I know that in reality it’s the shortest month – even this year when it has an extra day. It does go on and on and on though? I’ve never found the lead up to Christmas and New Year to be particularly depressing despite the shortest days of the year and the unremitting greyness of the weather. After New Year there’s the slight and false thoughts of new beginnings and renewed idealism – and daffodils for sale in the supermarkets. This doesn’t last for long though. By the time February arrives, even the daffodils can’t make up for the fact that it’s still cold, it’s still wet and this year it’s horribly windy and wild. As of today we have just over 10 hours of daylight here in Yorkshire, so you’d imagine that this would ameliorate the negative aspects of the month. It does to some extent but the February’s unremitting grimness overturns even that. Yes I have an app for sunrise and sunset times – it’s great.
So here we are in the Year of the Rat. It was the lunar new year at the end of January. In Chinese culture, rats represent working diligently and thriftiness, so people born in a Rat year are thought to be wealthy and prosperous. Well lets hope that applies to all of us, not just one twelfth of the population. I can concur with the ideas of diligence and thrift but am not so sure that they necessarily produce wealth and prosperity. So far the year of the Rat has produced little more than hideous wind and rain here inthe UK. The photo above was the calm before the storm.
I have certainly been diligent over the last few weeks. On the blog I shared some favourite TV shows and some of my drawings along with some insights into my own creative process. I am currently swatching for some submissions to a couple of magazines. I had stopped doing these as they are a lot of work and so far have produced no rewards. However, I was taken with one of the summer ideas and have enjoyed the process of swatching and preparing possibilities within some quite strict criteria. I find the guidelines to be helpful and to some extent make the creative process easier. In a way it’s like the ‘rules’ that you have to obey for mosaic knitting.
We’ve also done quite a bit of dog-sitting for youngest daughter – I’m writing this with her, (the dog not the daughter!) at my feet. She is a lovely addition to our household for a couple of days each month.
Our eldest daughter and her family have definitely got the right idea for counteracting the February ‘greys’; I can’t say blues as it isn’t blue at all. They are currently on a road trip in Queensland in Australia – there’s lots of information on her blog, including the flavour of australian KFC chips.
As of today there are only 10 days left of February – role on March!