January is my least favourite month. It's post the long Christmas/New year break. This January so far has been mild but grey and gloomy on the weather front (not that much rain, just always not quite light with all the heavy cloud). The lengthening day is hardly noticeable for those of us at work (indeed it only starts to get a little bit lighter every morning after the 5th of the month). And the background news has been all gloom. The UK is divided straight down the middle on Brexit, with people on both sides holding strong views (I remain in the remain camp, in fact even more so with every passing week).

But today at least, a bit of a lift. I awoke to a clear dark sky with Venus shining brightly to the southwest. The robins were singing. On the way to work a great 1938 version of "Popeye the sailor man" was played on the radio, as it is exactly 90 years since Popeye first appeared in the comic strip Thimble Theatre. And then when I walked out briefly from the Civic at lunchtime the sun was shining. I liked the shadows of these trees playing on the south side of St Peter's Church.

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