Thursday, 22 June 2017

This is not me complaining. It's just me listing facts.



... if you look like a chipmunk with extra big cheeks
... if you look like a hamster with extra big cheeks
... if you avoid the mirror because of this
... if you've been living on smoothies
... if you've been also living on ice-cream
... and frozen raspberries which you basically swallow completely
... if you crave cold stuff to put on face
... if you've been watching YouTube shamelessly because you can
... if you feel like a hot potato
... if you've forgotten for a second what it's like to chew on hard things
... if you feel like you'll never be able to chew again
... if you can't open your mouth much
... if you don't just watch one episode of something
... if you're surprised when you spit out water and the water actually isn't red from blood

... you might have just had your wisdom teeth taken out.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Thoughts on: Wives and Daughters 1999


I am currently the proud owner of hamster cheeks. That is, I am trying to survive the extraction of those wisdom teeth. (It's okay, it really is. It's just cumbersome. And I don't exactly feel glamorous. :-P) But you know, why not do something minorly productive and write a blog post? Today I've watched 2 episodes of Mr Selfridge (it is so similar to The Paradise, like, I'm surprised one series didn't blame the other for plagarism), about 20 episodes of Emma Approved (#Knighthouse), I've slept and swallowed down ice-cream, and I'm currently listening to jazz (Marilyn Monroe is currently singing "I wanna be loved by you" and it's cute) and you know what, I'm going to write down a blog post.

Also, not to be Frank Churchill, but this heat is MADDENING. Belgium, you're supposed to have the reputation for bad weather. Prove it. THIS IS TOO HOT.

Anyways. Thoughts on Wives and Daughters. (That's another way of saying: "A review, but not a good enough one, so not worthy to be called a review." :-P) (Or "discombobulated ramblings on a dear movie.") (See, I am not that bad at blog post titles. Book titles, however, are an entirely different matter.)


Let us start by pointing out the negatives, shall we? (I know, I know, ever the optimist.)

MRS GIBSON. Aka. Claire or Hyacinth or the previous Mrs Kirkpatrick or, as I call her, the-spoilt-brat-who-ughhhh-no-leave-the-room. I cannot stand this woman. (Yes, those are grapes in her hair. But believe me, that is only a tiny fraction of her annoyingness.) Mrs Gibson is the kind of character you want to grab by the hair and scratch like a kitten (not to be blunt). The way she craves money and fame and attention is just ugh. I feel so bad for Molly for having to live with the woman, and I cannot give Mr Gibson much respect because he picked her out as a wife.

Speaking of Mr Gibson... I know loads of people like him as character, but personally he annoys me almost as much as Hyacinth! (Okay, not quite as much. Hyacinth is, granted, hard to beat on that score.) But really, I find him quite creepy - the way he calls his daughter goosey with that close stare and sends her off and controls Molly and then honestly thinks marrying Hyacinth is a SENSIBLE thing to do. And when he's angry at Molly when there's all the gossip about Mr Preston... like noo, just be calm, sir, have faith in your daughter.


The first episode, personally, I find rather slow. I only get 'into' the movie by episode 2. (Don't kill me, but Cynthia has to arrive to give the mini series the dazzle and the colour.) However, I do LOVE the scene in episode one where Roger comforts Molly when he finds her crying in the garden after she's found out about The Unwanted Engagement. Roger is like the BEST older brother and IT'S SO CUTE (because that's the thing: HE'S NOT THE OLDER BROTHER.) (Spoiler alert. :-P)

More negative things? Pheobe Brown was annoying. Kind of humorous, I guess, but definitely eye-roll-worthy-material. Sally's not much better. It always tickles me how she has a barouche in Wives and Daughters just like she famously has in Cranford. (Not Sally. The actress. She's called Mrs Jamieson-the-one-with-the-dog in Cranford.)

The Hamely-family scenes sometimes went on too much. (I only love them when Roger is in them. I could watch many Hamely scenes if Roger were in them all.)  Mr Hamely annoys me, although Michael Gambon is a good actor. (No sister-reading-this, don't say he isn't.) (My siblings somehow dislike Michael Gambon with a certain passion.) Mrs Hamely's death was sad, but I never got very attached to her as a character. She certainly is very sweet though, and man, I feel bad for Osborne for having to have his mum die being disappointed in him.

Osborne is a poor thing. The poor guy has one miserable happening after the other. He's not exactly what you'd call a lucky chap.


As we are still in the negative part of the review (or whatever), Harriet's hair in the last episode (the wig-pixie-cut-thing. yeah. that.) was a ghastly mess. Of course, a lot of the hair was ridiculous (remember the grapes in Mrs Gibson's hair-do), as were some of the puffed sleeves. Let's just say the wardrobes in here are an Anne Shirley gown heaven.

I DO like Lady Harriet Cumnor though; better then I did last time. She is a frank, open-hearted, confidant, witty lady. I like her face and her quick attitude. I like how she makes sure no-one thinks badly of Molly. I LOVE how she ships Molly with - spoiler alert but not really - Roger.

Can I also give a shout-out to Lady Catherine the Bourgh Lady Cumnor? She's hilarious. And her pwonouncishon is pwetty hilawious.


Let's speak of Cynthia. She is an interesting character with many different sides to her. Annoying, lovable, frustrating, ungenuine yet genuine. Do not unfollow me (well, I guess you can if you want to), but, but, but *whisper* I have a soft spot for Cynthia Kirkpatrick. Not that I approve of her actions - she is a flirt and she should not accept all those proposals and such and UGH the way she does not care a jot about Roger and her carelessness of his letters makes me so angry... but, but. I can't hate her. I cannot call her a villain.

And I feel bad for her with the Mr Preston plot. I also sort of feel bad for Preston. Look, it's a VERY good, unfortunate plot line. Preston loves Cynthia, Cynthia hates him despite the fact that she consented to marry him when she was 15. Preston has a very odd way of showing his love to Cynthia, which Molly (the DARLING) resolves. Whether or not you dislike Cynthia, I think we all agree her Preston-situation is very unfortunate. Yes, she shouldn't have promised him her hand but she was fifteen BUT DUDE, Preston has charm, and she changed her mind and that should be allowed.

