It’s oh so quiet…

… on my blog right now. I’m dealing with some personal ups and downs (health-related, feeling guilty for being sick which I know is stupid but I still feel that way) so feelings are a bit all over the place right now, kinda like this great Björk song goes up and down:

So, somehow blogging just isn’t a priority right now, I prefer to consume instead of produce, I guess.

I mostly soothe myself with Anne with an E, awaiting each season 3 episode feverishly every week. The only creative thing I do these days is produce fan videos for that show after an episode has aired (they are here, but full of season 3 spoilers!). Lots of ups and downs going on in this show, with personal drama (some truly heartbreaking stuff) and lots of social issues touched upon, like sexual harrassment and freedom of speech and the plight of the indigenous people on Prince Edward Island. But most of all there is Shirbert (the ‘ship name’ for Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe) which really is up and down and all over the place right now! As per evidence in all these gifs (beware of some gif spoilers. Oh, and I don’t remember the sources of these gifs, so if anyone reading this claims credit, let met know)…

Here’s episode 1, for instance:

And episode 3, which had me blubbering:

And oh my gooodness, the episode 5 dance scene is almost as iconic as the North and South kissing scene at the train station (albeit without the kissing). Truly heart-stopping stuff!

And there’s this:

Episode 6  was heartbreaking even though it had this:

Anne Gilbert tunnel of love 01

And last Sunday’s episode 7 had this:

And ended on this!

Oh my goodness is it Sunday night already??!!?? I do love the slow-burn with all the ups and downs between these two. Can’t wait to see how this continues, three more episodes to go this season. Season 1 and 2 are already on Netflix, this 3rd season will air there in January 2020 as per Twitter announcement (especially adore the little “Shirbert” joke at the end here):

The kids on this show are the same age as my kids are! Is it weird that I should be so invested in this? Then again, I’m invested in my kids so why not be invested in a show about kids. Also, Anne of Green Gables reminds me of my own teen years, so there’s that too. I have immersed myself into lurking into the the show’s fandom online and it’s truly amusing to see the interactions there, it really does remind me of how my kids react to things as well. So yeah, with all the downs right now, this is a real highlight that cheers me up. It’s also the only thing I can think of blogging about, so there you have it, take it or leave it.  🙂

Let’s go fly a kite

So, I have no inspiration whatsoever to do anything with kites for the newest Mach Was challenge. I briefly thought about posting about the book The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, a book I absolutely loved when I read it a long time ago but it was a painful book to read as well. I have never been able to watch the movie of the same name, because I already found the book so painful and didn’t want to put myself through that in film. Now I see that Nell has written about the book for this challenge and Herba has written about the movie for this challenge. That lets me off the hook which is good in a way, because it’s been so long since I have read the book, I’m not sure I could have written anything sensible about it.

The only other kite thing I could think of is the kite flying in Mary Poppins! There is reference to kite flying a few times in the movie, if I recall correctly, but especially the end scene springs to mind when they sing that catchy tune.

That in turn reminds me of a scene in the movie Saving Mr Banks. The movie is about the author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers (played by the excellent Emma Thompson), going to Hollywood where Disney is working on making the movie and can only do so with the approval of Travers. She is not happy with the Hollywood treatment of her story, and never quite will be, but she does thaw somewhat when she hears the kite song played in rehearsals for the first time.

Apparently when the Saving Mr Banks movie was released there was also a little “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” flashmob singalong in Leicester Square.

I haven’t seen Mary Poppins Returns yet (this post is now a reminder that I maybe should) but apparently she returns in that movie bringing along the kite that the Banks family had flown!

Yep, I now have the kite song firmly planted in my head, probably for the rest of my Sunday. It’s always good to be smiling on a Sunday, isn’t it? I think I’m off for a little walk in the beautiful autumn woods this afternoon, for as long as my dizziness will let me. Without a kite, though, as it would only get caught in the trees.  Have a beautiful Sunday!

