Auld Claes and Parritch

Ah, January! Once you crawl out from under the pile of wrapping paper, empty bottles and chocolate wrappers, the Bacchanalian joy vanishes, and it’s back to auld claes and parritch*, right?

No wonder folks hate January. It’s cold, dark and no-one is going out (in the UK at least). Whisper it, I quite like January so far. There are a lot of small (and the odd big) things that are making me happy.

Scheduling. Nothing says January like plotting out your activities on an online calendar, eh? I’m THE saddo who spent a satisfying two hours adding everything to Outlook. Basically, there’s no room for anything spontaneous until the end of February.

Emma BairdFeeding the Birds. If I’d known how much joy this would give me, I’d have done it years ago! I put out a handful of nuts every day, and they’re gone an hour later. We’ve got three or four blue tits that visit the garden regularly, and this morning I managed to spot one of them and a robin swoop in for a feed.

“Birdie, are you sure you can eat that?” I wondered aloud. Half a peanut looks like the equivalent of a human trying to chow down on a double cheeseburger.

I’ve also got a jar of Flutter Butter, peanut butter, especially for small, fluttering birds. Next job is to find the cat-safe place to install it seeing as our garden is also a haven for the neighbourhood cats. As my friend said, “Wow, it’s like you’ve just put a takeaway menu for them up on the wall.”

Using Draft2Digital. The Girl Who Swapped is now out of Kindle Select so I can go wide. I used Draft2Digital, as I’ve heard and read good things about this platform for uploading e-books onto multiple places. The book is now on Kobo, iTunes, Playster and a good few I’ve never heard of, as well as Amazon.

Here’s the Universal Book Link –



Walking along beaches. Thursday was a dull, gloomy day in my neck of the woods. I took myself off to Prestwick to visit a friend. Down there, the sun shone brightly, so we took her dog Ruaridh out for a long walk along the beach front. I probably met and spoke to half of Prestwick at the same time. Dog walking is unbelievably sociable.

Emma BairdAcquiring jewellery. My mum LOVES giving gifts and this year she decided to pass on her ring collection, giving my sisters and I one each. This is mine. Isn’t it gorgeous?

How’s your January going?

*A Scottish saying meaning the humdrum, workaday world.


11 thoughts on “Auld Claes and Parritch

  1. It’s hard to believe Emma, that we’re halfway through January. I feel like 2018 is going faster than 2017. I’ve been back at work for two weeks and not much has changed apart from a different workstation location. I’ve been hovering around a certain weight for a couple of weeks now and I feel like I may have to take a step to get below this little barrier like eating more blandly for a week.

    • Parritch it is, Gary! Seriously, though, is it easier to set yourself behaviour rather than outcome goals as you have much more control over that? And yes, the speeding up of time as we get older is something else…

  2. I actually love January too. Its a cosy wintery month without all the stress and expectation of December, where Xmas really takes over. You might be interested in the RSPB big british bird count that takes place at the end of jan. You tak e an hour out of your weekend to record what and how many birds visit your garden / yard and fill in a form online or by post. I am going to do it this year and my main visitors like you , are bluetits and robins. Love watching them. Happy New Year. X

    • Hi Sharon, there’s a lot to be said for cosy winteriness without the social expectations of December. I’d love to do that count and am going to sign up. This morning, the birds only waited till I shut the back door before they pounced on the peanuts, which has made my day.

  3. Good o! Forgot to wish you a happy new year in my last rely to you, so Happy New Year! I look forward to seeing what you get up to this year and the lovely photos that always accompany your adventures.

  4. Happy New Year, Emma! But I can’t imagine a month without alcohol, especially one that contains a few family birthdays. And please let us know what birdies hit your patch, perhaps a photo or two?

    Thanks for the heads-up about Draft2digital – I’d never heard of them before. Sounds interesting, although they’re quite coy about a couple of things such as the exact format size of the print-ready pdf. Have you picked up anything about that yet? Can’t see what you’ve got to lose, though. Good luck!

  5. Blue tits and robins in the main. Draft2Digital worked brilliantly for me. I just want the e-books, not the pdf.

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