I HATE that she doesn't break it off with Roger (or starts it in the first place) sooner. But I love how she admits her faults and how charming she is. I hate how flirty she is, but I love how she sees it. She is, you've got to admit, very honest. That is a good quality. (BUT SHE SHOULD TRY TO REMEDY HER FAULTS. Actually try.)


(Ignore Mrs Gibson in the above picture. Focus on Molly.)

Molly. Ah Molly. The girl who deserves so much more than she gets - the girl who has her heart broken and only mended till the very end - the girl who has to endure gossip because she's friendly - the girl who's left with everyone's problems - She is a DARLING.

I have no more to say. A DARLING. One of my favourite heroines out there, for sure. I love Molly Gibson.


I LOVE ROGER. Yes, I am sad he had the Cynthia phase, but I think they had him realise his mistake very well, what with him being so far away and just clinging to the thought of Cynthia because he knew nothing better. I love him best with Molly, of course. I wish for more Molly-Roger scenes and less Cynthia-Roger scenes. I always get excited when Roger is back in England. The guy is in Africa too often.

Seriously though. This guy has a place in my heart. Handsome, cute, a gentleman, so KIND and so good and also super clever. I mean... seriously. He's somethin'. (Underrated, too.) (And the nicest brother to Osborne.)


CAN WE JUST APPRECIATE HOW PERFECT THEY ARE TOGETHER?! I was literally sobbing during his proposal and ohh, I need more Molly-Roger scenes. They are so adorable and beautiful together and why it didn't happen sooner is a crying shame. The last episode is so glorious and tension-y filled it's almost annoying to watch. I love it though. Molly and Roger for ever and ever amen.

(Also I kind of wish there was a kiss. :-P) (Yes, there isn't.) (Not even a hug.) (They could at least have done a hug.) (The rainy proposal was so epic it made up for it though.) (And the Africa honeymoon.) (AND JUST THEM.) (Still wish there was a kiss.) (Or a hug.) (Or both.)

I'll stop with the brackets.

What do you think of this gorgeous miniseries? Have you seen it? Tell me thy thoughts.


PS I PERSONALLY LOVE THE COSTUMES IN HERE. Especially Cynthia's wickedly gorgeous dark blue ballgown she wears in London (:-O) and Molly's red one at the engagement party. The costumes are amazing in this miniseries, albeit sometimes rather much. Brownie points for whoever was in charge of the costumes, though.

Monday, 19 June 2017

No longer homeschooled.

Well hello. 


Yes, the title is true. I am done with school. (I hope. I may have failed my exams. But we shall see. I remain, for now, optimistic.) Today were my last two exams and I am happy and relieved and I am SO ready for summer and England trips to begin. Tomorrow, ironically, to celebrate this happy statement (or as Americans would say; 'graduation') (See, we don't 'graduate' till after college.) I am getting my wisdom teeth removed. All four. It is ironic. I guess I don't need my wisdom teeth anymore. I've done the exams. 

I plan to eat ice cream and watch Into the Woods and whatever else strikes my fancy.

We re-watched Wives and Daughters (or, as my dad calls it, Dives and Waters) a few weeks ago and it was BEAUTIFUL. I want to write a review. I know, it's been ages since I blogged about period drama and it's sort of a shame, but you do dry up with Period Drama blog post ideas after three years of intense Period Drama blogging. I get why people stop blogging now. However, I do want to write a review of some sorts. Because Molly Gibson is such a darling she deserves like ten blogposts of her own. Can I get an amen.

I am currently listening to an old jazz album from Dave Brubeck. Take Five is THE catchiest song. I kid you not, I've been relistening the first minute of it over and over again. It's purty rad. Google it and listen to it. (OH IT JUST STARTED PLAYING GUYS. IT JUST STARTED PLAYING.) (Yep. Still insanely catchy.) (I want to sing it accapella with a talented music group one day.) (Or Pentatonix should do it.) (Did you know Pentatonix is no longer PENTAtonix? The base-member left. I am not heart broken because let's be real, I don't know the guy (Avi) personally, but the base was epic and I'm kind of bummed he won't be there anymore. Hopefully they'll find another one.)

The pictures in this post are from young group last week. Because man, I love it there. We're like one big family. I love the deep discussions, the talks, the big hugs, the way I always leave feeling energised and so loved and so grateful to have such fun, Jesus-loving friends. There is nothing like hangin' out with a buncha young people, all so so different, all agreed on one basic thing: Jesus saved us. (Also there's good food.)

I'm done with school, people.
DONE WITH THAT BIT IN YOUR LIFE.

Technically my education-exam-time is not over yet, and if I do become a teacher as planned it shall never be over (wow, that sounds depressing), because I'll be going to college next year, but for now exams, papers, all that... it's done. Summer has hailed. (And yes, wisdom teeth also. I guess summer'll start AFTER THAT.)

Right-ho folks, I shall end this post. Let me reflec on my years as a homeschooler. On all those movie soundtracks I listened to while I was "working." (Read: Should have been instead of 'was.') (*cough*) 

Well, I made it anyways. (I hope.)

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Is Jesus cool? (A lil' rant.)


Is Jesus cool?

My first instinct it to say duh YEAH. But then the official definition of cool is "fashionably attractive" and when I look at society I don't think that per their definition of fashionably attractive, Jesus is in that department.

I have the feeling that a lot of Christians (and Churches) nowadays, they try so hard to make Jesus look cool. 

And that gets my goat sometimes. No, I'm not saying that Christianity is this old-people-shh-be-quiet thing. Yes, we should burst into songs of joy; yes we should dance with love for God; yes we should tell people about Jesus and yes, we should rejoice in the Lord always (and again I say rejoice.) (Message clear: Rejoice.) Again, I'm not saying pastors with ripped jeans and leather jackets aren't good people, I'm not saying Hillsong worship sessions are un-Christian and I'm not saying that Churches with loads of drums and colourful lights and really cool kids programs aren't good Churches.

