It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me…

25 03 2010

…and I’m feelin’ good 🙂

Even though my ovaries are pretty messed up, and my headaches have yet to dissipate despite the physiotherapy sessions I’ve been attending, I’ve been having a pretty great week. A real Do Good, Feel Good (DGFG) week.

I think I might be going into the wrong profession. The market over here isn’t at its best, plus I of course do not have any experience, which puts my chances for obtaining an interview in the negative. I do, however, now wonder whether I shouldn’t have gone into teaching, or rather working with young(er) children. Like being a kindergarten teacher, or working at a day-care centre… or even being a professional nanny. I get these romanticized pictures in my head of governesses, thinking back on my studies in English literature and how we looked at texts such as JANE EYRE. [Aside: Mia Wasikowska, who plays Alice in the 2010 Tim Burton film, is to play Jane in a new film adaptation. Cannot wait to see it!]

For some or other reason I have yet to fathom, children seem to find me utterly appealing. They like me… a lot. Case in point Tuesday, 23 March 2010, one of my DGFG activities of the week. I spent Tuesday looking after a lovely 9 year old girl (in Stellenbosch, no less) while her parents were attending conferences and the like. Put another way: I got paid to have fun, laugh, build a puzzle, take a dip in the swimming pool, eat plenty of cookies, talk/gossip/share, and take a walk down to the mall. How awesome is that?! From what I hear after spending the day with her, Bea (the girl) was quite enamoured with me, telling her mum that I look like a ballerina, and that the two of us get along very well. Also, her mother had no fears or worries whatsoever, leaving her daughter with someone she only met and talked to on the day for less than an hour. Perhaps it’s in my genes – after all, my mother is a teacher.

Yesterday (Wednesday), I spent the day at my parental home, washing the dishes, scrubbing the stove, and doing the ironing. Another DGFG activity. I also let my creative juices flow, making a few things on the computer (which I later printed out) for my older sister’s Kitchen Tea. Creativity is definitely something I gained genetically, and I am thus utterly thankful for my genes… for once… As I made the invitation for my sister’s Kitchen Tea, I also made my younger sister an invitation for her coming 19th birthday party. I just tweaked and changed a few things yesterday, then e-mailed it through to her for her approval. Not only did I do that (creatively), but I also made an ‘invitation’ for my fiancé, inviting him to have a romantic night in with me this coming Saturday. Regarding that, I’m sure I’m not the only one who will appreciate my DGFG vibes 😉

Today I shall be making a batch of lasagne for my older sister. She and her fiancé are going to have a meeting with the pastor this evening, which means that they will be arriving home late (after a long day, no less), and most likely won’t have much energy to prepare a meal at 8PM. I love making lasagne – it’s actually my mum’s recipe, but she always jokes that it’s actually my specialty. So if I can save my sister some effort, I am more than willing to prepare a meal for her – with lots of love, and gratitude as well, for all that she has done for me. Being able to do something for her, physically (besides listening, of course), truly makes me feel super duper good… Okay, perhaps I should have typed ‘great’ instead of ‘good’ there, but I’m just working with my ‘feel good’ sentiment here, so bear with my horrible syntax/grammar/whatever for a while.

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing tomorrow, yet I know that I shall find something to do that’ll make me feel good. The greatest DGFG activity of the week is yet to come, and I am quite euphoric jubilant ecstatic nervous anxious patient excited about it – my older sister’s Kitchen Tea on Saturday!! I’ll be sure to blog about it on either Sunday or Monday, and to add a few pictures. I just hope that she’ll like it…

Well, I best be off. Think it’s time to find more DGFG things to occupy my time with – and when you’re doing good and feeling good, it is always the best of times!

(Smudgy’s feel good face. Mommy always has time to play with her, feed her, give her lots of love, let her sleep next to/ on mommy, give her rubs/scratches when she wants affection… and to clean her litter box, of course. The joys…)


A girl can dream

19 03 2010

Remember that blog post I had, A bit of a Hermione, where I told you that I have about 300 books? Hmm, I still smile when I think about that: books, books, and more books… But let me not get ahead of myself.

