11/29/2014

My favourite P&P95 scenes

*happy sigh*
 
Let's talk about Pride and Prejudice. The one version. The good one. Of course, you know me, I love all it's scenes to itty-bitty-bits, but some of them stand up in it's own particular way. Here are some of my favourite P&P95 scenes.
 
 
Mrs Bennet:  Jane! Jane! Oh, my dear Jane! 
Jane:   What is the matter? 
Mrs Bennet:  He is come! He is come! 
Jane:   Who is come? 
Mrs Bennet:  Mr Bingley, of course! Make haste, make haste, hurry down! Oh, gracious, you’re not half dressed! Hill! Hill! Oh, where is Hill? Never mind, Sarah. You must come to Miss Bennet this moment. Come along, girl, and help her on with her gown! Never mind Miss Lizzy’s hair! 
Kitty:   Mama! Mama! Where is my new locket that Lydia brought me from London? Mary, have you seen my new locket? 
Mary:   I shouldn't know it if I did see it; I care nothing for such baubles. 
Mrs Bennet:  Oh, never mind your locket, girl. Jane, stir yourself. He is here, he is here! 
Jane:   Mama, Lizzy and I will be down as soon as we can. Let Kitty go down, she is forwarder than any of us. 
Mrs Bennet:  Oh, hang Kitty, what has she to do with it? Jane, be quick! Oh, where is your muslin dress, dear? Oh, Hill! Hill! Where is Hill?
 
 

The Hall Scene. It's just so outroarously funny. Mrs Bennet in a panicky mood? Just a feast for the eye, haha. This scene really shows everyone's characters - Mrs Bennet yelling, Kitty talking about something entirely different, Jane trying to please her mother and help everywhere, Lizzy sensible, but on the background, and Mary sullen, as she always is.
 

She runs out. In the hall, Mr Collins steps briskly from his room, humming a merry tune to himself. He pulls up short with a startled gasp as Lydia runs out and they confront each other. Lydia gasps in shock as well, clutching her dress to her bosom. They juggle for space to pass one another. Mr Collins puts up a hand to avert his gaze. Lydia sees the funny side, and begins to giggle hysterically. She runs off to her room. Mr Collins regains his dignity as he descends the stairs, but is brought up short by sounds of unbridled mirth from the girls' bedroom - Lydia has evidently told Kitty. Outside Netherfield. The house is warmly lit and inviting. Carriages arrive briskly at the front steps. Music can be heard from within. The Bennet's carriage arrives. Mr Collins gets out first, and extends his hand to Lizzie.
 
 
The Lydia-Collins hall bump. Another hall scene! Is it wicked of me to enjoy this scene? Well, I do. I makes me Lydia-snort every time. I love Lydia's giggles, and I rather love seeing Mr Collins so appalled. So yeah. Secret is out, I suppose - I love this scene.
 

Elizabeth:  I believe we must have some conversation, Mr Darcy. A very little will suffice. You should say something about the dance, perhaps. I might remark on the number of couples. 
Darcy:   Do you talk by rule, then, when you're dancing? 
Elizabeth:  Yes, sometimes it is best. Then we may enjoy the advantage of saying as little as possible. 
Darcy:   Do you consult your own feelings in this case, or seek to gratify mine?               

Elizabeth:  Both, I imagine. We each have an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room. 
Darcy:   ’Tis no very striking resemblance of your own character, I'm sure. Uh, do you often walk into Meryton? 
Elizabeth:  Yes, quite often. When you met us the other day, we’d just been forming a new acquaintance. 
Darcy:   Mr Wickham has the happy manners that enable him to make friends. Whether he is equally capable of keeping them is less certain. 
Elizabeth:  He has been unlucky as to lose your friendship in a way he’s likely to suffer for all his life. 
Sir William:  Allow me to congratulate you, sir! Such superior dancing is rarely to be seen. I'm sure you’ll own your fair partner is well worthy of you. I hope to have this pleasure often repeated, especially when a certain desirable event takes place, eh Miss Lizzy? What congratulations will then flow in! 
Elizabeth:  Sir, I . . . . 
Sir William:  Nay, nay, I understand. I'll not detain you one moment longer from your bewitching partner, sir. A pleasure, sir. Capital! Capital! 
Elizabeth:  I remember hearing you once say that you hardly ever forgave, that your resentment once created was implacable. You are very careful, are you not, in allowing your resentment to be created? 
Darcy:   I am. 
Elizabeth:  And never allow yourself to be blinded by prejudice? 
Darcy:   I hope not. May I ask to what these questions tend? 
Elizabeth:  Merely to the illustration of your character; I am trying to make it out. 
Darcy:   And what is your success? 
Elizabeth:  I cannot get on at all. I hear such different accounts of you as to puzzle me exceedingly. 
Darcy:   I wish, Miss Bennet, that you would not attempt to sketch my character at the present moment. I fear the performance would reflect no credit on either of us. 
Elizabeth:  Bit if I don't take your likeness now, I may never have another opportunity. 
Darcy:   I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours.