But sometimes you do wonder... how many people come because of the cool-factor; how many people come for Jesus? How many people would come if the electricity turned off and if the pastor was an old man with a suit and a tie? If there was no Church website and no good parking lot? How many people would come if there were no kids programs or after-Church pastries?

Because that's not what Christianity is about; and that's not who Jesus is. Jesus is our God. He is our Saviour, and He died on the cross to save us and to give us eternal life and that is why we go to Church. That is enough. That is why hundreds of Christians come together in underground churches in China; they are being persecuted but they come because it's Jesus.

Let's see... the definition of the word cool is "fashionably attractive or impressive." So yeah, you might say: "Oh, but God has to be impressive and He has to be in fashion and therefore He should be fashionably attractive and fashionably impressive!" 

4 Main Points: 

1. People have to come to Jesus because of Jesus. And not because He's presented in a #relatable #trendy way. That's just not the point.

2. We have to submit ourselves to Him and it's sooo easy to take 'cool-Christianity' casual and to then put Jesus almost as our equal. Jesus is not a human celebrity; He is God and He is way, way, way more than us.

3. Of course God is impressive, we shouldn't need to wear ripped jeans to prove that. 

4. God is not 'fashionable' in the world. And it's not the point of Christianity - we are on the narrow path. So... should we be desperately trying to be as 'cool' as possible to the world? Or when the world thinks we're cool and relatable, does that mean that maybe we're doing something wrong?

Thoughts?
Vat do you say?

(And by the way: I am not criticising anyone or any Church is particular. But I just want Jesus to be 100% honoured. He's not a casual-comfortable-all-da-feels-thing and I do think people take Him that way sometimes, which is sad.)

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

What makes a good title?


Gone with the Wind . To Kill a Mockingbird . The Diary of a Young Girl . Pride and Prejudice . Under the Greenwood Tree . Anne of Green Gables . Rilla of Ingleside . Crazy Love . The Book Thief . The Little House on the Prairie .

I love all these titles. They've got something about them; a punch, a dash of whimsy - an air of unforgettable-ness. Maybe it's because their content is good (although I've never read Under the Greenwood Tree - I just like the title) - maybe we remember these titles just because they happen to be famous... but seriously, these are some good titles. Like, how did Margaret Mitchell come up with something as epic as Gone with the Wind?! It sums up her book in four words and it doesn't give away any spoilers. How does she do that?! How did Harper Lee find such an intriguing title for her masterpiece? To Kill a Mockingbird sounds exactly like the kind of book you'd want to open to find out more.

With all these amazing titles in the world, I have a dilemma. I CANNOT NAME MY BOOK. It isn't finished yet (although slowly the end is in sight!) but man, I am bad at thinking of a title. Either Google search shows me there are already 100 books with the same title (yes, slight exaggeration, I apologise), or either it sounds so stupid I just roll my eyes at my own laptop screen.

What I'd (ideally) want in a title are 1. Something personal to the book. 2. Something that sounds pretty (not ya know, something like, Amy Stubbins' life in London)  and 3. Something that sounds good... something that rolls on the tongue. (However much I love The Guernsey Literary Potatoe Peel Pie Society, I am not searching for something in that field.)

I have identified six types of titles. You must tell me which you like best (after all, you are my imagined future audience.):

1. The snappy one. Such as: Crazy Love . Cool! . Not a Fan . These are often for learn-more-about-life books. Their title sparks interest. Their title isn't, perhaps, what the book subject might seem. It's a punchy title and it's what makes hands grab books. I like a snappy title. (However, it would not suit my book. My book is an historical piece of fiction with a fair amount of deaths. A flashy-punchy-colourful title would be... odd.)

2. The whimsical one. This is where I should paste basically all L.M.Montgomery's book titles. Especially Magic for Marigold and Jane of Lantern Hill and Anne of Avonlea. They all sound exquisite. I wish I had the knack for such beautiful title but whenever I do they sounds laughably ridiculous, like I'm just trying way too hard. Ha.

3. The This-is-what-the-book-basically-is-in-short title. Such as The Diary of Anne Frank or The Book Thief or A Series of Unfortunate Events or The Little House on the Prairie. It's like a tiny resume but it sounds really good on the front cover. I want one like this but ah how do I do this. For my book that would be something like, The Girl who has Problems and other people too and then it Slowly gets Resolved. That's not an ideal title, you've got to admit.

4. The monstrously epic one. We've touched this subject. Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird and other titles such as Pride and Prejudice and The Hunger Games are like this. But probably just because they're famous. But still. These kinda books are epic even without trying. The title does all the work. (I've given up on one like this. :-/)

5. The one word one. These CAN be cool but they're often, in my 'umble opinion, boring and/or cheesy. Some books pull it off: Emma . Christy . Persuasion . Homestead . (I thought of naming my book Blessed but then I looked it up on Goodreads and bam, about 10 books with the same title came up. I never thought I'd say this, but I wish there were less books in the world, haha.)

6. The this-title-could-do-for-any-book one. These are the ones I generally go for because they're easy. Romance novels have these. Titles like Back Home or Far Away from Home or In His Arms or Stealing His Name or Only when We're Apart or stuff like Waves of Love. They sound original, but they're not because switch the two titles from two Christian Fiction novels around and it won't matter - the title will still suit the content. Basically. (I thought of Only if it's You and Green Eyes for my novel but one, these books already exist and two, they could be the title of 90% of the books out there. And I don't want that.)

So there you go. The struggle of finding a title for my novel. I guess I'll just finish the novel first and then decide. Or better still, I have Emma read the manuscript and she can name it. She is wickedly good at naming things. (As I write, she is probably naming cows and horses in Texas.)

What are some of your favourite titles? What makes a good title? Any tips for the titling-my-novel-process? Cuz I need tips.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Outernet


Outernet is those little magic moments like that puffy cloud of milk in tea or coffee when your pour it in, or that dark-reddish-dark-blue sky in the small bathroom window, or the bubbly smile of a small toddler, or the hug of a dear friend.

