Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Nativity, by Correggio - click here to view full-size image

I just wanted to take the opportunity to wish each one of a Merry Christmas! May you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas with family, with friends, in whatever corner of the globe you happen to be in!

I want to challenge you to remember to take some time out to reflect on all that is beautiful and good on this earth - for there is still true beauty and goodness in this broken world - and it is worth fighting for.

Have a Merry Christmas - and a Happy New Year!

God bless you!

~The Editrix

Current Mood: Sleepy


Ana from In Pursuit tagged me!

Daily Routine


1 - Post the six to ten things that you do on a daily basis
2 - Link to the person who tagged you.
3 - Tag five other people
4 - Leave a comment on the blog of the person that tagged you letting them know that have posted this to your blog.
5 - You must tag at least one person whose blog you have either just found within the last week or some one whose blog you don’t know very well!

1. I read. A lot.
2. I check my blog and forum.
3. I eat. :P
4. I practice guitar.
5. I cuddle and play with my baby sister.
6. I hang out the washing.
7. I bring in the washing.
8. I do various other jobs around the house.
9. I smile at each of my brothers and sisters.
10. I sometimes lose patience with my brothers and sisters - "Could you guys pleeeease be quiet for five minutes?!"

I tag:

And I also have to tag one new friend: I'll tag Laura!

And if you'd like to do this meme but didn't get tagged - feel free to do it anyway!

Current Mood: Blank

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

For North and South fans. . .

I recently stumbled upon this North and South fansite - "Foolish Passion". (They're quoting Mr. Thornton - "I hope you realise that any foolish passion for you on my part is entirely over" - from the end of episode 3. You thought, Thornton! But it wasn't really over at all - teehee! :D )

There's a lot of fun stuff on there - make sure you have a look at the North and South humor page - I had bit of a chuckle over the Fitzwilliam Darcy/John Thornton conversation. And some of the goofy quizzes had me in stitches!

Well. . . I just thought I'd let you all know. I know that there are quite a few N&S fans among my readers! ;-)

And if you haven't seen North and South - why on earth haven't you seen it??!!! Buy it! Watch it! It's better than Pride and Prejudice, better than Wives and Daughters, better than Sense and Sensibility - it's better than any other BBC miniseries, for that matter. Trust me, I'm a period drama fanatic! :D

Current Mood: Satisfied

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tinkerings on my blog. . .

The Goethe Monument, by Carl Gustav Carus

Hey everyone! I've put together a playlist of a few of my favourite Christmas carols. You can see it on my sidebar, next to the Shoutbox. So, I now have two Playlists - the Christmas one, and the "other" one, which you can see if you scroll down to very bottom of my blog. Oh, and just to warn you - at the beginning of "O Holy Night" there is some loud clapping - so you might want to turn your speakers down just before that track begins, lest you be frightened half out of your wits like I was!

Also, I added to my sidebar my result from a fun quiz I found recently - "What LOTR character are you?" My result was Arwen. I can remember doing another similar quiz a few months ago, and I was told that I was Samwise Gamgee. . . so who knows which LOTR character I am really most like!

I have also *finally* updated my Shelfari widget - have a look to see what I'm reading at the moment.

Last night we all went for a drive through town to see all the Christmas lights. There weren't quite as many as there were last year, and I was feeling rather tired, but we all had a good time. I think I'm finally beginning to get into the Christmas spirit - up until now I just haven't thought about Xmas that much, but now it's starting to sink in that Christmas is just a few days away - and yes, I do believe I am starting to get a little bit excited about it. 

So--have a merry and blessed Christmas! And in the meantime, enjoy the weekend. ;-)

~The Editrix

By the way - no particular meaning is meant to be implied by the painting I included above - I just felt that it seemed to communicate the way I felt while listening to some of the Christmas songs from the that playlist I mentioned. . . silly, I know. :-)

Current Mood: Refreshed

Friday, December 19, 2008

The mask

Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns. . . Appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elongate and magnify a few, should not be subsituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ.

~Interesting words--from Charlotte Bronte's preface to the second edition of Jane Eyre.

Current Mood:  Enthralled

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

People, THIS is exactly what you want for Christmas. . .

