Joy in January…can be  a little hard to find. Three things have cheered me up.

The first was going to see The Artist at our new local cinema, the Hackney Picturehouse, at a sold-out afternoon showing. Proof that silence can be as meaningful, funny and moving as sound. Also that black and white can be as rich as colour – those velvety shadows and sequined highlights.

The second was an artist. Courtesy of my sister, who is a member, I went to see David Hockney’s A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy. Pure colour and nature joy. Hockney’s landscapes are of the East Yorkshire landscape near where he lives in Bridlington – my father-in-law lived there and it’s a part of the world I know. He gets the light so right. A couple next to us said: ‘That’ll be five o’clock in the afternoon.’

Then this weekend I called into Chase & Sorensen for lunch and coffee with my daughter and spotted the ceramic bottle you can see in the picture. It’s only about seven inches high, but it’s a lovely thing. The pattern reminds me of those talismans you get in Greece to ward off the evil eye and the shape with its little beak of a spout reminds me of a bird. I didn’t need it, but I’m so glad I bought it. (The black and white photograph in the background is a picture of my mother, taken in the late 1940s.)