 
Lizzy and Darcy's dance. Of course! This is one of my absolute favourite scenes. Elizabeth and Darcy dance their first dance. What I love about this is that they didn't try to make it romantic. In P&P05 they had them look dreamily in each others eyes, as if they both knew they were destined to be together. I don't need that, thank you. Here, it's a rather march-y dance, and no lovey-dovey talk. Both talk shortly and tartly. But then... In the back of everyone's mind, there's a little feelsy tension between them... Gahh. Love this scene.
 

Mrs Bennet:  Oh, Mr Bennet! You are wanted immediately. We are all in uproar. You must come and make Lizzy marry Mr Collins, for she vows she will not have him, and if you do not make haste, Mr Collins will change his mind and he will not have her. 
Mr Bennet:  I have not the pleasure of understanding you. Of, ah, what are you talking? 
Mrs Bennet:  Of Mr Collins and Lizzy! Lizzy declares she will not have Mr Collins, and Mr Collins begins to say he will not have Lizzy. 
Mr Bennet:  Well, what am I to do on the occasion? It seems a hopeless business. 
Mrs Bennet:  Speak to Lizzy about it yourself! Tell her you insist upon her marrying him! 
Mr Bennet:  Let her come in. 
Mrs Bennet:  Lizzy! Lizzy! Your father wishes to speak to you. 
Mr Bennet:  Come here, my child. I, ah, I understand Mr Collins has made you an offer of marriage. It is true? 
Elizabeth:  Yes, sir. 
Mr Bennet:  Very well. And, ah, this, ah, this offer of marriage you have refused. 
Elizabeth:  I have. 
Mr Bennet:  I see. Well we now come to the point. Your mother insists on your accepting him. Is it not so, Mrs Bennet? 
Mrs Bennet:  Yes, or I will never see her again! 
Mr Bennet:  An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and, ah, I will never see you again if you do. 
Mrs Bennet:  Oh, Mr Bennet!


 
The Unhappy Alternative scene is my ALL TIME favourite. Not the end. I can't tell you how much I love this scene. Love the Daddy-daughter love, the Mrs Bennet hysteria, the funniness. It cracks me up evvvery single time. If you didn't laugh while watching this scene, there's something seriously wrong with you. I mean, seriously, just looking at these screencaps... I'm snickering.
 

Kitty:   Lizzy! Do you mind if I just run down the lane here to call on Maria Lucas? 
Elizabeth:  Uh, no, not at all. Mr Darcy, I can go no longer without thanking you for your kindness to my poor sister. Ever since I have known of it, I have been most anxious to tell you how grateful I am, for my family and for myself. You must not blame my aunt for telling me. Lydia betrayed it first, and then I couldn't rest till I knew everything. I know what trouble and what mortification it must have cost you. Please let me say this, please allow me to thank you, on behalf of all my family, since they don't know to whom they are indebted. 
Darcy:   If you will thank me, let it be for yourself alone. Your family owes me nothing. Much as I respect them, I believe I thought only of you. You’re too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject forever. 
Elizabeth:  Oh, my feelings . . . my feelings are . . . I’m ashamed to remember what I said then. My feelings are so different. In fact, they are quite the opposite. 
Darcy:   Lady Catherine told me of her meeting with you. I may say that her disclosure had quite the opposite effect to the one she intended. It taught me to hope as I’d scarcely ever allowed myself to hope before. I knew that had you absolutely decided against me, you would have acknowledged it openly. 
Elizabeth:  Oh, yes, you know enough of my frankness to believe me capable of that! After abusing you so abominably to your face, I could have no scruple in abusing you to all your relations. 
Darcy:   And what did you say of me that I did not deserve? My behaviour to you at the time was unpardonable; I can hardly think of it without abhorrence. Your reproof I shall never forget: "Had you behaved in a more gentleman-like manner." You know not how those words have tortured me. 
Elizabeth:  I had not the smallest idea of their ever being taken in such a way. 
Darcy:   I can easily believe it. You thought me devoid of every proper feeling, I’m sure you did. The turn of your countenance I shall never forget. You said that I could not have addressed you in any possible way that would induce you to accept me. 
Elizabeth:  Oh, do not repeat what I said then! 
Darcy:   No, I have been a selfish being all my life. As a child I was given good principles, but was left to follow them in pride and conceit. And such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth.

