The things we bloggers DO (and the things we bloggers should do)

Screencap from 'the Paradise' (on my to-see list)
~We bloggers love the phrase 'without further ado'. Those particular three words are to be found at least once, probably more, in every existing blog.

~Don't write complaintative (is that a word?) posts. They encourage your readers to complain as well, and then the atmosphere becomes very drowsy. Not nice.
~More than ten gifs in one post is too much. I like gifs, but when there are too many, your eyes get tired.

~No-one is perfect, remember that. Not everything in every blog is good.

~Blogs with quotes in their sidebars attract me.
~Another word we take great delight in using is 'rambling' or 'ramblings' or 'rambles' and all that jazz. So do I, so I'm not against it at all. Just an observation... it's a very popular word in the blog-world.
 ~A little slang makes your posts somewhat juicier, but too much is not elegant.
~Abrupt endings are 'in' too.
~Blogger pals, when they write each other comments, they never write 'my dear'- it's always, always m'dear or 'mdear or m-dear. I don't know why, but somehow no-one seems to like the presence of the letter 'y'.
~Always, always think twice before you publish something.
~I hardly ever follow blogs with publicity and advertisement (unless the blog is advertising for their own things- then I don't mind.)

~When you have a good idea for a blog post, write down some notes immediately, before you forget.
~Please always capitalize the letters which should be capitalized. I can't stand it when people write "'i' am..."
~It's tradition to put up randomly nice pictures. Ahem. Especially in Wonderland Creek.

~We bloggers should always welcome new bloggers into the blogging world. Are you getting tired of the word 'blog'?
~The first impression on a blog is important. I think it's important that viewer immediately sees three things: That you are a Christian, that the blog is pretty to look at, and that it is clear that you love writing what you wrote.

~There are more than 170000000 blogs in the Internet, so obviously it is impossible to keep track of loads. So you should only follow blogs which interest you. Don't just follow for the sake of following. (Am I making sense?)
~It is now becoming popular to make very long titles and then end it with a '...because I couldn't think of a better title.'

~If you don't enjoy writing, don't blog. (Oh so that's why all my blogging friends seem to write stories, heehee.)
~Getting tagged used to be more fashionable than it is now. Not on my part, however. I still love getting tagged. :-)
~Signing your name with a picture at the end of your posts is very sweet.
~You can steal ideas from other blogs. I do it the whole time. Some bloggers are too kind and simply too good to do it, but I think it's absolutely okay.
~It is extremely stylish to quote in your posts without telling your reader it's a quote. To use a quote as a common sentence in posts is very up-to-date, indeed it is.
~Whenever someone comments 'It's tolerable I suppose' it is the blog-hostess' duty to quickly comment back with '... but not handsome enough to tempt me.' Even if you don't know what the commenter is talking about.

~When readers comment long comments, I think it is very polite to answer back.
~Saying 'the comment-box is glad to receive you' is more trendy than just saying 'you can comment'. At least, that's my opinion. :)

~Don't mention the same word too many times in a post. It's hard sometimes. When I wrote my P&P95 review, I yearned to write the word 'love' ten times in succession.
~We shouldn't feel afraid of setting our opinions boldly, even if you know all the other blogs don't agree. But of course, in a nice way.

~Saying- ahem- writing 'ahem' puts some sparkle in your posts.
~I think you can use smileys in posts, but not so many that your post has a modern feel, if you know what I mean.
~I don't think it is at all that necessary to beg people to comment at the end of each post. People comment if they want to, and that sentence won't change their mind. At least, that's what I'm thinking. But of course, do what you want, this is just me.
~Bloggers like saying 'please pour a cup of tea and stay awhile!' or something like that in their 'about' thingy. I think that's a very welcoming sentence, and I've observed that many use it. When I was younger (like, twelve), however, I didn't like it. Because I didn't like tea. 

 ~To use this sign : '~' is very elegant.
~Please, please people. Don't use the word 'lol'. I don't like it. We Period Drama-lovers, we use the term *Lydia-snort* instead.

~If you feel that your blog is unpopular, don't despair. Keep on writing, and people will come. There are always people who enjoy what you write.
~It is very kind to comment frequently, even if you think the blog-hostess is posting far to much. Ahem.
~Remember, you are the hostess. Your blog is like a tea party. You have visitors whom you engage with biscuits and tea. And visitors, they say 'thank you', just like you comment.


