The books I've read this month have all had a festive theme.
The first book I read this month was Hercule Poirot's Christmas. I started reading all Agatha Christie's murder mystery novels in chronological order back in January 2015, one a month. It just so happens that this book is the twenty fourth that she wrote and therefore, even though I hadn't chosen it specifically to be read around Christmas time, it just fell right that it was to be read in December. Though the book had Christmas in the title and the events which occurred were over the Christmas period, I wouldn't say it was Christmassy at all. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and didn't guess the ending at all, it was one of the most surprising endings I've read from Agatha Christie yet.
I picked up Christmas At Battersea a couple of months ago and I've been itching to read it since then but I thought I'd wait and read it around Christmas time. I read a great book previously called Rescue Me by Melissa Wareham about the fifteen years that the author had spent working at Battersea Dogs And Cats Home and I'd really enjoyed that. Christmas At Battersea is made up of lots of individual stories about dogs and cats, because remember Battersea rescues and rehomes cats as well as dogs, which had been taken in by Battersea before finding their forever homes. There's some wonderful stories and I enjoyed this book very much. It's now been passed on to someone else who I'm sure will enjoy it too.
My third Christmas read was Christmas At Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop by Jenny Colgan. This book follows on from Welcome To Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop Of Dreams which I read last month and which I actually preffered. This book was rather predictable, I thought more could have been made from the story but it was okay as an easy read.
I had bought lots more Christmas themed books to read this month but this is as far as I got. I love Christmas but I'm actually rather relieved that it's all over this year, to say it's been a disaster is an understatement.
I mentioned in my last post how my dad had been taken to hospital by ambulance on the 21st of December. Thank you for all your good wishes for him. It was found that he had internal bleeding from a duodenal ulcer so he was taken to theatre to have it repaired. Unfortunately, quite late on Christmas Eve we got a phone call telling us to get to the hospital as quickly as we could, the repair hadn't held and the bleeding was severe, my dad wasn't expected to live. To cut a long story short, they took him back to theatre to have another go at repairing it whilst we waited in the family room. We were warned that it didn't look good but they were surprised by how hard my dad was fighting it and a few hours later we heard that he was out of theatre and he was holding his own. We eventually got home at about 5am on Christmas morning and by the time we'd got my mum sorted out and had a drink, it was 6am when we went to bed. We were up again at 9.15am, picked up my mum and got back to the hospital. We've been at the hospital every day since then and I'm pleased to say that my dad is really picking up now.
Whilst all this with my dad has been happening, I've been ill myself. I started with a cold before Christmas but it travelled on to my chest and I've been feeling really rubbish all through the festive period. All the stress with my dad hasn't helped and I just haven't been able to get any rest. I'm hoping that it will all start settling down now.
I'm a real Christmas lover but I've never experienced one like this before. All the jollity and festivities have gone out of the window this year, we swapped gifts late afternoon on Christmas Day and we were going to postpone Christmas dinner until Boxing Day but in the end I decided to get the meat in the oven and we ate it early evening on Christmas Day. It's been a case of making the most of things.
Back to the subject of this post, I'd bought lots of Christmas themed books to read this month but I haven't had time for anything since my dad's been in hospital. I'm not sure if I'll read them in to January or whether I'll save them for next year now, we'll see.
The books I've read this month have brought the tally for this year to forty eight, that's four a month on average. I'm pleased with that. My favourite read this year was Me Before You by Jojo Moyes but I've read a good variety of books and there's plenty more I've got lined up yet to read too.
I'm so far behind with everything at the moment that blog reading hasn't happened at all so I do hope you'll bear with me. I will try and catch up with a few blogs here and there as I get the chance but I doubt I'll be back on top of everything until things settle down again.
I hope that all my readers have had a very merry Christmas spent with loved ones and I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful new year. I hope that 2017 brings everything you wish for.
Jo I'm sending good wishes for you, your dad and family, it's never a good time to experience your last few days, I hope you are feeling better soon, and everyone is well and back to normal in January.ReplyDelete
Thank you. I'm hoping that 2017 has better things in store for all of us.Delete
I'm sorry to see that you've not felt well so consequently not had a good Christmas. I hope that you feel better soon, and that your dad recovers fully.ReplyDelete
Like you I've just enjoyed reading Hercule Poirot's Christmas, and just started Christmas At Battersea that you kindly sent me. Well done on reading a book a week through the year and happy reading in 2017.
