Happy New Year to you. How are you? I’ve started January feeling relaxed and positive. Christmas was quiet and perfect. The great Christmas full stop has become one of my favourite parts of the year. I’m not a fan of the manic rush towards Christmas, but once the draw-bridge comes up on Christmas eve, that retreat towards hearth and home. I love that. The stillness that descends, sparkly lights in every window, the excitement of Christmas is very real and the pace of everything slows right down.
After the big day, I used to find the days between Christmas and New Year, those limbo days, a real drag. Now I revel in those slow days. It is the one time in the year when I’m at home and not checking emails, as a freelancer I really enjoy the liberation. Last year, I spent the time clearing out cupboards. This year, I enjoyed doing very little, something I’m not good at. It was a reminder to take more time for myself. There is much I could say about 2017 but I think I might leave that for other people or another day. I’m enjoying the positivity and fresh-start feel of the beginning of January, despite the weather being a hibernation inducing grimly grey and extremely blowy.
I’d thought I’d share some of the things I loved over Christmas, most are still around on iplayers and podcasts, should you feel like hibernating and are looking for something to watch, listen or read.
Star Wars has become a Christmas tradition (how did that happen?) and part of our Christmas was seeing The Last Jedi, which we throughly enjoyed. Seeing Carrie Fisher made me cry. We took ourselves to the local Everyman cinema, which offers a more comfortable viewing experience; sofas, cushions and blankets; food and drinks delivered to your seat. Such a treat.
I laughed more that I expected at Paddington, it is a joy of a film. I particularly loved the bright retro interiors and use of proper telephones. Hugh Grant is perfect. If you’ve not seen it I would really recommend as something to cheer up January.
Just me or did other people find Christmas TV a bit unsatisfying. I had high expectations for The Miniaturist and was left disappointed, the first episode was good but the second just didn’t fulfil my expectations or explain enough. As yet, I’ve not found anyone else who also watched it. I’ve not read the book, I wonder how it compared. I’d love a second opinion.
Documentaries are my thing and Supersonic the story of Oasis was chock full of great rock and roll tales. I’m not a fan of the music and it is less about the music more about the evolution of the band from small beginnings to very big ending (warning, it is very sweary).
On Christmas day we sang along to Oliver. The street scene ‘Who will buy’ is one of my favourite scenes in any film.
For a cold afternoon, at some point in January, I’ve saved Little Women. I’m hoping it is good.
Thanks to Emily’s recommendation, I am hooked on The Fortunately podcast, Jan Garvey and Fi Glover from Radio 4 and various guests. Two very smart and funny women. I cannot fault it. I also listened to The Adoption, which was a series made for The World at One on Radio 4. It is fascinating, and sensitive insight, into adoption of two pre-school aged siblings. With perspectives from the adopters, social workers, foster parents and the less often heard voices of the birth parents. Both heart warming and heart breaking.
I’ve just purchased a new digital radio, (the old one died a couple of years ago and we just never got around to replacing it), I’m going to be fully indie-ed as 6 Music returns to my life.
When I had more time and more income, I devoured monthly magazines, at different periods having zealous commitments to various glossies. Convinced every old copy would at some point prove useful. At one time I had several years’ worth of Living Etc piled up in neat towers, which, ironically, made a fairly un-slightly decorative addition to my spare room. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the December Issue of The Simple Things magazine and am teetering on a verge of a subscription. This month I’ve returned to an old favourite Red magazine, I fancy photos of ‘shiny’ things and those articles that suggest you can recreate your life in 2,000 words.
As further from Red as you could get, because balance is always good, am currently reading The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, a present I gave to my other half. What trees feel, how they communicate. Idly, began flicking through and was very quickly drawn in. I’m hoping print based distractions will become a 2018 habit.
Got any good recommendations from your festive period?