Times is tough. Without airing dirty laundry in public, I think it's fair to say that February 2013 could've been better. Not just for us but for so many people I know. A friend of mine thinks the year has begun the way it will continue, given there's an unlucky 13 in the mix. I hope, for all our sakes, she is wrong.

I like to think I am an insufferable optimist so, with that in mind, here are some things I'm looking forward to, thankful for, and stuff that's generally making me happy through the gloom.

:: kneading bread, which is just so therapeutic. Tonight I'm making chapattis to go with a couple of curries
:: the violets and the lilacs - two of my favourite, fleeting flowers. Soon it will be rose-pruning time, too, and the garden will begin to resurrect itself
:: ink. Maybe. I'm toying with the idea of getting a tattoo...
:: some exciting work things on the horizon, too soon to speak of them and there is some rubbish stuff to get through first, but I hope to turn a bad ting good
:: lighter evenings, warmer days
:: and I'm the newest contributor to This is Your Kingdom, which is about as exciting as it gets. Go and take a look if you don't already know this site, a directory of lovely things to do in the UK.

How about you? Has February been kind, so far?

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