Sunday, 1 January 2017

Moments of December: family, friends, festivity







Walking etc.
Daily walks, 23 days out of 31. I never got to walking every single day this year but I reckon I managed to go for a walk 70-80% of the year. That's a guess because I can't be bothered to trawl through my data, but even if it's less, it's still definitely more than the 0 walks I started from so I'm pretty pleased with myself and it's a habit I intend to continue and improve on. Best walk this month? Christmas day walk with little Penny, holding her little paws and swooshing her in the air.

Reading

A Harp of Fishbones and other stories by Joan Aiken
  
"So cold and clear was this particular evening, however, that even the smoke from the Rumbury chimneys had dwindled to a slaty wisp against the sky's duck egg green; so little wind was there that in the derelict corners of factory lots where goldenrod and willowherb cloaked piles of rubble, the withered leaves and feathery seeds drifted straight and unswerving to the ground."
I read Joan Aiken hungrily as a child and adored her collections of fairytales. I snap them up whenever I find them, trying to catch and hold the half remembered magical stories that wisp about in my brain.
This is a tough but important read. I couldn't read this in public because it was too distressing. I burst into real tears on the bus so had to read it at home after that, in small sections. It is a collection of true stories of Japanese soldiers during WW2, told in a clear and balanced way. It's so important to not forget evil that has been done, but also to understand how it came to happen and to learn individual stories.
This book is a beautiful work of art that explores and exposes gender violence and sexual abuse. It's raw and full of feeling and respect. I recommend it highly.
 
"The best talking was at night, whispering, huddled under the covers with Ellen. Things were said then impossible to say in the cold light of day, things either too intimate or too silly for open speech." 
I loved the writing and was quickly drawn in to this story of the life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's maid but it was a hard life and I found it very miserable. Fascinating but tragic. To be poor and female was to lack the power to live your own life, which depressingly is still true for many women today. Actually, female or not, poverty can be massively restricting. 
On the internet:

Ballet Stories

and highlights of life throughout December

  Saw Emmy the Great perform an AMAZING show. She was fantastic and had the whole audience sing Anthem by Leonard Cohen with her. Magical.


Dinner, dancing and secret santa with old friends back in Wiltshire.
Won a Perkins & Morley collective nouns calendar which was extremely exciting because winning and because I love their collective nouns designs (I'm collecting them on cups) and I needed a calendar anyway!


At long last, a girly night with both my best beasts (one has been unable to see us for ages because life). We ate Caribbean food and watched Ever After and the Wedding Singer and it was old times.

Our second band practice happened and plans made to practice together every other week.

Arriving at my sister's, laden with gifts then heading out together to see Rogue One.

Two excellent friends got married on Christmas Eve Eve and it was beautiful and I wore my dad's blue velvet suit and they played All I Want For Christmas is You, twice, and I was thrilled because I love that song.


Penny calls me and Stu, Debbie and Doo. I love her! (She calls everyone Debbie but she definitely knows Stu now - a step up from the morning after we arrived and she pointed at Stu, screamed and started wailing. Possibly it was his scary beard!)

Christmas with my family, Boxing Day with Stu's family.



Goodbye 2016. I'm mentally very much feeling the fresh page of the new year and looking forward to it.

Happy new year!


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