Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Caption Contest

And the winner is. . . Elisabeth! Congratulations!

Pride and Prejudice 1995
"Strictly in confidence of course, my dear!"

Please feel free to put one of these buttons on your blog if you wish:





And now, time for this weeks picture:

Pride & Prejudice 2005
Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) and Mr. Collins (Tom Hollander), Pride & Prejudice 2005

Remember, you can enter as many different captions as you like.

Australian readers: Return to Cranford on TV!

Return to Cranford

The first installment of Return to Cranford will be on this Sunday (1st August) at 8:30pm on ABC1.

~Charity's Place review

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A bloat of hippopotami!

17th century engraving of a hippopotamus 

Some of my favourite collective names for birds and animals (as in, "a pack of dogs"), taken from my beloved Oxford English Dictionary. I shall put an asterisk besides those names that particularly made me snort with laughter - yes, I know snorting with laughter is terribly unladylike and so not something Jane would do, but sometimes I just can't help myself!

a shrewdness of apes
a bellowing of bullfinches* 
a sloth of bears
an army of caterpillars* 
a chattering of choughs
a bask of crocodiles
a murder of crows
a busyness of ferrets
a charm of finches
a skulk of foxes
a gaggle of geese* (this one is more familiar than some of the others, but isn't it so appropriate?) 
a siege of herons (huh?)
a bloat of hippopotami*
an exultation of larks
a tiding of magpies
a labour of moles
a parliament of owls (anyone remember that chapter in C.S. Lewis's The Silver Chair?)
a congregation of plovers
an unkindness of ravens
a crash of rhinoceros*
a rookery of rooks (duh)
a dopping of sheldrake* (what exactly are sheldrake, anyway?)
a pandemonium of parrots* (trust me, the name is fitting!! There are lots of parrots where I live.)
a fluther or smack of jellyfish
a dout or destruction of wild cats
a fall of woodcock
a descent of woodpeckers
a zeal of zebras

Now, am I the only one who is henceforth going to be on the lookout for any opportunity to use one of these terms in real life?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Friday Caption Contest: voting now open

Pride and Prejudice 1995

1. "Leave one for me!"

2. Mrs Bennet: "Who of all people told you that?? It certainly wasn't my Mr Bennet!"

3. Mrs. Bennet: "And you see Jane gets all her looks from me." "Is that true?" Mrs. Bennet: "Yes," "Gracious the poor girl." Mrs. Bennet: "Why?" "She'll have trouble with nerves before you know it."

4. "I'll tell you what she's doing. She's rejecting Mr. Collins just to vex me. Everyone always takes such pains to vex me. But then I never complain!"

5. "Strictly in confidence, of course, my dear..."

6. "What are you all staring at?!"

7. Mrs. Bennet: "And would you believe what she did then!"

8. "Don't look now, but I have the strangest feeling I'm being watched..."

9. "And then, of course, there's Mr. Darcy. Some people say he's very handsome indeed, but no! He's not nearly as handsome as Mr. Bingley, who's so in love with my dear Jane... Oh, Jane! I knew she could not be so beautiful for nothing!"

10. Mrs. Bennet: "...the little dwarfs and fairies hopping in and out of the flowers in the garden...oh what a sight to be seen!"

11. "At that moment, I thought, 'It would be a miracle if Andres Iniesta could break through the Netherlands' defense . . .'"

12. Mrs. Bennet: "Nobody thinks about how much food they eat nowadays. As you can see I have a VERY modest amount."

13. "And then he had told us that he had met Mr. Bingley that very morning! He does such things just to provoke my nerves, but what a fine joke!"


Poll is on the sidebar>>>

Remember, you can vote for as many different entries as you like!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Victorian novels

Cold Comfort Farm
Kate Beckinsale as Flora Poste in the 1995 adaptation of Cold Comfort Farm

Flora pounced on some books which lay on the broad window-sill . . . She put these treasures away in a drawer, promising herself a gloat when she should have time. She liked Victorian novels. They were the only kind of novel you could read while you were eating an apple.

~Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons - Chap. 5


I could not agree more. Flora is a kindred spirit.

BTW, I am thoroughly enjoying reading Cold Comfort Farm - it's just as good as the movie, for any of you who have seen it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Sink meh!"

The Scarlet Pimpernel 1982
Anthony Andrews as the eponymous hero of The Scarlet Pimpernel

I think I have a new favourite movie - not to mention a new favourite hero. I'll have to go back and revise my Top 10 Heroes post sometime, eh? Not sure if Sir Percy knocks Henry Tilney off the No. 1 spot, but he's definitely right up there.

Several of you were amazed that I had never seen The Phantom of the Opera until the other day. . . shockingly, I hadn't seen The Scarlet Pimpernel either, until now! I myself am amazed. . . how on earth has it taken me this long to discover this gem? I've heard that the books were good, and have been meaning to read them since forever. I also knew that there were a couple of movie adaptations, but I had no idea that this particular one (the 1982 version) was THIS GOOD!!

Right, I'll try to write a review of sorts. I find it's easiest to write reviews of movies that I somewhat dislike, since there are always lots of things for me to criticise (bad Jane Austen adaptations are a prime target) - or even just movies that I like, but don't love. Writing a post about a film that I LOVE is always a challenge, because I constantly have to rein myself in, in a lame attempt to not sound completely like a giddy fangirl. (OMG I LOVE THIS MOVIE!! etc.) As you may have gathered, I love this film (bad). And I love the hero (much, much worse!). This does not bode well for my review, but I'll try to write it anyway. . .


The Scarlet Pimpernel 1982

The setting is Paris, in the late 18th century. The Reign of Terror is at its height, with countless "enemies of the Republic" losing their heads to the guillotine everyday. One man has been smuggling out victims earmarked for the guillotine - and doing so from practically right under the executioners' noses, saving lives and defying the Republic. He is known only as The Scarlet Pimpernel - his true identity is not known, though it is thought that he is English.

Ahem - his true identity is not known to the French authorities, but it is known to us, the audience. Sir Percy Blakeney, baronet, foppish, filthy rich, and generally regarded as something of an idiot by most of his acquaintance. Little do they know that behind the silly, dandified exterior, lies a scheming, highly intelligent mind, and the courageous saviour of many lives - in short, the Scarlet Pimpernel.

It's essentially the forerunner of the modern superhero story - superman, batman, et al. . .

The Scarlet Pimpernel 1982
Jane Seymour as Marguerite St Just

While in Paris, Sir Percy meets and falls for Marguerite St Just - one of the most celebrated actresses and beauties in France - and she in turn falls totally and unequivocally for him (ha, who wouldn't!). They get married. Marguerite still knows nothing of his second identity as the Scarlet Pimpernel. 

Marguerite had previously been romantically entangled with Citizen Chauvelin - an agent of Robespierre. Chauvelin is very much in love - and needless to say, when he learns of Marguerite's engagement to Sir Percy, he is not happy - even though he does not yet know that Sir Percy is the Scarlet Pimpernel. When he does find out, he is. . . erm, even less happy. Marguerite finds herself caught between the two men - suspected by one, blackmailed and manipulated by the other.

The Scarlet Pimpernel 1982

Anyway, it's all extremely interesting and exciting.

It's a hugely enjoyable movie, but beyond any doubt, the best thing about it has to be Anthony Andrews, who is brilliant as Sir Percy/The Scarlet Pimpernel. He absolutely nailed the part, playing both the foppish fool and the dashing hero to perfection. 

The rest of the cast were good too, though they were all totally eclipsed by Andrews whenever he was on screen. Jane Seymour was very beautiful as Marguerite - but am I alone in feeling that Marguerite didn't quite deserve Sir Percy? I dunno. . . she was awfully nice, but surely such a hero deserves a truly exceptional heroine. . . Maybe it was just Jane Seymour's performance. I'd better read the books to get a fuller picture of all the characters.