Why North and South isn't my favourite (You could also call it a Review)

I love the Elizabeth Gaskell movies. After the Jane Austen ones (which decidedly comes first), they are probably my favourites. My favourite of the three is definitely Wives and Daughters, and Cranford comes close next. And... the one which is left- North and South that is- well, I like it, honest I do, but it has never been 'wow' to me. It just isn't my favourite movie. It isn't even on my top-ten list. Or ten-top, whatever you like to call it.

In this post I'll tell you the reason why North and South isn't my favourite. You could also call it a review. (Yes, okay- you read this in the title.) Warning, there are spoilers ahead, so if you haven't seen this and don't want to know what's going to happen, it would be advisable not to read on. And, another warning, there are strong opinionated opinions ahead, so be prepared. You know me, don't you. But of course, the comment box is happy to receive your opinions, even if they are different than mine.

Firstly, everything is so.... so black.
By saying 'black' I mean 'sad', 'weary' and 'not-very-joyful'. It is true- admit it. This is a very forlorn and melancholy film. To start with, there are seven deaths. Not two, like in Wives and Daughters (which was enough)- not four, like in Cranford (which was more than enough), but SEVEN.
1. Bessie Higgins
2. Boucher
3. Boucher's wife
4. The guy who Frank Churchill Frederick Hale pushed down the stairs
5. Mrs Hale
6. Mr Hale (at this point I am going crazy)
7. Mr.. what's-his-name... Margaret's godfather


So, needless to say, there are a vast amount of crying and wearing black and gloomy mourning scenes. And gruesome screenshots of dead people. (Boucher's death scene in particular is very not-Naomi-approved and the guy who got pushed down the stairs death scene as well).

Nine out of ten scenes have tears, black veils, suffering, crying babies, workers in rags or unhappy faces in them. I don't like any of the things I have just mentioned. Well, I don't really mind the black veil part- because black veils are rather elegant and they hide the tears and the unhappy face- but nevertheless, I am not particularly fond of black veils either. Ahem- I'm not talking about North and South. Sorry. 
Poor Margaret. Poor, poor girl. First she moves to a place rightly named after hell- Hellston. She sees a mighty handsome man with a mighty scary scowl beating a thin worker in rags.

She makes friends with Bessie- sees how her neighbours starve. She sees her good friend die, witnesses Boucher's gruesome death scene.

On top of all the unhappy things going in in that world, the Hale-family-atmosphere is melancholy as well. You heard that right.

Her mother and father argue. Her mother dies. Her brother comes and puts her in a heart-beating situation and forces her to choose between her brother's death or her breaking one of God's ten commandments. She chooses to break 'Thou shalt not lie' (I can't exactly say I blame her, of course) which again causes problems and makes her reputation with Thornton go in the negative direction. Because Thornton knows she lies.

Then, on top of that unhappy business- on top of all the deaths already past- her father dies. At this point, I think it's enough. At this point I'm literally dancing because of the this-goes-to-far-ness. Not dancing really- rather wriggling on the sofa and moaning softly, trying to restrain my complaints because people want to watch, but not managing to do so very successfully.

And then... guess what? Yep, you're right, her godfather (I still can't remember his name) says he's going to die. He probably knew because Margaret, he knew, would inherit his fortune and he also knew Elizabeth Gaskell would want to kill him off so that Margaret would have all the wealth in the end. (More about that famous ending later)

So... that's my main reason. This movie is like a funeral parade. One after the other. It's ridiculous.
In Anne of Green Gables, Diana Barry kills off all her characters in her stories because she doesn't know what to do with them. Perhaps Elizabeth Gaskell had the same problem.

Anne on how her friends write:
"It's extremely interesting," Anne told Marilla. "All the girls do pretty well. Ruby Gillis is rather sentimental. She puts too much lovemaking into her stories and you know too much is worse than too little. Jane never puts any because she says it makes her feel so silly when she had to read it out loud. Jane's stories are extremely sensible. Then Diana puts too many murders into hers. She says most of the time she doesn't know what to do with the people so she kills them off to get rid of them. I mostly always have to tell them what to write about, but that isn't hard for I've millions of ideas."