I’ve always been a big fan of the Disney Classics, which is why I recently had my Significant Other watch a whole batch of them with me. In some ways I can see myself in CINDERELLA, what with my cleaning and scrubbing and ironing and whatnot – not that I am a slave (at least, not completely or always), but because of my obsessive compulsive habits. However, the Disney ‘Princess’ I most feel a connection with, is Belle from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Her yellow dress is absolutely gorgeous (my main wedding colour is going to be yellow), she has brown hair (I think now that my hair has been cut, it’s basically the same length as hers), she prefers to keep to herself and is seen as odd/ an outsider (know the feeling), and most of all: she loves books. Ah, yes, for the love of reading, and words strung together so perfectly and beautifully, oh how life is so grand…

Needless to say, when Beast takes her into the library as a surprise, the library that is to be her very own, I sigh with longing. What would it be like, to have an entire room filled with books? Latest copies, ancient tomes, first editions, hard covers, paperbacks… books, books, as far as the eye can see – in every nook and cranny, delight, oh heart, in me! A girl can dream, can’t she? Well, it seems like my dream is busy coming true…

From the 12th of April, my Significant Other will be working from home for a UK company. As such, he recently bought himself a beautiful desk (which took a few hours to assemble, mind you) and placed it in the room his brother recently vacated. That, in itself, is a story, as I literally scrubbed the walls and cupboards, washed the windows (inside and out) three times, and vacuumed the carpet like a crazy woman. In any case, we decided to turn that room into a sort of study cum library, where he can work and I can keep my books. We purchased four three-tier bookcases yesterday, which I assembled; went to my parental home, in order for me to fetch my books; and came back to the apartment, where I started sorting out everything in order to allocate them to the various shelves as I saw fit.

And you know what?

I didn’t have enough space!!

I had to stack some books on top of others, plus my older sister still has two or three of my novels. Looks like I’ll need a fifth bookcase… My birthday is just around the corner, and I’m hoping to receive a few more books as presents. Also, I’ll be taking care of a 9 year old girl next Tuesday, which will put some money in my pocket, and I’m already wondering whether or not it will be a good idea to purchase a book or two… or three, even…

Here you have it – my mini ‘library’:

Isn’t it lovely? Isn’t it won-der-ful?! 🙂

I even have an entire bookcase dedicated to Stephen King. Soon, I’ll have all his novels, and my collection will be complete. The only thing missing, is a signed novel (or, heck, a scrap of paper, I’ll settle for the least!) from the author. A girl can dream – and dreams are some of our greatest friends, as long as we are able to keep things in perspective.

Who knows, perhaps my novels, short story collections and poetry anthologies will appear on other people’s bookcases someday. Then again, that might only be wishful thinking…

Hats off: everybody’s crazy about Alice

9 03 2010

I have always been in awe of Tim Burton and the films he makes. As such, it is no wonder that his latest offering, Alice in Wonderland, much anticipated the world over, has been such a box-office hit. And I am quite fond of it too, although I believe that my stating that obvious fact is by no means whatsoever even necessary.

I went to see the film in 3D last Saturday. One word: WOW. I was busy writing a letter yesterday to Mr Jack Daniels, telling him about my experience of the film. In it I wrote: “That’s probably all I should say, as I want to blog about it, and yet I’ll probably ramble off a bit her, as per usual” – and I did. It gave me quite a bit to think about, and it also allowed me to ‘relive’ some of the scenes, enjoying them long after my eyes had taken in all their splendour from the silver screen.

(1) I think that Alice is far, far too pale. Mundanely so. Still, Mia Wasikowska is to play Jane Eyre in the 2011 film version, which is currently in pre-production, and I can definitely see her in that role. During my 3rd year at university, as well as my 4th year (Honours), Jane Eyre was one of our prescribed novels. I look forward to seeing how Miss Mia carries herself; she certainly looks the part.

(2) Alice’s older sister is lovely, although I cannot fathom how she would marry someone like that two-timing husband of hers – just by looking at him, you know that he’s supposedly so dashing, that he can get away with frolicking about behind his wife’s back. Of course, it’s supposed to add to the plot, as well as general notions of marriage back in the day. After all, Alice is told that she is nearly 20, and she still hasn’t wed… Oh, and I love the fact that her sister also wears a blue dress.