The Scarlet Pimpernel 1982
Sir Ian McKellen as Chauvelin

Ian McKellen was excellent as Chauvelin, and I had a lot of fun spotting familiar faces from the old Austen and Bronte adaptations done by the BBC in the early '80s - including Tracey Childs (Marianne in S&S 1981, Georgiana Reed in Jane Eyre 1983), and Christopher Villiers (Tom Bertram in MP 1983). Also, Julian Fellowes - the acclaimed screenwriter of The Young Victoria, Vanity Fair and many others - is hilarious here as the Prince Regent.

The production values are outstanding! A 1980s TV movie. . . it didn't sound promising, and I wasn't expecting much, but I was very pleasantly surprised - the costumes, sets, cinematography and score are all absolutely gorgeous. The filming locations are also lovely to look at - many of the exteriors were shot on location at various stately homes around Britain.

Problematic content: there's not a whole lot, but I'd still only recommend this film for ages 12+ or so. The guillotine scenes are not graphic, but they'd still be a bit much for small children. There is also some language, and one instance of a man and woman living together out of wedlock. See also the Charity's Place review.

The Scarlet Pimpernel 1982

I haven't seen the 1999 version of The Scarlet Pimpernel yet. To be honest, I don't really want to - I liked this adaptation so much. What do you people say - is the 1999 series worth bothering with? I will try to read the books sometime (another heap of books to add to my mile-high mental stack of "books I need to read").

More on this film:

Eras of Elegance
Gallery (where I got most of the pics for this post)

Any other fans of the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel?

"These are a few of my favourite words!"

"When the dog bites! When the bees sting! When I'm feeling sad. . . I simply remember my favourite words, and then I don't feel. . . so bad!!"

I'll stop singing now, shall I?

A few wonderfully expressive words that I just love:


And of course,


Which puts me in mind of two more lovely words,


And in case you're wondering, I don't know what inspired me to do this post. I just felt like doing it.

I shall probably add more words to the list as I think of them.

What are some of your favourite words?


Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Caption Contest

Pride and Prejudice 1995

Mrs. Bennet the centre of attention (Pride and Prejudice 1995).

Comment away! Remember, you can enter as many captions as you like.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I am a Phan!

The Phantom of the Opera
Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae, with Gerard Butler as The Phantom

I don't know how I managed to remain all but oblivious to the phenomenon that is The Phantom of the Opera for so long but. . . having watched the 2004 film for the first time yesterday, I am now semi-obsessed! Okay, totally obsessed. . .

This is not going to be a review (my thoughts on the film are currently too scattered - not to mention biassed - for that), but rather an invitation for discussion and for a sharing of opinions! For a full plot summary and review, see Charity's Place.

The Phantom of the Opera

Wow! What an experience it is! (And how I would have loved to have seen it on the big screen, rather than my laptop screen. . .) The grandeur, the colour, the energy - and most of all, of course, the music. You know there has to be something special about a film when you can't get it out of your mind for one minute, during the hours and days after you first watch it. I can only think of a few other movies that have had quite the same effect on me. . . Pride and Prejudice 2005, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Lorna Doone. . .

The Phantom of the Opera

It's dark, it's romantic, and it contains plenty of food for thought, with themes of redemption, compassion, cruelty and forgiveness, obsessive love and selfless love. 

A few thoughts, to get the discussion going:

The Phantom of the Opera

*Gerard Butler as The Phantom (Erik). . . wow! ;-) And I don't care about his vocal powers, or perceived lack thereof. His acting was amazing, and his voice, while not classically trained or technically flawless, was powerful and emotive.

