Susanna + My Favourite Links

This past week has been a very beautiful week. Susanna, my one-week-old sister, still fresh and smelling-of-the-womb was a constant darling distraction - I hardly got anything done because of her; I just can't stop staring at the calm tiny face. She is seriously the beautiful-est little thing ever. Her skin in like velvet, her fingernails are one millimetre wide, and her eyes are dark blue and shiny as a lake in the midnight. And when she has her eyes open and stars calmly up at you - gah, I just burst into tears because of the beautiful-ness. The pictures don't do half of the credit. You really have to feel her, see her, stroke your nose against her cheek, smell her, and then you can only see fully how amazing she is. I love her so much.

Now, here are some blog posts / articles / random stuff / links I have enjoyed lately:

Sadie's new blog, Buttermilk Sky.
You all know my good friend Emma, right? Well this is the blog of her younger sister! It's brand-new, beautiful, and needs some followers. :-P

Emma's post: Less is More.
Read how Emma tells writers that sometimes description isn't the key towards visual vividness for the readers. Sometimes less is more.

This pin is SOOOO true. (-:

I love this list of ideas for a literary wedding. I might go back there one day and steal some ideas (although not all of them. Some are plain weird and can only be made when breaking and tearing books apart which isn't what book-lovers do.)

"Should Guys open doors for Girls?"
I really enjoyed the last Blimey Cow video. I enjoy all of them, really. :-)

A Lantern in her Hand is the book I'm burning to read the most right now. Especially after Natalie's beautiful review of it.

Read this, old thing.

Rachel Heffington's verbal self-portrait is SO amazing. (I have tried to create my own verbal portrait, but I can't seem to get 'me' fully on paper. :-))

I adored Olivia's guest post on Hamlette's blog about Beth March. Oh to be like Beth. You wrote it very well, Olivia.

This picture makes me want to be Romola Garai's friend even more than before.

What have you been enjoying lately?


The Scarlet Pimpernel 1982 ~ Movie Review

If one follows Period Drama Blogs, one constantly hears of this movie. CONSTANTLY. I got very sick of it, in fact. Sink me, why can't people just stop talking about the almighty goodness of Sir Percy and the beautiful sentimental-ness of Marguerite and evil maliciousness of Chauvelin? I didn't even like the look of the story - guillotines? Silver clothes? Sinking oneself? Wut?

So yes, I didn't expect I'd like it. But yet, I wanted to see it, so I could join all those TSP conversations and understand the swoonworthy factors. So a few months ago, I sat down and watched it. And yes... Now I Understand.

The story is about this clan - The Scarlet Pimpernel clan - who saves innocent people from the cruel hands of the head-chopper - the guillotine. Yes, there were a few guillotine scenes, and I skipped them, of course. Seeing as I skipped them, I don't know how gruesome they were, but I'd recommend skipping them. :-) Unless you're interested in seeing that kind of thing, which, of course, I hope you're not.

Chauvelin, the meanie, wants to catch the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Sir Percy IS the Scarlet Pimpernel, but no-one knows it. He's a dashed good disguiser. :-) And then Chauvelin realises Percy is the one, catches him, but then - tadaaa - it ends well. That's a quick description. Now on to the fun Naomi-ness of the review.

While I don't craze over him as much as some people I might mention, I have to admit: Sir Percy was quite an amazing chap. A hero. A swoon-worthy-in-a-weird-way gentleman. He seems like a stiff robot kind of person in the beginning, with his poems and cravats and ehhhh-voice (people who've watched this know exactly what I'm talking about, haha) - a very charming kind of robot, but robot-ish nonetheless. He doesn't really seem like a person. But that's the whole point. He's constantly pretending to be someone else. It must be quite tiring for him!

Sir Percy is three people:

He is Sir Percy - the guy with the silk suits, big lace cravats, a monocle and a fondness for words that rhyme. Of course, these aspects are also part of 'who-he-really-is' (Sir Percy will always genuinely love cravats - ALWAYS forever and ever and ever and ever, because Sir Percy = Cravats) but this charming fellow with a stiff smirk and gallant gestures is, let's face it, a gentleman in disguise.

I love this side of Sir Percy. It's HILARIOUS. I love the way he says 'odd fish m'dear' and 'Sink Mehh' (a phrase HIGHLY addicting and contagious, I warn you - it's worse than 'what-ho') and I love his little poem:
They seek him here, they seem him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere,
Is he in heaven or is he in -- hell?
That elusive Scarlet Pimpernel

He's a poet... and you did not knowet. :-) This side of Sir Percy is indubitably the most quoted, most laughed-over, most known-as-Sir-Percy side. It's a great side. :-)

He is some kind of beggar person. He has many costumes, Sir Percy has. He does this to snuggle the prisoners and get them free. Very good at this, he is - he has some amazingly good tricks. I love how he - such a rich person - takes a humble place to save people. It shows his huge heart.

