Wishing you all a Happy 2020. I spent my New Year’s Eve watching the Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which was shown on BBC One over three consecutive evenings. Whilst this new version has divided critics and fans alike, I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the way in which the screenwriters subverted the norms of previous adaptations. In particular, the characters of Count Dracula and his adversary, Van Helsing, played by Claes Bang and Dolly Wells.
Stoker’s gothic novel has sat on my bookshelf for over 20 years, and last year, I started reading and listening along on Audible, the version narrated by actor Greg Wise. I haven’t finished it as yet, as having updated to a new phone, my library within Audible has to be downloaded again and I will need to start over again. As I don’t like to give out spoilers to films or TV programmes, all I can say is that the BBC One show started where I last listened on Audible. Script/Screenwriting in itself is no easy feat, and I think Gatiss and Moffat should be celebrated for their original twist on Stoker’s classic, and turning the Count into a ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’. And, if their work has divided opinion, then that’s a sign of a job well done.
Also on New Year’s Eve, I was tinkering around with my new dog blog, http://www.thedoggroomingphilosopher.co.uk – and learning more about SEO, categories and hashtags. I still have to work on its mobile app, but I’m getting there.
The delectable Mr B and I had an enjoyable Christmas together, and once again, I was taken aback by his generosity. I am the proud owner of the Friends 25th Anniversary Lego Set, and I built this late Thursday evening/early Friday morning. Over 1000 pieces in all, and I took photographs of each stage of the build. I now have to find a spot in my living room where it can take pride of place. My other gift was a Moleskine notebook, which I will be using as a bullet journal for this year, starting March 2020, as my other bullet journal ends this February. I’ve always kept diaries, usually of the mundane and not so, but bullet journaling helps me to keep track of my finances (or lack of, to be honest) amongst other things. I am also being treated to tools and equipment for Dog Grooming, and whilst we are on the subject of dogs, we have now booked to go to Crufts 2020. I am so excited about that, and Mr B received the tickets today.
Last Saturday, we attended the 35th Anniversary Concert of the 1980s film, Ghostbusters, accompanied by a live orchestra at Liverpool Philharmonic. It was brilliant to see the diversity of fans young and old in the audience. And I would certainly consider something similar in the future. Sunday, we spent time visiting my Dad, Mel, Liv and Roscoe – and we’re really grateful for the gifts that we received. And it didn’t take long for Roscoe to take the stuffing out of his toy turkey (and yes, Roscoe is a beautiful Miniature Dachshund, by the way). Afterwards, we visited our friends Amy and Tim in their new abode in Burscough, stopping off at The Sandpiper in Bickerstaffe en route.
The celebrate the new decade, the delectable Mr B had devised a 1920s inspired menu and it was delicious. Stuffed Pork Tenderloin wrapped in Smoked Bacon, served on a bed of Roasted Vegetables with Braised Red Cabbage; followed by Ritz-Carlton Lemon Cake and White Lily Cocktails. This is not M&S Food, this is Mr B’s food (although I had a helping hand, but thank you to the people behind the online recipes).
Christmas Day itself was spent with our families. I stayed with Mum Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, watching A Christmas Carol (another fantastic adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic), and Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars, and listening to the soundtrack to Blinded By The Light as we prepared our Christmas Dinner. Had a brief catch up too with my nephews and Phoebe, as well as my sister-in-law and their dog Smokey. A massive thank you to all of my family and also Lee’s for their lovely, thoughtful gifts.
As for New Year’s Resolutions, I am following actress and comedian Miranda Hart, and joining her quest to make ‘Zero Resolutions’. This time of year, we often want to change ourselves, however the changes that we want to make, are usually associated with the way we look, or how much we weigh. Whilst I advocate a healthy lifestyle, I want you to know, that you are all ‘Imperfectly Perfect’ as you are now (that saying is credited to a slogan on a t-shirt in Yours Clothing). You should never be defined by the numbers that crop up on your scales or by your reflection in the mirror. However, if you are planning to make changes to your lifestyle, or continuing with your ongoing goals, then I applaud you for that, because it’s not easy. And if you are seasoned gym goers or long-distance runners, and there are a crowd of newcomers in the coming weeks, reach out and encourage them to stay on track…because, once, you too were that person.
So, I am signing off for now, and to quote the lyrics of my favourite musician, Frank Turner:
‘In a world that has decided
That it’s going to lose its mind
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind…‘
Take care of you xxx