Photo an Hour #52 ~ November 2017

Between the October and November Photo an Hour days, I had turned 35, been to Disneyland Paris, and fractured my wrist. By this day, it had been a week, and I still had the big cumbersome plaster on, and I was still feeling pretty silly.

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8am ~ This Photo an Hour day started with reading in bed, as they so often do. The Disneyland Paris postcard is in the shot because I’d just got back the night before, and the card had been in my iPad to stay flat. Also, it makes the photo slightly more interesting.

10am ~ A quick stop at the library to pick up some reservations, before hitting the road for a journey to North Lincolnshire. I read Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, but didn’t get around to reading A Boy Called Christmas.

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11am ~ In the car, on the A1M. Is any Photo an Hour collection complete without a wing mirror shot?

2pm ~ There are only so many wing mirror shots you can take and upload without being considered a boring Instagrammer, so I refrained until we got out of the car. This badge was a brand new purchase from Disneyland, and I love it.

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4pm ~ Another missing hour, but by 4 o’clock we were at Tesco looking at alcohol, and I took a photo of me and Hannah in the security mirror. You can just about see my plaster cast in this photo, or at least you can see that I only had my jacket on one arm.

6pm ~ Hannah’s mum’s dog, Pops, who likes to have a ball thrown for him, so he can chase it. He’s absolutely relentless; once you start, you can’t stop, so it’s easier not to start, but this is him waiting patiently for it to be thrown.

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6pm ~ Admiring a mini pair of DM boots.

7pm ~ A rare Photo an Hour selfie, but I really liked my hair. I got used to wearing it curly for the six weeks while my wrist was in plaster, as I couldn’t use my straighteners. I have since had it all cut off, and almost instantly regretted it, so I’m waiting for it to get to this length again (it’s going to be a while!).

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8pm ~ A photo of a photo, and though the background suggests otherwise, this was an engagement party rather than a birthday party.

9pm ~ Proof!

In case you’d like to play next time around, September’s day is set for 22nd September. It’s really easy to join in, just take a photo each hour and upload it to Instagram using the hashtag, or save them for a blog post. Once I’m up to date, I’ll start rounding up who joins in, but in the meantime, Louisa at Duck in a Dress is a lot more organised than me, and actually does the round up post!

We’ve also decided to set the dates for the rest of the year, to give people a chance to put the dates in their diaries so they can join in.

  • 27th October
  • 17th November
  • 15th December

If you want to sign up for a reminder email, you can do so here, and I’ll endeavour to remember to send it!

Dear Rachel Robinson

In a new series that I will inevitably forget about after two or so posts, I thought I’d write letters to fictional characters. The first is to Rachel Robinson, of Here’s to you Rachel Robinson fame.

Rachel Robinson

Dear Rachel Robinson,

I’m writing to you now, as you turn 38, to check in with you. The last I heard of you, you were finishing seventh grade, and about to head to music camp to relax after a stressful few months.

So what’s happened in the intervening years? First of all, I hope you have managed to find a way to relax, and realise that happiness does not necessarily lay in perfection. As a thirteen year old, you imagined that anything other than an A was a failing grade and that you had to say yes to everything that your teachers asked you to do. Who knows why they thought that you’d be a good candidate for Natural Helpers? You were (and I’m sure are) brilliant at a good many things, but a natural peer counsellor? Possibly not.

In your biography you mapped out three distinct careers for yourself, something that seems perfectly feasible aged 13, but entirely impossible once you have a little perspective. I imagine that you probably graduated top of your college class, and went on to practice law, like your mum or, more likely in my opinion, medicine. Maybe, given the difficulties your brother Charles had, you went into psychology and became a therapist. Or maybe you became a world-famous cardio-thoracic surgeon.

Talking of Charles, I wonder what happened. There did seem to be a chink of light at the end of the tunnel; it felt that by the end of your story, you were starting to discover ways to deal with him, that you might be able to connect with him in a way that wasn’t instantly antagonistic. I hope that he got the help he needed, and you were able to enjoy your teenage years without the constant worry of the havoc he was wreaking on your family. It’s hard to realise when you are so close to something, but hopefully time has given you the perspective you need to realise that he was a kid who was hurting, and lashing out was the only way he knew how to deal with that.

And what about your best friends? Stephanie and Alison both had their own issues at home, and you seemed so different from them, that I have to wonder if your friendship survived into high school. I’ve been there with people that I grew up with that I suddenly had nothing in common with at 14, so if this happened to you, I hope it was an amicable break and that you found other people to share your high school experiences with. Of course, there’s every possibility that you remained best friends with them, and now you are older, and possibly living in different parts of the country, you see each other infrequently, but it’s just like old times when you do catch up. I bet you still reminisce about the time that Jeremy Dragon kissed you, and discuss what happened when you saw him again after music camp (what did happen?!).

