Thursday, June 16, 2016

If we had instagram....

     ....this is what you'd see.



Strawberries.




Wildflowers.




Gator rides.




Libraries.




Popcorn and sunshine.




Projects.




Lights.




Bonfire.




Walking.




Greenhouse.




...and more strawberries.




Orphaned kittens.





the Yellow Barn.



the Lake.





Favorite books. (#yeswestagedthis)


Naomi is here. :-)


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story..."

Miss Potter with Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter and Ewan McGregor - must see this one -:

"....you can never quite tell where they'll take you."

     (Naomi is pink/mauve, Emma is green. Like the last time. We are back. To haunt you all. Mwuhahahahahaha. And by the way, this post will contain spoilers to some degree. We don't care about hiding spoilers.)

     Naomi and I had made a mental "list" of all the movies we wanted to watch during our time together, and since Miss Potter is one we both love DEARLY it was one of the first we thought of. We watched it the other night, and ohhhhhhhh my. *wipes tears*

     We must start with getting it from the library. Because the dvd forgets allll about the beautiful mustache (practically the only cinema mustache I like) and Norman Warne stands there completely bare-faced, and it is so WEIRD. It's like they thought it would attract more viewers or something. We however, love our Norman Warne best with his mustache. *Mustache rant over*

     (I think you're getting a little off-track, Naomi.)

    Let's get this started properly. WE LOVE THIS MOVIE. Terribly much. When the music began and the credits started sweeping across the screen, with Beatrix's hands fingering her paintbrushes and the watercolors and everything, we both simultaneously caught our breath and sighed (yes, it is possible to do at the same time) over this beautiful film that we both love so dearly. In Naomi's words, "It's like a piece of my heart."

    
     I KNOW. IT IS SO GOOD. And when the paintbrush dips into the water, and there's this puff of bluey cloudiness - YOU KNOW - and it just makes you want to jump up and devote your life to drawing and fulfilling the dreams of your creative heart. (I'm sounding terribly poetical today.) (But really. This movie does particular things to me. There's literally nothing I dislike about it.)

     It's true -- it does things to you. It's not entirely a happy movie -- goodness knows, there are some teary parts and if you have any heart at all you'll more than likely find yourself weeping -- but yet, it's so hopeful and optimistic and quirky and happy and you can't come away from watching it without feeling some spark of creative inspiration. At least, to us as Creative People (we flatter ourselves) it made us want to write, and draw, and paint.....which we did actually try, by the way, yesterday, but you're not allowed to see what we painted so don't even ask.

     The main character of the movie is, obviously, Beatrix Potter, so we're going to go ahead and tell you just what we think of her.

     
     The one word for our dear Beatrix ("that's to be the last of Miss Potter, I'm afraid") is quirky. And I mean that in the best way possible. She's different, she's cheerful, she's super kind as well as adorably stubborn in certain situations - and plus, she's insanely talented. (And she makes drawing life-like bunnies at the age of what, ten, look super easy. Believe me, it is not.)

     What I love about Beatrix is that she knows what she wants for herself, but she's not overly pushy about it. She's an unmarried woman, thirty-two years old, still living with her mother and father and doesn't have too many prospects in the way of marriage, which makes her something of a social outcast (or at least on her way in that direction.) So when she takes her little "bunny book" to the publisher's and *gasp* they decide to publish it, it opens a whole new world for her. Suddenly she's got something going for herself -- something entirely unique and entirely her own. Beatrix says about the book, "It's changed me," and it has -- she was always a lovely person, but I think after the book she had a new zest for life. It makes her even more enthusiastic about everything, which is lovely to see.

     (And then there's that bald lady in the corner observing everyone of her new adventures. Lets make her fall asleep so we can dance and get engaged in private. *ahem* Getting ahead here.) Anyway, so yes, Beatrix Potter is a darling - and she has the cutest little smile ever. I love how she gets so excited and enthusiastic about her books and her characters and her drawings - how she creates this whole imaginary world of her own, and completely blossoms as it becomes more and more popular.


Enter Norman Warne. (We like him too.)

    He's so awkward in the beginning, and it is super cute. (I hate to use the word cute to describe such a good fellow as Mr Warne, but sometimes words seem to fail.) Emma, back to you. I can't really explain why I like Norman Warne so much - he's not exactly a swoony type of hero, and neither would he be on my top ten hero list - but STILL. He's such a good sport and I reallyreallyreally like him.