. . . A Pride and Prejudice board game!! The idea of the game is very simple: you pick a P&P couple, then move them around the countryside, answering questions about regency life as well as the book Pride and Prejudice itself. The whole aim of the game is to get to the church so that you can be 'married'! What fun! I want one. . . though with the current exchange rate, it will cost a fortune for me to buy one and have it shipped from America. . . Guess I'd better start saving! :D

BTW - did any of you know that it was Jane Austen's birthday yesterday? It would have been her 233rd birthday. Happy Birthday Jane! :-)

Some of you may have already seen this. I thought it was absolutely hilarious - Jane Austen + Facebook = Austenbook = hysterical fun. Do have a look at it!

Finally -- I had a good laugh over some of these, which I found at Jesi's blog. I just couldn't resist sharing them with you all. . . 


Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he married Ruth?
A. Ruthless.

Q. What do they call pastors in Germany ?
A. German Shepherds.

Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?
A. Noah He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.

Q. What kind of motor vehicles are in the Bible?
A. Jehovah drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in a Fury. David's Triumph was heard throughout the land. Also, probably a Honda, because the apostles were all in one Accord.

Q.. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
A. Samson. He brought the house down.

Q. Which servant of God was the most flagrant lawbreaker in the Bible?
A. Moses. He broke all 10 commandments at once.

Q. Is it a sin for a woman to make coffee?
A. Yes. It's in the Bible. It says "He-brews".

Current Mood: Peaceful

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Girl of the Limberlost

I had heard a good deal about Gene (Geneva) Stratton-Porter's book A Girl of the Limberlost. A while ago, Emma from Charming the Birds from the Trees included it in her "Feminine Inspiration in Literature" list that she had on her blog at the time. - I think that was what first piqued my interest. After that, I kept hearing about in all sorts of  [online] places. Last week, I finally read it!

A Girl of the Limberlost tell the story of Miss Elnora Comstock. Sixteen years old when the story begins, Elnora is on her way to high school for the first time. But when she arrives, she gets a cruel shock. Country bumpkin Elnora, with her rough calico dress and big, clumsy boots is mercilessly teased by the girls at school. Worse, her tuition fees and books are going to cost more than she ever imagined. Elnora confronts her mother, Kate Comstock, about the matter. Unfortunately, Mrs. Comstock is convinced that they are too poor to afford to send Elnora to high school, and she refuses to spend one cent on Elnora's education. 

Elnora is devastated - but she is determined to go to high school and complete her education. And eventually, she finds a way to make her dream a possibility. After reading a notice asking for insect specimens, Elnora makes her way towards the house of the 'Bird Woman'.

Elnora has a great love of nature. She has made a hobby of collecting insect specimens and American Indian artifacts from the woods and swamp around her house in rural Indiana.

The real-life Limberlost Swamp

Elnora is shocked when she is told by the Bird Woman that many of the moths she has collected are extremely rare and worth a great deal of money to collectors.

So, Elnora is able to pay her way through school by selling moths! Which may sound a little far-fetched, but thankfully it doesn't seem too corny to the reader when read within the context of the book. 

WARNING: Some spoilers ahead! If you're like me and you don't like to know anything about the plot of a book before you read it, you may want to skip the next few paragraphs.

The story picks up again four years later. Elnora graduates from high school and looks forward to spending the summer revelling in nature and collecting moths. . . however, she hadn't counted on crossing paths with the filthy rich, ridiculously handsome Philip Ammon of Chicago, who happens to be holidaying in the country whilst recovering from a serious illness.

There is an instant attraction between the two, but - but - Philip is already engaged! To a girl back in Chicago - the beautiful but spoilt and self-centred Edith Carr.

*End of spoilers.*

Anyways, it's quite a charming and engrossing story. It had me sitting up late reading  several nights in a row. . . naughty me! But I'm always delighted when I discover a 'new' classic. A Girl of the Limberlost is not a classic of the same calibre as, say, Anne of Green Gables, but it is still very good. Definitely worth reading if you like Anne, Little Women, Seven Little Australians, etc.

I found out after I finished reading it that I should have read Gene Stratton-Porter's Freckles first, since A Girl of the Limberlost is meant to be something of a sequel to Freckles. . . oh well! I can personally testify that A Girl of the Limberlost is fully capable of standing on its own, sequel or not.

