January 24th is according to ‘some’, one of the days we find most difficult in any given year in the U.K. The winter feels long.  The weather is likely to be cold, wet, grey or all three. We’ve probably over-indulged over the festive period and New Year’s resolutions may well be heading out of the window. January 24th was also my Nana’s birthday!  I always felt sorry for her when this ‘fact’ was mentioned, although she didn’t seem too aware of the alleged statistic. My Nana was a dancer, a less than 5ft dancer called Dorothy, known as Dot by her friends. She, like my Mum and sister, was a very special lady.

She learnt to dance at a very young age and her dance troupe was one of the first to dance the Charleston in the U.K. It was her favourite. She gave her love of dance to both me and my sister, but especially my sister, who loves her ballet in her 50s. She shines when she’s dancing.

Our Nana had a tough life. She had little, but what she had she appreciated so much. She showed so much potential as a dancer but sadly had to give up aged 16 in order to work and earn a living. But like music, art, yoga  – do you ever really give up dancing? She would dance at any opportunity. She taught herself to play the piano, playing much Tchaikovsky of course. She took us to see the ballet when she could afford it, a true joy back then for little girls!

So why am I writing about my Nana and calling this blog ‘January according to Dot’? Let’s face it, January is tough at the best of times, when we live in a cold climate. But 2021? We’re going back into lockdown in Wales, things are hard right now. I think of my Nana and what would she do or say? Well she’d definitely have a snowball at Christmas, squeak with excitement at the smallest of presents. She’d be planning what she would grow the following springtime in her garden. In the best of her days and in January she would take pleasure in the smallest of things, always. And of course, on January 24th, we would do our best to spoil her rotten!

I am so glad she was my Nana, our Nana. She was a great role model. If things are tough this January I might stay off the snowballs (does anyone really drink those anymore?!) but I will let myself be moved by music and feel hope for all that will be growing in the springtime. I will feel music in my yoga practice. And as they say I hope I will dance like no one is watching until the springtime arrives with signs of better and brighter times. Let’s rejoice in all the small things and be like Dot!