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Happy Easter!

Today was a glorious, sunshine-y spring day! It was a little too bad that I was stuck inside a piano studio all day, but I had a nice view of the north shore mountains to make up for it.

I’m going to take a little detour from the Peru travel posts to revel in the arrival of spring!

(Our grass is starting to grow back after the power-raking)

One of my favourite descriptions of spring:

“Marilla, walking home one late April evening from an Aid meeting, realized that the winter was over and gone with the thrill of delight that spring never fails to bring to the oldest and saddest as well as to the youngest and merriest…[There] was a harmonious consciousness of red fields smoking into pale purply mists in the declining sun, of long, sharp-pointed fir shadow falling over the meadow beyond the brook, of still, crimson-budded maples around a mirror-like wood-pool, of a wakening in the world and a stir of hidden pulses under the gray sod. The spring was abroad in the land and Marilla’s sober, middle-aged step was lighter and swifter because of its deep, primal gladness.” (from Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery)

Everytime I read this passage (and I would not be exaggerating by claiming that I’ve read it at least a hundred times by now), I close my eyes and savour the words of “wakening in the world”, “stir of hidden pulses”, and “deep, primal gladness”.

We started yesterday with a lovely breakfast that included these homemade hot cross buns!

I made them the day before using this recipe from Simply Recipes. I followed the instructions almost exactly, except that I subbed in raisins for currants and only used half the amount of indicated spices (we like our buns very subtlely spiced). They turned out beautifully, and were a hit! I will definitely be making them again next year! (Can you have hot cross buns throughout the year? Cuz I’m not sure I can wait a whole year…)

After breakfast, Len and I broke in the Bocce set we got last summer but never got around to trying out. It was a hoot ‘n a half!

Later in the day, we took a lovely walk in our neighbourhood…

…and we got a bit silly playing with our shadows…

We finished up the evening by having an intense Big Two Battle with our new cards from Peru:

I lost spectacularly while my mom was the big winner (again! every single time!), and included this amazing hand:

Tonight the three of us went to see African Cats in the theatre! We all had a fantastic time! The baby cheetahs were just too adorable. And if you’ve seen it, or when you see it, look out for the part with the turtle–that was Len’s favourite part. :-)

It’s been a great long weekend so far! And our friend, Kathleen, arrives tomorrow for a visit, so it’s going to continue to be awesome!

 

Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Hanging Out

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The King’s Speech

Did y’all watch the Oscars last night? I caught the last half and had fun ogling at all the bling and gorgeous dresses. And I was so glad to see The King’s Speech win best picture!

I loved this movie. Thoroughly enjoyed it, and felt so uplifted after watching. Needless to say, the acting was sublime. A few thoughts I had while watching:

  • It was so fun to see the scene where King George (Colin Firth) meets Myrtle Logue (Jennifer Ehle), his speech therapist’s wife. I just kept picturing the actors when they played Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in the delightful BBC production of Pride and Prejudice (the best version I’ve seen of one of my favourite novels!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPT1hjhCPx8&feature=related

  • The use of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony during the big speech at the end was wonderful and dramatic. For me, I always think of this music as portraying a person’s somber, determined march towards something that is difficult, terrifying, but inevitable. Like Beethoven’s own journey with increasing deafness.

  • All through the movie, I kept wondering and waiting for when they would use Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto, nicknamed the “Emperor”. I had an inkling they would use it, as there aren’t many pieces in the classical repertoire that have the “kingly” association. Not that Beethoven named it as such (the nickname came about because of its grandeur, majestic nature), and from what we know of Beethoven and his political views, he might not have been too happy with the name by which it is well known now. (This piece is also special to me because it’s the piece I performed at the Orpheum and Playhouse theatres in 2002!) In The King’s Speech, I loved that they waited until the very end to play this music (they used the most beautiful part of the 2nd movement). They waited until right after his triumphant speech, when he had finally overcome his greatest challenge to date, when he was finally ready to fully step into his role as the King. Poignant and understated. Loved it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvaLDtf5JW8

  • Did you know that this movie was rated R in the States? Due to the swearing. I mean, really?? Goodness. It’s amazing to me how there are places where people have become so desensitized to violence and sex, but not to swearing. Especially since the swearing in this movie was concentrated in just a couple of scenes, and had actual plot and character driven reasons for it. Apparently they now have (or will be making) a cut version of this movie where much of the swearing is cut out. On the one hand, I suppose that will make it easier for schools to show this movie, and that’s good, but on the other hand, I think it’s such an unnecessary and ironic move. And some of the funniest moments of the movie happened during these swearing rants!
  • This movie, although not without its historical inaccuracies and gloss-overs, did make me more interested in learning about the actual events and people during that time in history. In my googling, I found this interesting clip; it’s a recording of the actual speech that King George VI gave, and listening to this made me further appreciate Colin Firth’s performance in the movie.

Have you seen The King’s Speech? What were your thoughts about it? Did you agree with it winning the Oscar for Best Picture?

 

Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Thoughts

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