H O M E .      A B O U T .      C O N T A C T .      T U M B L R .      T H E   B O O K   J O U R N A L .      sailorjennie [at] gmail [dot] com

Monday, 26 December 2016

December: until now, until the end

- December, Until Now -



Hogwarts in the Snow
I had visited the Warner Brothers Studio Tour twice previously, but this time it felt like walking into a dream. The Great Hall and Gryffindor Common Room were fully decorated for Christmas, the former even having perfectly formed Christmas puddings on the tables, and Hogwarts Castle was covered in a fresh dusting of snow, which somehow made it feel even more magical than usual. We ate Butterbeer ice cream, dug our hands into tubs of fake snow used during the films and once again marvelled at the enormous joint efforts and talent that went into creating a series of films that means so much to so many.






Naturally I couldn't resist a once round making several laps around the gift shop on the way out. It's a smallish room, but one with shelves upon shelves of delicious sweeties and intricately designed mementoes. I wasn't tempted by too much this time around, which makes the things I did choose to buy all the more special. My keys have had a much needed refresh thanks to my new Deathly Hallows keyring and my tote bag collection is coming along marvellously with its new witchy addition.

I've started buying a postcard from each place I visit because I just adore beautiful artwork and I think it's a lovely way to collect small pieces of art that also mark memories made along the way. I have a vision of framing some when I have enough, but until now they're safely tucked away in the pocket of my Moleskine notebook. Finally I bough a replica of Queenie's wand made by Noble Collection for no particular reason other than I think it's beautiful.

First MA essay
Our first study block focused on Antigone and I got really lucky because, despite never having studied Ancient Greece in any form, I really connected with both the narrative and its wider context.  The first few months of anything new are unknown so I used the opportunity to take a risk with my essay and found one quite specific angle I wanted to explore and didn't deviate from it. Making just one point has always scared me because my brain naturally assumes that I've misunderstood something or that it's an entirely irrelevant point, but I'm thankful I used this first essay as a bit of a test run because I scored a 95. I don't know whether I can replicate the things I did well throughout my next assignment, but I'm looking forward to giving it a bloody good go.




Christmas
Christmas is always a quiet day in our small family, starting with some new pyjamas and slippers (with Beatrix trying to nibble holes in them almost immediately!), and ending with some mint chocolates and a glass of gin. We watched Harry Potter, made roast potatoes, exchanged gifts and used the day to recharge our batteries. Watching the pup open his presents is always one of our highlights. He gets so excited about ripping paper and making a mess, and I think he's quite pleased with his new squeaky goose toy.

As I type I'm wearing a pair of my new cosy pyjamas, slippers and bunny socks and burning the most delicious smelling strawberry scented candle I've ever encountered whilst waiting for our Christmas Pudding and custard to steam through. Queenie is now sitting between Jacob and Tina on my Pop shelf, with the naughty Niffler sitting next to my shiny tiny Christmas tree on my desk. Mark went completely overboard this Christmas and I almost cried when I unwrapped a very special and incredibly thoughtful gift bought from MinaLima that perfectly combines my love for Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and beautiful artwork.







My Mam and I were rounding off the night by watching The Martian when we heard about the passing of George Michael. This year has been difficult for so many reasons, but if it's taught me anything it's that there simply aren't any good excuses for not fiercely chasing my dreams because everything we know is so fleeting and every second is so precious. And that's not to say that every second should be treasured or something look back on with fondness because that isn't how life works, but I'm not scared to fail anymore and there's more than enough value in just trying, without having to worry about thinking if things are going to work out.

- December, Until The End -

I don't have any real plans for the final few days of the year, other than to do my taxes (not exciting in the slightest) and to start my initial reading for my next University assignment, which surrounds the concept of otherness in Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea. It's also time for me to turn some of my attention back to my neglected book blog The Book Journal because it's been far too long and after taking some time away from blogging in general this year I can now see, more than ever, how valuable it is to have a space to retreat to when life feels overwhelming or difficult to navigate.