He is the Scarlet Pimpernel. He is a real person. He devotes his entire life to saving innocent people, he's the guy who never ever panics (he alllways stays so stinking calm!) - he's romantic, loves his wife tenderly and dearly. He's CLEVER (The dressing-up Sir-Percy side of him isn't, but the real Sir Percy - the Scarlet Pimpernel, he's the cleverest man in the world.) He's a hero, but you have to understand the real him properly before you can love him.

And the last sentence he says in the movie, whilst holding his wife close to him, with a little smirk on his head, is, 'Sink me, you're a poet.' But he says it while he is really him - her own, darling, elusive Pimpernel. :-)

Which brings me to Marguerite, beautifully acted by the charming Jane Seymour. She was a lovely lady, emotional, big heart, fluttery, romantic, charming but so strong and courageous. I wanted to scream at her and say, 'Don't worry dear Marguerite! He loves you! He loves you!' I felt so sorry for her.

Now and then, I have to say, she didn't feel very real. The movie is all a bit sentimental (in the best way) and sometimes the way she whispered was perhaps a bit overdone. But it was the style of the story, and it was Marguerite's character - she's passionate. I also love that she's an actress, but never realises her husband is, in fact, one too! :-) One would think actresses and actors would be able to spot it when someone else is acting, right?

Her dresses were nice, although often to exposed, but her hair... ahem. I have to think about what I think of her hair.

Their romance was one of the most darling things I had seen in a long time. The ending - where he puts his hands on her shoulders on 'The Day Dream.' AWWWWWW. How can you not like these two beautiful people?!

In the beginning their love seemed a bit fake, but in the end it was so genuine and lovely.

And finally we have the crow of the show. Chauvelin. *shudder*

He was mean, so against our own Sir Percy, the big problem-causer. Hate the man. But, I know you are all going to dispute against me for saying this, but sometimes I thought it was kind of well, pitiful. I just felt a teenyweeny bit sorry for him now and then - you know, a teeeeeenyweeeeny bit. I'm allowed to do that, right? I mean, he was SO desperately trying to win, and he NEVER does. He's the big, big, big loser. It's hilarious to see him loose, I was smirking and mocking at him when Sir Percy ripped all his buttons off and came in the room when he was supposed to be dead, but I also felt a TIIIINY bit sorry for him when I saw those sweaty, puppy-eyes of his. 

He's SUCH  a big looser. HAHA.

This was the best scene, no three tails about it. Totally fell in love with him here.

Oh, and did anyone else spot Julian Fellowes?

Have you seen 'The Scarlet Pimpernel?'
What did you think of it?


10 Reasons why you can't NOT like Bertie Wooster


Some of you may or may not know this: I am a big Bertie Wooster fan. While Jeeves is a good sport too, Wooster has always been my favourite one of the duo - both in the books and in the TV Series. And not to mention, Hugh Laurie's performance is so spot-on-ridiculously-perfect that it's not even funny. Wait... of COURSE it's funny. Wooster is the very key of funny-ness. 

So here are ten reasons why you can't not like Bertie Wooster. (Now I sound like Blimeycow.)

#1. He's Hilarious

I am not a big comedy person. In fact, I loathe practically every comedy laugh movie there is. I can't stand Mr Bean - he makes me squirm ashamedly instead of giggle hysterically. But there is one comedy series I can't get enough of and that is *ting* Jeeves and Wooster. 
Fact is, Wooster is hilarious. Just plain-inside-out funny. Everything about him is funny - the way he talks, the way he rolls his eyes, opens his mouth, walks, views people and solves problems. And what I like about his funniness is that it's not funny to him - or to any other character in the movie. People over there at the Jeeves and Wooster world look at Bertie as if he's the most normal person there ever was. 
But he isn't normal. He's soooo funny.

