaps you'll allow me off of the naughty step when you've read this post because I think that this year has got off to a bit of a flying start. No coughing and spluttering on the drive like an old banger for 2014. Oh no, we've gone flat out, straight into the fast last (or "lane three Tamryn, the limit's the same everywhere" as my ex-cop Dad would no doubt tell me).

So, let's get on with the little review of my month. Ladies and Gentlemen, with the aid of words and pictures, I give you... January...

It rained. It rained a lot. This pleased my dog who liked to divide her time between launching herself into puddles and then huddling under my desk by the radiator drying out. Both of these things made me smile.

Thanks to the dog walking, I'm 10% through my 2014 goal of walking 1,250 miles this year. Go me.

We've booked a week in France for the Easter Holidays - bring on the Normandy Beaches, the food and the wine.

I stuck to my 'friends and family' time resolution. A football match on New Years Day (a last minute equaliser for Reading saved a depressive drive home), bowling, dinners out and after school trips here, there and everywhere. We crammed a lot in.

I have been tinkering with my camera and this shot got a mention in Emily Quinton's Floral Friday. Chuffed does not even begin to cover it.

I was invited to The Wedding Industry Awards and got to hang out with some of my favourite people (above from the left, Victoria Stanton from Fetcham Park, Emma Woodhouse aka The Wedding Reporter/Cloggins, the super talented Eddie Judd and the beautiful Laura Caudery from Fetcham Park.) 

I also treated myself to a night in London after the awards so got some me time wandering around and taking photos of some of the beautiful memorials that mean a lot to me. This one above is, for reasons I'll mention later in the post, very meaningful right now.

This is the powerful Bomber Command Memorial. I'm so pleased I got to see it and was very touched by the tiny poppy that someone had tucked into the back of the airman's boot which you can just make out in this photo.

My beautiful dog continues to be my shadow. She has been the perfect office assistant this month as I've had so much to do - she makes me take a break and I'm all the better for it.

Mr Apple, like the crazy fool he is, has signed up to The Jurassic Coast Marathon in March. I meanwhile, have booked The Hut to stay in whilst he labours up and down the coast path for three days. I think I've won here.

A lovely friend bought me a fabulous gluten-free cook book for Christmas and, miracle of miracles, the pastry recipe is a) easy and b) pretty flipping good. This pecan pie was nothing short of a revelation.

The lovely Eddie Judd (you've met her already in this post) blogged our family photo shoot. Cue more smiles.

Actually, it didn't rain all the time, even if it's felt like it. On a couple of mornings, it was worth getting up super early to at least catch the frost and blue skies before the clouds rolled on in.

Last January I didn't have this beautiful girl. This January, I can't imagine my life without her.

I have written in my 'One Line A Day' diary every day this month. Rain has featured frequently but so have lots of other good bits. I like to be fair.

This is what January should be like. I don't believe I ordered the rain however, I have got through January without a cold, blocked nose or sniffles. Result.

My gluten-free Jam Duffins (doughnut muffin hybrids, keep up) were rather splendid. I love baking and singing badly in the kitchen whilst I do so. Obviously, I save this activity until there's no-one home.

The view from my bedroom window was, on a few occasions this month, spectacular.

Mr Apple and I went to see comedian Miles Jupp at a little venue in Reading. He was great and we laughed a lot. Mr Apple is still repeating some of the lines now but he's not going to be on Mock The Week anytime soon.

I have read A LOT this month. Partly because I love reading and partly because I am loving my historical research at the moment. My subject - the women gun crews of WWII and if you don't know much about these amazing, wonderful, courageous, trailblazing women then you might like to buy an upcoming issue of Pretty Nostalgic where I'll be telling you all about them...

I have also bought my first Agatha Christie novel having developed a slightly worrying addiction to Miss Marple on TV. I have also bought myself Paper To Petal and can't wait for this to arrive either.

And among all this, work has been going pretty damn well too...