I have millions of ideas to redo North and South. Here are some of them:

~Bessie shouldn't die. Her not dying wouldn't affect the plot at all. Bessie should slowly fall in love with a nice guy and their romance should be left open, because that's a romantic thing to do.
~Henry Lennox should marry Miss Ann Latimore (Is that her name? I'm talking about the lady who's supposed to be Thornton's lover and who never talks and only nods and blinks.)
~Mrs Hale should get really ill, but she should recover because Mrs Thornton gives her some really expensive medicine. The two miraculously become best friends. Mrs Hale is sickly and fragile for the rest of her life, but she survives her illness and is happy to spend her time knitting in the rocking chair and talking with Hannah Thornton.
~Mr Hale should NEVER die.
~At the end of the story Mr and Mrs Hale buy Milton cottage back and live their happily ever after. Mr Hale starts a school which becomes amazingly popular.
~Margaret's godfather- what's his name?- should do what he did in the movie, because Margaret needs to end with the mill. That's an epic idea, and I like that.
~The guy who dies because Fred Hale pushed him down the stairs (his name as also escaped my notion) should die too, because that's where the plot starts to be really exciting.
~Boucher should not die. Boucher's family should end happy and richer. Thornton and Margaret must help them. All should end well for the Bouchers. Period.
~Thornton and Margaret go on a honeymoon to Spain, and visit Frederick and his fiancée.
~Fanny Thornton gets triplets who scream their heads off. Fanny finally realises what she's be like to her mother and brother.
~Hannah Thornton changes her character and goes round with baskets to help the poor. She never loves Margaret as much as Thornton does, but she remains civil and learns to enjoy her presence.


Daniela Denby-Ashe didn't cry half as much as Margaret would have done. She always stared vacantly ahead. (Look back, look back.) She isn't exactly my sort of heroine. She's too cold, isn't funny enough, and doesn't smile enough. I suppose she doesn't because she's been placed in such a stikin' sad story, so it isn't her fault she doesn't smile.

But I thought she was a nice heroine. She was kind, friendly and cared for her neighbours. Not dazzlingly beautiful, but with very pretty features- a normal heroine, to whom many people could relate to. Of course, we would cry more than she did.

 I know he's acted by Richard Army-tart, or whatever his name is. I know he has good ruddy looks, those eagle-ish eyes which girls squeal over and that firm set jaw which is popular with heroes in books. I know he was good and amazing and went ALL the way to Milton to pick Margaret a flower. I know he helped Margaret even though he knew she had lied. I know he loved quietly.

Quietly? Did I say quietly?
No. Mr Thornton says what he wants. He raises his voice unashamedly. That's not bad you know, but I think he gets too rough and too loud sometimes. Especially in the beginning he's far to harsh against his workers. Also- the smile-issue. He, like Margaret, hardly ever smiles.
He scowls too much- and even at the end he's a tad rude. Do you know what he said to... MR BELL! That's his name!! He said something like 'Go away and mind your own business.' And that was right at the ending. People compare Mr Thornton with Mr Darcy, but Mr Darcy is nicer than Mr Thornton. He's a little rude in the beginning, yes- but at least he doesn't scowl. He doesn't smile either, he just looks- like Margaret, as a matter of fact. Mr Thornton really scowls. And Mr Darcy improves rapidly- Thornton still says silly things at the end.
Anyway. He was a nice hero- but seriously, he's not at all my ideal. He was tolerable, but just not for me.
Besides, he lacked wit. I like wit.

Let me quickly overview some of the other characters.

I really loved Bessie. She had some funny lines, and a sense of humour, which I love to see in movies. She was so sweet, and I really don't understand why she had to die. She doesn't have anything to do with the plot, so I don't see why Elizabeth Gaskell had to kill her off. I also love her younger sister, Mary- although she plays a very minor role, she's one of my favourite characters.
Mr Higgins aka Mr Bates, was a very good man, but- like Mr Bates- he was too bloodthirsty and always seeking revenge. But I can't help but like him. My favourite bit in the entire movie was when he and Thornton become friends. Oh me, I just love that bit.
Boucher was... well, I pitied him SO much. He was just such a poor, poor man.
Hannah Thornton was such an annoying character. Firstly, her low voice drived me crazy. Secondly, she was selfish and grumpy. I did like it how she loved her son, but really- he was the only
person she loved, together with herself. I didn't like her.
Fanny Thornton, however, is entirely a different subject. I thought she was hilarity itself... I just loved all the scenes with her. She bought some laughter and silly-ness in the movie, and I liked that. I love this quote of hers: I see you don't have a piano. I don't know how I could live without a piano.
Mrs Hale (who also acted Mrs Rose in Cranford) complained too much. Also- the not-smiling-issue comes back here. She hardly ever smiled. I don't dislike her, but I must say I wouldn't like to have her for a mother.
In the beginning I didn't care much for Mr Hale, but as the movie went on I thought he was extremely kind. Yes, I like him a lot. When he died... ARGH.

