Merry Christmas 2021!

So I managed to squeeze in one more Christmas post.

Very impromptu still life smartphone pics, brought to life by the Christmas bouquet I got at Tesco, instead of a Christmas tree. I quickly took the photos so that I could remove those red berries–I think they might be poisonous and I don’t want my cat to eat them.

Fun fact about me: I don’t drink alcohol. But I can’t resist me some Baileys during festive time. This one will last me till the end of the year.

And of course, the true Christmas classic:

The movie Die Hard. You can stream it on Disney+ if you’re a subscriber, though no doubt it will be shown in TV too.

Because it is not Christmas until Holly Gennaro McClane punches that douchebag reporter in the face!

Have a merry Christmas if you celebrate, peaceful Christmas if you don’t feel like celebrating, or just good chillout time if you don’t celebrate.

Christmas in the City 2021

I like a Christmas post every year, so here it is, and it’s all about Christmas in Manchester. Christmas markets are back after last year’s absence.

MCR is short for Manchester, and bee is a symbol of the city, in case you’re wondering.

Above and below shots are from inside Printworks.

Tree in my neighbourhood, outside a Methodist church.

Bonus – just for fun, I am forever amused about how the actor Adam Driver reigns over the stalls in Piccadilly Gardens. Not literally, it’s just a perfume advert!

This is probably my last post before Christmas, so if I don’t see you before then, have a happy holiday time, or peaceful holiday time, whichever one you prefer.

A Festive Memory

This week’s Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge is a festive memory.

This is a good one for me, for I do have a festive memory–as a child, I was very much into Christmas. What I used to love the most about the holiday was the Christmas tree. My mum used to buy a real Christmas tree and we would always decorate it together (well, she’d have done most of the job, as I realise now). And I would spend my whole time by the Christmas tree and I would play there.

Once, probably like 1986, sometime in the limbo between Christmas and New Year, I was once again playing near the Christmas tree and my mum was sitting on the sofa watching TV. I was suddenly struck by an idea of sliding under the tree and pretend I’m a Christmas present. Being a kid, that’s exactly what I did and I said: “Look, mummy, I’m a Christmas present!” Next thing, the Christmas tree fell.

Nothing serious happened, to me or to the tree, my mum put it back up and collected the fallen decorations and hung them back onto the branches. One of the decorations, a bauble, got stuck on the net curtain. I don’t know how, it was the glittery stuff it was covered with that must have somehow made it stick to the net curtain. (Is this where I say: “it was the eighties”?)

So that is my festive memory.

Because this is a photography blog, I have pics to share too.

Being a Christmas obsessed kid, and a kid who drew a lot, I started for myself a Christmas book. It was just a sketchbook where I drew Christmas things every year. I still have it to this day. When it looked like I was settling in the UK, I brought it over from my home country. It is not such a relic as it would seem, it has undergone a lot of changes throughout the years (decades!) and only two years ago I redid the cover. But some of my old drawings still remain. The oldest one is dated 1989.

We actually had a sofa like that. And the painting on the wall. And the plant.

This one is from the following year:

Drawing a giant Christmas tree next to tiny furniture and people just shows how much it meant to me

Vesele Vianoce means Merry Christmas in Slovak, in case you couldn’t tell.

More contemporary, this is 2019 (although it feels like a lifetime ago). Not much effort put into this one, it’s just a fanart of Mariah Carey’s Christmas album.

Actually, speaking of memories, I remember when All I Want For Christmas Is You was released in 1994. Little did we know it would become such a classic.

Merry Christmas 2020

So it’s Christmas and here I give you 2020-appropriate Christmas pics.

Tree in my neighbourhood.

Lights in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester. At least they still put some in there.

This year, I got myself a Christmas bouquet and put it in a vase. It’s the only kind of Christmas decoration I have in my flat, apart from a string of Christmas lights. I threw away my old Christmas tree, there’s just no space for it in my living room now (I made some changes to the decor).