Thanks, and to you too. Take care. Flighty xx
Thank you. I'm sure that once we're all back to normal we'll all start to feel better. I really enjoyed Hercule Poirot's Christmas, I didn't guess the ending at all. I do hope you enjoy Christmas At Battersea, there's some lovely stories in there.Delete
Sorry to hear about your Christmas but so pleased your Dad is doing well now. At least you were able to spend Christmas all together even if it wasn't in the way you planned. Best wishes for 2017.ReplyDelete
I'm just glad that my dad was around at Christmas, it was such a horrible time and I really feared the worst. He's on the mend now though so we'll have to celebrate at a later date.Delete
Glad to hear your Dad is on the mend, boy did you have a stressful Christmas!ReplyDelete
I liked Me Before You too, first book in a long time that made me cry.
It's been such a stressful and traumatic time but I have to put that behind me now, time to move on. I loved Me Before You, it's very rare I reread a book but I want to read that one again.Delete
So glad to hear your dad's on the mend and hoping for a better New Year's weekend than last weekend for your family. Well done on your reading tally, four books a month is pretty good going. Have a lovely New Year Jo.ReplyDelete
I'm hoping we can spend a bit of the forthcoming weekend together in a less stressful state than last weekend. I'm pleased with my reading tally, I'd hoped to read more this month but four books a month is pretty good going.Delete
I have experienced too many Christmases like ypour which is why I now 'look forward' to Christmas with trepidation and am glad when we come to the end of it without anything bad happening.ReplyDelete
I am glad things turned out well for your dad - will he be back home for New Year so you can transfer the feast?
I'm not reading as much due to my eye problem but did manage an ebook over Christmas The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain. I still have some that I bought a while ago on my iPad so if the weather stays unfriendly I masy well read more.
I understand exactly how you feel about Christmas. I remember that Martyn was in hospital throughout a recent Christmas, no fun at all when there's so much worry. I'm thrilled, but rather worried too, to tell you that we've just got home from the hospital and my dad's come home with us. To think he was fighting for his life less than a week ago, it beggars belief that he's well enough to be home already but he's looking well and I just hope he carries on improving now. The great thing about an iPad is that you're able to magnify the text, it must be a godsend for those who find normal text challenging. I've downloaded quite a few books on my Kindle recently and I've got a few 'proper' book to read too so I'm not short on reading matter at the moment.Delete
I am glad to hear that your Dad is doing as well as he can. I have been thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way so it is good to have news of your Dad and you too of course. Hopefully now that your Dad is improving you will get better as well. It is a terrible stress and strain and although I don't know your exact circumstances I know that these things are difficult, so I really am hoping for all of the best for you all. Hugs and hopes that 2017 eases a bit for you. Glad you did so well with your reading, hope you keep enjoying it! Hugs! xxReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your good thoughts. I've been so stressed that I'm sure it's hampered my own recovery so I'm hoping that I might start to improve now. I think 2016 has been a hard year for many of us, I just hope that 2017 is kinder all round.Delete
I'm pleased to hear that your Dad is such a fighter Jo. Hoping that he continues to recover and that you regain your health quickly. I'm sorry that Christmas wasn't as you anticipated; I know you were looking forward to it very much. We had news earlier that J's mum has fallen and broken her thigh bone. She's in surgery as I type this. She's 91 so this is going to be a long haul :(ReplyDelete
Thank you, my dad's home now so I'm hoping I might start to improve myself. We were all looking forward to Christmas so much but the main thing is that my dad is still with us, everything else pales in to insignificance, there's lots more time we'll be able to spend together. I'm so sorry to hear about J's mum, the break of a thigh bone is very serious and at 91, even more so. Sending my very best wishes, I know you'll both be worried sick so I hope the news is as good as can be.Delete
Oh goodness Jo what a time you've had! Thank goodness your dad is on the mend, that must have been so scary for you all, and him too of course. I do hope he continues to improve and he will soon be home again.ReplyDelete
I think the bugs going around are hard to shift, I had a cold when we came back from Germany and had to go to the docs today for something to clear my sinuses, I really haven't felt like doing anything over the holiday. Fingers crossed you will feel better soon.
Well done on the reading this past year :-)
Happy New Year, and i hope you feel better soon. xx
It's been a terrible time, one I don't want to think about again. It was so serious that it was a case of saying our goodbyes and that doesn't bear thinking about now. I'm so pleased that he's home now, though it was quite a surprise that he's been allowed home so soon. I've heard so many people say they've had bugs over the Christmas period, they seem quite nasty this year for some reason, perhaps it's because we haven't had much cold weather to kill them all off. Thank you, wishing you and yours all the very best for 2017 too.Delete
So glad that your dad is picking up, hopefully you will too very soon.ReplyDelete
The #STITCHING SANTA parcel was fabulous. Clearly we are meant to be friends as you chose so well! Also I read Hercule Poirots Christmas in December, and my daughter works for Battersea. How's that for common ground?