And finally, I have to bring you sad tidings (I'm sure you're used to that if you've seen North and South, heehee) by saying that I did not enjoy the ending. I've seen it twice, and both times I squirmed instead of swooned. Both times all my siblings watching with me yelled and laughed at the exaggerated kiss. Both times we all agreed it was 'over-the-top'.
Watch it here and then read my humble comments:
(sorry it's without any talking- it's just the soundtrack and the video clip. They don't talk much anyway, so you don't miss much.)
So... first he goes allll the way to the cottage to pick one yellow flower to show Margaret. He picks it up and stares at it as if he can see Margaret's reflection in it. I personally think it's a trifle weird, but I still thought it was sweet, that. And it works, Margaret gets all warmed up and starts to realise that Thornton is the guy for her. They all get worked up because of one little flower- amazing, that.

Firstly, WHY IS THORNTONS SHIRT OPEN?!? It annoys me so much that Mr Thornton's shirt isn't buttoned up! Talk about historical accuracies people! A man of his status would never walk into public like that.

And then that kiss... I think it's just over the top.

Then they both go in the train. He kisses her again and again, Margaret gives a tiny hint of a smile as she stares vacantly out of the train window and... SNAP. BLACK. *Passionate violins start to burst forth*

The film is over.

I want a wedding. I want a proposal. And I didn't get either. I just got a great, big, mushy kiss in which the hero has his shirt buttons open and in which the heroine doesn't smile. Yes, I suppose that's popular nowadays, but I want to know. Are they engaged and I want to see them married. And I don't. And that's why I'm not satisfied with the ending.

I can imagine this is their wedding. But it's hard because neither of them are smiling. SIGH.

But! I DO like this move a great deal! I never said I didn't! It has some great scenes, great issues, great themes, great scenery, great characters, great quotes and great costumes in it. It's a great Period Drama, and I do like it a great deal. I'm getting tired of the word 'great' aren't you?
I would gladly watch this film again. I enjoyed and I do recommend it for Period Drama lovers. It's not my favourite- there are many better P D's- but I do like it.


Summery theme is here!

As all of you have, without any doubt, instantly noticed, I have put up the Vintage header and background! I must say, I am rather happy with my work. (That's not bad you know, God was happy with his work too, see the first chapter in the Bible. :)
For memory's sake, here's my Spring header:
 What do you think of my new 'summery-theme'? I have also redone my sidebar (I've put up pretty pictures which needed showing and my favourite quotes) and I have made a new page for all my favourite blogs and plus that I've also redone my 'About the Authoress page'. Yep, I've been busy, but I loved every second of it. I just love redecorating stuff... I just love it.
Have I your approval?
(Do I need your approval?)
(No, but I should like to know I have it all the same)
(Who am I quoting?.... quick, tell me!)
Oh yes, one more thing... if you haven't done THIS I made (to know you better and to know how I can improve Wonderland Creek) could you PLEASE do it. I've been amusedly enjoying all the answers people have already filled in. :) Click right here.


First names ~ Game

Often, when we watch Period Dramas we hardly ever know people's first names. For example, I never refer to Mr Knightley as George- it's always Mr Knightley.

Do you know their first names? Have a try!
#1 Jeeves
(In Jeeves and Wooster)
#2 Mrs Hughes
(In Downton Abbey)
#3 Miss Patmore
(In Downton Abbey)
#4 Mr Wickham
(In Pride and Prejudice)
#5 Colonel Brandon
(In Sense and Sensibilty)
#6 The Baroness
(In the Sound of Music)
#7 Mrs Banks
(In Mary Poppins)
#8 Mr Bingley
(In Pride and Prejudice)
#9 The Artful Dodger
(In Oliver Twist)
#10 Mr Carson
(In Downton Abbey)
#11 Miss Beadle
(in Little House on the Prairie- she's the school-teacher)
#12 Grandpa Walton
(From the waltons)
#13 Miss Pole
(In Cranford)
#14 Mr Palmer
(From Sense and Sensibilty)
#15 Mr Molesly
(Once again, Downton Abbey)
#16 Miss Stacy
(Anne of Green Gables)
Answers coming next week! I hope it wasn't too hard!

Introduction screencap game ~ Answers

You all did very well, players!

Pride and Prejudice 1995
Chariots of Fire
Emma 2009

Mary Poppins
The Swiss Family Robinson (Disney version- thank you Mary)

Downton Abbey
 Emma (Gwenyth Palrow version, sorry- I forgot the date)

Jeeves and Wooster
Little House on the Prairie
Players scores:
Miss Laurie: 100
Sadie: 80
Emma Jane: 80
Hannah: 80
KiriLiz: 80
Evie: 60
Ashley: 60
Thanks for playing!