     (If she loved him less, she might be able to talk about it more.) I agree, Norman is not the swoony type, but that's why I like him. He's not your typical hero; he's just a normal guy with a kind heart. I love how he and Beatrix start out as business partners, then friends, before anything like romance is introduced to the story (but then, I'm always the one for friendships before romance).

    (Saaaame.) And, if I might add, in comparison to his older brothers, he is DEFINITELY a swoony type.



     Are you ready to talk about his death? I'm not sure I am. IT IS SO SAD. Especially the second time watching, because you know the railway scene is their last scene together... and that their kiss in the steam is their last touch ever, because Beatrix doesn't even come back on time for the funeral. It's like he just disappears. First he writes her letters that she reads by beautiful lakes and rollicking hills; then she rushes to his house where she finds his sister dressed in black, and his brothers dressed in black, and that's it. BLEEHHH IT IS SO SAAAD.

   It is terribly sad. It's REALLY REALLY SAD. I didn't cry this time (probably because I've seen this movie about three times prior and I'd already gotten my tears out) but trust me, it's definitely tear-worthy. This is mostly due to the fact that Renee Zellweger is a fantabulous actress as well as one of the best on-screen "cryers" in Hollywood, in my opinion. She has such a sensitivity about her that makes you want to give her arm a squeeze and say, "It's going to be alright, you'll see." And then she'll go and do something amazing and you'll want to shake your fist in triumph and shout, "YEAH BEATRIX!" Her portrayal is very human, very sympathetic, and very strong.

     Wait, we were supposed to be talking about Norman, not Beatrix. (I've gotten slightly off-track. Whoopsie.) Ewan McGregor is a great actor too, no doubt about it. Also I love how his name is McGregor -- it fits, don't you think? One of those ironic little details that makes me smile. ;-)


     I love Millie. Aside from her wretched mop of hair, that is, and her ties, (I don't like ties on women. It just seems so out of place.) (For the record, Emma doesn't think Millie's hair is that bad. My own hair looks worse than that most days.)

     Millie Warne is a brick. (Which, by the way, is one of the two highest compliments that can be given a person. See me or my sister for the other one.) She's a true-blue friend, exactly the kind of companion Beatrix needs. I find it amusing how Millie has got their whole friendship plotted out and practically established before she even meets Beatrix. ;-P She's that kind of person -- if she likes you, she'll let you know, and everybody wants a friend who loves to spend time with them, right? I love Millie. I never found her "anti-man" speeches really offensive (as I've heard some do), because she's not overly pushy about it but rather endearing. What I LOVE, though, is when she confides to Beatrix that everything she's said about not getting married is "hogwash. What else is a woman on her own supposed to say?" Because that is so. so. true. Even today. Unmarried women so often tend to scorn men when it appears they're not wanted....but deep down, that's not usually how they genuinely feel. (Listen to my wise words. I know. I was one of them. At age twelve. Don't laugh.)

     Yes, I love that this movie empowers single women (none of that waiting for Prince Charming nonsense in these clever girls!!!), but also embraces the wonderful gift of marriage and romantic love. Millie and Beatrix (*cough* especially Millie) at first seem to reject any idea of husbands; they bond together and talk like they will be spinsters for the rest of her life. And then, when Beatrix tells Millie, as if embarrassed, that her brother proposed to her, Millie urges her to accept rather than the contrary. I love that scene so much. Beatrix is like, 'So you don't MIND?' And she says, 'You have a chance for love! Take it!' 

     IT'S JUST SO SWEET. I love their friendship.



     FIRST. LET ME TALK ABOUT HIS GHASTLY SIDEBURNS. This needs a proper rant right here. I was commenting on their atrocity throughout the movie (Emma and Sadie can vouchsafe to that) and before we started the review was like, 'I AM WRITING ABOUT HIS SIDEBURNS.' They are Ghaaaastly. How is he even accepted into society? How did people even come to the Christmas party at his house?

     (Sorry. I know. Looks ain't everything.) (But his looks really AREN'T everything.)

     Beatrix's parents are a study. As usual, her father is nice and her mother is not. (Were there any famous authors whose parents, both of them, approved of their work, I wonder?) I'm fond of Mr. Potter, despite his rather horrid mutton chops. I am not as fond of Mrs. Potter, who is a first-class snob and also happens to be played by Barbara Flynn whom I have a vendetta against left over from childhood and begun by the fact that she plays the mother of Horatio's undeserving wife in the last two Hornblower movies. (It's not Barbara Flynn's fault. I just hold on to my unreasonably prejudices anyway because I'm pigheaded and unreasonable.)

