Photo an Hour #53 ~ December 2017

Looking back at my photos from December’s Photo an Hour has made me feel lovely and Christmassy! It also makes me realise just how rubbish I am at updating my blog with Photo an Hour posts. Though there’s a huge part of me that wants to just give up and start again, there’s a bigger part that wants to complete them, so I’m powering through!

As it turns out, I failed a little on the Photo an Hour front in December – I only managed six photos throughout the whole day!

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9.30am – Wrapping up some presents for a quick family visit to deliver some Christmas joy!

10.30am – Whenever I’m near a clock at a Photo an Hour time, I feel the need to photograph it!

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11.30am – Struggling to find anything to photograph, so I snapped this faux-old shopfront.

1.30pm – Some missing hours, because it’s hard to take photos on the hour when you’re with people! This was the day that I played Uno for about 3 hours with three little girls, one of whom didn’t really know the rules!

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4.30pm ~ Waiting for a lift home, and realising that I had missed a fair few hours of this game!

6.30pm ~ Is there anything more autumnal/wintery/Christmassy than the Strictly Come Dancing final? I was Team Joe, at the time, and he did win, though since then I’ve realised that I should have been Team Gemma.

And that was that – I always struggle with photos when I’m out and about, because I just don’t keep track of the time very well! Especially when I’m locked into one-after-the-other games of Uno that don’t feel like they are ever going to stop…

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 on a monthly basis.

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!

December 2017 Books

December-books

I didn’t actually realise that I hadn’t read anything in December that wasn’t a festive story, but they all were! I was trying to tick off ‘Read five Christmas books’ from my 36 Before 36 list, and with these and Last Christmas in Paris that I finished in November, I’ve ticked it off!

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
This has been on my Christmas reading list for years, but somehow I have just never got around to it. This year, I reserved it at the library nice and early. In age old Poirot fashion, the story involves the murder of a wealthy old man, whose family have convened at their old family home for Christmas. It’s not the best Poirot story that I’ve ever read, but as ever, it involves a convoluted plot, plenty of red herrings and imposters, and a clever reveal. It’s well worth adding to your festive reading list for the future.

Christmas at the Dancing Duck by Daisy James
With a specific festive book goal in mind, I resorted to Kindle bargains when some of my library reservations didn’t arrive in time. This was one of those bargains, though that word suggests a piece of quality work for a small amount of money. I hate being overly negative, but this book was not for me. Granted, you have to expect a certain type of book when you’re dealing with a cover like this, but it was sloppily written, had annoying characters, and a silly conclusion that I saw coming a mile off. It wasn’t for me, sadly!

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Horniak
Christmas books so often revolve around family coming back together, and not getting on, and that’s exactly what happens here. When Olivia returns home from Sierra Leone, where she’s been treating victims of Haag Disease, she has to go into quarantine with her family for a week. This is a family with secrets, who don’t actually seem to enjoy spending too much time together, so the forced proximity is not welcome. We get alternating points of view throughout the novel, so we are able to empathise with the family members, even if I spent most of my time wanting to knock their heads together. This isn’t a criticism however; I don’t have to like a character to find them well-written and engaging.

The Little Christmas Kitchen by Jenny Oliver
I bought this at the same time as Christmas at the Dancing Duck, and after that one failed to set my world on fire, I didn’t hold out great hopes for this one either. But I was pleasantly surprised. It’s the story of two sisters who have grown up mostly separately after the divorce of their parents saw them living apart. Ella has forged a successful career in London and lives well with her upper class husband, while Maddy, the younger sister, has lived in Greece with her mum, living a simple life as a waitress, but dreams of fame as a singer. Through a contrivance of events, the sisters swap places for Christmas, and have to work through their own issues, which thankfully are not all relationship and men related. It’s a predictable ending, and the story won’t stay with me, but that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it.

Books in 2017 – 41

36 Before 36 – Read five Christmas books