I hope 2017 is going to be fabulous for you.
I'm sure I'll start to feel better now that my dad is home again. I'm so pleased you liked the #stitchingsanta parcel, it's hard to choose things for people who you don't really know. There's obviously lots of common ground between us, I do hope you'll tell us some more about your daughter and her work at Battersea. Thank you, wishing you a wonderful 2017 too.Delete
Jo, I'm so sorry to hear that your Dad has been so ill. I wish him all the best for a good recovery. And, yes with all the stress you've had, it's no wonder you are so run down & full of cold, etc. Try to eat regularly and get enough sleep, even if you are busy with your parents. Take Archie for a short walk & just breathe & take in what is around you as it clears the head a little. I'll try & catch up in the new year. Take care & Happy New Year to you and your family. Huggles.ReplyDelete
Thank you, it's been a traumatic time for us all but he's now, hopefully, on the mend. Poor Archie hasn't had the walks he's used to but he's very tolerant and we'll make up for it now that my dad's home. Thank you, wishing you and yours all the best for 2017 too.Delete
You've done so well with your reading tally this year. So good to hear that your dad has been allowed home.ReplyDelete
I've surprised myself with my reading tally, I've read some good books this year and I've got lots more lined up for the new year. I can't believe that my dad's made such a good recovery, he's so pleased to be home.Delete
So sorry to hear about your very traumatic Christmas, but so very pleased that your Dad is now at home recovering well. I am sure you will find that with stress levels being lower you too will start to feel a lot better, I certainly hope so.ReplyDelete
You've done very well with your reading, I must admit mine has slowed down a little ...perhaps I should make a New Year resolution to do better! We shall see.
Sending my warmest wishes to you all, and hoping that 2017 will be a happy and healthy one for you and yours.
All the best Jan
I'm sure I'll start to feel better now that my dad's home, having my stress levels sky high certainly hasn't aided my recovery. I'm pleased with the number of books I've read this year and the variety too, especially as I only read in bed before I go to sleep. Thank you, wishing you and your family all the very best for 2017.Delete
Oh Jo, I'm delighted to hear that your dad is doing well, Christmas is just a day and you will have so many more, people are everything and I'm so pleased you still have your dad. I can imagine how tired and stressed you must be feeling, especially with a heavy cold. You look after you gal and have a fantastic New Year, wishing you and yours all the very best. Take good care of yourself.xxxReplyDelete
I agree, Christmas went out of the window this year but I don't mind just so long as my dad's okay. We're going to take his presents round today so we'll have a mini Christmas Day this afternoon.Delete
Oh my goodness Jo, what a rollercoaster Christmas! I am glad to hear that your dad is improving, what a scary scary night that must have been for you all. I hope you have some days to recover and to enjoy yourself. xReplyDelete
Christmas Eve was so traumatic for us all, it's actually hard to get it out of my head now, it was horrendous. I think now that he's home, this weekend will be all about taking it easy before Daniel and his girlfriend go home on Monday.Delete
I'm so sorry to read about your traumatic Christmas Jo, but pleased your dad is slowly on the mend and back at home.ReplyDelete
I hope you're feeling better yourself too. It's so easy to overlook your own well-being while caring for someone else so do try to rest up when you can. X
I think my dad will feel better now that he's home, I know I always feel better when I'm in my own surroundings and can sleep in my own bed. I've felt totally rubbish all Christmas and I think the stresses have just added to that so I'm hoping I'll soon be on the mend now too.Delete
So sorry to hear about your dad and you feeling unwell too over Christmas. I hope you're feeling much better and your dad's recovery continues to go well. Don't worry about catching up with blogs right now, we'll always be here. Take care and I wish you and your dear ones a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year! xReplyDelete
My dad's so much better than he was and I'm hoping that I'll start to feel better now too. Thank you, wishing you and yours all the very best for 2017.Delete
Hi Jo, I am sorry to hear your Christmas wasn't the one you had planned but glad to hear your Dad is now making a good recovery. To be honest my Christmas hasn't been the best either, I had a stinking cold throughout the Christmas period which is only now beginning to clear and I have had some sad family news - my Aunt has been diagnosed with cancer of the food pipe and was taken to hospital on Christmas Eve, my Uncle (her husband) was rushed into hospital Christmas Day as well and they are both still there. I then had to break the news to my 91 year old mother so things could have been better. Let's hope that 2017 turns into a better year for us both. xxReplyDelete