#2. He thinks he's a genius

 Let's face it. Wooster isn't the cleverest of men. The brain of the show is, as we all know perfectly well, Jeeves. There are times when Wooster fully admits that Jeeves is an amazing genius and that he has some what less knowledge. But then there are times when he proudly states that the Woosters have the cleverest ideas and solutions there ever were, and insists that he knows how to solve problems JUST as well as Jeeves does. This guy has a lot of self-confidence.
And his solutions and ideas are just SO freaking stupid it's HILARIOUS. :-P

#3 He's a boy

Wooster is ADORABLE. In reality he's a middle-aged bachelor, but to me, he's a boy. He's still a boy - he plays with a yellow ducky in the bath and loves eating and getting involved in silly schemes. He's cheeky. He hangs out at the Drones Club, which is a pretty boyish place, if you ask me.
And Jeeves is like his dad. :-)

 #4 He can't say no (and it's adorable)
He can't even refuse offers of marriage!
This is so adorkyble. He just can't say NO. Well, he can, but not in a persisting way. In more than one episodes, one of his annoying aunts will barge into his easy life with a task for him - often involving theft. He starts to stammer, 'I say! No! Aunt Dalia, I... I say, what a dashed thing to ask!' and stuff like that. But he never wins the say and always ends up doing what people ask him. HE CAN'T SAY NO AND IT'S SO ADORABLE.
Wooster is actually a really kind person. He's very careful about not hurting people, very careful indeed. Sometimes it causes him loooads of problems. 

#5 His fashion sense

Jeeves may not always agree, but I think Bertie Wooster's fashion sense is rather dapper and corny and fun. He goes for three-quarter-trousers and white-short-vests even if his valet doesn't agree. But then he gets rid of the special garments after a short time, because when Jeeves doesn't agree life can't go on. So, with the help of Jeeves, Bertie always looks like a good gentleman - good vests, tweed jackets, evening black wear. He really looks good.

#6 He's so innocent

Bertram Wooster? Innocent? He gets blamed for EVERYTHING!
Basically the average Jeeves & Wooster episode goes like this: Aunt tells Wooster he has to do something - he messes it up - he gets blamed by everyone for everything - Jeeves solves everything.
Poor little Bertie gets all the blame, while he's actually as innocent as a fella can be. Poor chappie.

 #7 He TALKS amazingly
This is the main thing I love about Wooster. THE WAY HE TALKS.
A list of Wooster-like words you are going to use in the future (you just are):
- What-ho! This is Wooster's famous way of saying 'hello'. He says it in practically every scene. :-P The word, I warn you, is seriously addicting.
- I say! Wooster says this when he's surprised or disappointed. It's a cool way of saying, 'NO!' or 'OH DEAR!' or other useless phrases such as that.
- Pip pip! Toodledoo! This is his way of saying goodbye. I told you he wasn't normal (wait, did I?)
- This takes the bally nerve, Jeeves! What he says after he realises he didn't say 'no.' 'Bally' is sometimes replaced by 'giddy' and 'nerve' is sometimes replaced by 'biscuit.' Creative, right? As a writer who loves to juggle around with word uses, I find this all very good. :-)
- Dashed. "How dashed kind!" or "Dashed friendly of you, old bean," are two examples Wooster would use the word in.
Oh, and if you're as big of a fan of his talk as I am, read the books. They are NARRATED by him and him only. Oh the joy.

 #8 He's never angry long

Wooster really is a NICE chap. He's awfully forgiving, and never angry for a long time. There are times when Jeeves stubborn-ness about, for instance, clothing, irritates him - but he always gives in and returns to the corny golden cheek he is. 
Even after getting blamed loads of times and tricked into cycling for hours in soaking rain, he goes back to the bacon-and-eggs lover with witty cheerful-ness in no time.

#9 His music style (not exactly mine, but it makes me like him more.)

My favourite scenes in the movie are probably the ones where Wooster rummages around on his piano, singing rediculously stupidly funny songs with embarrassing lyrics. Once he made Jeeves sings them too, poor chap. I know all the songs Wooster plays inside out, because I have a brother who's a huge Wooster-songs-fan and plays them on the piano like, almost every day. 
The video above is my personal favourite of the songs. I defy you not go to bed singing "Forty-seven Ginger-headed sailors." These songs are embarrasingly catchy. 
So yeah - I rather like his songs. *sheepish smile*

#10 He always forgets he's the boss

Jeeves and Wooster's roles often seem to reverse - Jeeves tells Wooster what to do, decides what will happen, and not vice versa. Sometimes though, Woosters pops into reality and realises this, but mostly he doesn't even realise. He treats Jeeves like a friend more than a valet and feels dashed lost without the organiser. As I said, Jeeves is like his father. :-P
The following quote describes their relationship perfectly:
Bertie: No, I think I'll wear the blue with the faint red stripe.
Jeeves: Not the blue with the faint red stripe, sir.
Bertie: But I rather fancy myself in it.
Jeeves: Not the blue with the faint red stripe, sir.
Bertie: Oh all right, have it your own way.
Jeeves: Very good, sir. Thank you, sir.

Well done Mr Wodehouse for creating such a character!
What's your favourite thing about Wooster?
Do you prefer Jeeves?