Balm for my soul

I’ve been a very bad blogger of late, too occupied with other things, just not moved to blog and also not really able to at times.

First off,  Anne with an E still holds me in its claws, I’m completely obsessed and feverishly await the next episode. I even made a new fan video that I put up on my Anne with an E video page (if you do happen to watch, beware of huge spoilers!). This past week gave us these scenes (episode 5 of season 3) that are also in the season 3 trailer (and so much more happened, which I won’t spoil here):

When not obsessing over Anne, I try to get life back on track. The dizziness/vertigo is still bothering me and I am only able to work half days. It is dispiriting to have to deal with this but it is what it is and has been improving slowly and will continue to do so more quickly, I hope. Anyway, I work some from home but I also try going to the office, which I have done twice last week by car. Driving is alright if I don’t have to throw looks over my shoulder too much (so I stick to a single lane as much as possible). Which brings me to the reason for this post.

Recently in the car I have been listening to Nina Simone and I have to say that she has become a balm for my soul this past week. Especially on my way back from work I feel frustrated for not being able to do more and this woman just reaches into my soul with her voice and her songs and calms me down. Nina Simone had a beautiful, warm voice full of feeling and meaning and she sang like she could look straight into your heart. I have liked her for a long time, have used a small part of her great song Sinnerman as the background music in my Richard-Armitage-says-Esther ringtone that I have installed on my phone…

… but I haven’t listened to her very much for a long time, until this past week during my drives to and from work.

I am not really a jazz fan, so the more full on jazzy numbers are less for me. However, she has sung some beautiful, melodic-jazzy songs as well and those are the ones that have been the balm during each 30-40 minute drive. One that has especially struck a chord is this one, “I wish I knew how to be free”:

Not that I don’t feel loved and free, but I think it touches on a longing for things to maybe be more carefree? I do realize I have a good life but every life has it’s cares and worries and so does mine.

Another one I adore is ” My baby just cares for me”. It’s the first song that introduced me to Nina Simone back in 1987 when it was used for a commercial.

It’s such a brilliant song and nowadays when I listen to it, it makes me smile because I associate the lyrics with Mr Esther as he too ‘just cares for me’. 🙂

And I really loved listening to this one this week – “I loves you Porgy” reminds me that I have never seen the musical Porgy and Bess and I need to watch it someday. If you only watch one of the videos I post here, watch this one. Simone’s intensity while she performs here hits you right in the heart:

I also loved listening to Mr Bojangles:

… and Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood:

I used The Look of Love in a fan video for A Place to Call Home and Marta Dusseldorp, the lead actress in that show, even tweeted her approval when I posted it last year.

And then there’s the very moving song “Blackbird”. You can hear Nina Simone’s excellent version here but a cover was sung by wonderful and gorgeous actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw in her excellent movie Beyond the Lights that I want to share here:

There are many more great Nina Simone songs (her version of “Feeling Good” may be my fave version out there) but especially these songs I mentioned have carried me this week. It’s good to be alive in world that, next to all the ugliness out there, also holds these treasures.

A state of mind

Recent weeks have been a bit of a downer, or to express it with an Anne with an E gif, the weeks have left me feeling like this:

Anne with a E pms

The vertigo I had a couple of years ago has come back with a vengeance and has left me with not being able to do much. But, thankfully, it slowly does seem to be improving now, so hopefully I’ll see the end of that soon. The only comfort has been my laptop, where when I wasn’t resting, I was able to while away the hours watching stuff that is not the news, because oh my gooodness, the news is absolutely relentless again these days! It seriously depresses me even more than my dizziness and scares me too! So, I have been disappearing into the world of Anne obsession (these following gifs are from last week’s season 3, epsiode 3 – not too spoilery, I hope).