 
The nicest scene. Or whatever. This scene is just so, so, so SWEET. It's so suitable, so romantic, so darling, so gaaaah. Looking at these screencaps makes me want to watch the movie all over again. I can't wait for my birthday - then I'm going to watch the movie. Anyway, long story short (well, ha. I haven't written a 'long story' have I?) this is the marvellous, darling, gooey scene there ever was. Love you, P&P95 makers.
 

Miss Bingley:  You are very quiet this evening, Mr Darcy. I sincerely hope you're not pining for the loss of Miss Eliza Bennet. 
Darcy:   What?

Excuse me.
 
The 'What' scene. Now, this is a very short, snippy little scene for which I have an extreme fondness for. For those of you who haven't scene this movie (pun intended), you won't understand why I enjoy this scene. It's the way Mr Darcy says 'what' - and Caroline's slighted face afterwards. Priceless scene.
 
 
I basically love all the scenes. Including... the Meryton Assembly scene, the 'Not handsome enough to tempt me' scene, the 'Lydia-bad-news' scene, Mr Darcy comforting Lizzy scene, the last wedding scene, the 'Mary, Grimstock!' scene, the 'Slumber dear Maid' scene, the 'six inches in the mud' scene... Yup, you definitely get the point. Loads of favourites. :-)
 
 
Now I'll close off with one last favourite scene:
 
Mr Bennet:  Are you out of your senses to be accepting this man, Lizzy? Have you not always hated him? 
Elizabeth:  Papa . . . .
Mr Bennet:  I, I've given him my consent. He's the kind of man, indeed, to whom I should never dare refuse anything. But let me advise you to think the better of it. I know your disposition, Lizzy. My child, let me not have the grief of seeing you unable to respect your partner in life. He’s rich to be sure, but will he make you happy? 
Elizabeth:  Have you any objections apart from your belief in my indifference? 
Mr Bennet:  None whatever. We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of man; but this would be nothing if you really liked him. 
Elizabeth:  I do. I do like him. I love him. Indeed he has no improper pride. He’s perfectly amiable. If you only knew his generous nature. I didn't always love him, but I love him now so very dearly. He is truly the best man I have ever known. 
Mr Bennet:  Well, my dear, if this be the case, he deserves you. I could not have parted with you to anyone less worthy, Lizzy.
 
Am I the only one who chokes up during that scene? It's just so sweet. :-)
 
What are some of your favourite P&P scenes?
Is it mentioned in this post?
 
 

11/22/2014

You might be a writer if...

 
~ You wake up in the middle of the night with a story idea and can't go back to sleep unless you've written it down somewhere. On your hand, on a piece of tissue paper - it doesn't matter where - it just has to be written down, in case you forget.
 
~ You'd rather spend a day writing than going to parties. It's common for writers to be decided introverts. While I am rather social, I definitely prefer reading to parties.
 
~ You involuntary pray for your characters when they are in trouble. God understands.
 
~ You fall in love with your characters and think they make the best hero there ever was. Like, the hero's I create are millions times better than any Mr Darcy. For me. They are mine. :-)
 
~  You write/type until your fingers are tired and stiff. And then, when you lean back, yawn and stretch your fingers, you feel ever so proud of having stiff fingers. Because that means you're real writer. :-)
 
~ You can't get to sleep because there's this scene you find hard to tackle. Bothersome, that.
 
~ Your day is a good one when you've thought of a brilliant idea, or written more words than the norm. I tell, you such a good feeling to go to bed with - if you're a writer, you should understand.
 
~ You see people in a totally different light once you know they've written a book. Fellow writers share so many of the same aspects - it's delightful.
 
~ You think of the fact that you are a writer when you're upset, or had a bad day - the feeling makes you proud - it makes you happy. I am so proud to be a writer. I'm so proud of my books and stories. It may sound really horrid, but I am. This doesn't mean I'm saying my things I write are really good - I'm just proud of my accomplishments and of the fact that I am a writer.
 
According to these rules - are you a true writer?
 
 

11/19/2014

Daddy-Long-Legs // Review (well, what *I* call a Review, anyway.)


