So usually my January post would be a bit of a round up including the usual the good, the bad and the ugly dress purchases from the previous 12 months, and maybe a few of the things I’m looking forward to in the next few months.Obviously last year was an extraordinary year...
Certainly the year started well, I went to a ‘January Sale’ vintage fair and made purchases there and elsewhere, all of which definitely fell under the good, bad & ugly definition! (When will I ever learn??) I went to a cool theatre production set in a real courtroom, I had tickets for Beautiful the musical in August and the Chelsea Flower Show in May which had been on my bucket list for years. I had managed to persuade Himself to have more than just a long weekend away and quickly booked a week in Cornwall before he changed his mind, and I was signed up for 4 events at the Oxford Literary Festival. So much to look forward too.
The week we went into lockdown I was actually on holiday with dates set and tickets booked for the Bright Young Things exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and the Kimono; Kyoto to Catwalk Exhibition at the V&A. Instead both venues closed, and I ended up cancelling my leave to dash into the office to collect my work laptop and anything else from my desk I thought I might need to work from home for a few months. I never expected to still be working from home nearly a year later.
I started to adjust to the new normal. It wasn’t easy and there have definitely been more downs than ups. Whilst I thank god we have remained well I’ve had the sad and sobering experience of seeing people I know as well as friends I care about getting sick or having family members die. I will never fathom the covid deniers and anti maskers, never.
Like many I plunged into gardening with a passion and comfort ate with the best of them. As I said to a colleague it’s a good job I’m not in the office right now because none of my clothes fit!
I tried to go out and walk. Himself signed up for a couple of virtual challenges and by the end of the year had pounded the pavements and clocked up an impressive 1500 miles, lost a shedload of weight (damn him) and general got fitter.
I have been watching what I eat but still allowing the odd treat like chips & wine, I also signed up for a new and bigger challenge. I’m doing the Cabot Trail because I liked the medal (yes I am that shallow) and it also reminded me of Murder She Wrote and Angela Lansbury which was set in the fictitious town of Cabot Cove!
It’s 184 miles long and I started it on a very foggy 1st January, so far I have done 65 miles.
I am walking every other day and my speed and distance are improving. I have still been doing my pilates class though hugely frustratingly my frozen shoulder has meant I have been able to do less and less of the class. I have also reduced by caffeine intake dramatically to try and help with the mad night sweats. It’s been interesting to see how alcohol affects those. I may well do more experimenting on this but so far spiced rum & coke is a big trigger (weeps) wine less so and beer not so much at all. Of course there is no way I will ever stop drinking the rum, but I’m limiting it to a Friday or Saturday night so it doesn’t matter so much if I have a crap night’s sleep and want to have a lie in the next day!
A plus of lockdown is having more time to read which has been bliss. I got quite a few books for Christmas as you can see above, but I am trying to resist dipping into the new ones until I have cleared some of the ones that have been in my book mountain for years now. Having said that I dived straight into the Peanuts one on Christmas morning I loved it.
I’ve noticed a few blogs listing what they read last year so I shall add my list at the end of this post so you can skip over it if you really couldn't care less about my reading habits. I have used Goodreads for several years now as a sort of virtual bookshelf and I always sign up for their annual reading challenge. On Goodreads you rate the books from one star to five and whilst I didn’t actually give up on any this year some were definitely better that others.
Just because I’ve got fatter doesn’t mean I stop shopping I just move from clothes to accessories!
As you can see I had a bit of a brooch splurge.The suns and the boats were job lots.
I also got this fabulous Erstwilder one from Himself for Christmas. Ok so I just might have bought it as soon as the collection dropped because I knew it would sell out instantly, and then given it to him to give me for Christmas, but as my favourite Peanuts character has always been Linus this was a no brainer.
Oh and make-up. My favourite ever eye liners are Urban Decay so I may have invested in some when they had an offer on. I also thought I'd try one of their eye shadow palettes. The handbags keep coming
and still keep coming, I have added to the collection with several more since these!
At least the days are getting longer, I woke up to the most gorgeous sky last week so ran downstairs and grabbed the camera and hung out of the bathroom window to get a shot.
Onwards and upwards.
I'll finish up with my list, I’ve highlighted in bold any I gave a score of 4 or more on Goodreads.
Among the Bohemian: Experiments in Living 1900-1939 – Virginia Nicholson
Duplicate Death – Georgette Heyer
Last of the Giants: The true story of Guns N’ Roses – Mick Wall
Hollywood Rocks!: The ultimate guide to 1980’s Hollywood rock and roll scene – Michael Rocchio
Detection Unlimited – Georgette Heyer
Courtesans: Money, Sex and Fame in the 19th Centuary – Katie Hickman
Marianna North: A very intrepid painter – Michelle Payne
A Century of Bags – Claire Wilcox
No Wind of Blame - Georgette Heyer
Dear Mrs Bird – AJ Pearce
Nautical Chic – Amber Butchart
Watching You – Lisa Jewell
The Family Upstairs – Lisa Jewell
The Glittering Hour – Iona Grey
A House of Ghosts – WC Ryan
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Steven Turton
Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel – Ruth Hogan
Corsets and Codpieces: A History of Outrageous Fashion – Karen Bowman
Before the Coffee gets Cold – Toshikazu Kawaguchi
The Love Child – Rachel Hore
Bags – Claire Wilcox
Nigel, My Family and Other Dogs – Monty Don
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – Winifred Watson
Arthur: The dog who crossed a jungle to find a home – Mikael Lindnord
Longbourn – Jo Baker
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy – Rachel Joyce
Maisie Dobbs – Jacqueline Winspear
Historical Noir: The Pocket Essential Guide to Fiction, Film & TV - Barry Forshaw
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
The Cleaner of Chartres – Sally Vickers
The Picture House by the Sea – Holly Hepburn
Appetite for Dysfunction : A Cautionary Tale – Vicky Hamilton
The Riviera Set – Mary Lovell
The Trick to Time – Kit de Waal
Once Upon a River – Diane Setterfield
The Foundling – Stacey Halls
Rebecca’s Tale – Sally Beauman ( the only book I gave a 5 star review!)
Drawn to the Edge – John Threlfall
The Street of Wonderful Possibilities: Whistler, Wilde and Sargent in Tite Street – Devon Cox
Art Deco Masterpieces of Art – Janet Tyson
Twenties London : A City in the Jazz Age – Cathy Ross
Alice Diamond and The Forty Elephants: Britain’s First Female Crime Syndicate – Brian McDonald
The Land Girl – Allie Burns
The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse – Alexander McCall Smith
Tombland – CJ Sansom
The Peanuts Book – Simon Beechcroft