Winter 2023 blog

With a crisp layer of frost on the ground and a pale sun low in the sky, we start another year. The river has burst its banks following the deluge of recent rains and now the floodwater has frozen the floodplain solid, resulting in troublesome landings for the local geese and swans.

Our previous cold snap arrived just before the winter solstice, making it feel extra special this year. It has been very busy winter so far; the Pop-Up book published in early December and was quickly followed by our new Kitchen at Crabapple Cottage puzzle. We hope these have been keeping you entertained on these long, cold, dark evenings. Make sure you tag us with your completed puzzles!

It’s the time of year for getting out in the cold and then warming up by the fire. For those of you who managed to get hold of the 2023 Brambly Hedge calendar, we hope you are enjoying Mr and Mrs Apple’s starring role for the month of January! Jill’s illustration of their supper by the fire from Winter Story really captures the simple joy of a cosy winter’s  evening.

We posted photos of a couple of vintage writing sets and stationery from our archives on social media recently and the response has been phenomenal. It was wonderful to hear so many of you talking about receiving Brambly Hedge Stationery Sets for Christmas in the 1980s, and quite incredible to see how many of you have kept hold of them! Well, we have more good news… we now have a new writing set available! The Sunset in the Meadow Writing Set includes ten sheets of paper and envelopes, all kept safe in a Brambly Hedge cardboard folder. So there’s no excuse to delay those ‘thank you’ letters any further!

What else can you expect from us in 2023? Well, we can bring good news on the calendar front, another calendar will be available for 2024, and there will be more copies printed this time! There will also be a ‘Year Planner’ calendar available. We will keep you posted when these become available later in the year.

There will be more puzzles arriving imminently, four more to be precise. We are very pleased to have teamed up with Cobble Hill puzzles to supply the USA and Canada with a new seasonal series of puzzles for spring, summer, autumn and winter. The new Pop-Up book will also be launched in North America on the 7th March 2023.

2023 marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Secret Staircase, one of my personal favourites. We hope to share some behind the scenes material about the creation of  the book as we approach the winter solstice later this year.

Whilst this winter is still in full grip, we look to the promise of spring. The snowdrops are in bloom, the daffodils are pushing through, and the birds are just starting to be a little more vocal and poking around looking for a suitable spring residence.

 We wish you all a warm and cosy winter.

 Pete Barklem

England, January 2023