Saturday, 31 December 2011

Christmas presents and New Year Intentions.

I love the build up to Christmas and then it all overwhelms me. No matter how hard I try or how early I start, I always feel as though I have lost the plot.
By the time Boxing day is over I need the light, the space and the fresh air. I long for the clutter to be cleared, for Christmas to be Christmas past and Christmas presents to be assimilated into the household structure.
The period between Christmas and New Year is used to acclimatize to new belongings, ideas and plans.
It is always lovely to receive books as gifts. They represent moments of escapism as well as being informative and inspirational. These gifts from 2011 are a starting point for  my new year resolutions .

'Then Again' Diane Keaton a memoir published by Fourth Estate I have to admit I posted this on facebook as a like. My wish was granted rather aptly by my sister, Bridgette. This is a memoir about Keaton's relationship with her mother and so much more. For me, my relationship with my mother and indeed grandmother are ones I wish to reflect on throughout the next year.
Diane Keaton is one of my favourite screen actresses and she has influenced me in so many ways.' La Di Da.' I emulated her 'Annie Hall' style in the late 70's and 80's with hats, ties and waistcoats. Particularly on a visit to Canada with my grandmother- this was part of my own version of a grand tour , a personal journey of growth and development. The power of travel, the connectivity of family and the binding ties of strong women all had their starting point in this moment. All virtual gifts with messages to impart. Some of these messages were and still are wrapped in time , their full meaning only revealed through the layering of life's time frame.

Diane Keaton also gives me another resolution , to revisit  her films, many of which have helped shaped the person I have become.  Part of my degree was a module on the Representation of Women in Film and Art and many hours were spent analysing cinematography . I love Woody Allen so 'Annie Hall' is a definite plus a few of Allen's other films including 'Manhatten' which gave me my love of George Gerswhin. Not sure I can sit through another viewing of the chilling 'Looking for Mr Goodbar', I watched this three times in Newcastle , late at night, then made a watchful journey home on the metro. My memories of this film I have written in a paper stored in the loft. Time for a little sorting here I feel. I have NEVER watched 'The Godfather', I need to rectify this. Then I must have a look at 'Unstrung Heroes' Keaton's directorial film. Actress, Director , we all change and develop .

'Breakfast at Tiffany's' The Official 50th Anniversary Companion. Published by Pavilion.
Another film link, another list of films to watch. Including 'Funny Face', cannot forget the 'Think Pink' sequence, 'Sabrina'  and 'Roman Holiday'. Note to myself, resolve to sort my wardrobe. Wear only lovely things. They can be vintage, pre-loved from charity shops it does not really matter. Just throw out, donate the clutter, the dated, the fat clothes . Rather like never leaving the house without my mascara, never leave without wearing a loved and lovely item of clothing.

'The Primrose Bakery Book' published by Square Peg a part of Random House.

This was a present from my very dear friend Wanda, whose daughter Alice appears in this book. So every time I use it I will think of them both . Mothers and Daughters , creative and vibrant women , all themes for my resolutions. I love cooking, mostly puddings and cakes, I love photography and have always preferred to cook with pictures . After all I eat with my eyes as well as my taste buds. So today, New Year's eve I have made toffee popcorn bark, a recipe my daughter has shared with me. I tell myself and my waistline that the pleasure is in the creation, the presentation and not necessarily the devouring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        'Oliver Twist' by Charles Dickens published by Penguin Classics.
This beautiful edition was given to me by my children.
So in this year of the 200th birthday celebrations of his birth, my resolution is to read more Dickens.. Great Expectations is on the go and I will also be reading ' Nicholas Nickelby' with my book group of women friends.

My presents to myself. This vintage brooch. Initially I thought I had no-one to give it to with the loss of my Mother and then I thought well it's me. A reminder of an important part of me , a woman but also significantly a mother .

          Also a duster: time for a clean sweep, tidy up and polish the past and clean the path to a new future.
All the best for 2012.


  1. Happy New Year Love from Travelbug who is in the sun heading for a party in Naples tonight.

  2. To travelbug- hope you had a great evening and can spend today with a little light reading.

  3. I love receiving books as gifts, but very rarely do now because of the vast amounts of books that I own - my boyfriend for one thinks I have too many as it is, and friends and family worry about buying me books I already own. Which is why i love reading about the books that others receive. Such lovely gifts and I like the way that they link into your resolutions for the new year! Best wishes for the new year.

  4. To A Bookish Space- I do hope you were given some lovely books for Christmas. Otherwise I hope you can feel able to treat yourself. Hope to see you at another Virago evening soon.

  5. Alas no books for Christmas, and one of my intentions for this year is to not buy any books (Virgao Book Club selections an exception). I am planning on reading from my vast book collection this year and really making the most, and appreciating, the books I already have. Hope to see you at another Virago event too!

  6. I have a habit of walking out of charity shops with armfuls of books (the reading equivalent of my eyes being bigger than my stomach). I have so many wonderful books waiting to be read that it's probably a good thing I only got one photography book for Christmas! 'The Photographer's Mind' by Michael Freeman - an excellent author to turn to for advice on photography (and he isn't a DSLR snob either so you can follow most of his advice no matter what sort of equipment you've got).
    Have a look at this website by the way (the name makes it sound rude, but it isn't at all!)

  7. Every weekend i used to visit this site, as i want enjoyment, as this this web site conations genuinely good funny material too.
    Feel free to visit my web-site : Disable Pocket-dialing

  8. Can I just say what a relief to find somebody that actually understands what they are talking about on
    the web. You actually understand how to bring a problem
    to light and make it important. More people must check this out
    and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you're not more popular because you definitely have the gift.
    Also visit my site Cheap Tropical Fish Food