Oh my goodness, you've had such a traumatic time of it yourself too. It's very hard to see those we love going through these things, isn't it? How awful that they've both been in hospital at the same time, sending my very best wishes to all concerned. I think 2016 has been a funny old year in general, as you say, let's hope for better things from 2017.Delete
I'm so sorry you had such a terrible Christmas, Jo. My prayers are with you, your dad and your family for a healthy and happy 2017! Love, Pam xReplyDelete
Thank you. We're just heading off to see my dad now but I rang him this morning and he's feeling much better than he has done. Wishing you and yours all the very best for 2017.Delete
My goodness what an awful stressful time you have had, I'm so glad that your Dad is on the mend, it's no wonder you got ill yourself, Happy New year and here's hoping that 2017 will be a better one for you and your family. :) xxReplyDelete
I'd been so looking forward to Christmas with both Daniel and Eleanor coming home but to know my dad's still with us is what I'm pleased about now. Thank you, wishing you and yours all the best for 2017 too.Delete
Sending you a (big hug) JoReplyDelete
I hope the new year brings good health to you and your family members and you can then enjoy happier times in the following weeks.
A good tally of reads this year.
I do hope so, it would be great if 2017 was a better year for all of us. I'm hoping to keep up with my reading again this year, I've got lots of books waiting in the wings for my attention.Delete
I hope your dad makes a quick and full recovery, and wish you all the best for 2017.ReplyDelete
Thank you. He's certainly on the mend, though looking very old and frail now. I do hope he continues to improve.Delete
Dear Jo. What a horrible mess any time of year but is especially bad at the holidays. I hope you are feeling better and I hope your Dad is doing well. I am sending you a big hug, hope you can feel it.ReplyDelete
I certainly can feel it, it's amazing how much it helps when you know that people are thinking of you and wishing you well so thank you so much.Delete
Oh Jo I am so sorry to read that your Dad has been so poorly and wish him all the best. I know that you will still be worried and probably no doubt you are still rushing around but do take care ((((())))) xxxReplyDelete
Thank you. I've been at my mum and dad's all morning and he seems much better, though he seems to have aged twenty years over Christmas, it's all certainly taken its toll. Fingers crossed that he continues to improve now.Delete
I hope this is the year I really start my Agatha Christie. :)ReplyDelete
Happy 2017 to you too.Delete
So sorry to hear about your Dad and not feeling well yourself. Wishing you both speedy recoveries and good health for 2017. Take care of yourself Jo and stay strong.ReplyDelete
Thank you. It's amazing how you still carry on when you're feeling ill when others are depending on you, isn't it? I'm hoping that I start to improve myself now that my dad's at home, though I'm still dashing about here and there doing things that need doing.Delete
sorry to hear about your dad, I hope you all have a happy and healthy 2017. xReplyDelete
Thank you. Wishing you and your loved ones all the very best for 2017.Delete
So pleased to hear that your Dad is a fighter. It's been quite a year this year. My Hubby has been in hospital for over a month now and my Mum went in just before Christmas though we managed to kidnap her at 10.30am christmas morning - but way too late to defrost the Turkey. A real non event this year - mind when Hubby is home we're going to have another Christmas Day to try and make up for it - perhaps your Dad would like this too?? xReplyDelete
What a Christmas you've had too. I think it's been a bad year all round. I do hope that your hubby will be home soon and that you're mum's feeling better. A Christmas Day at a later time sounds like a good idea.Delete
Oh Jo, I'm sorry that your Christmas was so stressful for you. I hope your dad continues to improve - and you too! Big hugs from me!ReplyDelete
My dad's a little up and down at the moment, to be expected after what he's been through, and I'm starting to feel a little better now. Thank you.Delete
oh my goodness Jo. Have been away so just catching up on blogs now. Big hugs to you! xoReplyDelete
Thank you. It's been a traumatic time for us all, I'm just hoping that the worst is now behind us.Delete
Lovely gifts sent and received Jo. It's been so much fun taking part in Christmas swaps this year. Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your dad.ReplyDelete
I've really enjoyed taking part in swaps over the past couple of years, they're a part of my Christmas now. Thank you, my dad seems to be on the mend.Delete