Most of all, Rachel, I hope you’re happy. I hope you realised that your parents would still love you if you weren’t at the top of all of your classes, or if you decided to skip a club or a programme to just have fun with your friends. I hope that as you got older, you stayed true to your belief that ‘normal’ and ‘average’ aren’t the same thing, and that it’s OK to want different things from the people around you.

 

 

July 2018 Books

July-2018

 

The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser

I watched The Other Boleyn Girl, and realised that beyond what I learnt about Henry VIII and his wives at school, I don’t actually know that much about them. So I used one of my stockpiled Audible credits to download this audiobook. It was a really easy listen, not too dense, and as the title would suggest, it focused on the women in Henry’s life, rather than the man himself. Anne Boleyn is covered in some detail, for obvious reasons – as his second wife and the first to be executed, hers is an interesting story, but it was also nice to read about the women that seem to be less remembered by history.

Freshers by Tom Ellis and Lucy Iveson

I grabbed this in the library, and due to being early for meeting a friend for lunch, and then having a long bus journey home, I managed to finish it in a day, something I don’t tend to do that much any more (more on that later). It’s a fairly straightforward YA story about a group of young people starting university, with our main character, Phoebe, starting her first term already harbouring a crush on a boy from school who has ended up at the same uni. It’s a fairly by-the-books female-male romance, with a group of misfit friends thrown in for good measure, and there’s absolutely zero diversity here – no main characters who are anything other than white, straight, able-bodied etc. But there are just a few threads of feminism woven in, and it’s really readable, with an enjoyable enough ending that didn’t make me roll my eyes. This makes it seem as though I’m damning it with faint praise, but I did enjoy it – evidenced by the fact that I read it so quickly!

Once Upon a Dream by Liz Brasswell

The Disney Twisted Tales were everywhere for a while, so when I was taking advantage of a 3 for £10 offer at the end of last year, I picked the Sleeping Beauty one up to give a read. I finally got around to it recently, and I can’t say that I was overwhelmed! It reimagines the Disney tale as though Aurora didn’t awake at the end of the story, and Maleficent wasn’t vanquished by Prince Phillip. At first I was really enjoying it; the alternate universe that the characters were in really worked, and I was eager to see where it went. But then it got really bogged down and dense, and I just stopped caring; I put it down for weeks before finally picking it up to finish it off, just so I could tick it off. I’m sure that there are interesting stories to be told in this vein, but it doesn’t feel as though they have tried particularly hard, being more concerned with the concept rather than the execution of it.

Invincible Summer by Alice Adams

Another book that I read in a day! I had seen this in a list of ‘best summer reads’, so reserved it at the library, and read it the same day that I picked it up. It’s billed as a great read for anyone who enjoyed One Day, in that it follows a similar structure: we meet this group of friends as they finish their first year at university, and then catch up with them over the next 20 or so summers. It’s not as rigid in its structure as One Day; sometimes we catch up with the gang twice in one year, and sometimes a couple of years pass before we find out what they’re up to. At the heart of the story is Eva, a physics graduate who finds in her friends a family that she lacked growing up. Benedict is a fellow physics student, while Sylvia is an artist, and Lucien, her brother, is not a student but a firm part of the gang. There are romantic entanglements to contend with, and there’s a definite will-they-won’t-they that plays out over the course of the two decades, but there’s much more to it than that, and that’s why I found it so compelling.

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney 

This was the final book of my three-book weekend; again, I finished this in one sitting, because I just couldn’t put it down. It’s funny, because there’s not really one character in there who I would describe as likable; they are none of them particularly nice people. The story is told from the point of view of Frances, a young undergraduate who performs poetry with her best friend and ex-girlfriend Bobbi. Their lives collide with those of an older couple, Melissa and Nick, with Bobbi being fascinated by Melissa, and Frances and Nick embarking on an affair. I’m finding it hard to describe what I liked so much about it, especially given that the characters are so unlikeable. They aren’t people that I particularly wanted to spend time with, and yet I raced through the book, eager to get to the end! Maybe it’s simply that it’s especially well-written – I felt as though I was completely immersed in Frances point of view, feeling every bit of physical and emotional pain that she went through.

Books so far in 2018 – 32

 

52 Films by Women ~ April, May and June

My attempt to watch 52 Films By Women (in writing or directing roles), isn’t going entirely well – by halfway through the year, I had only chalked up 18, which is far fewer than half of 52. Here’s what I watched in the second quarter of the year.

52films1

Love Simon – Co-written by Elizabeth Berger

Girls Trip – Co-written by Tracy Oliver

Everything, Everything – Directed by Stella Meghie

Heartburn – Written by Nora Ephron

52Films

Romancing the Stone – Written by Diane Thomas

District 9 – Co-written by Terri Tatchell

Halloween – Co-written by Debra Hill

Ocean’s 8 – Co-written by Olivia Milch

There’s clearly a huge bias towards female writers in this bunch, rather than directors, which is a shame, so I need to be a little more active with searching those out. I am determined to get to 52, it just means fitting another 34 into the remaining months of the year (spoiler, since the end of June, I’ve managed just one!).