And I understand this dance will be happening in episode 5 in a little over a week:

Anne Gilbert dance

Seriously, I can hardly wait for the next episode. Is it weird that I should love a show about teenagers so much? 😉

Anway, I was dismayed when earlier this week, in addition to the horrible world news and my vertigo, my laptop crashed and big time too. Nothing I could do could bring it back to life. Mr E and I took it to a repair shop and there the news was that the harddrive had died – forever!! Nothing, no data, could be restored. Thankfully the more important stuff was back-upped on our home network drive and I didn’t lose all too much. A new harddrive has been placed, the laptop is working better now than before it completely crashed (when it was agonizingly s-l-o-w) and everthing is configured again (what a hassle to figure out which of your standard passwords have been used for which sites/accounts!).

I guess I can now state that personally things are starting to look up again (please let the improvement continue and the vertigo be gone soon!). If only I could also say that about the state of the world. I can’t wait for the day that the disastrous president Trump is gone and please please please let xenophobia be a thing of the past… SOON! That would improve my state of mind immensely.

Anne with an E, anyone?

I have always loved Anne of Green Gables. I first really learned about it when I saw the two TV movies with Megan Follows during my teens back in the mid-1980s (Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Green Gables: the Sequel). I adored them and over the years have come back to them again and again. I have read the books (albeit a long time ago) and thought nothing could top those 1980s adaptations. I loved Anne and I loved Anne with Gilbert and her long journey to finally realise that they belonged together. Here’s a fan video someone made to refresh the memory:

Then a year or two ago on Netflix I saw that there was a new adaptation called Anne with an E, which I thought could never top the Anne adaptations I already loved. I was curious, however, and decided to give it a chance. It promised to be an adaptation with more grit and yes, I can confirm that it is. Anne, after she comes to Marilla and Matthew, is traumatized by her childhood in her periods at the orphanage and families who couldn’t love her and put her to work. The story is the same, the characters are basically the same, but yet it’s also very different. Also, as this is a real TV series (with 7 episodes in the first season and 10 in the second), Anne with an E has much more time than those TV movies to delve deeper into Anne and her world.

annewithane flower crown

The story of Anne with an E strays from the books, most notably in Gilbert’s storyline at first, but in the rest of the story too. The stories touch on issues of trauma, bullying, sexual identity, racism, loss, feminism and even educational reform and yet also weaves seamlessly back into the Anne stories we already know, with her imagination and love of storytelling at the heart of her character. It’s Anne at the end of the 19th century but also adapated to modern age issues. It’s not a hit with everyone, I understand (considered too liberal, I guess?), but it is a hit with me. Is it better that 1980s Anne? I honestly couldn’t say! They are two very different adaptations with the same core and I just love them both.

Anne with an E Cuthberts

Amybeth McNulty makes a great Anne, I love Lucas Jade Zumann as Gilbert…

Anne-With-An-E-Gilbert-1411085Anne with an E

and I also love Geraldine James as Marilla and R.H. Thomson as Matthew.

Anne with an E Marilla Matthew

Anne’s bosom friend is of course Diana Barry, played by Dalila Bela…

Anne Diana

… and another friend, naive Ruby Gillis (played by Kyla Matthews), really cracks me up every time with her dreamy mooning over Gilbert…

Season 2 introduced the new character of Sebastian Lacroix, called Bash, from Trinidad (played by Dalmar Abuzeid) who becomes Gilbert’s best friend. He’s a delightful character.

There’s a great New York Times article on the show, with many more insights, should you care to read it. Here’s a trailer for season 1 of the show…

… and for season 2:

I recently checked back to see when a season 3 would finally happen and it turns out that season 3 has recently started airing in Canada! So, I’m tapping into that now with great excitement. The trailer for season 3:

As Anne and Gilbert grow older the story matures for them and so far the first 3 episodes have been so great that I have started making videos again! Should you want to see them (beware of spoilers!), they are over on the separate Anne with an E page I have set up under the Fan videos section on this site. The most recent, third episode was particularly heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time. I am now seriously and feverishly awaiting each new episode. With Suits now ended, I guess this is my new obsession!