I meant to publish this a few days ago but New Year swooped in and I never got round to it…but here are the things that I loved in December. I’m not sure I’ll be doing monthly favourites in 2016 but it’s been fun doing them. You can see my other favourites here.
In December, I finished this semester’s course and got an A, yay!! I’ve signed up for ‘practicum’ in Spring 2016 which is the practical teaching side of things. My lecturer is my favourite lecturer I’ve had so far – I am super-excited about starting on Feb 1st. In the meantime, it’s lovely not to have any homework for a while.
Little Bee by Chris Cleave was hugely hyped on the cover. I found it in a second-hand bookshop and I liked the design and decided to buy it. It started spectacularly but totally fizzled out by the end. However the ‘beach incident’ was gripping and it shed an uncomfortable light on the way the British government treat refugees and asylum seekers.
Those who stay and those who leave by Elena Ferrante is the third in the Neapolitan novels. I liked this one a little less than the other two but it was still a good read.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was a Christmas present from my lovely friend Debs. It was fab – a fun, light read that was well-written, clever and funny. Hard to find in a book these days. Much recommended.
I read 41 books in 2015 – 14 more than in 2014. I kind of stopped reading novels during the Dude’s early years and it’s been such a delight to get back into them. So much pleasure in a good book.
I watched two EXCELLENT TV series this month and totally recommend both. They’re both British and both on Netflix.
The Fall is a police drama with Gillian Anderson chasing a serial killer through Belfast. I have to admit, it’s very dark, I found it very unsettling and had some nightmares. I also nearly had a heart attack when, on an early morning run with Lisa, a guy ran past us all in black just like the baddie in the programme. But it is excellent TV and I also found out that Gillian Anderson is British! Who knew?? Also, her detective inspector character is one of the most interesting women on TV that I’ve seen for a long time.
Broadchurch is another British TV show on Netflix that’s been very popular at home. It started grimly with the death of a young boy and I nearly gave up immediately but that’s the hardest bit and after that it’s fine to watch. The acting is spectacular! What made it really special to me was its portrayal of the Dorset town where it’s set, just 60 miles from home, and the local accent which isn’t too far removed from the Wiltshire accents of my family. It made me homesick in the very best way. It also made me wonder why on earth i’ve not visited anywhere so incredible as THIS place before!
We finished off the final series of Downton Abbey, which was rather lovely and as regards running, I loved one of the latest Salomon Trail shorts about running through redwood forests. Planning my birthday trip up to Redwood National Park right now.
We also watched The Snowman, which if you’ve never seen before, you need to watch. 20 minutes of your life and basically Christmas perfection.
Yep. Serial, like everyone else.
Also, two Marathon Talk interviews are worth recommending. The first is with an elderly British couple – she just broke the UK record for Women’s Marathon over 80 ( 5 1/2 hours) and they both did a 100k ultra for their 50th wedding anniversary. I loved it because they talked about how running had enriched their lives and it really brought home to me how I want to grow old with running, how I want to still be running at 80 and how I need to run NOW with that in mind and make good choices.
The other interview is with Melissa Fehr, an American expat in London who won loads of medals at the World Transplant Games. She’s awesome but her frank discussion of transplants had me in tears in my car.
And then Christmas swooped in and that was about all I got round to doing!