We walk a lot with our children. If they're not in school, we're off out with them. We love the outdoors; but on a purely practical note, we have boys and they need a daily dose of fresh air and exercise to stop us all going crazy! And sometimes when we walk, when my kitchen table is a little bare and I need a little outside in my indoors, I go armed with a shoulder bag and a pair of secateurs.
I have a theme in mind: wild flowers, seed heads, or in this case evergreens. There's not much about in January but the often ignored evergreens are sculptural and succulent, making a great centrepiece. Cut a sprig of holly here, some laurel there, ivy with its buds out, pine for its needles. Wear gloves: it's cold but a lot of your fodder is prickly. Cut the right sort of length for your vase and don't take more than you need - apart from anything else, detangling it all from your bag is a nightmare if you've not loosely packed!
Come home, warm up, put the kettle on. Fill your jug with water and detangle those evergreen sprigs that you've foraged. Arrange them in your vase, and suddenly your kitchen is - for free, yes, gratis people - adorned with a bit of the outside, a bit of nature, a bit of life. They'll be happy for several weeks if you're lucky. And so will you.