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January's Blue Monday reveals multi-colours of West Cork life

Dog on the beach

Today is popularly known as Blue Monday, that third Monday in January when money is low, the after-glow of Christmas is well and truly gone and you start to waver on all those worthy New Year’s resolutions.

With myself and Stephen having suffered through the worst bout of flu in years (it seemed like half of Clonakilty were struck down over the holidays), we seemed to enter January a little deflated, more fragile and low in our usual energy reserves. Thankfully, we have had a bit of time in the last week to recuperate and boost ourselves back up, a task made easier by the very nature of where we live.

Three years ago, working and living in Dublin city, Blue Monday and indeed most of January would have been a bit of a long slog devoid of any noticeable daylight hours. Leaving early in the morning and returning home after dark, I never noticed that January can indeed be more than “Blue”; it can present you with a wonderful palate of blues, greys, greens, whites - slightly more muted but joyful all the same.

Today, as I pottered in the garden (not up to much digging yet!), I mentally drew up a list as to why living this Wild Atlantic Way of life means so much to me:

The Two Blondes - my therapists!
The Two Blondes - my therapists!
  1. While never looking its best at this time of year, it’s good to be able to see the borders as a blank canvas waiting to be planted up will all manner of tasty treats for later in the Summer. A mulch of seaweed dragged up from the beach (by the ever help Paul Cullen of Dreamscape Landscaping) at the end of the lane way, provides warmth and nutrients and hopefully loads of natural goodness in the soil for all the vegetables and fruit we plan on growing and eating.

  2. A greenhouse is the perfect place to hide from everyone and admire early green shoots! The mild weather so far means we’re getting tasty early crops of spicy leaves and gorgeous dense Cavalo Nero (black kale)

  3. Chickens make great listeners and they’re fierce gardeners (as long as you keep them away from the early greens!!!)

  4. Forget all this “Chicken soup for the soul” shite - I could never think of the girls as soup!! Plus, garden veg and a few spices is so much better…. Inspired by a recipe I saw by Donal Skeehan in last Saturday’s Irish Times Magazine, I rustled up a fab carrot, sweet potato, turmeric, lentil and kale soup. How’s that for colour in January, and a lot of it from the garden?! Definitely Soul Food….

  5. Comfy wellies beat high heels any day!!!
Thriving winter veg in the green house
Thriving winter veg in the green house
Wellies beat heels!!
Wellies beat heels!!!
Spiced winter root veg & kale soup
Spiced winter root veg & kale soup

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