Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Excellence Award

Joanna gave me an award! Thankyou so much! :-D

1) Post the award on your blog
2) Pass it on to some friends, up to 15
3) Let them know they've received the award.

    I give the excellence award to:


    Current Mood: Melancholy

    [Not very melancholy though, so don't worry about me. ;-) ]

    P.S. -- I'm thinking of cleaning up my sidebar - it's starting to look a bit messy. What do you think? At this point I'm not quite sure what to keep and what to get rid of. :-/

    Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    Please vote in my poll!

    I want to know what you all want me to write about! 

    By the way, there was one category that I forgot to include in the poll, and that is Clothes/Fashion. Do you want me to revive my "Finding Feminine Inspiration" series, or would you maybe like me to write some posts about my thoughts on modern fashion, and modesty? Let me know.

    Current Mood: Curious

    Friday, February 20, 2009

    Aliens, zombies invading Austen. . . *yawn*

    This is totally crazy. . . I don't know what to think. I'd heard about the zombies, but not the aliens! We were just starting to get over Lost in Austen (which honestly wasn't that bad, I thought, even if some of the humour was a bit 'off'), and already we're set to have two more Pride and Prejudice spoofs. - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Pride and Predator. . . 

    For once I really don't know what to say about these upcoming Austen "adaptations". What are your thoughts? 

    And I also heard there's yet another screen version of Robin Hood in the making, with Cate Blanchett to play Marian and - Russell Crowe as Robin Hood? Hmmm. . . And Mark Strong (Mr. Knightley from the Kate Beckinsale Emma) will be Sir Guy of Gisborne! Now that will be interesting. I think Richard Armitage will always be Sir Guy to me, though. ;-)

    Current Mood: Listless

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Recent Reading

    Young Girl Reading, by Fragonard

    Jack and Jill, by Louisa May Alcott

    I found this to be a light, enjoyable read. There is really no plot to speak of - the book just ambles along at a very leisurely pace. Not a page-turner, by any means! On the contrary, I had to make myself finish it.

    If you've read other L.M. Alcott books, then you'll know what you're in for. Nearly every chapter has a moral to it; teenage boys and girls seem to behave like 8-year-olds rather than adolescents (at least that's how it can seem to the modern reader!), and there's just a hint of romance towards the end of the book - not a lot, though.

    I enjoyed it for the picture it gave of life in 19th century rural New England, and for the characters. However, I would still have to rank it alongside Eight Cousins and Little Men as one of Alcott's worst books. It's still pretty darn good though, LOL!

    *** 3 out of 5 stars

    When Calls the Heart, by Janette Oke

    I've been wanting to read this one for a looonnng time, and was delighted when my dear parents gave it to me for Christmas! (It was ordered online from the UK, and unfortunately didn't arrive in time for Christmas, but that didn't matter!)

    I though this was a lovely book - I enjoyed it not so much for the romance, but rather for the fascinating glimpse it gave of a specific era in Canadian history. Set in the Canadian west, this is nonetheless a little bit different than Oke's usual prairie romance fare!

    The basic storyline will sound very familiar to you - young, pretty girl from the East travels west and works as a teacher in a tiny school  in the middle of nowhere. But there's more to it than that! Much more! Read it for yourself and see. ;-)

    **** 4 1/2 out 5 stars

    Memories of a Country Childhood, by Judith Wallace

    This was an absolutely enchanting book. It was lent to me by a friend, who thought I might like it. I am so glad she did! Otherwise I might never have discovered it.

    The basic premise of the book is summed up in the title. Judith Wallace grew up on a sheep and cattle station near Glen Innes, in New England, New South Wales. (That's New England in Australia, very different to the American one!)

    I'm really struggling for words right now - it's hard to find the right words to get across the haunting, sad, but magical atmosphere contained within the pages of this book.

    It describes in detail farm life in the early 20th century, from the perspective of a well-off station master's child. The station - called Ilparran - functions like a small village, with the numerous station-hands and servants working together as a community. Judith and her sisters pretty much run wild on the land, doing whatever they like. Then World War II strikes, and one by one, all the servants leave Ilparran. The family have to do everything for themselves, including running the farm and looking after the huge house, modeled after an English manor.

