And Then it Was Over.

Merry Chrimbo y’all.

What a strange Christmas it has been this year, for me as well as many of my favourite bloggers. It seems everyone has found “Start Again 2010” to be a harder year than we had all hoped.

This Christmas was my first Christmas away from my family ever, and I think the thing I missed most was the sheer number of people that I usually spend my Christmases with. I am used to boisterousity. Or sommat. This Christmas was much smaller, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t as lovely. It was. It was intimate and thoughtful and relaxed. But it was different, and it brought home to me how much my life has changed in 2010.

My general mood has been pretty reflective for the last month or so, and prone to melancholy. I’d been feeling as though the dreams I’d had for this trip, and for my life were slipping through my hands, and that I was destined for mediocrity (the horror! The horror!). But I’ve decided, fuck it, I’m due for an attitude change. There is a hell of a better chance of making my ‘dreams come true’ (gag) in a town like London, rather than Perth. The BF and I have decided to give it six months before making the move to the capital, and then we’re going to love it sick. I went it to Lahndahn the other day for a spot of Chrissie shopping, and my heart does lift a little as the train pulls through the outer suburbs. I just have this conviction that it is where I am supposed to be now. So let’s make it happen!!

We’re also booking a short jaunt to gay Paris for Feb, which is going to be delicious. I really can’t wait to show the BF around. I want him to love it the way I love it, and for him to feel as special as I do when I am there. I want him to fall in love with France, and for it to be a part of our lives. Each day that I don’t speak French, my ability gets worse, and my fear of making a mistake (which I will do more often) gets more and more paralysing. But not to worry, if we’re there every other weekend (ahem), I’m sure my French will be tip top in no time!

That’s the plan, anyway.

How was your Christmas, was it what you hoped for?

What I’m Reading Now #2

I’ve had a crush on the Mitford sisters since last year, from the first time I read Charlotte Mosley’s collection of their letters. Since that time I’ve read most of Nancy’s novels (although I long to read her biography of Madame de Pompadour), and a collection of Diana’s reviews and essays. What a mad bunch.

Basically, they were six sisters of a sort-of-poor-but-rich-by-anyone-else’s-standards aristocratic family, who soon became quite the little socialites, causing trouble from the 1920’s onwards.

Nancy Mitford was the eldest, and she was an horrendous snob who despite having a tragic personal life became a famous novelist, then Diana, who married first Bryan Guinness, then England’s version of Hitler (she and her sister Unity knew Hitler-baby intimately), Pamela, a very eccentric but otherwise normal woman who retired to the country, then Unity, who was a fascist Nazi fanatic, and who also shot herself in the head on the day England declared war on Germany. She didn’t die, but instead rendered herself hugely mentally disabled, and died quite young indeed.

Then came Jessica, who was a communist, and who grew to rather despise her sisters and their fascist ideals, and at 19 she eloped and ran off to America, where she became another famous writer in a sort of investigative journalist way. Last, but not least, came Deborah, who married Andrew Cavendish during WWII, and subsequently became the Duchess of Devonshire and charged with the task of restoring Chatsworth House to it’s former glory.

So all in all a rather extreme family. There is a brother, Tom, in there somewhere along the lines, but he tragically died in WWII.

Anyway, Hons and Rebels is Jessica (also known as Decca) Mitford’s biography. It is said to be largely exaggerated in some parts, and rather glossing over other parts, but hey, isn’t that the nature of a memoir? You obviously write things the way that you remember them. She’s really rather scathing towards her family, if I am to believe what I have been told, but it’s all in a days work, non?

I am looking forward to reading it, because having read more of the work of the sort of upper-class-slash-Nazi-sympathiser sisters, I am interested to hear the opinions of the sister that actually had similar ideals to myself, and chose to work for her living. She sort of embraced the lifestyle of post-war Britain, by which I mean that although she lived in America, she lived in the suburbs, in a regular house without staff, so to speak, rather like anyone else I would know. Not the sort of luxury that one can imagine her sisters were living in.

I reckon it will be a good read. If she’s half as good a writer as her sisters, I’m in for a good time.

Image taken from russelldavies photostream 

En Hiver…

Just a quick photobooth snap of my back garden at the moment. That’s quite the amount of snow, non?

This is the first time The BF has seen snow, and we’ve been out and had a play. We even made a snowman,  complete with carrot nose. He’s looking a little worse for wear now, and leaning to one side like a drunkard. Loon.

On the life front, I started my new job yesterday (yes, I got a new job!) and I think it’ll turn out to be quite fun. I’m already in charge of our team’s Christmas dinner, which is a rather delectable task! Although I couldn’t make it in today because it’s just too dangerous to be out and about. It really has come as a shock to me, I never really realised how dangerous snow is. But if the temperature drops, it starts to thaw, then if you get a cold snap again, all the melted snow will freeze, but smoothly, so it’s like walking on the inside of a really old freezer – smooth ice footpaths. I’m not the most coordinated at the best of times, so vair vair difficult for me to remain upright.

I’ll see what the weather does, and maybe I’ll make it in this afternoon. My nephews are going a bit stir-crazy and The BF has major cabin fever.

I can’t help but still be delighted by it all though!