     Miss Potter's parents are an interesting couple. Mrs Potter is pretty nasty and does NOT take her daughter's art and talent seriously- (I mean really woman, just look at the way your eleven-year-old daughter draws a rabbit. BE IMPRESSED. NOW.) and Mr Potter also does not fully realise the extent of Beatrix' talent until she is a popular and published author. He is way nicer than Mrs Potter, though, and I just love it when he buys her book and gives her a proud daddy-hug.  

     Willie Heelis is Awesome with a capital A. I love the scene with little Beatrix and young Willie where she shows him her drawing of Jemima Puddleduck and they talk about life and what they think about it.....*ahem* (private joke). When I was younger and I watched this movie I thought young Willie Heelis was the biggest dreamboat ever. 


     (I still think he's cute.) 

     Older Willie Heelis is a fine, sturdy, dependable, kind person, and I love how he and Beatrix's friendship is rekindled when she comes back to the lake district. Oftentimes I don't like it when a character's spouse/fiance dies and then they go on to marry someone else...but in this case, I do. I wouldn't have wanted Beatrix to be lonely, and "Mr. Heelis" is a pretty great guy. They'd be happy together.

     Willie Heelis... ahhh. YES I LOVEEEE the scene when they are little kids; and they talk about Beatrix's characters in the rain. It's soooo cute and he's soo cute and she's sooo cute and they're sooo cute. It's at that moment that you start to fear that perhaps Norman Warne might not make it to the end anyway. I know, I know; I know what you're thinking: Beatrix and Norman are priceless together. (Because hey, Let Me Teach You How To Dance and All That.) But also, let's be honest here, I'm enormously glad that Beatrix found love again, and it feels so good that it's Willie.


     I love that Miss Potter is not a typical love story. It doesn't end with Lady and Man no. 1 ending up together. Yes, Lady loves Man no. 1., but she doesn't end up with him. This movie portrays real life in a way that other movies often don't. The movie spans a wide amount of years, obviously, but it shows us that one can get over sad times in our lives. That's what life is, you know - Ups and Downs - and Miss Potter shows all this in a beautiful and aching way. I'm glad she ended with Willie Heelis.

     WOW. That got deep.
     
     (I actually told her to say that. :-P)

     
     We love little Beatrix because she's perfectly adorable. Also because she's dreadfully creative and imagines her parents driving off in a pumpkin coach pulled by six white rabbits. 

     That's enough about little Beatrix. (Although yes'm, she's an adorable creature with a pathetically amazing drawing talent) but how about us talking about the dance scene?

     BLAHHH I just love this romance so much; it's just basically the cutest thing ever. I love that they are older than most movie couples (Hello, those sixteen-year-old heroines!) and I love that they're doing something 'scandalous' in the eyes of Beatrix's picky mother, but that it really is so beautifully innocent and sweet. It's Beatrix's first taste of romance; in her bedroom, in the arms of her almost-fiance... and he's singing for her. (To her, whatever.) I love the song; it's really simple, but it's also so twinkly and gorgeous and sweepy and swoopy AND ME LOVES.
     
     
     I love it too. Especially how Beatrix is so adorably awkward and won't look directly into his eyes...but I digress. I remember watching this movie when I was just a wee thing and sighing dreamily over this scene even then. :-)

     Everything about Miss Potter is timelessly lovely -- the music, the Victorian English setting, the darling characters, the lush green grasses of the lake district (and the MUSIC)....it's a movie that will always makes my heart sing, no matter how many times I watch it. It's a classic, in my book. It's something any period drama fan should watch, or any person who loves a good movie for that matter. (I'm overthinking this, clearly.) Point made: I love Miss Potter. It's one of my favorite movies of all time, and it was absolutely wonderful to watch it with my best friend for the first time. 

     Basically, there is nothing I dislike about this movie. Not a thing. And I'll leave you with that, after the following question: 

     Isn't this movie darling?!!!

     Yes. The correct answer is "yes".

Monday, June 6, 2016

"I cannot find the words to say how I feel."


     (How should we start this?)
     (We could just start from the very beginning.)
     (A very good place to start.)

     Sooooooooooooo. (Pink is Naomi, by the way. Green is Emma.) (As if you couldn't guess that.) So. 

     So. So. So.

     Be quiet.