    Let me just say that I highly, highly, recommend this book. I think it's out of print now - and readers outside of Australia may find it very difficult to get a copy, but if any of you here in Aus. can track down a copy, you will be well rewarded. 

    ***** 5 out of 5 stars

    Current Mood:   Awake

    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    How to entertain 11-month-olds when you're at your wit's end

    Watch Play School videos on Youtube! Yep, that's right - while mummy was out shopping, and baby was getting very restless, I sat her down with me in front my laptop, and she happily sat and watched Play School on YT for ages!

    It turned into bit of a trip down memory lane for me - there were all these clips from old, old, Play School episodes, from when I watched the show when I was a baby. . . 

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    'Recycling' costumes

    Hat-tip to AustenBlog, once again! I found this page via AustenBlog - it's from, a site which I have visited before - but somehow I missed this particular page! Anyway, check it out - it's full of instances where the same article of clothing (LOL, I mean costumes - somehow, when I'm watching I always forget that they're just costumes, not real clothes!) has been used in multiple period dramas. Some of them I had noticed beforehand, but in many cases I never realised I had seen the same dress in two or more different movies!

    Here's just one of many examples:

    The same brown dress worn by Lizzy (Keira :-) ) in her visit to Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice 2005 was worn by Charity Wakefield as Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility 2008.

    Hmmm, Charity is a good bit bigger around the bust - to the point where it's a little bit concerning in that dress. . . I think the dress is a better fit on Keira , LOL!

    And finally, may I suggest that you head over to Old-Fashioned Charm and have a look at the post on Emma 2009 - I love some of Laurie's casting choices!

    Current Mood: Bouncy

    Monday, February 9, 2009

    Please pray

    I'm sure most of you have heard about the bushfires that have ravaged Victoria. I can't think of words to describe how horrific this is - there are no words. Watching the news on tv is so distressing, so painful. Hearing stories of tragedy, seeing pictures of this hellish disaster zone. . . it's feared that over 200 people have been killed, and many hundreds have lost their homes.

    I don't know what else we can do right now but pray - please pray. 

    Bushfire Emergency

    Sunday, February 8, 2009

    Cranford: what the papers are saying

    Nothing! The papers are saying nothing! Really it is quite shocking. Cranford seems to have almost slipped under the radar. Almost. I did manage to find a couple of reviews.

    The Age says you'll either be charmed or repelled by Cranford. (Trust me, you'll be charmed!)

    And David Knox from TV Tonight reckons Cranford is a piece to be treasured. Right on, mate. But how come you only gave it 4 1/2 stars? Seriously, I think it deserves at least 10 out of 5. . . :P

    Hope you are all enjoying your weekend! Now, I need to go and get ready for church. . .


    Current Mood: Annoyed

    Saturday, February 7, 2009

    Finally! Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford on ABC1 Sunday Night

    Yep,  15 months after it was aired in the UK, period drama lovers Down Under finally get to enjoy the BBC's Cranford - three of Elizabeth Gaskell's novels blended together into one magnificent miniseries.

    "You need to be in front of this on Sunday night. It goes for three weeks and if you don't love it there's something wrong with you." -- from an article in the Courier-Mail. I couldn't agree more! Link: Cranford a program for our frugal days

    I'll be sure to post more news articles and reviews as they come.

    I can't recommend this program highly enough - but I won't bore you by gushing over it; just watch it for yourself!

    Click here to go to the ABC's program page for Cranford.

    Just to clarify that again: Cranford will be shown in three segments on ABC1, starting tomorrow, Sunday 8th Feb. at 8:30pm.