Internet may be that. Recorded. On a screen.

THAT'S COOL TOO BUT YOU'VE GOTTA ADMIT IT'S LESS COOL.

Outernet is the laughing and the happy raw sobbing after an amazing movie. It's the taste of good food and the feeling of group hugs or bro-pats. 

Internet may be that. Recorded and on a screen. Through videos and pictures and hashtags and blog posts and facebook posts and gifs and snapchat filters.

THAT'S COOL TOO BUT YOU'VE GOTTA ADMIT IT'S LESS COOL.

Outernet is the experiences of the Holy Spirit, the personal intimacy between yourself and your Saviour; the unexplicable joy of Faith and Hope and Purpose and Joy. 

Internet or any form of media, word, picture, statement CANNOT do that. That's so real and NOW and gah, it's so outernet. It's OuterLIFE. It's something out of this world and something further than the skope of human recording and explaining. Something so unexplainable. 

Point proven: OUTERNET IS BETTER.

It just is.


Yes, I am very grateful for the Internet and I love blogging and I've met dear dear friends online and I've seen Internet being used in really good and inspiring ways. But man, it's so easy to be all about the online life when seriously, it can mess up your brain because I think our generation does not really fully understand what it's like to live in the now. It's more like 'live in the now and wait yeah let's make sure everyone KNOWS we're living in the now.' That's not the same.

Also, the obsession of wanting to know what everybody else is up to! Like, it's great to keep in touch with friends but personally, I know I take this to far. I'm living MY LIFE. And that's a life with a lot of purpose and potential because of the God I serve - and the way I live my days is obviously the way I live my life. (Wow, I need to hear these words myself. I'm basically educating myself here, seriously.) Yes, I like knowing what my friends are up to but becoming obsessed with that the way the Internet encourages us to be is just unhealthy. 

There are so so many priorities.

I try again every day! It's hard for me, I'll admit. But I'll keep on trying.


I got myself an Instagram account several months ago and I love it - it's really cool and yeah, it's fun. But I also really, really hate it. Sometimes its become my worst enemy and I have to really tell myself to STOP being on it because really it shouldn't be able to control me. I am a human being and that's AN APP. We should be able to not coexist and we should be able to be really separate 90% of the time. 

AMIRITE.

The main thing that annoys me about Instagram (and I guess the internet as a whole) is how I feel like I have to document all the 'fun' things in my life.

Like, I'd almost like to start a challenge. Here's the challenge guys. Do something really fun and beautiful and DON'T TELL/SHOW ANYONE. JUST DO THE THING AS IT IS THE THING. Make it a memory encarved in the brain rather than a picture with emoji comments and 145 likes or whatever. Go out with a friend and have an ice cream with sprinkles and DON'T POST THE PIC YOU TOOK. Just take a picture for you and make it your special nice ice-cream-date day. Go to the cinema with that rad group of pals and actually forget about posting about it online. Not saying it's not special when you do tell people about it and post it online and I'm not saying there's something wrong with doing that but ya know... ARE WE CAPABLE OF DOING THAT? (Also yelling at myself here, mind you. ;-))


I had an amazing evening yesterday, for instance, and this morning. (And yes right now I'm talking about it online haha but hey, it's to make a point ;-P) I went to Youth Group and then went a slept over at a friend and we had midnight talks about Jesus and faith struggles and deep topics and it was awesome. But then at one point I was thinking in the back of my brain I must take a selfie with her tomorrow morning so I can post about this awesome evening.

Like nooooo. That's not the point. (I didn't do it and I'm glad I didn't.)

Sometimes I feel like a day becomes less special after I post about it. It's like the lovely day and personal meaning become a picture and a 'look I have a life' status. Even though I don't mean it that way, I feel like it feels that way sometimes and it soooort of makes the memory less special for me. I don't know. Some thoughts. :-P

What do YOU think? Do you struggle with this too? (Maybe you're like nope I don't relate at all in which case good for you.) I WANNA DISCUSS THIS. Let's have a deep discussion in the comment section. :-) 

(Also, I challenge you to do something really cool - go out with a group of friends or whatever, go somewhere very instagram-feed-pleasant, and don't post anything about it. JUST TO SEE IF YOU CAN.)

PS: Pippa Middleton wedding dress. Google it. I want it. So. Gorgeous.

Monday, 8 May 2017

7 images + 7 thoughts


1. Sometimes you've just gotta curl up in bed and watch an old black-and-white movie. I did that the other day. (That is, several weeks ago.) I watched Top Hat on my phone and it was uncomfortable and I had a stiff neck but it was fine. Not the best movie, and some stuff in it made me roll my eyes but Ginger and Fred are a fine duo and nothing beats their tappin' shoes and her swoony gowns next to his dapper tux. You've got to love these two. Pretty classic. (*Goes off singing I'm fancy free, I'm free from everything faaaancy*)

2. Just a random picture of a couple holding hands. I like me some sappiness. Also I love the sleeves of the wedding gown. I do like a wedding dress with long sleeves. I was looking at Kate Middleton's wedding dress the other day (because t'was their wedding anniversary last month so I had such a legitimate reason you know) and for real, her dress was a beauty.

3. Give me this outfit. Rather cute. And yes, I know this post is random.

4. Okay, so walls. I LOVE A GOOD WALL. I need to redo mine because I keep on seeing such artistic and wanderlustlike pictures of walls filled with gorgeous things that mine feels like a two-year-old's handywork. I love the boho-feel of this one here. (I'm rolling my eyes at my randomness right now. But I know you don't mind. And neither do I. #randomnessforthewin.) (The only thing I don't like about random posts is that they're kind of embarrassing if someone I know 'in real life' reads my blog. There's something about random posts that makes me sound embarrassing. But write the posts I shall.)