I started writing this review before I had even finished the book. I just knew I had to review it. Because, yeah, it's one of the nicest books I've ever read. Swellagus. Completely, clickety swellagus. Spenkalonkly lovely. (Ahhhem. I should stop inventing words. It's become a bad habit of mine. Do you like my invented words? Spenkalonkly. Not bad, eh?)
 
I first intended to start this review like this: I loved this book. The end. Oh no, it's not the end.
 
But then I decided I wouldn't, as I believe I've written that phrase at least three times before on my blog. One is not allowed to appear saggy. Saggy IS a real word. Don't say I invented that too. Yes, it IS a real word. Is it?
 
So, so, so! Where to start? This book really touched me. It's going to be at my bedside for many years yet to come. I feel it's going to go in my list-of-books-I-read-twice-every-year. It totally deserves to be in that list.

The Story:
It starts with Jerusha leading a rather 'eww' life at the orphanage. Now, I know what you're thinking. I thought exactly the same. 'Not another story about a miserable orphan,' I first groaned.
But it gets really nice. A man - he calls himself Mr John Smith - gives Jerusha the money to go to college on the advantage that she sends him a letter every month. Jerusha doesn't know the man's name, age or looks. She only knows three things about him. 1) He is tall 2) He is rich 3) He hates girls (or so she heard). So, due to his tall-ness, she nicknames him Daddy-Long-Legs.
The majority of the book is her letters. And no, don't say that 'just' letters are boring to read. She writes in a lovely, girlish, witty, almost impish style which is just a delight to read.
In the end she meets her Daddy-Long-Legs, and he turns out to be a lovely man she already knew. How sweet it that? It's a very Montgomery-like plot, don't you think? I approve. Such a sweet love story!
I read the Kindle version (it's a free Kindle book) which was without the pictures. The 'real' book has these charming, squealful pictures drawn by Jean Webster - apparently very funny. But still, the book is lovely even without them pictures.
 
(You can read this book online, here.)
 
I've decided to make a list of the things I liked about this book, and a list of the things I didn't really like. Just because the authoress of this lovely little blog (I flatter myself) feels like lists. Okay. Ear we go:
 
The things I liked:
 
~Jerusha Abbot. Otherwise named Judy.
You know, blogs and their popular posts? Sometimes there's this one new post that hits the top first place with such speed - in like, several hours it goes from zero views to the most-viewed post in your blog. You know what I mean? Well, it was the same with the heroine of this novel. I went from not even knowing she existed to putting her as my top-favourite heroines.
The thing I love about dear old Jerusha is the fact that I have finally found the heroine that resembles me most. Jerusha and I are ridiculously similar. Outroareously so. It was spenkalonkly fun for me to read it. I have her writing style, her same nonsensical witty-ness (I would, like her, say it was raining cats and dogs and that 'a puppy and a kitten have just landed on my windowsill'), her same life attitude, sense of fashion, love for writing and all that. She's the heroine that clicked me. She and I. Like the same person. Seriously. We're so alike.
Well, let's not exaggerate. We're not totally alike. I'm scared of animals - she ain't. In that sense, still, I am more Alice Grace Ripley in Lynn Austin's fabulous 'Wonderland Creek.'
But still - I could write a post entitled: '50 things Jerusha and I have in common.' It was delightful for me to read.
So yes, I finally found the my heroine. I never really had a protagonist that was so much like me. :-)
 
~Jean Webster has Montgomery's writing style
 Just seriously. This could be mistake for Montgomery. And guess what? I love that.
 
~Clothing descriptions
I told you Jerusha was like me. If I wrote letters to an Anonymous person I would describe my newly purchased clothing items with as much gusto as she did. Lovely clothes descriptions there, people.

~You want to read the ending.
This books makes you read fast. Because you want to know how it's going to end. It was so funny - When I was reading it I had just reached the ending I had been so impatiently waiting for when it was time for dinner, or something. Uh, no. It wasn't funny.
At first I thought that the Daddy-Long-Legs was going to be Jerusha's real father. And then, when Jerusha wrote in one of her letters:
Did you ever have a sweet baby girl who was stolen from the cradle in infancy?
Maybe I am she! If we were in a novel, that would be the denouement, wouldn't it?
It's really awfully queer not to know what one is—sort of exciting and romantic. There are such a lot of possibilities. Maybe I'm not American; lots of people aren't...
It really tickled me, because I was thinking just that. And the 'maybe I'm not American - lot's of people aren't,' bit made me giggle.