(3) Burton took a clever angle on the film, not only by going into the future, but also having Alice not remember her adventures in Wonderland when she was but 6 years old.

(4) If the Mad Hatter was hatter to the White Queen, why was he her hatter (?) – she wears a crown, after all… unless his duties extended beyond that of mere hatter… And when, exactly, did he go mad? He’s already referred to as mad during Alice’s 1st trip to Underland, but if he was still in the employ of the White Queen, why did they call him mad? It’s a little bit confusing… Perhaps it has something to do with that blasted eternal tea party. I really must read the books again.

(5) Things are a bit mixed up in the film. The Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts is not the same person, and yet they are often mixed up/ substituted in adaptations. The Queen of Hearts is the one who shouts “off with their heads!”, and plays croquet, and has the deck of cards as her minions/army (which explains why the Red Knave/ Knave of Hearts is her first-in-command, if you want to look at it in that way). Still, I suppose there is no harm done in having her be just the Red Queen in the film. Many people haven’t read Lewis Carroll’s books on Alice, so film-goers will hardly give a right royal either way.

(6) Speaking about the Red Queen’s army, the cards – they look absolutely phenomenal in the film! True Burton style, due to the dark eeriness, with a hint of the bizarre. Rough, menacing, not to be messed with – as jaded and coarse as Underland has become since the Red Queen’s reign.

(7) If I understand correctly, the Red Queen took over Underland (which is what Alice calls Wonderland) sometime after Alice’s first visit there. If that is the case, why did the White Queen never attempt to get her throne back? Oh, wait, that’s right, she doesn’t hurt others, she’s kind, and she’s pure… and she leaves everything up to that great prophecy mumbo jumbo.

(8 ) Tweedledee and Tweedledum have quite an Adams Family-esque feel to them, like mini Uncle Fester’s, or even like Pugsley. I suppose that’s what Burton was going for… not necessarily my connotation to the Adams Family, but again bringing out the dark, the bizarre, the odd feelings that things that don’t seem normal or ‘friendly’/’safe’ elicit.

(9) Alan Rickman was an excellent choice for the caterpillar, Absalom. Every time I hear his voice, I am reminded of Professor Snape (from the Harry Potter series), who I am quite fond of. Rickman has such a deep, rich voice. I love it. I wonder if it’s significant that they called the caterpillar Absalom… it’s a Biblical name/ reference, isn’t it?

(10) Now that I’m on Harry Potter, I was reminded – at least a bit – of the 4th book/film when Alice had to slay the Jabberwocky on Frabjous Day.

(11) The March Hare startled me a few times, but in a good way, as he’s always throwing things about. I didn’t exactly jump in my seat – few things have caused me to do that – yet it was effective enough to make me flinch. I did watch the film in 3D, after all. You gotta’ love it 😉

(12) When Alice goes on the shipping route to China at the end of the film, the boat she stands on is named “Wonder”. Clever.

(13) The Cheshire Cat is most definitely my favourite character in the film (the hatter being a very, very close second!) The voice, the emotions, the way he moves… and that awesome turquoise/blue with the grey! His fur looked amazing. Turquoise is my favourite colour, after all… plus, what can I say? I’m a cat-lover through and through.

I have much, much more to say about the film, but I think that, for now at least, I have had my say. I’ve been doing quite a bit of typing this evening, and my daily dose of headache is quite a whopper (even after two Nurofen Plus). Tomorrow, I’ll be watching the 1951 Alice in Wonderland Disney classic. I just cannot get it out of my head. It’s driving me stark raving mad – and you don’t want to be in the company of a mad person, do you? But, as the Cheshire Cat says: “Oh, you can’t help that. Most everyone’s mad here. [laughs maniacally; starts to disappear] You may have noticed that I’m not all there myself”…

Scattered Brainings III

2 03 2010

* My cheesecake-once-a-year policy has become null and void. I had cheesecake on the 31st of January, per tradition… but also on the 24th and 28th of February. My mum would be happy; cheesecake has plenty of kilojoules, after all.