Gene Stratton-Porter

Gene Stratton-Porter isn't as talented a storyteller as L. M. Montgomery, and her prose isn't as poetic, either. - At  times I found myself wishing that she would include a bit more description in her writing, so that I might get a better idea as to the appearance and the atmosphere of this place, the Limberlost Swamp,  which was so close to Elnora's (and Stratton-Porter's) heart.

Stratton-Porter does however have the gift of making her characters come alive for the reader. In particular, I felt that it was the supporting characters who brought this story to life. Elnora is a very endearing and deserving heroine, but it was the strength of the character of her mother, Mrs. Comstock's, which seemed to steal the show, to some degree. The subplot involving Edith Carr and Hart Henderson was also quite well done. Edith is another very strong, somewhat unpleasant [at least to begin with] character who nonetheless brings colour and depth to the book.

I should also say that I was thrilled to find that the Limberlost is indeed a real place, just like L. M. Montgomery's Prince Edward Island. :-)

From a Christian perspective, A Girl of the Limberlost upholds faith and is certainly morally sound - the goodies are rewarded, whilst the baddies get their just deserts before reforming so that everyone ends up living happily ever after. The characters marvel at the intricate beauty of God's creation, and Elnora's faith helps to sustain her through all the various trials and tribulations she goes through.

All in all, I enjoyed this book very much, and I hope to buy my own copy sometime. It's definitely a book that I want to keep - it's one of those books that is like a friend; 'of the race that knows Joseph', as Miss Cornelia from the Anne books would say. ;-)

Current Mood: Indifferent

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A blog award

My friend Emily from Songs I Sing gave me this blog award!!! I'm so thrilled - and touched. . . it just blesses my socks off to know that there are people out there who really enjoy my little blog. Thankyou Emily! Such a kind gesture - it really does mean a lot to me. :-)

"THE LEMONADE AWARD: The concept behind this award is that the blog creators have shown an uncanny knack for silver linings and making the best of bad situations (i.e., lemonade from lemons)."

Rules: Name ten sites that reflect this silver linings philosophy

Here are ten blogs that I find inspiring. To all you inspirational bloggers: remember that by pointing out the lovely and uplifting things in life, you are helping to make the world a more beautiful place for someone (or perhaps many someones!). Through your blogs, you are blessing others, and that is a truly worthwhile pursuit.

My ten choices [in no particular order] are:

1. The Writings of Jessica Nicole McDonald

2. A Maiden's Wreath

3. Cherith Revisited

4. Old-Fashioned Charm

5. Charming the Birds from the Trees

6. Reflecting on the Simple Things in Life

7. Seven Little Australians

8. A Merry Rose: Blooming as Keeper of My Home

9. Signs and Wonders

10. Pleasant View Schoolhouse

Current Moods:

Bouncy  & Touched 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Christmas meme

An Angel, by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Click here to full-size image.

I found this meme at Erin's blog. . .

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your family and friends.

Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

Change all the answers so that they apply to you.

Then tag a whole bunch of people you know. Tis the Season to be NICE!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both. . . probably mostly wrapping paper.

2. Real or fake tree? Fake.

3. When do you put up a tree? The first weekend after my twin sisters birthday (usually the last week of November or the week of December.)

4. When do you take it down? Sometime in early January. . . no set date.

5. Do you like eggnog? I've never tried it!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Not sure. . .

7. Hardest person to buy for? Often family - funnily enough, sometimes the people you know the best are the hardest to buy for!

8. Easiest person to buy for? Little children

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Old-fashioned mail.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't know . . . I think most of my Chrissy presents over the years have been very nice. :-)

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Hmmm. . . does the Lord of the Rings count? What about Narnia? You've got to admit there's something Christmassy about fantasy films. . . okay, my favourite Christmas-themed film is possibly the Muppet's Christmas Carol.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Actually my mother does practically all of our Christmas shopping. But, when I'm older, I'll probably leave it til the last moment - me being the hopelessly disorganised person that I am. . .

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Maybe. . .

15. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas? Do I have to pick just one food? No! Too hard! My favourite things to eat at Christmas are mince pies, fruit cake, Christmas pudding, and any other home-baked goodies. . .

16. Lights on the tree? Yes.

17. Favourite Christmas song? Hmmm. . . possibly Angels We Have Heard on High - I also like Silent Night and O Holy Night and O Come, O Come Emmanuel and. . .

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We'll have Christmas Day at my [maternal] grandmother's house with my aunts and uncles and cousins. . .