Quick shout-out to Hayden!

THAT SHIP. This book's gonna be epic.

You want to read a book by a lovely girl? Well, take your chance and enter Hayden's awesome giveaway here. :-) I'm desperately hoping I'll win, but if you enter too I'll be happy to have some more suspense up. :-P


The Bookshelf Tag (is my current favourite thing)

Natalie from Raindrops on Roses made, in my opinion, the nicest tag there ever has been created. I'm not exaggerating to be flattering, Natalie, this is seriously what I'm thinking right now. I'm kind of jealous you thought of it before I did. :-P Heehee. But anyways. Irresistable, and all that jazz, so therefore boom, it'll be completed on Wonderland Creek. How about starting.

Describe your bookshelf (or wherever it is you keep your books-it doesn't actually have to be a shelf!) and where you got it from:

My bookcase is wooden (as your eyes have told you) with four shelves (as your eyes have also told you.) I got it when we moved two years ago - we bought some furniture of the previous owners, including this. My mum loved it so much she wanted it herself first, but then I guess she saw I needed it badly because I have so many books. :-) Thank you mum. :-) I adore my bookcase, but it's slowly getting too small, as I get new books every year!

And please, ignore my crafty-stuff at the top. :-P

Do you have any special or different way of organizing your books?

Yes, I organise my bookcase by colour. I know it's an unusual thing to do (Naomi Bennet? Unusual? Why should you be surprised?) but I just love the special rainbowy touch it adds to my room. It's such a simple way of brightening up an interior, and it's SO dashed fun to organise that it's become like a hobby. :-)

What's the thickest (most amount of pages) book on your shelf?

Probably my Jane Austen collection book - it's suuper thick, because it has all of her books in one. It's kind of annoying to read and drag along. :-) But worth it, of course, haha. After that, I guess it should be GONE WITH THE WIND. My goodness, that book is a deliciously thick brick - it's just plain swamped with words, words, words one after another for pages and pages aaand pages. Staggeration.

What's the thinnest (least amount of pages) book on your shelf?

There was none that really popped into my mind straightaway, so I had to have a look. Apparently it ended up being a French book I have to read for school. Thank goodness it's thin. :-P

Is there a book you received as a birthday gift?

Haha, practically all of these are books I got for birthdays and Christmasses, so yes, there definately are. To point out one in particular, here's Christy, a book I got from my grandparents for my birthday. Oh my stars and stockings is that a good book. It's SO good. I adore it. (And the poor children! Barefoot in the snow?!!! I'm crying inside my heart for them.)

What's the smallest (height and width wise) book on your shelf?

You know, I haven't got many small books! Not drastically small ones anyway. The horribly and yet beautifully amazing, amazing biography of Alicia Appleman-Jurman is one of my smaller and chunkier books. Although now, looking at the picture, I can spot the Mildred Keith series - they seem smaller.

What's the biggest (height and width wise) book on your shelf?

My copy of 'The Book Thief' is very thick and big. The inside lettering is spacious and the gaps between the lines aren't pressed close, like Gone with the Wind, for instance. This copy is just so, so, so gorgeously beautiful. I remember getting it for Christmas and gasping at the beautiful-ness of the book. It makes you want to become a book thief, yourself, more or less. :-)

Is there a book from a friend on your shelf?

Yes, a friend from Church gave me a copy of 'Longbourn' last Christmas, and it's become a happy audition to my bookshelves. This book is really good - a story on it's own, not just a P&P spinoff - although there are some scenes some readers might feel a bit icky reading. I especially love the first half - as it goes on we get fewer and fewer P&P references, you see. ;-)

Most expensive book?

Goodness! I'm not entirely sure. It might be Gone with the Wind - although I didn't notice the expense because someone bought it for me. But it was SOOO worth it. I need a copy of GWTW at my side, to snatch whenever I want to. Sometimes I just open it and read the first two pages of chapter five. Read them and you'll see why (a whole swoony description of her whole wardrobe!!!)

The last book you read on your shelf?

This was a quick read - not brilliant, but pretty cute all the same. Has anyone heard of the 'My Story' children's books series? It's basically a series of diaries (not real-found diaries, sadly) of children in historical time periods. For example there's a diary of a Titanic survivor, Blitz girl, a Cotton Factory worker (*cue North and South music*) - this one, 'Twentieth Century Girl' wasn't the best of the series - but it was cute, so why not tuck it in the shelves, heh.

Of all the books on your shelf, which was the first you read?

Probably 'Little House in the Big Woods.' I can't tell you HOW much I've read all the Little House books in my life. I mean, they WERE my life. I read them so stinkin' much it's not even funny. And seeing this is the first in the series, I'm assuming this was the one I read first. I remember being entranced from the very start. I wanted to be Mary. :-)

Do you have more than one copy of a book?

