One of my photos

December 2023

January 4th, 2024 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

December is a funny old month. It can just slip by as you focus on getting this crappy year over and hope than the next one will be better somehow. Towards the end of the month a lot of people, especially those with children, knock of for Christmas a week early, making work difficult because you can never get hold of anybody. And then there is the weather… No chance of the snowy landscapes I remember from childhood, just unrelenting rain and one named storm after another.

So generally a fairly uneventful month, mostly spent indoors.

During the month I read 9 more books, taking me to 120 for the year. I watched some TV as well, finishing off the first season of Bosch Legacy and watching all of season 2. After that I started watching season 2 of Reacher, which is being released at an old-fashioned rate of one episode per week. There was also all that Doctor Who to watch – the 60th anniversary specials plus the Christmas one. All very enjoyable I thought. Good to have RTD back in change.

Otherwise it was Christmas specials of things like Ghosts, Brassic and Not Going Out. More contentiously there was also a new Ben Elton stand-up show. He does attract a lot of criticism, and maybe he isn’t as edgy as he used to be, but I liked it. I remember seeing him at the Lewisham theatre back in the day and it may have been the most I have ever laughed.

During the month I watched three films on the TV. I can’t really remember much about any of them, except a general feeling that they were OK. They were Annihilation (2018), Squaring the Circle (2023), and Ballerina (2023). I do remember the last one being a Korean film and every bit as mad and violent as so many Korean films are. I just looked up Annihilation and remember now. I had seen it before and forgotten about it until I was partway through it. I think I enjoyed it more the second time round. A very well-shot film. Beautiful to watch, despite being quite forgettable. I also just looked up Squaring the Circle: it was a documentary about Hipgnosis. It was OK, but a lot of the same anecdotes I had heard elsewhere, mostly from the book about them that I read last year.

It had looked like I was not going to be indulging my recent vinyl-buying habit in December. There were no record fairs going on, no visits to Brighton and the usual complete absence of anything remotely interesting in the Crawley charity shops. And then right at the end of the month I was back in Essex for a family get-together and wandered down to the market where I picked up half a dozen LPs for £20, all of which tuned out to be in excellent condition and provided plenty of listening pleasure during the holidays.

I may have spent a lot of the month indoors, but I did actually drive my car this month, even if it was just to take it up to the garage for an annual service and MOT. That makes it 8 times I drove the car in 2023, although 5 of those times were distances of less than a mile – mostly tip runs. Despite the weather I did find enough dry days to get out on the motorbike a few times, even if it was just little local spins to keep the battery charged up. Even so, when I tried to go out on Christmas Eve I found the battery dead and had to bring it in to charge it. I guess that is what happens when you have to leave a bike, with its tiny battery, outside in the cold and rain for a couple of weeks. When we do get to move house a nice warm garage is top of my wishlist!

The holiday season turned out not to be a very boozy affair. In fact I had a can of Kopparberg cider at the start of December, and that was it. In the whole year, apart from on holiday, I had something like a few cans of cider, a couple of half-pints at a family wedding and a bottle of pre-mixed pina colada – a leftover from my birthday in 2022. I think I made up for it on holiday with many beers and cocktails in Greece during the week.

December continued my winning streak with the Premium Bonds, but only just. A meagre £50 win was all I got, but at least it kept up the 6-month streak.

Finishing on a positive note: I managed to gain weight during 2023, piling on about 6kg, taking me back up to what I was at the start of 2020, which is probably roughly where I should be. I’m sure my doctor and nutritionist would prefer me to be a bit more, but I’m happy where I am.

So bring on 2024. I intend to go out and fly my drone a bit more than I did in 2023, and there is always a general election to look forward to.

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