- December, Until Now -
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
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 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.