The Phantom of the Opera
Left to right: Ciaran Hinds, Simon Callow, and Minnie Driver

*I was surprised to see so many wonderful British actors in this production! Ciaran Hinds in a musical, who would have thunk it. :-) As well as Miranda Richardson, Simon Callow, and others. In fact, I think nearly all of the cast were British (or Irish, in the case of Hinds), with only a couple of exceptions.

*[Warning - spoilers!] I was disappointed at first by the ending. . . I wanted so badly for there to be a happy ending for the Phantom. But after more thought, I suppose the story was resolved in the only possible way after all. And the Phantom, though he doesn't get Christine, does find redemption through his mad obsession giving way, in the final minutes, to selfless love. *End of spoilers*

The Phantom of the Opera
Patrick Wilson as Raoul, with Emmy Rossum as Christine

*Emmy Rossum - can't believe she was only 16-17 when she played Christine! 

*Have you seen the stage production, or read the book? Would you recommend the book? And if so, which translation?

*Your thoughts on the movie?

The Phantom of the Opera

Friday Caption Contest - except it isn't Friday. . .

*Sigh* - Sorry this is a couple of days late! I accidentally set the poll to finish a while after it was supposed to finish. . .

Congratulations to Marian, for winning this week's caption contest! :-) Feel free to use one of these buttons on your blog, if you want to: here, here, and here.

Mrs Palmer, whispering: "Alas, I'm afraid Mr Palmer is addicted to the World Cup! He's been glued to the TV for weeks..."


And now I'm going to give the contest a break - but only for a few days - I'll post a new picture on Friday.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Born to be a heroine

Northanger Abbey

No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her. Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his name was Richard — and he had never been handsome. He had a considerable independence besides two good livings — and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters. Her mother was a woman of useful plain sense, with a good temper, and, what is more remarkable, with a good constitution. She had three sons before Catherine was born; and instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody might expect, she still lived on — lived to have six children more — to see them growing up around her, and to enjoy excellent health herself. A family of ten children will be always called a fine family, where there are heads and arms and legs enough for the number; but the Morlands had little other right to the word, for they were in general very plain, and Catherine, for many years of her life, as plain as any. She had a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strong features — so much for her person; and not less unpropitious for heroism seemed her mind. She was fond of all boy’s plays, and greatly preferred cricket not merely to dolls, but to the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary–bird, or watering a rose–bush.


The opening passage from what is arguably Jane Austen's funniest novel - Northanger Abbey.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's that time of week again. . .

Poll is on the sidebar! >>> 

Remember, you can vote for as many entries as you like.


1. Mr Palmer: "You have problems. . . [pause] . . .a serious one!"

2. "I could swear the papers are faking...who ever heard of a two-headed Chihuahua?"

3. "You said WHAT?"

4. "Well, Charlotte, I can't tell you what's in the news if you won't stop talking long enough to let me read it!"

5. Mrs Palmer, whispering: "Alas, I'm afraid Mr Palmer is addicted to the World Cup! He's been glued to the TV for weeks..."

6. "Ugghhh!!! When will she ever stop talking?? This is the eighth time I've tried to read this paragraph without getting interrupted!"

7. "Can anything you could conceivably have to say be of more import than what I read in this paper, my dear?"

8. "Excuse me but does the music have to be THAT loud?!? You know I'm trying to read!!"

9. "What is it? Can't you see I'm immersed in affairs of the utmost importance."

10. "My dear wife just because its the latest fashion does not mean that it suits YOU!"

11. 'Excuse me? Charlotte did what? I can read it on the 7th page!?' - Mr Palmer.

12. "I would suggest that you leave me to my reading in peace. What you don't know, is that I know Kung Fu!"


Once again, wonderful contributions from everyone. :-)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Follow me on facebook!

That's right, I've created a facebook page for Ribbons of Light! 

Please "like" if you're on facebook, and "suggest" to any of your FB friends who might be interested.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Caption Contest

I am very pleased to announce that this week's winner is. . . Guitargirl, for her hilarious reference to a certain incident involving Kanye West and Taylor Swift. 