* I finished a jar of peanut butter in six days. Five days, actually, as we were on the road for the whole of last Friday… A whole jar of peanut butter (!!!) It’s a miracle my arteries haven’t clogged up yet.

* Necessary road trips in ridiculously warm weather are no fun. We spent 3½ – 4 hours on the road, going to Ladysmith to attend the funeral of my Significant Other’s maternal grandmother. Naturally, we spent the same amount of time on the way back. My migraine was not happy about this.

* Speaking of my Significant Other, I’m getting him to watch a ton of the Disney classics. A while back he watched THE ARISTOCATS with me, as well as re-watching THE LION KING. More recently (within the last week or two), he has watched THE LITTLE MERMAID, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, CINDERELLA, ALADDIN, HERCULES, MULAN, POCAHONTAS and SLEEPING BEAUTY. Tonight he’ll be watching SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARVES, and if he’s up to it, we just might get to THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, as well.

* I still don’t have a job. I’ve resigned myself to spending my days being a housewife of sorts. And to be completely honest, I quite like it. I entertain my kitten, keep things neat, prepare supper, read or do crosswords if I so desire, and spend my evenings chatting to or watching films/episodes with my Significant Other. What more could I want? …except a job, of course… Dang, this is truly frustrating!

* Smudgy loves biting my wrist. I think she’s trying to rekindle my suicidal tendencies. Either that, or she’s a zombie kitten out to get me.

* My wedding is next April, and I already have my dress. I ordered it at the end of October 2009, and it arrived here in SA about two/three weeks ago. We went to pick it up on Sunday, and it is absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous. We also bought a garter, ring pillow, and tiara. Plus my wedding is basically planned out completely in my notebook. Being obsessive compulsive has its advantages.

* My older sister is getting married on the 10th of April, and she still hasn’t decided whether or not she wants me to arrange a Kitchen Tea for her (said kitchen tea having to be in two weeks time). Why do they call it a kitchen tea, anyway? It seems a bit redundant… then again, you can have tea anywhere, and it’s not as if all your guests are going to fit into the kitchen. Unless you have an abnormally spacious kitchen, that is…

* Being at home all the time causes me to want to bake all the time. Cookies, fudge, brownies, pancakes, chocolate cake – I’ve made them all. I’d love to bake some scones or muffins, yet I do not have the equipment for it (‘equipment’ meaning the right pans). At least I’m not making cheesecakes; now that would get my weight up.

* I recently had a dream that I went for an interview at the Ancient Cultures department at Stellenbosch University, and that they gave me the job with much enthusiasm and jubilation. Also, in that same dream, while waiting to hear back from them, a young man struck up a conversation with me (although I didn’t say much); his friends – all male – sat at the table with us, although I certainly didn’t invite any of them. After speaking on my cell phone to the department, having found out the job was mine, the young man asked me for my number. I decided to give it to him… but also took off my engagement ring in front of them all… and I’m not sure if any of them noticed. After that, I woke up.

* I still haven’t seen THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG yet. Highly unhappy with myself about that. Perhaps I should drag my Significant Other along. After all, it is a Disney film – plus it forms part of the Princess collection.

* Last night, for some or other unfathomable reason, I couldn’t think of an animal that started with the letter ‘N’. Lying on the floor, I commenced to name animals starting with the various letters of the alphabet, laughing it up and creating ridiculous (conjoined and completely new) words, taking some things way out of context. When ‘N’ came up, I said ‘Nightingale’ without a moment’s pause. Funny how the mind works.

* My Significant Other bought me a great toy over the weekend. It’s a black cat in a purple cloak and witches hat. The cat holds a pumpkin in its paws… and when you press its one paw, it starts moving its head about, blinking its green eyes while the pumpkin commences to sing Black Magic Woman… best toy EVER!!! (I am a grownup I am a grownup I am a grownup……..)

* He also bought me two bunches of lilies – one light pink, one dark-ish orange. Lovely 🙂