~Witty-ness
As you might have guessed by now. Very funny book. Made me snicker a load.

~A simple story
Now and then, I like a simple story. While I like dense plots with loads of things happening all at the same time (aka: Wonderland Creek and other Lynn Austin books) now and then, a sweet, simple and straight-forward book is up to my liking. DLL is perfect in that way.

~So many other things
The fact that she (Judy/Jerusha) was a writer.
The fact that she makes everything fun.
The fact that the book makes you happy.
The fact that literature gets mentioned.
And so many other things...


Read it, and you'll see what I mean. If you have a Kindle, you can do it right now, cos as I said, it's free. *In salesman voice*: Buy your e-book right now for a free price and instant download.

What I didn't like:
~ The fact that Jane Austen was never mentioned.
Duh. Lame. I just had to think of something.

Have you read this book?
Liked it as much as I do?

 

11/13/2014

The last one. I promise.

Hello!
 
*bites fingernails nervously*
 
So, erm, yes.
 
So. Yeeeah.
 
How do I start?
 
Mmm.
 
Ahem.
 
Well.
 
Let me start.
 
This is my main blog, right? I post on this one the most and I don't plan to stop - not ever. I love my lil' Wonderland Creek. It's my main blog. It's THE my blog.
 
But then, remember, I have some other little places. I share the Downton Abbey blog with my bestie Emma and my other dear friend Sadie.
I have the Montgomery blog, too.
 
I don't regret making those blogs. Oh no, not at all.
 
But yeah.
 
I made another.
 
*shrinks in corner*
 
Hehe. Yeah.
 
Here it is.
 
 
And it's my last one. Promise.
 
http://perioddramaconfessions.blogspot.be/
 
I personally love reading confessions. Of any sorts. And my favourites are, of course, the Period Drama ones. So yeah - You must follow that blog too, and submit some confessions now and then.
 
Please.
 
Thanks.
 
*clicks publish button nervously*

11/09/2014

The Little House Series // Review

When I think of my young years I think of myself reading the Little House books. I read them so much. Ridiculously much. So here's to some mini reviews!

 
The Little House in the Big Woods ~ This is the first book in the Series and not my favourite. Maybe this is because it's just way to easy for me now - because I can remember really liking it. Laura is five in this book (?) and most of the book talks about the simple way of living in the woods. My favourite part in this book is definitely the dance at Grandma and Grandpa's. I love the pictures (Yes, I like pictures) and I love the way Laura looks at her aunts Docia and Ruby getting ready to dance. And love Ma's beautiful dress - the way Laura thought she was the 'best dancer' in the room. As a child though, I loved the Christmas chapter the best - I did think it unfair, though, that Laura got a doll AND a candy bar and mittens while her sister and cousins only got the candy bar and the mittens! I didn't understand why the others didn't complain. :-P
 
 
The Little House on the Prairie ~ This books has a lot of action. The Ingalls family leave the woods and travel in their carriage. We have Indians, wolves, river-crossing... yup, quite an adventure! I think this book might be one of the popular ones, but it never really 'got' me like some of the other books did. I guess I'm not an adventure-type person. My favourite parts in this book are when 1) Mr Edwards brings Laura and Mary Christmas presents 2) Mary and Laura find Indian beads and make neck-laces for Carrie 3) I used to love the part where they realised it wasn't a wolf - it was JACK!
 
 
On the Banks of Plum Creek ~ This used to be my favourite book. You should see how tattered my copy is! I love this book - from their house in a hill (how sweet does that sound?) and the bubbly Plum Creek to Nellie Oleson's party in Walnut Grove! My favourite parts in this book have always been the parts with Nellie Oleson. I don't know why I love Nellie-Oleson-bits so much (I always have.) "Country-girls!" always makes me laugh, and the Town Party and the Country Party never cease to make me grin. :-) I also really like the Christmas in this book. Walnut Grove Church has a big Christmas tree with all sorts of presents. Laura has her eye on a lovely fur coat and muff - Nellie Oleson had teased her earlier on for not being able to afford one - and then Laura gets it! I love this Christmas - it's probably my favourite Christmas in all of the books (which says a lot because there are loads of really nice ones.)
 