Congratulations, Guitargirl! And a big thank you to everyone who entered. Thanks, guys! 

Emma 2009
"Yo Harriet. I'm really happy for you and I gonna let you finish, but Emma is one of the best painters of all time."

I am trying to reduce my usage of LOLs and smilies (they contribute to global warming!!), but now would seem an appropriate time to insert one or two well-deserved LOLs. . . 


Ahem. And now, time for this week's picture.

Hugh Laurie as poor Mr. Palmer, in Sense and Sensibility 1995.

Just wanted to let you know. . .


. . . that little by little, I've been uploading my costume drama picture collection to Picasa. It's still a work in progress, but there are now several hundred gorgeous pictures for you to browse through at your leisure. :-) For best viewing, click the "Full Screen" option, then hit F11 on your keyboard.

~My Picasa Web Albums~

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Poll not working?

One or two people have said that the poll has been playing up, and they have had difficulty trying to vote. I don't know what could be wrong - if you have trouble voting, please leave a comment.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Voting now open!

*Sighs*. . . I feel guilty. For the last week or so, I have posted precious little that isn't related to this caption contest-thingy. Then again, perhaps I should be grateful that I came up with the idea for this thing in the first place, because if I hadn't, there probably would have been even less new posts here lately. Oh well. . . 

But I really must say thank you to you all - the response to this caption contest has been wonderful, much bigger and more enthusiastic than I expected. :-)

Emma 2009

This week's entries:

1. Mr. Elton: "You've made my nose too big!"

2. "It's lovely, really! Really. Er...what is it?"

3. "Um, and it's supposed to be what exactly?"

4. "Yo Harriet. I'm really happy for you and I gonna let you finish, but Emma is one of the best painters of all time."

5. Mr Elton: "Ew,What is THAT!" Harriet: "Oh, I'm just painting what I feel!"

6. Mr. Elton.: "You can never get his nose right!!!"

7. "And I suspect that to the left is ah, let me guess? A tree? Ah I see it now. You may Miss Smith improve by taking Miss Woodhouse's excellent tutorledge. Now let us go see what beauty Miss Woodhouse has captured on her easel!"

8. Mr. Elton: "That bush looks funny, the cows look funny. Why not paint a picture of me? After all I'm so much more paintalistic and I'm good for posing!" Harriet smith whispers: "Yeah right! He's like soooooooo not!"

9. Mr Elton: "You've got that wrong...and that...and that!" Harriet: "Would you like to take the paint brush?" Mutters "know-it-all"

10. "I'm afraid you colored outside the lines there..."

11. "You should have put a bigger nose on him!"

12. Mr Elton: "What is that"? Harriet: "A self portrait of course!" Mr Elton "Oh yes yes...See with that hair, I thought it was a poodle"!

13. "Oh dear! Uh... Are you SURE that's the color you want to use?!"

14. Harriet: "Oh dear, a blank canvas is so daunting!" Mr. E: "Just start - here!"

15. Mr Elton: "A portrait of Miss Woodhouse and...Mr Knightley?!!" Harriet: "I know; isn't he handsome?"


See the poll on my sidebar to vote. Remember, you can vote for more than one caption!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Caption Contest

And last week's winner is. . .

Elinor Dashwood, of Hooks and Needles! Congratulations!


Feel free to put this button on your blog, if you wish. :-)


And now, time for this week's picture. . . 

Emma 2009

Mr. Elton (Blake Ritson) and Harriet Smith (Louise Dylan) from Emma 2009

Once again, please leave a comment to enter your caption!


And dear readers, I'm sorry I haven't posted much this week. I have a couple of ideas for posts. . . but I know that once I start writing on one of these topics, I'll find it hard to stop, and will end up spending hours punching away on my laptop - and I don't have the time or energy for that right now, LOL! Sometime this week, I promise. . .