I have *counts* five Bibles. You see I speak more than one language, so I have two Dutch ones, two English ones and one German one (hopefully I'll be able to read that properly one day.) Most of my Bibles have these sweet fabric coves on them, made by my super talented Oma.

Do you have the complete series of any book series?
Little House on the Prairie! Oh my how I will always adore these books. I have all the Laura books in English and Dutch (and some in French), and then I also have all the Martha books, the Charlotte books, the Caroline books and the lovely Rose books. Yes, I'm still a fan. :-)

What's the newest addition to your shelf?

What book has been on your shelf FOREVER?
Yes, the Little House books. Or my Dutch Bible (the one with the pink embroidery at the top and bottom (see picture above the one above). It's been my soul-mate for years.)

What's the most recently published book on your shelf?
Longbourn, I think.

What's inside the doors of my bookcase. I knew I'd like to know if I were you. :-)
The oldest book on your shelf (as in, the actual copy is old)?

This sweet book is pretty old - it was first published in 1937, although I don't know whether this copy is that old. 

But I do have an even older book which isn't actually on the book shelves, but which is inside the doors of the bookcase. I have to show you, because it's so authentic and crumbly and darling, and I'm really quite proud of the thing. It's a collection of old French weekly magazines called 'La Semaine de Suzette' - which means, 'The week of Suzette.' The stories and recipes and old adverts of dress patterns and so on are so sweet, (although I don't understand them all that well, because it's French and the letters are dusty and faded.) Yes, it's purty cool.

Be jealous.

A book you won?
Me win? Haha. No, I've never won a book. Which is sad.

A book you'd hate to let out of your sight (aka a book you never let someone borrow)?
Probably my good thick Gone with the Wind book. It's just so precious and fat. But then if someone was dying to read it and couldn't get hold of it, I would be generous, I think. Maybe I'd set a deadline, though, to give it back. (Winks to Emma.)

Most beat up book?

Probably 'on the banks of Plum Creek.' It doesn't look that bad on the picture (blame my camera's elusive flash) but it is bad. Half the pages are loosely tucked in, like bookmarks. But I personally like it when books are really beat up - it shows one how loved they have been.

Most pristine book?
Maybe the Book Thief.

A book from your childhood?

To answer something different to Laura Ingalls Wilder, I'll pull out a Kirsten American Girl book to show you. I used to be entranced about this blonde girl and her simple adventures. I wanted to meet an Indian girl, too, and make a quilt with all my school-friends. Also the artist who drew the pictures in Kirsten draws such sweet pictures. I still adore them. :-)

A book that's not actually your book?

Oopsydaisy! I constantly get blamed for this. :-P 'Remembrance' by Theresa Breslin is an example - I've kind of adopted it to my own because I've read this book SO many times. It was my first romance book, after 'These Happy Golden Years' and I remember feeling so grown-up reading it. It's a very, very sweet WW1 love story, and the ending is bound to be tearful. I always cry. The book is slowly getting a bit to easy for me, but I do love it, and I always forget it actually isn't mine. :-)

A book with a special/different cover (e.g. leather bound, soft fuzzy cover etc.)?

The Good Book. My favourite book for life. It's so amazing that calling it a 'book' doesn't seem good enough. It's a Book. With a capital B.

A book that is your favourite colour?

Haha, this question is so suitable for me, isn't it? My shelves are arranged in colour, for Pete's sake! (Who is Pete, actually? I feel a bit unaquainted with him and yet I'm typing away angry sentences in his sake. Weird.) My favourite colour is *in chorous!* Pink. HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE THIS COLOUR. My favourite pink book is probably Jane Eyre. It blows you away. It's huge and beautiful and epic, like GWTW. It's that kind of book you want to possess because it HAS so much.

Sometimes one of my siblings will come in my room and ask me, 'Naomi? Do you know I book I can read?' And then I ask them, 'Any colour in mind?' Haha. :-)

Book that's been on your shelf the longest that you STILL haven't read?

For my fifteenth birthday I went ahead a bought myself some Amish fiction, including this series (which I count as one book, okay?) - and nope, I haven't read them yet. I started, but... yeahhh. Amish fiction ain't always my thing.

Any signed books?

Yes, my copy of Pride and Prejudice is... just kidding. :-P
No, I haven't.

So, that was that! I enjoyed it thoroughly. Thank you for reading, and thank you Natalie for creating it. It was super fun. :-)

Because I'm an enthusiastic book-worm. Thumbs up, everyone.