The Almanac: A seasonal guide to 2018
By Lia Leendertz
If you follow award-winning garden and food writer Lia Leendertz on Instagram, you will have seen the handwritten and beautifully styled snippets of her new title The Almanac, which aims to be a modern take on the tradition of the rural almanac and has been made possible by crowdfunding.
The Almanac is split into monthly sections, illustrated with charming sketches by artist Emma Dibben, and includes observations on moon phases, sunrise and sunset times, constellations, sea temperatures, tide times and types, garden tasks, nature spotting, traditional festivals and recipes that make the most of seasonal produce. Leendertz introduces each month affectionately, highlighting some of the simple pleasures the changing seasons can bring. Although the title implies that the book’s content is pinned to 2018, most of the information can be used year after year.
I couldn’t help but turn the pages to find November, a month synonymous with cold and wet weather, to see what we should be celebrating now. ‘A drift of wood smoke and the occasional tang of sulphur is the scent of November,’ says Leendertz. ‘It is a month in which we fight the encroaching dark with light.’ She highlights notable dates, including Guy Fawkes Night, Diwali and Remembrance Sunday, and seasonal migrations, such as whooper and Bewick’s swans coming south from the Arctic for the winter. She advises us to plant hanging baskets with winter bedding, feed the birds, use up any remnants from the glut of borlotti beans and get some sticky parkin baking. Beautifully written, this pocket-sized guide is a labour of love and will remind you to appreciate little moments throughout the year.
The Almanac 2018 by Lia Leendertz