5. I DO SO APPRECIATE SUNSETS AND THE WAY THEY SHED LIGHT ON PEOPLE'S SILHOUETTES.

6. So this was a pin on pinterest and it says "Does it bother anyone else that there are parts in your life that you don't remember? You have done and said things that you don't even know about anymore. That means you don't even have the right perception of yourself because you don't even fully know who we are. However, something you have forgotten about could be a prominent memory in somebody else's mind. It trips me out." << That made me think and feel powerless. I love things that remind us of how powerless and small we are and how we don't have our own existence under control because it makes me trust all the more in my God.

7. Ah, Ecclesiastes. The book where I can underline all verses to claim them my favourite. And now I've discovered another. Here's the whole verse: "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet  no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Isn't that beautiful? I find it hard sometimes to remember that eternity is what really matters - in fact, it's the only thing that lasts and thus the only thing that matters. No matter how exciting summer planning is, no matter how stressful exams are... eternity has been stitched into my heart. (The translation with the word stitched in it... I love it.)

I'll be off. Hope everyone's doing well. Enjoy the last shreds of blossom while they're there; a great summer is looming ahead. (Yes, Aussies, not talking to you. ;-))

Monday, 1 May 2017

You are beautiful in a non-cliché way.


Confession time: I roll my eyes at stuff like, "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL." And "BE YOU." And even the plausible "YOU ARE UNIQUE."

When I was fourteen, I used to hang these kinds of words up on my wall. I was all about the positive-Pinterest-y-Naomi's-da-bomb-because-she-says-she-is-phase. I was like 'boo yeah I'm Me' and honestly, I was getting excited about nothing. I was doing it in selfish la-di-da-feelsies and I needed those words to make me feel good. I needed constant convincing.

Then I realised that wow, God, I need to humble myself; I am a sinner; and I should not be who I am by human nature because without you, I am nothing. I still agree with all of this, of course, but I had a phase where I swung a little too far in the opposite direction. I was like, nah, we shouldn't be ourselves because what if you're selfish by nature? We should strive to be who God wants us to be.

THAT IS ALSO TRUE. We all naturally have sin and the 'BE YOU' phrase should not mean 'be who you aaaaarrree and get druuunk and steaaal and sleep arouuund because that's who you aaarrreee.' In a sense, we should, therefore, not be who we are as humans in a world of sin. We should strive to be as non-human-like as possible.

But I took this idea too far for a while, I think. We are creations of God and to disregard the 'you are perfeeect' message is saying that God does not create people perfectly. I mean, God made us unique, right? So now I'm sort of re-learning the non-cliché-ness of the cliché message: "You are beautiful just the way you are. You are unique. Be yourself."


Yes, I still roll my eyes at that. Because let's be real, it is overdone and it's pretty stupid when you forget about the Maker. It is stupid when you leave out the Very Reason Why we are beautiful and unique and the Reason why we can achieve amazing things and why we should be confident in our own quirks and our personal dreams and talents. If you're just like, drumming it in yourself: I am epic. I am cool. I am hashtag queen.... then I'm like, "OKAY. WHY."

And the reason why is God. And theeen it all makes sense. Then self-love becomes a beautiful, important thing rather than this selfish cliché thing for 'positive vibes's sake. Yes, socially, some are prettier than others. I'm not going to deny that. Some are more talented. Some are in better condition. 

But isn't everyone worth the same sacrifice of Jesus?

If you're think you're not unique and special and beautiful, then you're saying God's not a good artist. AND HE MADE THIS:

(random picture from pinterest duh)

I want to quickly change the subject and talk about mountains. I love love love mountains. There are literally no ugly mountains in the world. Each one is different and each one is wretchedly perfectly gorgeous. Why... WHY are they so beautiful? "Just because they... are." No, no, not satisfied with that answer. WHY ARE THEY SO RIDICULOUSLY GORGEOUS. Why did my heart fill with this swell when I stood on one last year at the Alps in France; looking down on clouds and sunshine and rocks and white tops and trees. WHY. Why is rock and tree so beautiful? WHY. Why. 

I'll tell ya why. God. It's a snippet of God's glory.

And us then? Aren't we snippets of God's glory? Aren't we? Aren't we the one creation made in God's image? 

WHAT IS WRONG WITH US. Why do we not think we are beautiful?! Unique? Each and every one of us individually and specially designed with a different purpose?!

Today I wrote a kids book. It's only 16 pages and 500-something words; with tons of blank spaces for pictures I haven't drawn yet (and will probably not be that pretty.) It's written in rhyme (bringing out my inner Dr Suess here ya know) and it's about this 'perfect' mountain who tells all the other mountains that they're not good-looking with their weird shapes and rocks sticking out in odd places, and then a girl comes along and she can't believe that these mountains believe that they're not beautiful. 


Have you ever seen an ugly mountain? Well, God has never seen an ugly person. 

That's the little moral of the story. Anyway. I made it on a whim because it is an important message, and I'm kinda proud with the way it turned out, so I'll show you the last two verses.

No matter how spotty, different, dirty and sooty 
Listen to God because He should know about beauty 
He made those mountains, and He also made zillions of stars, 
He made little lambs, colourful flowers and huge planets like Mars 
 
And the One that made all these gorgeous things, 
The lions, the colours, the rainbows, the birds’ tiny wings  
He also decided to make you; I know, it’s kinda bizarre, 
But that means that you are beautiful just the way you are.

Yes, you are beautiful. Yes, you should accept yourself and embrace your quirks.  Yes, you are more beautiful in God's eyes than mountains are to your eyes. Yes, you are a sinner and probably not that beautiful on the inside. But you're covered by a huge love; your worth is tons and you are crazy beautiful as a result.


But please remember who to give the credit to. 

Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Reliable Hope


Yes, there are tears. Tears of heart-break and stress. Tears that completely wear out every bone in a body; sobs that heave a being up and down in complete sadness.

But there are also tears of joy. Like when the war heroes returned from home alive; like when the girl took off her make-up and realised she was beautiful just like that; like when an audience heaps onto each other with tears of laughter because that comedian has a whole lot of funny bones.