     FIRST OF ALL. You've obviously picked up on this fact, but for the sake of posterity (and future readers, and any readers who by some odd twist of fate have NOT picked up on what's going on) NAOMI AND I ARE TOGETHER AT LAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     As in, she is here. In America, at my house, sitting right next to me. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. EEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     So can I tell about my flight? Last Saturday was a monumental day for me - loads of firsts. First time travelling on my own, first time flying, first time out of Europe, AND FIRST TIME MEETING SOMEONE. (You don't know her.) 

     (Enough with the sarcasm, ma'am.)

     (Okay.) My flight was long and tiring - I watched The Young Victoria and The Book Thief on the plane - I was so glad they were on!! - and I waited and waited and triiiieeed to be patient. You'll not be interest about the flight (I could tell you about the man who looked like Motel and who never went to the toilet once during the 8-hour flight and I could tell you about the chatty lady in the short flight who talked with me as if I was her long lost sister or something) but hey, you're interested in the grand finale of it - zee hug.

     Oh yes. It was grand. It was glorious. It was super super super emotional. I alllllmost cried. I thought I would cry more, actually, but it went so fast -- one minute I saw her, walking around the corner, the next moment I ran towards her, and then we were hugging each other. And then the security lady yelled at me for coming through the door when I wasn't supposed to. :-P COME ON, lady, can't you see this is an EXTREMELY EMOTIONAL MOMENT?!?!?!

     Actually, I didn't think they (Emma + Sadie and her Mama) were going to be there at that point, because I still had to claim my baggage, so when suddenly Emma was running towards me I was like, 'Waaaaaiiiit.' And then my brain overreacted and BAM we were TOUCHING and she WAS A PERSON.


     And thennnnnn we claimed her baggage, went to the car, and began the long ride home. Naomi seemed to think our American houses were really adorable, for some reason. We were driving along and she'd be like, "Ohhh, all the houses are so cute!" And we were like, "Uh, those are just normal." And then I fully embarrassed myself by asking her if she'd ever seen a tractor before.

     Hahahaha. Of course I've seen a tractor before. (How do Europeans get food? Farms. How do farms produce food? Tractors.)

    Sorry. I thought maybe they looked different or something. Actually I don't really know what I was thinking. That was stupid.

    Yes. It was. Anywayyyys. It was soo cool to be between Sadie and Emma in the car and have like (we're using the word like far too much in this post) HER MUM driving in front. The houses in America are soooo darn cute; with swinging chairs in the porch and lace curtains and porches and they're made of wood. When we arrived home we went to bed rather soon, because I  dead tired, and when I woke up at about 3.30 in the morning, I was freaking out because Emma was right next to me. It's so cool, guys. Weird as anything, but so cool. And it feels so NORMAL! :-D

     It was a little weird for a while, I'll admit. Meeting your best friend in person for the first time after gazillions of emails and letters is nothing to sneeze at! But we're getting used to it. It's actually pretty cool. I could get used to this. 

     Indeedy. I completely agree. Today was way better than yesterday.

    You'll probably want to know what we've been doing so far, won't you? Well. Let's see....where do I begin? *starts singing the song*

     Emma literally knows a song for each word, and it's super annoying because I don't. So yes, what have we done so far? I taught Emma six chords on the guitar (she's keen to learn after seeing the Willis Clan), we sang Newsies songs while making pour-in pizza, and we watched the first two episodes of Downton Abbey Season Two while eating it. (IT'S SO GOOD. Tom's 'I-don't-care' smirk when the ladies hand him the letter - we died. We literally died.)

     Oh, don't forget the part about sitting on my desk and listening to Hunter Hayes! We went to bed kind of early last night because, y'know, Naomi's on a five-hour time switch. (That is, she went to bed early and I stayed up late eating popcorn and talking with my mum and sistas.) Then this morning she tagged along on my horse-riding lesson, we weeded the garden a bit, and then we went on a picnic for my cousin's birthday which ended in a visit to the bookstore. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN. :-)

     Right now we're sitting on my deck and she's fiddling around with the guitar. Naomi, you got anything to say?

     We ate stawberries. And yes, the picnic was sooo much fun. I love you guys. :-) 

     We should end this post - we've been using the laptop too long today and need to do some REAL LIFE things. (Which is nice, duh.) So bye for now folks....

     Must dash!!!! We have new frontiers of fun to discover (and some chores to do....heh....hashtag farm life). We'll fill you in on some of the other awesome things that will happen this week! Till then, we remain yours: 


Emma & Naomi 

xxxx

(Hey, do you want to watch a movie tonight?)
(Yeah, let's go and choose one.)
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