Hello everyone and a blessed 2nd Sunday of Christmas to you all. I hope this post finds you all well. This week saw the end of a difficult year, as well as the end of December! Now it is time to reflect on what we’ve been doing, reading and watching over the last month of 2020:
December saw England leave its second lockdown, only for my region to come out in the highest Tier 3 restrictions, however this did give me enough freedom to shop for presents in local, independent shops, which was really nice. Unfortunately for the rest of the month, I was either ill, tired or in quarantine, and now most of the nation find themselves in the new, stricter Tier 4 restrictions. Thank God for the blessing of the peaceful rest-bite of Christmas Day 🌟 and the promise of better things to come with the start of the new year. 🙏 Oh and the snow! ☃
Now let’s get to the really good stuff: what I’ve been reading! While my reading pace took a bit of a hit this past month, I have still managed to read three really good novels and some comforting sections of my Bible.
First, I slowly but surely read the Victorian classic, Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell, the harrowing tale of life in the industrious Northern city of Manchester, which was my result for The Classics Club’s 25th Spin Event. Then, a little quicker, I made my way through the exotic historical-mystery, O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King, the fifth Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mystery that had us adventuring through British-occupied Palestine.
Finally, I sped through the brilliantly moving historical-fiction, The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner, about a group of fictional fans trying to preserve her memory in the village of Chawton, Hampshire. As well as enjoying re-reading the Nativity story in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and the account of St Stephen’s ministry in the Book of Acts, both in the Holy Bible’s New Testament. While I enjoyed all of these, this time it was easy to decide on my pick of the month: The Jane Austen Society.
Another God sent escape has been television and, in fact, I watched so much this past month, I couldn’t possibly mention it all here. So instead here are just my highlights:
First, I found myself hooked on Fox’s new crime-drama, Prodigal Son (2020), with its murderous thrills and spills and the brilliant father/son duo of Michael Sheen and Tom Payne. Keeping with the crime theme, I also binge watched volume 1 and volume 2 of Netflix’s reboot of the mystery-documentary series, Unsolved Mysteries (2020), with its interesting mixture of cold cases and paranormal events.
Then, needing something comforting, I flew through season one and two of Netflix’s romantic drama, Virgin River (2019-2020), based on the popular novels by Robyn Carr. Next, I returned to my crime spree, with Netflix’s fascinating new crime-documentary, The Ripper (2020), about the long and botched search for ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’. And finally, I watched the emotional fourth series of British comedy-drama, The Durrells (2016-2019), based on Gerald Durrell’s autobiographies, as the families happy existence on Corfu is threatened by war.
And of course December would not be complete without some festive films. The only new-to-me film I watched was the Netflix original, The Christmas Chronicles (2018), which was jolly good fun. Then I re-watched a whopping fourteen films/shows, that included Groundhog Day (1993); two of my favourite Austen adaptations; and Harry Potter (1-5). Which, all in all, makes it hard to choose a pick of the month, but I think it will have to go to the utterly delightful The Durrells, which had me welling up at the end!
For now though, that’s all folks! I look forward to catching up with you all next Sunday for my regular weekly reflection, and in a month’s time to see how the first month of 2021 has treated us all. Where ever you are in the world, I hope you and your loved ones are well: staying healthy and happy. God bless and bye for now!👋🙏🙂
Now I’d love to hear from you: What did you read and watch in December? How are things where you live? Were you able to celebrate New Year’s Eve?