Hello everybody and happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas and some restful and peaceful days.
As you can see, I’m still alive. I skipped the November journal entry not only because I was too busy, but also because it was a dull month and I had nothing much to say about it.
So now I’m back with a meaty double entry, which also serves as a short review of the past year. 🙂
- Watching the ATP Finals (tennis) for the first time and seeing two ‘new’ faces in the final: David Goffin, who beat Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, and Grigor Dimitrov, the eventual winner – now tennis is officially my fave sport, sorry F1 🎾
- Expanding our walks to the family park which is just next to our neighbourhood, but which we never bothered visiting – I loved exploring and visiting the animal farm 🐴 🐑
- Finishing the first chapter of my dissertation! 💪
- Christmas lights! They make everything look better, cosier and happier! 🎄
- Decorating the apartment for Christmas with the addition of two new pieces: a star and the Advent candles, directly from Sweden (thanks, Farmor!) 🌟
- Celebrating Christmas Eve with Matt (see below) 💖
- A ‘double surprise’ that we’ve decided upon in November and which we will receive at home between January and February – keeping it secret for now, I hope to post about it in February, but you’ll probably find out about it if you check my Instagram towards the end of this month!
- The overall stress that comes with juggling dissertation, lectures, assignments, reading and exams… why couldn’t we have an extra semester just for writing the thesis?! 😩
- Hospital appointments and more medicine 😷
- Christmas Eve: We repeated last year’s julbord (Swedish Christmas Eve lunch), but this time we had the ham and sausages because we were the first ones to order the food from the shop. We enjoyed cooking together and then pigging out for two whole days. I miss it, already.
- Christmas TV and films: We watched again some of the usual things that are now part of our own Christmas tradition, such as Home Alone 1 & 2, Jingle All the Way, Gremlins, Tomten, Love Actually, Kalle Anka and Mr Bean’s Christmas episode. To these, we added The Holiday, Bad Santa, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Arthur Christmas.
- New Year’s Eve: this day was dedicated to lunch with my parents, instead of Christmas Day (because we couldn’t take two full-blown meals in a row, haha).
- Gifts: Matt spoiled me a lot this time, and it makes me happy and guilty at the same time. I got books (of course), namely Fredrik Backman’s latest novella and another copy of one of his other books which I’ve read this summer, a book on the Swedish concept of lagom, and a set of manuals on learning digital photography. I got a sloth necklace and a sloth coffee mug because I’m basically a personified sloth. Then a Virginia Woolf pin and her photograph (in a new frame which is mum’s gift) and, last but not least, a vintage photo (in a new frame) from eBay, of a group of girls in a band costume and supposedly taken in Malta in the 1950s. Can’t stop looking at it and wondering where those girls are. 😍 In case you’re wondering, I love vintage photography and wish to start a collection someday.
What I’ve been watching
- Movies: I hardly watched anything during November. It was mainly animation (The Book of Life, The Boxtrolls, The Boss Baby), then I caught up with the live-action Beauty and the Beast and finally watched The Legend of 1900, which I have to study. In December, besides Christmas stuff, I watched all the X-Men movies (9 of them, including those on Wolverine). It’s not my genre at all, and it certainly didn’t convert me to a superheroes’ fan, but they were enjoyable and exciting to watch, and I’ll keep following it (the next film will be out later this year).
- Tennis films: In the very last days of the year, I watched two much-awaited 2017 releases. The first one is Borg vs McEnroe. I loved it, even though it’s not exactly built on action like other sports movies. I’m excited to see Sverrir Gudnason, one of my fave actors from Sweden, having his breakthrough in the US. The other tennis film is Battle of the Sexes, based on the 1973 match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). It’s in part comedic, but it also deals with an important issue at the time, that of female players wanting to achieve equal pay. Definitely recommended!
- TV: We rewatched some of our favourite shows on DVD, like Black Books (my review), Derek (my review), Extras, An Idiot Abroad and Little Britain. Then, December offered some new material which I had been craving for: Season 2 of The Crown (my review) on Netflix and ITV’s Victoria Christmas special. Oh please, tell me when the next seasons will be, I’m addicted to these two series.
What I’ve been reading
- One book and many essays: it seems like I’ve been reading all the time without actually finishing books. It’s because most of my reads are essays or articles related to my dissertation. Besides a whole book of such essays, I also finished Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster.
2017 – My year in…
- Books: I read 32 books and missed my goal of 50 books on Goodreads. Not fair, because it really seemed like I was reading all the time, but not whole books in all cases.
- Best reads: 1984, A Room of One’s Own, Britt-Marie Was Here (my review), Birth and Death of the Housewife, The House by the Medlar Tree
- Movies: I watched 211 films, which included lots of new and old ones, lots of Italian, Swedish and European films and several rewatches. Still, I don’t consider myself as a movie buff.
- Best movies I watched this year: The Truman Show, Schindler’s List, Philadelphia, The Shawshank Redemption, A Special Day, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
- TV: I can’t count all the shows I watched, but there were lots of discoveries of old and new shows and several miniseries.
- Best TV shows/miniseries: The Crown, Victoria, Mr. Robot, John Adams, The Lost Prince
- Blogging: It was an okay year until I came to a stop in the last three months. I missed blogging, and I stressed about it, but, to be completely honest, I didn’t think about it that much during these last weeks.
What will happen in 2018?
- Graduation: I will finish my Bachelor this year, so naturally the first half of the year will be taken by that. The third year is the hardest and what’s especially difficult is to keep up the momentum when you’re already doing great. I don’t know yet what I’ll do after I finish, and that decision will probably affect everything else in my life, from reading in my free time to blogging.
- The ‘double surprise’: This will change our lives and make this year memorable. Can’t wait!
- Blogging: As I was saying, the course I take as a post-grad will affect my blog. If I’m lucky and return to regular blogging, the priority will be a makeover and the pimping-up of all my posts, before I add new content. We’ll see… I don’t really want to have to close down this space. 🙂