Yes, there are blind people; people with legs chopped off, people with just three fingers, people who can't hear simple things like eggs sizzling in oil on the stove, and there are people with shocking disabilities that get shocked stares.

But there are beautiful eyelashes, smiles filled with gratitude and beauty, strong handshakes with friendly grips; people with vocal chords big enough to blow off arena roofs; people with those amazing bear-hugs.There are millions of people breathing God-made oxygen; able to do amazing things with the air and energy they take for granted.

Yes, people are dying - people who haven't said sorry and don't know Jesus. People that are very much loved and that will be missed so, so much.

But there is sunshine - golden and glorious, keeping this earth-ball spinning and preventing you from freezing to death. There is love; love and passion and people trying it out; failing; trying again. There is beautiful music - a soothing violin practising for a concert in the basement, gospel choirs screaming with joy. There are babies being born; new life with new possibilities. There are talented genes and quirky winks. There is laughter - that booming, hearty, excellent noise that means happiness.

Yes, people die in wars. People get hurt in more ways than physical, with blood and scars.  Yes, people are lonely. People are tortured; beaten; abused.

But there's God. Always.

There's Jesus, who died for you. Jesus, who is the God who made the mountains and the oceans and the starry constellations, who came to save you in the humble form of a man, unrecognisable with blood and pain on the cross. Jesus, who will one day take you into a world where the hope we need with our tears and pain will be 100% fulfilled. Jesus, who turned all the sadness upside down.  

There's hope, and it's real.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Cat in the Hat, unanswered questions, and Speculaas biscuits.

(Before I commence; I will be pasting random pictures of delicious food in this post. From Pinterest. Prepare to get hungry.)


Evie tagged me with the Sunshine Blogger Award and I do like a list of random questions so without further - no never mind, I'm not going to say 'without further ado' because I feel like that phrase is so overused (and besides, I haven't ado-ed yet, have I?) - without further delay - no, because two sentences doesn't imply delay-ment - without further explanation - NOPE BORING - okay, how about without further unnecessary rambling... here goes.

If you skipped the first paragraph; good for you. Don't feel bad about it.

Do you have any family heirlooms?
This might make our family sound like the most boring, uninteresting family ever... but I can't think of anything. My grandparents have quite a few things though (PHEW WE ARE NO LONGER BORING) that we've used as well - a christening robe, for instance, that my great-granddad wore as well as my granddad, my dad, my uncles, my brothers and 10+ of my cousins (yep, it's completely falling apart) - but I don't personally own any family heirlooms. There ya go. Welcome to my interesting life filled with history and nostalgia, guys.

Opinion on letter writing?
Oh no. Hate it. :-P
Note the sarcasm, ma'am. Sir, note it. Sarcasm.


Do you prefer tea, coffee or cocoa?
What do I prefeeeeerrr. Not coffee. Coffee's... black muck. It's... yeah, black muck. Not that I've seriously attempted to taste it, but it's black muck. No, don't attack me in the comment section. Tea? I like tea, but the taste can render to boredom. It has a certain taste of insipidity, if one overdoses it. You know? Cocoa is not my favourite either. (PLEASE DON'T CALL ME A SPOILT BRAT.) I like cocoa though. Especially after a long windy walk. So cocoa, I guess. (Although I call it Hot Chocolate Milk.) (Just saying.)

Whats your favourite children's story?
I have quite a few, so I'll go with the first one that pops into my head.
The Sun did not Shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house, all that cold, cold, wet day. I sat there with Sally; we sat there, we two. And I said: How I wish we had something to do. Too wet to go out; too cold to play ball...
(That was the Cat in the Hat. Got it memorised to prove my loyalty towards it.)

What movie or Period Drama ending really frustrated you? And how would you change it?
DOWNTON ABBEY SERIES 3 CHRISTMAS SPECIAL.
NO FURTHER COMMENT.
*cries*


Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I have no idea. It's in God's hands. And that means I'm fine with whatever it is.

What makes you nostalgic?
See here. A blog post devoted to answer the question. Basically, old childhood favourites (specifically Astrid Lindgren, Little House, etc), old camera film rolls, big chunky computers.

If you had to describe yourself as an animal, what would it be?
NOOOOO. I CAN'T DO THIS.

If a loved one was to serenade you, what song would you most like them to sing?
I wouldn't mind a top hat and tail's singing 'I'm putting all my eggs in one basket' from Top Hat. In twilight, with me looking like Ginger Rogers. Of course we'd magically possess amazing tap-dancing skills to end the night with. In dazzling syncopation. With a brass orchestra to boot. And back-up dancers. In silver dresses and white suits.


If you could change your name to anything what would your new name be?
I've had this question before and I can never answer it. Uh. Maybe I shouldn't do tags. :-P

Whats your favourite biscuit to dunk?
I love dunking (I actually didn't know this was a word and had to look it up) (I admit all, you see) Speculaas biscuits in hot chocolate. Man, it's the best thing ever. Especially after a long windy walk. (You should've known that if you've read all the answers attentively in this post. Naomi likes hot chocolate after long windy walks. Not that she takes many long windy walks. But she should because hot chocolate.)


That's it, people.