 
Farmer Boy ~ I used to not-really-like this book because it was about Laura's-husband-to-be's-childhood and I wasn't interested in that. But once I'd read it twice I loved it. I read this book to my younger brothers several years ago and they all really liked it - it's just a really sweet book. We like to joke about how much food the Wilder family always eat - because this book has some long lists of food. Did I say 'some'? Oops. Loads. My favourite part in this book is where Almanzo tells his annoying older sister Eliza Jane that she's not his boss! :-) I also like how Almanzo grows a really big pumpkin by 'watering' it with milk. I've always wanted to try it and see if it really works, haha. And I also love the Christmassy bits. :-)

 

 
On the Shores of Silver Lake ~ Back to the Ingalls family. Some things have changed. Mary is blind, baby Grace is born and Jack dies in the second chapter. Laura is older and more responsible. The Ingalls family move on. This is definitely one of my favourites. The title on it's own sounds delicious, no? It's something Anne Shirley would approve of. This books has so many lovely bits! When Mrs Boast makes a new-fangled cup-board with Carrie and Laura, the bit where Grace get's lost, when Reverend Alden comes on a visit, the bit where they travel by train and the scrumptious Christmas! I love this one! Definitely one of my personal favourites. :-)

The Long Winter ~ This one is nice, but not a favourite. The Ingalls family spend a long winter in their little house - trying to keep warm, satisfy their hunger and keep busy. Can you believe this? It actually snowed from October to April? What a long winter, ay? My favourite part was definitely when the winter finally ended and they celebrated with some good food and late Christmas presents!







The Little Town on the Prairie ~ Definitely my absolute favourite of the whole series! You should see my copy - it's literally broken into pieces. There so many things I love about this book: I could really fill a whole post with it. But some of my favourite parts are 1) All the school parts- seriously, those parts are so fun. Laura's school-adventures! Nellie Oleson comes back - that girlish-enemy tension between those two, oh I just love reading it. Eliza Jane Wilder (Almanzo's older sister!)'s bad teaching skills make me snicker. The birthday party a boy in school holds... there are so many fun school-scenes and I love them so much. 2) The name cards. I love the part where Laura buys pretty, fashionable pink name-cards! 3) Ma's poem. Ma writes a beautiful poem in Laura's album. Read the book - it's lovely. I normally don't like poems, but I like that one. :-) 4) I love the part where Laura, Carrie and Grace spend three days at home without Pa and Ma and do the spring cleaning as a surprise! Can you hear I love this book? :-D



Those Happy Golden Years ~ Ahhhh. Those Happy Golden Years. I LOVE THE TITLE. And I love this book so much! It's probably my favourite after 'The little Town on the Prairie'. In this book Laura is fifteen and she goes to teach in a little school several miles away from her house. She spends the days with a horrible, grumpy family and gets terribly homesick. I can't imagine teaching a school at my age! Gosh! Almanzo takes her home for the weekends, in snowstorms and everything - Tada! The start of a romance! Once Laura stops teaching in the horrible far-away-from-home place Almanzo takes her on regular buggy rides. Nellie Oleson pries for Almanzo's attention too, but it's Laura who Almanzo really likes (of course!) My favourite part in this book is when Almanzo puts one of his arms on the seat behind Laura's shoulders, while driving the buggy with his other hand. Laura doesn't like it and pulls the reins so the horses start to run and so Almanzo needs both his hands to ride! What I also love about this book is the fact that Laura gets lots of nice new bonnets and dresses and she describes them all with great detail!



The First Four years ~ I have to admit this one never really got me. Before their marriage Laura told Almanzo she didn't want to marry a farmer. Almanzo said he would try farming for four years and if she wasn't happy after that, he'd do something else. This book is about those first four years. Loads of problems (a fire, storms and all that jazz) but loads of happiness too. For example, they get their first  (and only) child, Rose!
      
Have you read these books?
Which one was your favourite? 

11/06/2014

Mary Poppins // Review


We've all seen this movie.
 
Or at least, my dears, I think we all have. If you haven't - well - you should. Because it's ...
 
No, I don't think this movie is practically perfect in every way. And no, I don't think it's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious either. I love this movie (because it's a movie one should love) but it's not my favourite. Stay tuned for reasons explained in heavy paragraphs.
 
First, how I got introduced.
 
I got introduced to Mary Poppins on my eighth birthday. Or it might have been seventh. And I remember crying. And no, not because I liked it. Because - come near, dear, so I can whisper it in your ear - I didn't like it.
 
Mary Poppins spoilt my eighth (or seventh) birthday.
 
I know. I should have sworn to loathe it for eternity, ay? But I'm glad I was sensible enough to know that it's very wicked to swear, even when it's a different kind of swearing. (Yes, I'm into Anne of Green Gables, as I usually am.)
 