    EDIT: Perhaps it isn't necessary, but I should perhaps add that when I say ABC I mean the Australian Broadcasting Corporation - not the American Broadcasting Corporation, LOL! :-)

    Current Mood: Satisfied

    Sunday, February 1, 2009

    My memories from 2008 (well, a few of them anyway)

    A Bouquet of Flowers, by William Arthur Breakspeare

    Dear Miss Jen tagged me! This is possibly the hardest meme I have ever done. . . but I enjoyed it! :-)

    The rules:
    1. Fill in your memories of 2008
    2. Link my blog to yours
    3. Tag others and comment on their blogs so
    they know they've been tagged

    My memories from 2008

    ~A good book I read~

    Only one??? You have got to be kidding me. . . okay, I'll just pick a random good book that I read this year. Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell, was a beautiful, beautiful book. Full of sad, funny, and touching moments, with many extremely poignant scenes. It's very different than North and South, but I loved it once I got into it.

    ~A great film/movie I watched~

    At least this one's bit of a no-brainer! I finally watched the Lord of the Rings movies last year, and I have recently been re-watching them with my daddy. Early last year I bought myself a set of the 4-disc extended versions of the trilogy (that's 12 dvds, altogether!), and I'm so glad I did!

    ~A new place I visited~

    We visited a nearby national park, and got to see the waterfalls and the mountains. It was stunning - we got some good photos, but I can't be bothered putting them up just now. . . sorry! I've kind of forgotten how upload photos on here, anyway.

    ~An inspiring verse or quote I read~

    Hmmm. . . the words of Psalm 27 touched me very deeply.

    ~A discovery I made~

    Hmmm. . . why are these questions so hard. . . I'm going to borrow from Miss Jen - my discovery for last year was blogging! I really have enjoyed the 6 months or so of blogging I have done so far. I have so enjoyed getting to meet you all! It has been such a pleasure. :-)

    ~A new skill I acquired~

    Once again, I'm going to have to concur with Miss Jen here - last year was the year I learnt to make bread! I've still got a lot to learn when it comes to bread-baking, but at least I have some confidence here now - I am no longer intimidated by bread recipes. Bread has been conquered. This year I want to learn to make meringues *properly*, I want to learn to make fluffy, delicious sponge cake, and I want to try making home-made turkish delight, amongst many other things. (I love turkish delight!)

    ~A lesson I learned~

    I learnt not to buy too much stuff on eBay! I went through a stage last year where I was overwhelmed by all the stuff I'd been getting. . . never again! I have made up my mind I want to save up for a new guitar. Not that there's anything wrong ith my little Cort, but - a Maton would be nice. . . or even - *starts drooling* - a Gibson acoustic guitar. . . actually, probably not a Gibson, since they start at about $3000. . .

    ~A moment I will always remember~

    Easy-peasy! The moment I held my darling little sister in my arms for the first time. :-)


    Now, this time I'm not going to officially tag anyone - if you'd like to do this meme, consider yourself tagged! On the other hand, if you can't be bothered to do it, then of course don't bother! :-

    Current Mood: Weird

    Yeeesssss!!! It's official!!!

    Portrait of a Lady, by Henri Fran├žois Mulard

    Remember this post, where I mentioned a rumour which said that the BBC were planning on making a new adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma?

    Well, the BBC have now officially confirmed it!! Read the press release for yourself! See also this article from the Telegraph, and this post on AustenBlog.

    It will be a four-episode miniseries, each episode 1 hour in length. Sandy Welch has written the screenplay (Ms Welch, who did a wonderful job adapting North and South and Jane Eyre for TV!).

    Filming will begin in late spring/early summer this year (that's in the northern hemisphere, of course!) and it will be aired in autumn 2009, as the centrepiece of the BBC's autumn 2009 drama lineup.

    American audiences will no doubt get to see it a few months later as a part of the Masterpiece season on PBS. As for us poor Janeites Down Under, I don't know when we'll get to see it!! I'll order the dvd online from America or the UK - I probably won't bother waiting for it to be on TV here. Would you believe that Sense and Sensibility 2008 still hasn't been on telly here?? And it was on tv everywhere else over a year ago. . . I gave up waiting and bought the dvd from America months ago, together with Cranford, which hasn't yet been aired here, either.

    So - getting back on-topic - we know pretty much everything about this new adaptation except for the cast!! Am I the only one, or does anyone else think they might just burst with curiosity while waiting for the cast to be announced sometime in the next few months?!!

    Current Mood: Excited