Have an amazing day today; do something cool. If you're feeling sad, reading Lamentations is actually really therapeutic, and a warm snuggle in a warm bed with a never-before-read book is quite lovely too. I'd recommend The Sweetest Thing by Elisabeth Musser. Or Gone with the Wind. I'd also recommend eating white chocolate eggs with brown fillings (those, I have learnt, are my favourites), and, of course, always always always remember and never underestimate the power of: ✝

Thursday, 20 April 2017

100% quirk

(oh boy, this post is random)


If you have a rainbow coloured umbrella,
If you like pepperoni pizza best,
If you sometimes crave a good hug,
If you feel alive when the sky is pink with evening dusk,
If you think the best evenings are those evenings when you forget what you look like,
If you love a well-written sentence; a funny-sounding word,
If you like good, snappy, witty, quirky dialogue,
If you like playing around with microphones in an empty-ish church,
If you sometimes just randomly make cookies,
If you have really unique wallpaper,
If you have a pair of super bright shoes,
If you remember random cute kids you saw on public transport,
If you smile more than you frown,
If you love a bouncy Quentin Blake illustration,
If you need some cheesy, popular music sometimes to get back into a good mood,
If you listen to super, super old music,
If you get a sudden, huge energy wave after a random picture, blog post, or conversation,
If you have a radio in your room like my 13-yr-old brother,
If you secretly lol at those beauty gurus that have an obsessive disorder with eyebrows,
If you gush over handsome pairs of beautiful eyes,
If you didn't manage (yet) to take a picture under the blossom,
If you've made up a different world in your head,
If you always choose the same Easter eggs because you can't trust the ones you haven't tried yet,
If you think Easter's the happiest day of the year,
If you 'just can't' with ridiculously gorgeous views,
If you roll your eyes at modern 'art.'
If you have a weird phobia like me and metros,
If you have your own definition of wanderlust,
If you love to try new ice-cream flavours because duh, every one is great,
If you wish you could write like Harper Lee managed to,
If you hunger after the Word of God,

... chances are you're pretty cool.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Happy Easter + Stuff


(I know it's random, but here's a pretty picture of candy floss.)

I know I'm a day late, friends, but Happy Easter! This past week has been amazing. Amongst the choir rehearsals, solos, actually having a social life, doing schoolwork, I spent so much time just thinking and contemplating at the most amazing event of history - Jesus dying an excruciating death so unimaginably below His glorious name and then completely turning that upside down by raising to life and resurrecting. It's just OVERWHELMING HOW MUCH IS IN THIS STORY. And how MUCH IT'S ABOUT YOU. It's crazy. I can't tell you how refreshed I feel about it... this week has been so good.

So Happy Easter. :-)


(Emma just sent me this pin on pinterest with the message, 'our men.' You guys, there is a reason we're friends.)

"Why do they call it Highclere Castle? Why don't they just call it Downton Abbey?" --- My dad when he helped me order tickets to visit it. Yes, why yes, you heard that correctly, folks. I am going to visit Downton Abbey and I'm pretty excited about that, as you may well imagine. It's in September, but y'know, I have patience for things worth having patience for. (A friend of mine visited Lyme Park (aka Pemberly) two weeks ago. Now that's also on my bucket list. I mean duh.)


Oh and guess what I saw last week?! YEP THE ONE AND ONLY BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. It was so so so good. The music was EPIC, let me tell you - I wasn't familiar with the music having never seen the animated version and having never really cared about the story, but now I sing it *ahem* a lot *ahem*. Gaston was SO GOOD. Like, so wickedly handsome and oozing with vanity and just YES. He was my favourite character, which sounds weird, but he was. :-P I loved Emma Thompson's Mrs Potts and Chip and the Beast and THE ENDING.

IT WAS PRETTY EPIC. It made me very happy indeed which was a pleasant surprise because I honestly didn't think I was going to love it so much. :-)


I read through the four passion stories in the Gospels this week. Loads of things stood out to me and I can't possibly describe the extent of peace and love and beauty I found in the story, but I can briefly point out one cool thing I noticed. Which is in John 17 verse 20 - where Jesus prays for all believers. "I pray also for those who will believe in me through their (the disciples) message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you." As I was reading it, it struck to me -- Jesus was praying for Me. Whoahh. (I mean, he also died for me so yeah, you'd think I'd get used to this Jesus + Me = Deep love and personal thing, wouldn't you?) 

Also, the 'A new commandment I give unto you: Love one another as I have loved you." AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. That's a whole new level sort of love. Challenging stuff but seriously, let's try again and again.


Now I'm going to send Emma a letter. The last time I did that was beginning of March so it's been awhile. Happy Easter, peeps. x

(Oh, and what do you think of my new blog look? It reminds me of the olden days and I love it. It'll be up for a while, methinks.)

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Some discombobulated thoughts on Call the Midwife season 6


(First a picture of Barbara because she's my favourite.)


(And a gif of the gals having fun on the beds. I always love those scenes.)

Hello there!!!! Happy April, people. Hope your March was good. My March included me and my mother watching Call the Midwife season 5's Christmas Special and Call the Midwife season 6. We have one more episode to go tonight and we have the Christmas Special to go, too, but I consider myself a Season Six know-it-all already.

Thus, here are some discombobulated thoughts. With spoilers, subjective opinions and unladylike squealing thrown into the mix. (Of course.)


The Christmas Special was really good. At first I thought them going to Africa was a desperate call for something different, but the change of setting and scene did Call the Midwife good, I think. The difficult situations in the poor country such as the lack of water gave the story some extra grit (not that call the midwife doesn't have any in Poplar.) I liked that Trixie bought her nail polish along; that was funny. Like really; you're going to Africa and still #priorities.

And I LOVE FRED. He's the best. He was helping the birth under the tree with such sincerity, the dear old chap.

Mannnn, let's give Trixie a shout-out. She did a Cesearan section by HERSELF and wow that scene was tense. The way she dug her hands in the belly was weird (the belly was weird... you could easily see it was a prosthetic belly - I mean, I've seen pregnant woman and their bellies don't look so triangular when lying down) and it annoyed me that they didn't mention sewing the belly back together again (did they?!) but man, Trixie. She's so strong. I loved the scene afterwards where Trixie sits down speechless, like, "Wow. What did I just do?" and Barbara told her she deserved a cigarette.

Tom and Barbara's engagement scene with a blade of grass was freakin' cute. As was that teeny scene where they take a picture of Barbara kissing Tom's cheek and she laughed and said, "ugh you smell." D'awww. I mean, what do you expect guys. (I will do some proper Tom + Barbara squealing later on, of course. I simply do not write CTM blog posts without doing a thorough Tom and Barbara appreciation paragraph. :-P)


I do not condone the Patsy + Delia romance plotline, but I need to give Pats a shout-out because her fashion taste is pretty stellar. Also, I love Delia's hair. She always looks adorable. Patsy leaves to Hong Kong to help her dying father and I have to say, I was happy about that because it meant less Patsy and Delia scenes which I need to skip. But having said that though, Patsy is a cool gal and I hope she's doing well over there. But I also hope she stays there a while.