How has your December been? I know that this month can often be a difficult one and so if you ever need anyone to talk to, I'm always just an email away.
xo

22 comments:

  1. My December was great and we had friends over on Christmas even when we not celebrate christmas but i love christmas and since last week i have holidays and in this time i want to try write a fewblogpost for 2017 because eventually the holidays will be over and i don´t want to be stressed.
    And i never was in the Warner bro. studios but i want to do it in 2017 because i love Harry Potter.

    Xoxo Mel

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  2. I haven't seen the studio even once! I can't imagine what it looks like all decked out for Christmas! // Merry Christmas to you! // I'm hoping to have a slow rest of the month, casually catching up with friends over winter break, nothing big :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

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    1. It's so magical at any time of the year, but especially at Christmas. I hope you had a wonderful festive season, Audrey! <3

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  3. Oh Jane Eyre, one of my most favourite books of all time. What a brilliant book to have in your studies.
    Merry Christmas. :)

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  4. I really love the gift shop at the studio tour I can spend hours in there!

    Mel ★ http://www.meleaglestone.co.uk

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  5. I wish you all the best with your MA Jennie, not that you need it - you're going to nail it!:)
    December has been pretty turbulent for us to be fair (world happenings aside). Shaun started studying for his teaching diploma (left retail after 15 years) and I've been blogging full time for a couple of months now so only just settling in! But it's all good:) Here's to big 2017, it better be a good one! xx

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    1. Thank you, Tereza! I hope 2017 is a good one too <3

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  6. Merry Christmas, Jennie! Sounds like your December was pretty magical :)
    I also watched Harry Potter with my mom on Christmas and it's a dream of mine to visit the HP Studio Tour one day. I can't imagine what it must feel like to see Hogwarts in the snow. Wow, Queenie's wand is so beautiful, I totally would've bought that as well.
    Congrats on your amazing essay result and all the best for your further studies. Reading and writing about otherness in Jane Eyre sounds like so much fun!
    P.s. Beatrice and the dog are too cute! <3
    Enjoy the last couple of days of 2016 and have a wonderful start into 2017, which will hopefully treat us all better. Can't wait to see what you're up to and what you'll do with The Book Journal. I love reading your thoughts on everything :)
    Love from Germany,
    Daphne

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    1. Merry Christmas, Daphne! I hope you have a wonderful start to the new year as well, hopefully it'll be a good one <3

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  7. That's such a sweet and thoughtful gift - the print from Minalima! I've been to see them and they're just so stunning, especially the ones with the gold leaf *ahhh*. December was very busy until the run up till Christmas as I was busy working, then finally a break on my birthday on Christmas eve and just a generally relaxing/doing nothing Christmas Day (and lots of food?)!

    I've been the the Studio Tour twice but have never been during winter, it must be magical with the decor! I'm trying to make it my mission to haul my ass across the world to Universal Studios in Osaka for the real deal! Well done on your essay too, given you just jumped right in.

    Enjoy the last couple of days despite the sadness we've been surrounded with, and hopefully onwards to a more hopeful one soon.

    Cherie | sinonym

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    1. Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday and Christmas, the perfect time to relax! I hope you have an equally wonderful end to 2016 and start of 2017 <3

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  8. Merry Christmas, Jennie!!

    Oh my word, I'm ever so jealous of your Fantastic Beasts' Funko Pops and your beautiful MinaLima print. So so perfect. Hope you had the loveliest Christmas, sweet. x

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  9. Merry Christmas Jennie! Sounds like you had a lovely day and that Niffler is one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Love that the pup got so excited, my dog did too and it was adorable. Wishing you the very best for 2017, I'm very proud of you about that essay mark too you clever thing! x

    Sick Chick Chic

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    1. Merry Christmas, Josie! I hope 2017 has lots of wonderful things in store for you and your family <3

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  10. Ohhh I saw Quennie's wand a couple of days ago on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour Website and it's just beautiful! I bought tickets for my sister and I to go to the tour for her Christmas present, so once we plan our trip that wand is definitely on my shopping list when we get into the gift shop! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas xx

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    1. It's so beautiful and ridiculously fun to swish around ;) xx

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  11. I don't blame you for getting Queenie's wand; it's so beautiful! Some day I would love to visit that studio. It's definitely on my bucket list!

    Katie | www.overthemoony.com

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    1. It's one million percent worth the trip, so so magical! x

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