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At the start of every month, we offer you a short list of pleasant activities to consider, some focussed on afternoon tea, some not.

Herewith five suggestions for January 2014.

Count Blessings. Happy New Year! May 2014 be a year filled with peace, health, happiness, lots of sunshine and the best of whatever it is you desire. Celebrate and resolve to do only one thing: count your blessings.

Cover of "Twelfth Night: Or What You Will...

Party on. Celebrate Twelfth Night on January 5 to close the Christmas season. Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night or, What You Will, is a romantic comedy believed to have been written as a Twelfth Night’s entertainment for the close of the Christmas season in 1601 or 1602.

Shakespeare’s comedy of gender confusion, in which a girl disguises herself as a man to be near the count she adores, only to be pursued by the woman he loves. Hilarious. Order up the 1996 movie on DVD starring Helena-Bonham Carter, Ben Kingsly, Imogen Stubbs, Imelda Staunton and one of my favourite actors, Nigel Hawthorn.

wfc_6095_poster_sm_final-nosponsors-200x266If you are not a cowboy, or cowgirl, do something esoteric to start the new year –attend the 30th annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada from January 27 to February 1. This is a grand celebration of western people, lifestyles and traditions. Cowboys, ranchers, rural and urban people gather to share their love of rural life in the American West with poetry and music, cowboy culture around the world, great art, western films, cowboy craft. For performers, program, ticket and general information go to https://www.westernfolklife.org/National-Cowboy-Poetry-Gathering-General-Info/national-cowboy-poetry-gathering-home-page.html

Throw a birthday tea party for Betsy Ross who was born on January 1, 1752 in Philadelphia. Betsy is the seamstress credited with creating the American flag in 1776.

Keep warm. Drink tea. Both are good