Mannnnn, Nurse Crane is a darling. (Yes, I wrote down Queenie first because this actress always will be Queenie to me. It's like Michelle Dockery. She's Lady Mary.) I felt for her so badly when the accident happened - I want to hug her. She's not my favourite character but I like her a great deal better than I did at first.

Also, I love Sister Winifred. Her cheerfulness and youthful glee is adorable.


Trixie looking good, as always. Her hairstyles and outfits hardly ever let me down.


 Okay, so this dude? (I'm not going to paste a full-face picture because I don't like him. :-P But if you want to know what he looks like, here's a picture of that cheesy dentist.) TRIXIE WHY DO YOU PICK THE WRONG MEN. Trixie is like the Edith in Downton Abbey when it comes to men, and I hope that one day she'll find her Bertie Pelham. And I refuse to accept that this Christopher divorced-dentist-creepy-flashy-teeth guy is him.

Christopher annoys me. No. I do not like this plot line at all. Go. Shoo. (Seriously when I heard he was divorced I was like noooo he annoyed me already but now it's worsened.) Trixie comparing that to her alcoholic problem bugged me too.

Yeah, so I'm looking forward to that plotline leaving. Hopefully soon. (Also he's not even handsome.)


Sister Monica Joan is far less annoying in this season than she was in the others. (By annoying I mean: she-needs-less-screen-time-cuz-she's-not-that-interesting.) I liked her little plot line with the television; that was funny, and I thought her shock about Cynthia being in the mental illness place was extremely well acted. And I liked that scene of the gifs above. :-P


My wooord, the Cynthia plot THE CYNTHIA PLOT. My heart is breaking for her. Her inner struggles are beautifully acted and I hope so badly she'll get better soon. Sometimes I think of the old Cynthia, when she was laughing with Trixie and Jenny and Chummy in her red midwife cardigan and my heart just breaks because I miss her like that. I want her to be better. MAKE HER BETTER, SCREENPLAY WRITER HEIDI THOMAS.

(Speaking of sisters, sister Julienne deserves a round of applause because she generally is wonderful and motherly and amazing. I love her.)


However, LET US NOT SPEAK OF SISTER URSULA.

Suffice to say I'm happy she's gone and I hope she never returns again.


I have a confession to make: The Turners annoy me.

Listen, in Season two they were pretty much my favourite plotline - you know, Sister Bernadette un-nunning into Shelagh and then the widowed Patrick asking her to marry him... it was all so special and beautiful and I cried many happy tears over their story. But now it's like... BLEH. I REALLY DON'T CARE ANYMORE. (Wow, my caps sound fierce. But really; I am super sick of them.) They're always so sappy and cheesy and seriously, every Turner family scene goes a bit like this:

*Shelagh puts her hands on her belly*
Shelagh: I want this baby so badly, Patrick.
*Patrick does his head-cock-smile-thing*
Patrick: You have to rest, Shelagh.
Shelagh: I know, Dr Turner.
*they smile as if it's all a private joke*
*angelic-big-brother Timothy comes in with a quiet cute Angela*
*Patrick and Shelagh watch them and smile*
Timothy: We are a happy family, aren't we?
Patrick: We definitely are, son.
*Shelagh says something similar including a line about her new baby*

... Do you know what I mean?!!? It's so incredibly... plastic. (I'm afraid I think it's called bad acting.) The Turner scenes are so unrealistic and cheesy and just eww, they're becoming so cringe-worthy I'm starting to roll my eyes every single time they're on screen. How many times a day do couples talk about how happy their family is?! (Every . single . episode .)

I'll let other people be fans of the Turners. I'm spending my energy on Barbara and Tom.


OH TOM HOW I LOVE YOU. *insert heart-eye emoji* I'll publicly admit Tom is a bit of a heart-stealer. I love practically every scene with him in it. He's every inch the gentleman and I have very little complaints concerning the man. I loved the episode where he gets involved in the adoption plot of the lady and her cousin; and also, of course, every single scene ever between Tom and Barbara. GAHHH.

THESE TWO.


I don't know what it is with these two but THEY ARE SO ADORABLE. I cannot wait for their winter wedding (yes, I have seen all the pictures I have found and yes I have admired her wedding sparkle and yes I will enjoy the upcoming Christmas Special with great immenseness I am sure) because if it's half as beautiful as their proposal it's gonna be good.

Barbara is pretty much my favourite character in the entire show, by the way. She's so kind and purposeful and genuine. I love how she still messes up and has some clumsy scenes because it reminds me of how real she is. She's so elegant and she and Tom are the best pair can I get an amen?


What do I think of the new midwife, Miss Valerie Dyer? Yeah, she nice. Not my favourite - and her constant chirpy smile seems rather fake to me - but she proves to be a good midwife after the very dramatic and tense birth scene of the Muslim lady.


My favourite episode (so far) in season six is definitely episode five, where Fred (THE DEAR CHAP) (I repeat: THE DEAR CHAP) and his lovely wife, Violet take in Reggie after Reggie's mother dies of a sudden heart attack during a Church service. In the end they find a lovely home for Reggie, but goshhh this episode made me cry so much. Reggie is the sweetest lad ever.



The thalidomide episode made me cry so much too. THAT PLOT LINE IS SO MUCH. Susan's mother is the best actress ever and the scene where all the mothers affected by the thalidomide pill come together to talk about their kids was #cryingparty.


So yes. I'm enjoying this greatly. Basically.

Anyone else able to join me with Season six squealment? Do talk with me about it in the comments. What are your thoughts on the Turners? Are you offended by my perhaps-harsh words on them? Do you love Tom as much as I do? And would you like to be adopted by Fred and Violet Buckle?