In January, we look forward and our diaries become our close companions. But, poised between two years, it’s also a time to look back, and diaries, journals and almanacs are also a tool for reflection. As we turn the first page of a new year, we explore their history, purpose and what they mean to us on page 80 of January's The Simple Things.
How to create a personal almanac
Cover your own local area, festivities and personal celebrations, and use it as a guide through your own year. Buy a notebook, mark out the months and divide it into topics that interest you, perhaps...
1 Look up dates for local festivities and fetes and mark them in their correct month in your almanac. Add family birthdays, personal traditions and anniversaries.
2 Are there recipes that you revisit every year? A special birthday cake recipe? Your mum’s twist on marmalade? Even a recipe from a cookbook that you return to again and again for a summer barbecue or an autumnal dinner. Pop it in so that it is easy to find.
3 Moon phases, and moon and sun rises and sets will vary – if only by minutes – by area. Find yours. A great source is timeanddate.com.
4 Leave space to note the flowering of bluebells in your local woods, the arrival of the swifts, and the first touches of autumn on the trees.