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.
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.
This one is from the following year:
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.
It’s that time of the year when the city, by which I mean Manchester, gets dressed up in the theme of Halloween. There’s so much fun stuff and I took a lot of pictures; it was a though decision to pick the ones for a blog post.
“Can you believe the utter stupidity?”
“Howdya like my new tentacles?”
Welcome to our castle. Don’t worry, we don’t eat people.
Without cooking them first.
Dragons make wonderful pets, I hear. As long as you’re fireproof, you’ll be fine.
“There’s something in my eye.”
Wanted: vendor for our market stall. We’re not sure what happened to last one.
A skeleton collection: I don’t know what it is, but I really do enjoy skeletons. I think it might be that they always look like they’re laughing at something.
And this one’s in a wheelbarrow. I love wheelbarrows.
“Hello, honey, I’ve been waiting for you!”
“Oh, look, kids, daddy’s home!”
There’s nothing like seeing monsters or villains deeply in love with each other. I went to see Venom Let There Be Carnage the other day, and the romance between Cletus and Frances (played by Woody Harrelson and Naomie Harris), the villains of the film, melted my heart. They were just so tender with each other, and you know they’d destroy the civilisation to be together. They even danced in the flames!
Since I’m on this topic, how about Gomez and Morticia from Addams Family? I think they legit might be one of the best married couples in all of fiction.
Anyway, Happy Halloween, and beware of the monsters. The true scary fact is, the most dangerous ones don’t look like monsters at all.
Communists used to be big on IWD, as I remember, though it’s not like they went deep with it; nothing about women’s rights or anything. Worker’s union (there was only one) would give female employees in all workplaces a flower–a single carnation–and a small present and afterwards there would be little celebrations or a parties. It was just an opportunity for them to pat themselves on the back, look how great we are and respect women! Also, because at that time we didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day, kids at school would make presents for their mums, like a handmade card or similar.
This year I went for colour pink, as opposed to red of the twoprevious years.
I glued the pink paper hearts on the sticks and put them in an empty perfume bottle. It took some time and effort to get the spray top off the bottle. The sticks are those ones they put in your coffee at Greggs, I guess they’re for stirring, I wouldn’t know, I’m a black coffee, no sugar girl. I kept a couple, though I had no idea at the time that I’d make use of them. I love how very DIY the whole set up looks.
I don’t date so Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean anything to me, I just like making these little photoshoots. I might watch a rom com or two, though a Jane Austen adaptation would be even better. I like the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice and the Sense and Sensibility movie with Emma Thompson from the 90s. Last year’s Emma was also good.
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 tried to imitate the Rosie the Riveter poster using my Captain Marvel doll and a yellow card paper.
Chrisjen Avasarala from The Expanse, responding to mansplainers:
Or you can have the pure female rage from the Game of Thrones:
What of my wrath, Lord Stark?
It’s really a short story: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Based on author’s real life experience, it’s a tale of a woman, who is after the birth of her baby taken by her husband to a countryside mansion for a prescribed “rest cure”. He doesn’t let her do anything, as she must only rest and she is slowly driven insane by the yellow wallpaper on the walls of her room. I call it the Madwoman in the Attic Origin Story and it’s available for free on Gutenberg here.
As I say every year, Valentine’s Day is nothing to me. I chose singledom. But it can’t be denied that it offers very aesthetically pleasing opportunities for photography. Or art in general. And stories and poems and songs and important essays about relationships–it’s certainly good for creativity. For better or worse.
You can always be your own valentine if there’s no one else. At least then you don’t have to share any chocolate.