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Nope. . .

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A star

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning. . . probably at about 5 a.m., if my younger siblings get their way. ;-)

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The cynicism towards Christmas that has become so common among adults. We've made a monster out of Christmas - rampant consumerism and hollow traditions have made a soulless consumerist Christmas juggernaut with no heart - and as a result of this, many people have become jaded and disillusioned towards the whole idea of Christmas. We've lost that childlike sense of awe and wonder. . . as a society, we need to rediscover the real meaning of Christmas, and the 'Christmas spirit' of giving and serving others.

23. Favourite Ornament theme or color? Rainbow. ;) i.e., all colours!

24. Favourite for Christmas dinner? Ham and chicken and salad. . .

25. Favourite Decorations? Anything handmade - delicately painted wooden ornaments, crocheted snowflakes, handmade baubles decorated with sequins and beads, etc. . .

26. What do you want for Christmas this year? Books - other than that I'm not sure.


Now, to tag as many people as possible: I tag Isabella, Livi, Bethany, Theresa, Mada, guitargirl, NotMyOwn, Kate, Emily, Jessica, Briar, Cathy, Elizabeth and Charlotte, Elizabeth, Emily, Kate, Andy, dlstaude, and Imogen. Hm, two Emilys, Kates, and Elizabeths! Just a tad confusing?! Oh well. :-)

If you didn't get tagged, feel free to do the meme anyway, and join in the fun!

Current Mood: Okay

Monday, December 8, 2008

To dare. . .

"To dare is to lose one step for but a moment, not to dare is to lose oneself forever" - Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark in a letter to Miss Mary Donaldson as stated by them on their official engagement interview.

Current Mood: Full

Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Oh! that a dream so sweet, so long enjoy'd. . ."

" . . . should be so sadly, cruelly destroy' d" -- [Yes, that is the title of this painting! Bit, of a mouthful, isn't it!] -- by Sir John Everett Millais. Click here to view full-size image.

I love the costume worn by the girl in this painting. The combination of dainty embroidery and black velvet [I'm assuming it's velvet; it certainly looks like it is!] is exquisite. . . also note how the lacy ruffles at the collar and cuffs help to soften and complete the look. . . a very beautiful outfit!


Current Mood: Cranky 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Disney retelling of Rapuzel, and Tim Burton to create new version of Alice in Wonderland


I recently discovered that Disney are working on new movie versions of Rapunzel and Alice in Wonderland! 

Rapunzel has always been a favourite fairytale of mine. . . something about the notion of having metres and metres of hair has always fascinated me. . . :D

The official title of the new Rapunzel movie is "Rapunzel Unbraided". It will be CGI animated, another Pixar/Disney collaboration - at least - I think Pixar is involved. . . it may just be Disney this time, I'm not sure.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair. . . 

The graphics  will  take their inspriration from Fragonard's  painting The Swing. If that be the case, they should be very beautiful! The film will be visually enchanting. . . lets hope they can get the script  right. I'm not sure whether  Rapunzel Unbraided will stick with the original storyline of Rapunzel or if it will be a satire on the traditional fairy tale, similar to Shrek or Enchanted.

It's quite an exciting prospect - not counting Enchanted, it's been over a decade since we last had a proper Disney princess movie.

Oh but I forgot. . . there'll be two Disney princess films in two years. Next year, in 2009, Disney will release The Princess and the Frog. It will be - different. It's set in 1920s New Orleans, and the princess is African-American!

The Swing, by Fragonard

I am also  very excited about the new version of Alice in Wonderland. . .

In my mind Alice in Wonderland has always held a curious kind of appeal, carrying with it undertones that are. . . not dark, exactly. I'm trying to think of the right word - eccentric, quirky, bizarre. . . best summed up by Alice's words from the book, "Curiouser and curiouser. . ." Lewis Carroll's classic was meant to be taken as a nonsense story, but in spite of the nonsense, everything in it makes sense. In this way it perfectly imitates the strange, crazy dreams that we all have from time to time, in which all sorts of bizarre things happen that seemed to make perfect sense while we were asleep, dreaming.   

I think Tim Burton will recognise this aspect of the book. I can't wait to see in what direction he takes this film. . . 