But yes, indeed, I didn't enjoy that movie. I liked the bits where the nursery room got tidied up - I couldn't believe what I was seeing and wondered how they filmed it (because, I thought, it must be real, because it's been filmed!) and I also liked the bit where all the nannies get flown away by the wind - again, I was wondering how they managed to make the actresses fly - and I also liked Jane Banks' pink dress (ha).
 
But the rest - nope, my eight-year-old-self thought it terribly boring. I didn't understand what Mr Banks kept on singing about, why we needed to see Mrs Banks singing songs with the cook, I hated the bank-scenes (practically fell asleep there), thought the 'It's a jolly holiday' song far too long, didn't like the fact that Mary Poppins left in the end and hated all the 'Feed the Birds' scenes - the bird-woman really, really scared me. Oh yes, and somehow the fact that Mary Poppins sat on clouds really creeped me out.
 
So yeah, Mary Poppins spoilt my eighth birthday. Or seventh. Or whatever.
 
 
But it somehow changed. I remember watching it again - I was ten or something like that - and loving it. And that all my sentiments changed. And my sentiments haven't changed since then. I love this movie and that's not the end.
 
As I said, it's not my favourite. But we'll come to the things-I-don't-like-about-Mary-Poppins-list after I've talked about my favourite things.
 
 
My favourite character? Definitely, definitely, definitely Mrs Banks. Ha, you may be surprised. Yup, Mrs Banks is my favourite. She's unlike all the other mothers in movies. She's not really sensible perhaps, but she's quirky and funny and loveable. She's a weird mother - but in the best sense. And I love her unique, quirky little voice. She has such an unique personality.
 
She's an ardent suffragette, but extremely timid and sweet and obliging whenever her husbands around - contradicting her woman's rights beliefs. And true, she's not a perfect mother - always going out and stuff - but she cares for her children... she's just a special case. :D
 
Mrs Banks sings the first song in this musical. Well, after Bert's thingy, but that doesn't really count - 'Well done, Sister Suffragette' is the first real song in Mary Poppins. And Mrs Banks does it so well - and never fails to make me laugh!
 
First she comes inside, wearing her lovely blue and yellow (she wears a lot of yellow and it suits her so well) dress and a Suffragette ribbon, singing happily, enthusiastically and loudly about the woman's voting thing. 'Although we adore men individually - we agree that as a group, they're rather stupid.'
 
'Sister Suffragette' is definitely one of my favourite songs, and - of course - I've known the lyrics ever since I watched it... for the second time.
 
 
"Winifred, we should get the piano tuned."
"But, George, you don't play!'
"Madam, that is entirely beside the point!"
 
After Mrs Banks, my favourite character is probably her husband. The everything-according-to-tradition and everything-exactly-on-time and everything-as-it-always is Mr Banks. His song 'A British Bank' is hilarious and he sings it like no-one ever will be able to.
 
And the way he gets 'saved' in the end... when he changes... when he makes the kite... and gets the 'wooden leg' joke... and appreciates the long, invented word (supercal... etc.)... and when he kisses his wife and goes singing 'Let's go Fly a Kite' on the roads with his happy family. Mr Banks is a lovely character... he terribly funny in the beginning and terribly nice in the end.
 
Oh, and he has the most hilarious facial expressions. David Tomlinson did the best job ever. Yes, even that mustache looked good - even though Mrs Travers didn't want the facial hair.
 
 
Jane and Michael were adorable! Just adorable!
 
Jane first. She had the sweetest little voice, sang 'The Perfect Nanny' beautifully, cried so well, made the most delightful puppy eyes and had she sweetest little frocks and ribbons. Darling dolly.
 
Michael. Oh Michael. He was so funny - like his dad, he has the most hilarious facial expressions. He was so cute and had the most funny remarks. 'I put that bit in.'
If I would make a list of the 'ten cutest movie kids' I'd put Michael (and Jane, too, probably) in it.
 
Don't you think Michael looks like Cosmo Brown in 'Singin' in the Rain'? Like, a miniature version? Just me? Okay, then. :-)
 
 
Now, charming as Dick van Dyke was, he wasn't my favourite character. His accent. Yeah, his accent. Dick van Dyke really, really faked that Cockney accent. I mean, it wasn't a Cockney accent. It was just an American accent with some rough grammatical errors and unaccented syllables here and there.
 
So yeah, his accent.
 
Dick van Dyke could have asked Julie Andrews for some Cockney-accent-ideas, as she was quite the professional one in that matter, as she performed My Fair Lady on stage and played the wild 'liza Dooli'l.
 
