Everyday life Life

December 2023

In December I finished my first term at Oxford and we went back home to Liverpool. It was a busy month, as usual, but we had pretty lovely time nevertheless. I read a lot this month, for my studies, as I have a few deadlines in early January. This helped me reach the number on the reading challenge, of 89, which is the number I am aiming for this year as well.


We spent most of the month there, but we went for a few days to Wales, to Aberystwyth to consult the archives. I will share a couple of posts on Wales in January because it was a lovely place. I would love to visit it again in the spring or summer.
In this collage I shared a picture with a mural, there are quite a few murals in Aberystwyth, all looking splendid. The promenade and castle are stunning and well worth seeing. On the right is a picture with our cooked breakfast at the hotel. I was impressed that they had vegan options and vegan milk.


There is an excitement to finding out what is written in the sources. Receiving folders or boxes and looking through them is really amazing for a historian.


At the archive I had the opportunity to see personal diaries, newspaper cuttings, photos (including glass plates), and books published in the 1930s which are quite hard to find otherwise, as some were published in US, like the book caught in this picture. I had 3 full days at the archives and it was very helpful.


We got some lovely T-shirts for this Christmas, from Saint Javelin. They are donating to the Ukrainian army, so we regularly buy stuff from them, alongside making donations, of course. Last year I got a Saint Javelin T-shirt for my husband, with baby NAFO. This year we got matching Christmassy Saint Javelin T-shirts. Aren’t they fun?


I blogged about our Christmas, including gifts and food, so check it out if you want to see more. These are the gifts I received, including that wonderful Wedgwood cup, a chess set I spotted in an antique shop, and a history of Oriel, my college.


1. Christmas party. 2. Library. 3. Books in November. 4. Christmas decorations spotted somewhere. 5. Mulled wine at a Christmas fair. 6. Cozonac. 7. Books from library. 8. I started reading We are Bellingcat. 9. Gifts. 10. Walk. 11. Poinsettia. 12. Bowl, all vegan and delicious. 13. Stamps and the 1989 coin. 14. Matching Christmas T-shirts arrived. 15. Scholars pub in Aberystwyth. 16. National Library of Wales. 17. Pen Dinas in Aberystwyth. 18. Gareth Jones’ death in the newspaper (he was killed a day before his 30th birthday, most likely by the russian communists) – His diaries – Stalin – Two victims of Holodomor (the boy has a Ukrainian embroidered shirt) 19. National Library of Wales. 20. Someone really loves Christmas. 21. I made a donation for an Ukrainian military unit, as they are raising funds to buy a car. I will receive a ring from them and I can’t wait. 22. Vibe. 23. Frames for diploma and matriculation. 24. Spirulina bread wreath. 25. Merry Christmas! 26. Oxmas. 27. Darts. 28. Diplomas and the matriculation photo are now on the walls in my office. 29. Pub. 30. Books in December. 31. Happy New Year!


I finished my reading challenge with 89 books in total. All will be reviewed on my book blog, if you are curious on any of these titles. The Ukrainian Christmas one is very interesting, so is We Are Bellingcat and Mindhunter. I highly recommend those to everyone. Also the book on Liverpudlian pubs was lovely.

Books I read in December:
Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie – 5 stars
The Moscow correspondents by Whitman Bassow – 5 stars
Freezing Order by Bill Browder – 5 stars
Europe; war or peace? by Walter Duranty – 3 stars
We Are Bellingcat by Eliot Higgins – 5 stars
Objectivity in Journalism by Steven Maras – 5 stars
A Ukrainian Christmas by Yaroslav Hrytsak – 5 stars
Cat among the pigeons by Agatha Christie – 3 stars
Liverpool Pubs by Ken Pye – 5 stars
Internal colonization by Aleksandr Ėtkind – 4.5 stars
Imagining the Balkans by Marii︠a︡ Nikolaeva Todorova – 5 stars
Mindhunter by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker – 5 stars
The News by Alain de Botton – 5 stars

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8 Comment

  1. I’ll have to check out the book blog soon. I see several that look very interesting to me. And it looks like a wonderful December. That library is beautiful and I love your shirts, too.

  2. I don’t know where you find the time for all the reading. I thought my 57 was stretching my time for last year and I’m attempting to match it again for this year. Congrats on your 1st term at Oxford completed. I’ve been going through old letters dating back to 1850’s that my father had collected from auction houses, it makes for fascinating reading, love letters, old wills etc. All collected due to the postage stamps.

  3. Happy new year! Well done on hitting your target for the reading challenge. Sounds like you had a lovely few days away in Aberystwyth and the trip to the archives must have been really interesting. Glad you had a nice Christmas. Love the cup and the chess set. #project365

  4. I’m trying to write my book review of the year right now and I notice we both read the Ukranian Christmas one!
    That breakfast looks great!
    That is SO exciting about touching and using the sources in person! I ADORED my historiography unit of A’level history studying the study of history and the value of various types of sources so I am really in awe of you getting to do this PROPERLY!
    Kezzie recently posted…From the Archives: Unusual Christmas presents 2013: 9&10My Profile

    1. Well done for the 89 books.
      That’s a full-English breakfast, although we were in Wales and there are Welsh and Scottish versions (very similar). The vegan one had beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, sausages, toast, hash brown. The vegetarian one also had an egg, while the meat version is the same as vegetarian but with meat-based sausages. So, the vegan option was really good. I like a cooked breakfast.

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