From what I understand, Alice in Wonderland will combine live-action footage with animation, something like Beowulf. Also, it seems that once again the two books Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass will be patched together to make one film.

The  cast that has been assembled is interesting, to say the least!! Young Australian actress Mia Wasikowska will  play Alice, Anne Hathaway will play the White Queen, Helena Bonham-Carter the Red Queen, Alan Rickman will be the Caterpillar; Tim Pigott-Smith (Richard Hale, Margaret's father in North and South), Christopher Lee (Saruman from The Lord of the Rings), will also feature, and get this - JOHNNY DEPP IS TO PLAY THE MAD HATTER!!! Yessss!! He is absolutely perfect for the role! My anticipation of this film increased about 5oo% when I heard about that last little piece of information. . . :-)

Both Rapunzel and Alice in Wonderland are due to be released in 2010. (LOL, two more 2010 films to look forward to. . . see this earlier post about upcoming versions of My Fair Lady and Wuthering Heights.) 

And while I'm in the mood for new movies, here are three films that I think will be made in the next five years:

*A new version of The Sound of Music

*A big-screen version of Northanger Abbey

*A biography of the late Lady Diana Spencer, featuring Keira Knightley as Lady Diana

Just speculation, of course. It's fun to dream. 

Current Mood: Excited!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Worth the wait

Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the swift gazelles and the deer of the wild, not to awaken love until the time is right.

~Song of Songs 3:5 NLT

Check out this awesome article. It made headlines on the ninemsn webpage - I suppose our world is so fascinated by pure love stories like this because they are so few and far between. . . 

Current Mood: Lethargic. . .

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sorry everyone. . .

. . . For not posting for so long! Okay, it's only been a few days, but I've still been feeling a bit guilty. At the beginning of the week I had half-a-dozen ideas for posts, but so far none of them have come to fruition! I'm sure all of you bloggers know the feeling. . .

So, what have I been doing the last few days. . . yesterday morning I had a guitar lesson, and last night I was up at church for music practice, so it was a somewhat musical day.

Earlier in the week there were birthday celebrations - and we got Prince Caspian on dvd! We had a ball watching it. We've now seen it about 4 times in two days. The rest of the gang are out in the living room right now, watching it. . . again! BTW, if you like, you could head over to they're currently running a contest, giving away 5 copies of the special 3-disc edition of Prince Caspian.

Someone on the Sense and Sensibility forums recently posted a link to this website For anyone who is even remotely interested in their family history, this is a very interesting resource. You simply type in your surname, and a map of Great Britain will come up, showing whereabouts in Britain people with your surname lived in 1881 (or 1998, depending on which option you select). I entered my surname--my ancestors showed up mostly in and around the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. I then had a great time typing in the surnames of all my friends, finding out where their ancestors came from!! Fun.

Photo from, another great long hair website to browse through. . .

Finally, another friend of mine from another forum, Blessed Maidens, mentioned a link to a website that I found very interesting - If you're a long-haired girl like me (I have thick, wavy, [occasionally messy] hair down past my waist!), head over and have a look - there is a blog, and there are some articles written by other long-haired women about caring for long hair. . . a lot of the stuff that they recommend is basically what I've been doing anyway, but I found it edifying and absorbing nonetheless. I often found myself nodding and saying "Yes, that's exactly how I feel about that!" or "I have exactly the same issues with my hair!". . . Looking after long hair is very different than caring for shorter hair - it was nice to read advice and info written by long-haired girls who understand! Also check out some of the great hairstyles - one of these days I'll have to try some of them out on my sisters!

Have a great weekend! Blessings,

The Editrix

Current Mood: Relaxed

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brooke Fraser's "Albertine" CT's No.1 album

I was browsing through Christianity Today's Top 12 Christian albums for 2008, and to  my surprise and delight, Brooke Fraser's Albertine was No.1!! 

As the article stated, Albertine has been available in Australia and New Zealand  for a couple of years now, but it was only released in the U.S. this year.

I'm so happy for her. . . and so proud! For we Aussies have of course adopted Brooke as our own, just as we do any good thing to come out of New Zealand. . . :P! LOL - how do you Kiwis put up with us?

Anyway, as I was saying, Albertine is a brilliant folk-pop album, and Brooke is a tremendously talented artist - not to mention a wonderful person. She has her heart in the right place. . . read the story behind the title track of Albertine and it will make you cry. . . 

