December has been a brilliant month for me! With my Passion Planner all set up and ready to go, it has been a month of reflecting on the positives of 2018, and how I want to grow in 2019. For now though, here’s a look at what I got up to this month…
Reading in December…
For the second year running, I celebrated Bookmas in North Devon with my friends. For our bookish celebrations, we arranged a Secret Santa, so we would all receive a mystery book from someone in the group. I received Art Matters by Neil Gaiman, which is also illustrated by the incredible Chris Riddell. I love this book, and the piece on libraries is very special to me.
Libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication.
Gaming in December…
I had quite a board game intensive month, including some brand new games that I got to try out too.
Neil’s housemate now owns The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls card game after backing it on Kickstarter, and as a fan of the video game, I couldn’t wait to give it a go. The aim of the game is to use your character and items to fight monsters, which gains the player souls; the first player with four souls wins. The game encourages banter and bartering to keep players constantly engaged, even when it is not their turn. We didn’t quite get the hang of that aspect of it, especially as some of the rules we found to be a little ambiguous… but it was fun nonetheless!
I’ve demanded that buying a new board game every Christmas should become a tradition, so here we have it: Sub Terra. Last year this became one of my favourite co-op games, and the horror elements and race against time make it thrilling and fast-paced! I’m so happy to have it on my board games shelf now, especially as it proved quite tricky to hunt down once the Kickstarter had ended!
During the night of Bookmas, we made sure to squeeze in a board game once the presents had been unwrapped. Zombies!!! was such an exciting game to play, as players constantly teamed up and betrayed each other in the battle to find the helicopter, which marked our freedom. Somehow, I even managed to win(!), despite spending much of the game being chased by zombie police officers and construction workers!
My sister requested One Night Ultimate Werewolf for Christmas, and I couldn’t resist buying it for her. Players are randomly allocated a role (either a good villager or a bad werewolf), and during the “night” (a turn where all players close their eyes), each player will perform their unique ability and then awake in the morning to discuss their roles. The five minute discussion must end with all players deciding on who they think are the werewolves, and voting to lynch two players! It is tremendous fun and usually ends with raised voices as everyone gets riled up, as nobody wants to be killed!
Life in December…
In early December I visited an art exhibition called Frequencies, celebrating Plymouth University’s recent art postgraduates. I won’t lie, there were a lot of pieces I didn’t quite understand (even with the accompanying booklet!) but a few of the exhibits were fascinating. One piece that stood out was a short clip of a woman carrying her child upstairs. It couldn’t have been more than ten seconds long before immediately repeating, but we stood captivated by it for minutes!
With Christmas approaching, the markets rolled into the city, bringing a whole lot of deliciousness with them. Through the course of December, I enjoyed hog roast-topped chips, fresh churros with Nutella, and (my favourite) this very tasty yorkshire pudding wrap.
Continuing the theme of food, I did spend a ridiculous (but worthwhile) amount of money on this incredible banoffee waffle, with Nutella, bananas, toffee sauce and whipped cream. December proved a really nice opportunity for creating memories with family members I don’t get to hang out with all that often, as everyone finally had a bit of time off work and college.
I got to see all our furry little family members in December too, including Henry the Hedgehog, who popped out to say hello long enough for a photo!
Finally, I did Christmas a little differently this year. With all the house moving and general busy times in November particularly, I opted to spend my first ever Christmas somewhere other than the family home. I had a quiet few days with Neil watching TV, playing video games, a game of Sub Terra (we lost!) and cooking our own version of a Christmas dinner. It was nice to just spend a few days off grid before going to visit family and going back to work. I did miss the Christmas chaos a little though!
After a whirlwind of a year, it feels good to finish on a high note! I’ve met some great new people this year, and made a lot of progress towards some personal goals too. You can check out my reading round-up for 2018, and see how I fared with my 2018 goals too. I hope everyone had a good December, and a good 2018. Roll on another great year!