December in January

I ran out of energy before Christmas...  I feel that my body batteries are mostly recharged but my mind is still catching up. Although I have had an extended work break, I don't feel entirely rested because the Christmas period is busy with trying to meet mostly my own expectations and failing. 

I feel like I was more of an observer, rather than an active participant of Christmas. Possibly not great company either. But I'll have to reflect on that later, for now it is time to let go and move forward.

Some December highlights:

:: Celebrating Alistair's birthday. 

:: Welcoming Annie back after her semester abroad

:: Congratulating James on his first job, stock rotation in the local corner shop.

:: Meeting my teaching colleagues for a packed lunch Christmas lunch. I liked the bring your own lunch idea because Christmas meals in restaurants are often disappointing and always expensive. Some of my colleagues I had never met in person before! We are a unusual teaching team, all under one School but all with teaching commitments in other Schools. We also hotdesk/work at home, which makes it difficult to feel like a team. Anyway, we went to the pub after lunch and it was fun. 

:: Receiving Board of Studies approval for my re-developed MSc programme on my last day of work before the break. Minor changes needed only. I was so relieved as it was a huge time commitment to review an entire programme with all its courses and propose changes to keep up with a fast moving world

:: Going for dinner and ballet with one of my ballet class friends. We went to see Cinders! - a magical new Cinderalla story - at the Theatre Royal. We were attending on a night where Cinders was a man swept of his feet by his Princess. I really enjoyed this interpretation very much. The dancing was beautiful. My other ballet friend saw the version in which Cinders was a woman swept of her feet by her Prince. Which version was on was a surprise for the audience. 

:: Baking Swiss Christmas cookies. I enjoy this very much and if pressed for a decision, this would be the only Christmas tradition I would find difficult to give up.

:: Being gifted two completely unexpected presents that touched my heart. Annie learned to knit in Norway and knitted a headband for me because she knows my ears get a bit cold this time of year. I love to see how her knitting became more confident as the headband grew. Alistair went out to the shops on Christmas Eve and bought me a bouquet of colourful flowers. It was a thoughtful choice. 

:: Recording an end of year podcast on the 29th December. It was a fun and I enjoyed it. Sometime in the future I might listen back to an episode but I am bit worried that I sound stupid. Maybe I need to ask someone else for constructive feedback?

:: Having friends and family round for an evening of cocktails and snacks. This was the evening before Hogmanay and it was fun. There was no pressure to stay up and celebrate the new year, which was refreshing. On Hogmanay, I was asleep before the bells.

:: Listening to a thoughtful space opera book (Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh) and a new to me crime series (DS Cross mysteries by Tim Sullivan).

More news later. Have a good year! Thanks for visiting 😊.


  1. Some lovely Christmas moments, especially the gifts of the headband and the flowers. And the Swiss cookies look excellent. I am wishing you and yours a very happy 2024. CJ xx

  2. Happy New Year Christina, I enjoy your blog and your reading recommendations !

  3. It's such a hectic time of year. I remember about wrapping things up at work while trying to prep for the holidays.

  4. That's a gorgeous plate of cookies! The holidays were nice, but I'm happy we have entered the start of a new year. That's exciting to hear Annie learned to knit during her time in Norway. And what a thoughtful gift from Alistair - fresh flowers are the best! Happy 2024 to you!

  5. Funny, I gave the same; baking Christmas cookies would be the absolute last thing I would give up

  6. Happy New Year Christina! I too went to bed before midnight on New Year’s Eve - nice dinner with friends but we don’t feel the need to stay up these days. Those cookies look delicious. Xx Doris

  7. Congratulations on your redeveloped Msc programme being accepted. That must have take many hours of work on your part.
    Glad you enjoyed the Cinders ballet with a different twist on the traditional tale.
    Lovely gifts from your children.
    Hope 2024 is a good one for you, Christina.

  8. Happy New year, Christina, and it was nice to find this after-the-holidays catch-up email. Those cookies looked so good just from the photo and I wondered about the contents of glasses in the second photo. Jack looked content and must had had a great holiday as well. It seems you had even more to celebrate with Annie's return, a birthday and a first job. Unexpected gifts are always the best, especially handmade and hand selected.

  9. I like hearing about other peoples Christmas celebrations because they are all different. I think we are starting to realise that whatever you do, it will be OK... and OK is plenty! I am so pleased that Annie is knitting - you must be thrilled. Jo xxxx


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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx


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