My 2015 challenges are:-
1) Read one book each month.
1a) Read Agatha Christie books in chronological order.
2) Watch films from IMDb's top 100 movies of all time.
3) Support charities.
I didn't expect to get through many books this month, what with the lead up to Christmas and the busyness of it all but I managed two books as well as the Agatha Christie one.
I watched the new television adaptation of Poldark earlier on this year and really enjoyed it so when I saw Ross Poldark by Winston Graham for sale in a charity shop, I didn't hesitate in buying it. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and even though I'd seen the series on tv, it didn't spoil the book for me.
I read a Liane Moriarty book, The Husband's Secret, back in March and really enjoyed it, so I picked up another book by the same author, The Last Anniversary, when I saw it in a charity shop. I thought it was a good read, though I did unravel the mystery almost from the beginning.
Peril At End House was my Agatha Christie read this month. It took me a little while to get in to this book and I did guess who the murderer was, though I changed my mind and latched on to someone else before it was finally revealed. I find Agatha Christie is very good at keeping you guessing and setting up lots of red herrings making you question what you think.
I've managed to watch five films this month and I had every intention of watching It's A Wonderful Life in the run up to Christmas too, though I just ran out of time right before the big day.
Sunset Boulevard is a film I've seen before. In fact, I watched it back in July 2013 as part of my challenges then and didn't particularly enjoy it. In fact, I didn't think I'd watch it again but I'm so pleased I did as I really enjoyed it this time round. I sometimes find that I enjoy a film much better the second time I watch it.
Casablanca is another film I watched back in 2013. I enjoyed it the first time I saw it and I enjoyed watching it again.
I've also seen Rear Window before. I think this is a brilliant film, though I do like many James Stewart films.
I've never really fancied Braveheart but this is one of the best films I've watched as part of this challenge this year. I didn't expect to like it but once again, I proved myself wrong. It was very gory which I didn't like, but it's one of those films which stay with you after you've seen it. I found myself thinking about it for quite a while after watching it. I thought Mel Gibson was excellent in it.
Back To The Future is another film that's never taken my fancy but it was ok. I wouldn't rave about it but it's a film which all the family can watch together.
I've cut down on the number of Christmas cards I've sent over the past couple of years. I still send to people I don't see very often and elderly relatives who I know enjoy receiving cards but I decided that I'd give a donation to charity in lieu of sending cards to other people. The Salvation Army do such a great job, especially at Christmas time, so I thought I'd give my donation this year to them.
At the beginning of the month, Dogs Trust had their Christmas Fair. I do try and support them by attending their events whenever I can and this was no exception. You can see the festive photo we had taken of Archie in my Santa Paws post.
Archie has had so many toys bought for him over the years that he won't play with. He hates things which squeak, balls, or anything made of plastic so we had a good sort out and took all his unwanted toys with us to Dogs Trust for the dogs there. We also took yet more old bedding. They must go through quite a lot of quilts and blankets, they always seem pleased to receive donations.
I sorted out more things to donate to a charity shop this month. We took them to the R.S.P.C.A. shop. I'm still sorting other things out so there'll be plenty more donations being made next year.
Another donation has been made to the food bank. I'm always mindful that whilst I'm tucking in to a hearty Christmas dinner, there are others very much less fortunate than myself. I know this isn't much in the grand scheme of things but I hope that someone will be less hungry because of my donation. You can find your local food bank on The Trussell Trust website
I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas. Mick isn't back to work until next Monday and Eleanor returns to school the same day, so we're still chilling out. We've still got Daniel and his girlfriend with us. The areas where both of their houses are in York are under threat of flood so I'm not sure when they'll return home. Another storm is due Tuesday night in to Wednesday which isn't going to help matters. My heart goes out to all those people who have been affected all around the country.