December is passing by all too quickly but the South of France is still sunny, although getting cooler. The Christmas decorations are out in force and the fun fair is installed by the beach. I have also seen people swimming this week. I’m sure it’s one of those fabulous live longer energy boosts. Apparently it’s great for the skin, but as I’m such a wimp I’ll pass on that remedy.
Here are a few things I’ve enjoyed so far in December
Well if I’m completely honest some of the favourites are from November too, but in keeping with the theme we’ll pretend they are all December favourites.
TV : Strictly speaking I’m talking Netflix here as I hardly ever watch the French networks. Les Témoins is a French six part crime series in the style of Broadchurch, although not nearly as emotional. This is a cooler and more stylised cop series, although both feature aerial shots of huge coastal cliffs so Broadchurch comes to mind. The lead is played by Marie Dompnier who I’ve never come across before but she’s great in this role as a cop married to her job, having relationship problems on the home front and trying to work with the former chief of police played by well-known actor Thierry Lhermitte. You will will recognise him from the film Dinner Game (Le diner de Cons).
I’ve also binge watched Master Of None in record time. I love this show and I needed some laughs after watching a few too many cop dramas. Aziz Anzari is brilliant as a New Yorker trying to break through in the acting industry and his ensuing everyday dramas with friends and family. I found it to be razor-sharp and poignant too.
Film : Spectre was high on the list of must sees for the month and I waited ages to see it in Version Originale. It’s just not the same in French. Daniel Craig did not disappoint and the opening Mexican scene was completely mad and over the top. The Bond girls were my favourites in a long time too. Monica Bellucci and Léa Seydoux were both perfect, although Monica has minimal screen time. Christoph Waltz as the villain had the right level of menace with a bit of humour thrown in. Craig has my vote for best Bond hands down.
I know I’m late to the party but I’ve just seen Whiplash and I’m still feeling wrung out from it. The film brought back my fears of orchestra playing when someone was running amok and the conductor would be trying to figure out who it was. The dynamic between aspiring drummer and his bullying music teacher was extreme. The whole movie was wound tightly and the tension was completely mental. The performances from the leads were as good as I thought they’d be. J.K. Simmons, who played the nightmare teacher scooped all the awards for Best Supporting Actor this year. Miles Teller as the ambitious student was also brilliant. Highly recommended.
Books : I’ve just finished Year of Wonders by ex journalist Geraldine Brooks about a village that quarantined itself when the Great Plague attacked London and its surrounds in 1666. It’s based on a true story and was fascinating. I’ve now moved onto Just Kids by Patti Smith and she’s a great writer (as well as muso) and no doubt has many tales to tell.
Fashion : A sheepskin coat has been high on the wish list for some time now. However as they are a little on the pricey side I had to opt for a fake. I finally found the one I wanted from French brand Maje. It even has a hood for the colder months. Score.
Music : I confess I bought the new Adele album as soon as it came out along with millions of others. I’m the only one in the house that can bear her voice on Hello though. While she never does anything wildly exciting there are always a few great songs on each album and are worth knowing if any karaoke sessions come my way.
Perfume : Yes I’ve been lusting after quite a few new perfumes, Iris Cendré (Naomi Goodsir) and Nanban (Arquiste) in particular but alas no purchasing. They will be mine at some stage but I really have slowed down in my perfume buying frenzy. I’m taking my time now. What I have bought are old classics such as Mûre et Musc from L’Artisan Perfumer and Thierry Mugler‘s Angel and that’s it. I’ll admit I was swayed by the good deals on offer.
Travel : OK in my dreams I’m planning a weekender to Budapest to stroll along the Danube and bathe in the hot pools and soak in some Eastern ambience. This trip is on my wishlist but it’s not happening this month.
Friends and Family : One of my dear friends has breast cancer and while life goes on it does feel like it can be cut short at any moment. The prognosis for her is good however please make sure you check your breasts ladies.
Have a great December. Let me know if you have any December favourites or recommendations. And don’t stress yourself out with Xmas shopping!
Notes : Featured images Megan In Sainte Maxime : Also Iris Cendré, Mûre et Musc and Angel. Other images sourced from promotional shots or the brand’s website.