Congratulations, Brooke! You thoroughly deserve every accolade that comes your way. :-) And well done Christianity Today for having the sense to put Albertine at #1! 

Current Mood:  Happy.

A blessing

Image from

May the LORD bless you
    and protect you.
May the LORD smile on you
    and be gracious to you
May the LORD show you his favour
    and give you his peace.

Numbers 6:24-26 NLT

Saturday, November 22, 2008

'Finding Feminine Inspriration' resuscitated

Click here to view full-size image.

I have decided to revive my series on Finding Feminine Inspiration. I hope you all don't mind. 

I felt in need of a little lace and silk and general prettying up.

In this post I will look at April, from Les Tres Rishes Heures du Duc de Berry.

I have a passion for all things mediaeval - castles, cathedrals, gothic architecture, fair maidens, handsome knights in shining armour riding white horses, etc.. I also enjoy studying the clothing worn by women of this period. Some of the trends in men's clothing during the mediaeval period may seem slightly ridiculous to us today - the tights, the exaggerated sleeves and elongated shoes, and - worst of all - codpieces, although the latter did not come into fashion until the late Middle Ages. The extremities in fashion were not limited to men's clothing, however - enormous sleeve cuffs and elongated footwear were fashionable for women, too. Also, some of the women's headgear of the time was quite - bizarre.

However, there is a certain grace and simplicity in many of the outfits worn by mediaeval women. This is exhibited to some extent in the picture I am highlighting today.

This painting is part of the famous Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry - a book of hours, or calendar, created by the Limbourg brothers in the early 15th century. The picture shown here represents the month of April.

If you're wondering what exactly is going on this picture (as I was at first), I'll do my best to explain.

A newly betrothed young couple are exchanging rings while witnesses look on and two maidservants gather flowers from the ground below - though unfortunately these flowers are very difficult to see, though I am told they do exist. Perhaps they are invisible flowers. . .

The betrothed pair were real people - the painting is supposed to represent the pledge of troth between Charles d'Orleans and Bonne of d'Armagnac, granddaughter of the same Duke of Berry who commissioned this book of hours. The castle in the background is the Chateau de Dourdon,which belonged to the Duke of Berry.

It is a beautiful picture - the glowing colours, the impossibly blue sky, the greenness of the grass, the overall aura of springtime  and young love - though I must say, the bride-to-be does not seem to look overly enamoured with her future husband, although he certainly appears to be very pleased with himself and his bride. Perhaps she is only hiding behind a discreet veil of feminine modesty and decorum, as  was proper for mediaeval maidens!

I love the outfits worn by all four women in this painting - the high waists and simple lines of the gowns are quite lovely. One gets the feeling that these garments would have given the wearer a delicious sense of luxury, as well as the comfort of the generous and expansive folds of fabric.

I especially like the gown worn by the young betrothed woman - the combination of blue, gold, and white is exquisite. I am not expert enough to know whether the pattern on her dress has been embroidered on or has simply been woven as a part of the fabric itself - either way, it looks lovely!

Current Mood:  Good.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rumour: New adaptation of Emma in the works

*Bounces up and down excitedly!*

There's a rumour going around that the BBC are making a new miniseries based on Jane Austen's Emma, which should be aired in 2009!!!!!! I've only just found out about it, I'm so thrilled!

I've had a gut feeling for the few months that the next JA adaptation would be a new version of Emma. . . and I was right! I can't believe it!

The BBC haven't announced anything officially, but according to AustenBlog, Sandy Welch (who wrote the screenplay for the wonderful North and South as well as the 2006 version of Jane Eyre) has a written a four-part miniseries adaptation of Emma! A nice break from the recent slew of Andrew Davies costume dramas. . . 

Richard Armitage fans have already begun a campaign to get him cast in the role of Mr. Knightley. It is my personal opinion that RA is a little too good-looking for the part, but other than that minor 'disadvantage', I think he would make an excellent George Knightley. :-)

And so now the speculation begins. . . who will play Emma? Frank Churchill? Harriet Smith? Will Richard Armitage play Mr. Knightley, or will it be some other actor? (Probably the latter, I'm afraid.)

Which actors would you cast if you were the director?

Current Mood: Ecstatic!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Book meme

I saw this meme at Hannah Jane's blog, and simply couldn't resist. . . 