I wish everyone a good holiday.

Midwinter Still Life

This is my little contribution to this year’s midwinter. Midwinter Murder is a collection of short stories by Agatha Christie that all share a winter theme. They’ve all been published before in other collections (obviously, they’re not new, with Agatha being dead for some decades). Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple both appear. As you can see, the book is without a doubt beautiful:

Although I should confess–these photographs were taken in autumn, at the same time as the ones in my Sherlock Holmes post. You can see the similarity.

Top picture was taken by my Canon DSLR, the other three with my smartphone.

Merry Christmas!

I would like to wish everybody a very merry Christmas.

Or, if you don’t want to be merry for whatever reason, I wish you a quiet and peaceful Christmas.

And if you don’t want any Christmas at all, have a good time off work, filled with whatever activity you want.

And if you have to work at Christmas, I wish you a lot of energy to get you through the day and not too many idiots to deal with.

Christmas in the City

I’ve taken a few shots with my new Motorola One Zoom of the festive Manchester, so I thought I’d make a post of them. The phone shoots quite decently in the dark, which is something I still haven’t learnt to do.

Some pics of the Christmas markets, which have now wrapped up.

This last one is from inside the Printworks. So good of Iorek Byrnison to grace us with a visit! I bet that scarf was a gift from Lyra. 😀 😀 😀

The Not Christmas Post

Yeah, I had to go there.

But at least I’m doing this on the 23rd, not on any of the Christmas days. Reality is… well, reality, even at this time of year.

So first of all, I had to make a Brexmas card, because of course.

brexmas card1

Open it!

brexmas card2

UK seems like it’s very sick and needs some good care. Just check this out.

uk not xmas card

It also looks like an England flag, which was not my intention–just a coincidence. Moving on to:

You know how the word snowflake has gained a completely different meaning to what it actually is. Used by people who can’t get over the fact that the world is changing to describe mostly liberals and/or socially conscious (aka woke) people. Snowflake? I give you snowflake.

snowflake card

Bonus – a not Christmas throwback

I found this anti-Christmas card I forgot I had among my Christmas drawings and cards (I have this thing I call the Christmas Book, where I’ve been drawing Christmas scenery and stuff since I was very young and in the last few years been saving cards in it, but that’s not what I want to talk about now). I should say I’m not the artist of this brilliant piece–it was done by a coworker. It’s from 2014 and I think it’s hilarious:

not xmas card

The point is, some people just hate Christmas, or can’t handle it. And that’s okay. It’s not an easy time for everyone, whether it’s for mental health issues, having lost a loved one or working in retail, you are all valid. One can also enjoy some aspects of Christmas and not the others. So maybe you like the food but are not thrilled about having to spend time with annoying relatives. I get that.

I have received shit from someone earlier this year when I said Santa Claus wasn’t real. I said it by mistake. (I think I meant to say something else but my communication skills are so poor I’m glad I can express myself on most days, also remember please that I’m not speaking my native language.) But as a result, I ended up hating that figure. Pass me those anti-Santa rockets, by all means.

Let’s just be good to each other, not just at Christmas, but all year round.

Unless you’re a bigot or a horrible person. Then you don’t deserve to be treated nice.

Merry Christmas.

Or not.

Christmas Photoshoot

Oh hey there, this blog still exists!

November and December seem to be dry months for me when it comes to photography (and by extension, blogging). Strangely, in January it picks up again, even though the landscape tends to be just as bad. I’m an indoors person all year round and hate the cold, so you can imagine I spend winters at home under the blankets.

So since it’s that time of the year again, I decided to do a little photoshoot using an assortment of Lindt chocolates, seasonal products of nature, decorative beads and fairy lights.

christmas photoshoot1

And another one with Christmas cards.

christmas photoshoot2

I got the kitten card yesterday from a colleague. Because there are never enough Christmas things with kittens.