But for the rest, Dick van Dyke made a nice Bert. A kind fellow, a jolly fellow, a cheeky fellow. He's the sort of person that cheers up the whole room by entering it. He's the sort of person that all the children adore... Bert was good. I liked him, honestly, I did. :-)
 
But yeah. That accent.
 
 
Julie Andrews made the perfect Mary Poppins. Very pretty, very strict, very musical, very magic, very sparkly, very practical. Seriously, it's all I can say about her performance. It was just the way it should be.
 
And her clothes! As you probably know, I adore her white 'Holiday' outfit sooo much! That swishy, frothy, delicious feeling! Those endless petticoats and that red corset waist thingy! That white, floating hat! And the darling little parasol! And her red and white shoes!!! Yup, super, super pretty.
 
I also love all her other costumes, but that white one... best ever. Not very historically accurate... you know, it's not touching the floor and all that jazz... but then Mary Poppins herself isn't historically accurate either, so it's nothing. Doesn't matter.
 
Oh, and I loved Mary Poppins' eyes. Just, I do. Julie Andrews has those lovely, big, snappy eyes. I love them. :-)
 
 
See what I mean? It deserves years of gushing, right? It's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Whiiich, brings me to the next thing. The songs!
 
This is a musical, so (obviously) the songs play a great part in this movie. As I mentioned earlier, I love 'Sister Suffragette' because, well, Mrs Banks and just plain fun-ness. I also love Mr Banks' song, 'British Bank' - the way he sings that song, man, the way! I can laugh out loud just thinking of it! His precision! Heehee!
 
I also really like 'Spoonful of Sugar' and 'Supercal... etc' because both of them are just so merry and happy and toe-tappy. I love happy, toe-tappy songs. Mary Poppins has loads of happy songs... the Sherman brothers really are good at making happy musicals. Bravo, you two.
 
But my favourite song of all is:
With tuppence for paper and strings,
You can have your own set of wings,
With your feet on the ground you're a bird in flight,
With your FIST holdin' tight (ba-ba-ba-bam)
With the string of your kite....
 
Oh-wo-wow! Let's go fly a kite,
Uwuwup! To the highest height,
Let's go fly a kite and send it soaring...
Uwuwup! To the atmosphere...
Uwuwup! Where the air is clear,
Oh, let's go... FLY A KITE!
 
Yes, that one. I'm a little addicted to that song. Sing it in my sleep, I do.
 
Which brings me to the ending.
 
Oh dear, that Mary Poppins ending. Why does it make me cry every time? I watch this movie every year - and I always shed some tears during the 'Let's go Fly a Kite' scene - just because, you know, the family is so happy and toe-tappy and it's my favourite song. And then Mary Poppins leeeaves.
 
*sniff*
 
 
And so. I've finished my review. Now comes zee reasons. For why I don't think Mary Poppins a real favourite. Why I don't think it's like perfect.
 
~ Firstly (which is the main, biggest reason), the long part in Bert's paper picture. You know, it's rather nice when the go though the animated flowers and fields and sing about how jolly this holiday is... but then we have the penguin-thing, the fox-thing, the horse-thing... and it's goes on and on and yeah, it bores me, that part. It's just not my thing... real people talking to animated people and foxes and... yeah. I just don't like that part.
 
~ Secondly, the Bank business. Okay, it doesn't bore me quite as much as it did when I was eight (yes, yes, yes, or seven) but still - all those old men and that old Dick van Dyke with his walking stick and stiff legs singing a rather dull song to convince Michael to put that wretched little tuppence in the bank. I mean. It's just too long. If they would've made that bit a little shorter, I'd have loved it.
 
~ Now, I love to laugh, but the 'I love to Laugh' song was so silly. It's almost embarrassing to watch. 'And squeak - heh! - as the squeakelers do.' What's a squeakeler? Do you know? Tell me then. I bet you don't. They should have un-made that word up.
 
~ That bomb. I mean, why? Who on earth has a bomb on his roof?
 
~ And finally, I'm going to say this: The 'steppin' time' bit. Again, if it had been shorter it would have been splendid. But it was too long and I got tired of all those chimney-sweepers. I do hope you aren't all really angry. :-)
 
 
But yes, in the whole, I heartily recommend this movie. It's funny, lovely, happy and will make you cry in the end. It's completely suitable and you should see it (which you probably have, right?). Oh, and there's so many quotable quotes.
 
 
Have you seen Mary Poppins?
What did you think of it?