The rules are as follows:

   1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages)
   2. Open the book to page 123.
   3. Find the fifth sentence
   4. Post the next three sentences
   5. Tag five people.

1. Okay, there are about twenty books scattered all over my bed, but the nearest one to my laptop is Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.

2. Yesss. . .

3. The fifth sentence is: Throckmorton heard that even the king of Spain had advised her to be prepared to temporize in matters of religion, on her first arrival.

4. Next three sentences are: Melville tells us that all the Frenchmen who had recently returned from Scotland advised her to be most familiar with James, Argyll, Maitland and Kirkcaldy of Grange, in short to learn to repose most upon the members of the reformed religion. Such practical advice, coloured by tolerance, accorded well with Mary's own temperament and religious convictions. In religious matters, her leaning was towards the tolerance of her mother, rather than the fanaticism of a cardinal of Guise.

5. I tag: Theresa of the UTTERANCE, Emily from Songs I Sing, Erin from Seven Little Australians Plus One, Isabella(s) from Watajoke, and Jessica from The Writings of Jessica Nicole McDonald.

Woopee, that was fun. . . my first meme. :-) 

Current Mood:  Optimistic

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Bride for Donnigan

Flower-seller in London, by Jules Bastien-Lepage. The girl in this painting reminded me a little of Kathleen, the heroine of this book; only Kathleen sold bread, not flowers, on the streets of London. Picture from

A good friend [ ; ) thanks 'Koala'! ] recently lent me a heap of Janette Oke books. The first one of these books to catch my eye was A Bride for Donnigan. I had heard about this book - indeed I had almost bought it, but I thought No, I'll wait until I read it before I buy it. . . and as we have seen, I recently got the chance to read it, and 'read it' I did!

A Bride for Donnigan tells the story of seventeen-year-old Kathleen O'Malley. Both of her parents are dead, and she lives under the roof of her widowed stepmother. When she discovers that her stepmother intends to remarry, keeping Kathleen as only a servant, Kathleen makes a decision to respond to a certain advertisement she had seen in the street:

"Ladies! The Opportunity of a Lifetime in the New American Frontier! Well-Secured Ranchers, Farmers, and Businessmen Desire Wedded Partners to Share Their Life and Prosperity. INQUIRE WITHIN."

It's a fascinating read, especially in light of the historical context. What may seem crazy to us today - farmers and ranchers living in the remote far west of America "ordering" mail order brides from Europe! -- actually made perfect sense to the people involved in this type of match-making. It also looks at the reasons that could drive the said mail-order brides to endure a lengthy voyage across the Atlantic, to arrive in an unfamiliar land, all for the sake of marrying men they knew practically nothing about. . .

Unlike most of Janette Oke's other books, which deal solely with life on the American prairie, A Bride for Donnigan offers glimpses of what life was like for women living on the other side of the pond, in industrialised Britain. 

It is perhaps one of Oke's most dynamic novels, but it is not without its flaws. . . In particular, the first half of the book is considerably better than the second half. As with some of Oke's other books, A Bride for Donnigan begins with a lot of momentum, but loses pace about halfway through the book.

Nonetheless, it is an entertaining and enjoyable read, definitely worth picking up sometime if you're after some pleasant light reading.

Oh, and BTW -- since I first wrote the above I've wasted 10 minutes fooling around with the webcam on my laptop, taking snapshots of myself and just being wacky. . . I look so WEIRD in some of them! I'd post some of here were it not for (a) I think my parents would prefer that I don't post pics of myself online for safety reasons and (b) you'd all think I was bonkers because of the crazy faces I'm pulling -- seriously, I was laughing my head off at the silly faces I was making.

God bless you all! Now I must go to bed. . . I'm a bit tired, I woke up at 5:30 this morning for some reason. . .

Current Mood:    Weird

Monday, November 17, 2008

If I could write the future in the sky. . .

If I could speak with tongues of angels
If I could write the future in the sky
If I could know the wisdom of the ages
But have no love what would it mean

If I have faith, faith to move a mountain
If I give all I own to the poor
If I surrender my body to the flames
But have no love I have nothing

~ Rebecca St James's rewording of 1 Corinthians 13, the famous "Love Chapter" of the Bible. From the song For the Love of God from the album Transform. (Excellent album, BTW.)

Current Mood: Blah