There were a few heavy snowfalls in January. Some days were biting-cold but the daylight is definitely getting longer. I was able to start cycling to work again. A new bridge replaced the old wonky one on our weekend walk toward the Great Park. The Great Park is our usual destination if we wanted a spontaneous short walk when the weather is nice. But somehow it always turned out to be longer than I expected.
It’s the time of year when friends are saying goodbye and leaving Newcastle. Although I’d like to infinitely postpone this sad month to come, I’m equally glad to see friends back from holidays too. A few of us seem to be leaving the JPCi Friday meeting later and later – not that the meeting didn’t finish on time (just in case Ben Cadoux is reading and raising eyebrows) – I just often feel like I prefer chatting to going home (which says a lot for someone who does not like changing out of her pyjamas).
January was pretty quiet. No wild parties (as if there ever were any). Most of the evenings were spent reading under my new heated blanket while munching our way through all the leftover chocolate from Christmas – I saw a tunnel of Easter chocolates in Tesco yesterday. I watched two films, one Chinese one called Go Lala Go 2 – no need to watch unless for the actress; the other one was The Post – super exciting to see Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks acting together and even more exciting to see an old-fashioned newspaper journalism and publishing house at work. Breathtakingly romantic! (Adam: What?!) In terms of my language learning effort, I have been diligently studying Japanese by watching manga excessively…
I finished reading Lit!, Everyday Church, Sex is Not the Problem (Lust is) and a short novel collection Taipei People. I would love to have a physical copy of Taipei People from a Taiwan bookshop to add to my library. I also spent a lot of time reading William Tyndale’s biography by David Daniell for an article in JOURNEY #05. It was hard work but a brilliant book. All book reviews to follow (at some point).
I received some manuscripts from a couple of friends. One is particularly exciting because it’s a novel! I have been enjoying reading it – although reading as a reader and reading to give feedback are two really different experiences! I see it a privilege to be trusted with those manuscripts.
Not all the books disappeared from the pile are finished (photos below). I’m halfway through Shining Like Stars and Generous Justice. Some are not physical books so I can’t add them to the pile. But I’m enjoying the follow-on story of The Eccentric Family – The Eccentric Family: The Nidaime’s Homecoming, which is a Japanese novel.
The picture on the left is the pile to conquer at the beginning of 2018. Right is the pile at the end of January.
JOURNEY #05 is available now from the back of church and online: www.jpc.org.uk/journey. I’ll post more photos of the new issue soon.