Two favourites in one post

It’s the weekend! And I saw this lovely picture come across my Instagram feed this afternoon after I finished working…


Apparently Damage has wrapped filming in Marseille and this is Richard with his co-star Charlie Murphy (an actress I don’t know yet but seems to also have been on Peaky Blinders). I have a feeling Richard is still wearing filming make-up in this picture but it’s such a sweet picture nonetheless! In his Instagram post Richard says he is ‘transformed’. I’d love to know in what way.

It reminds me of another sweet picture I came across earlier this week that I wanted to share of Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen: Mr Darcy 1995 (my absolute fave Darcy ever!) and Mr Darcy 2005…

They starred in their first movie togther and this was them at a premiere…

They seem to like each other apart from that Darcy connection and apparently only briefly exchanged Darcy experiences. They filmed a movie called Operation Mincemeat together about a British deception operation to disguise the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, using the body of a dead man, planting fake documents on him for the Germans to find. It’s based on a true story. I went to see the film with my friend last Tuesday (it was a pre-premiere showing). The cinema had a huge display to advertise the film…

It’s not Colin’s masterpiece and I could’ve done without that love triangle part of the story but it was a fun film to watch nonetheless. Ian Fleming, writer of James Bond, was part of the team who executed the deception plan and it was also very amusing finding out where M and Q in the James Bond movies seemed to have gained their names from. Colin and Matthew really play well off each other…

It’s not a film you really need to watch but it really was very nice to have seen it, especially with the added context of that Darcy connection. Although, I admit to not thinking much about either Darcy while I watched this, which is a good thing.

I love seeing my favourite actors making good connections with those they work with and showing it with a hug or a touch. It always makes me feel warm and happy inside.

My Jane Eyre has come home

When I was 8 or 9 years old my mother gave me a simplifed version of Jane Eyre to read and I was instantly hooked on the story. It has remained a favourite book of mine since. In fact, I had two simplifed Jane Eyre versions. I remember with one liking the text more and with the other I loved the images. The cover of the one version was this dark pink and it had some drawn illustrations. The other version was the quicker read and it had pictures in them of what I thought then was a movie, but I later found out was a 1973 BBC TV mini series. I would read the pink book and then study the photos in the TV version book I had and read some passages there too and I would do that endlessly.

I cherished my two Jane Eyres and they moved with me from Israel to Germany when I was 10. In the 6 years that I lived in Germany we moved three times. I think that during one of those moves (I’m guessing the last one) I couldn’t find the books anymore but there were lots of boxes with books in storage in the cellar of my dad’s office at the time. I vaguely remember going through those boxes, looking for my Jane Eyres but not being able to find them. I always figured they’d turn up in time but they never did.

At 16 I went to a boarding school in The Netherlands (so didn’t take much stuff with me) and then at 18 we moved into a house in Leiden (NL) and all my stuff from Germany was moved to The Netherlands. Those boxes of books came too. It was all unpacked but my Jane Eyres weren’t there. I have scoured bookshelves at my parents’ house and later at my siblings’ places but those books were nowhere to be found. It was around then (at about 18 or 19) when I first read the full Charlotte Brontë story of Jane Eyre. I can still remember lying in my bed in my attic room reading it and falling in love with it all over again.

Every time I went into a second-hand book store, I’d check to see if one of my simplified Jane Eyre books was available but I never had any luck. Then the internet came and I searched especially for the one with those BBC pictures in it. Try finding a simplified Jane Eyre book online and see how many versions you can find. I can tell you from experience there are hundreds!

A few years ago I thought I’d finally found it. I had found out that it had been published by Longman in 1976, I had an ISBN number and the bookseller’s front cover image indicated it was the version with those BBC images in it. When the book arrived, however, it turned out to be a different edition. The ISBN number was indeed the same but the publication year was different, it was not my version and it didn’t have any pictures. I gave up on searching for a long time after that.

Then, a few weeks ago, I was looking for that Ronald Colman biography and found a second-hand book site called Abe Books. I thought, what the heck, I’ll try looking for my Jane Eyre again and lo and behold, I found it! It was available from a bookstore in Germany. I ordered it, hoping I wouldn’t be disappointed yet again, and today it arrived. I tore the envelope open and there she was, just as I remembered: Sorcha Cusack (older sister of Sinéad Cusack, by the way, who played Mrs Thornton in North and South) as Jane Eyre on the cover…

Yes, this is my Jane Eyre! It even looked as pre-used and loved as my own edition had been. I just can’t tell you how stoked I am: this is the end of an approximately 35 year search! I leafed through the book and the images and even after all these years, they all felt so extremely familiar.

I remember back in 1995 when I fell in love with Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in that year’s BBC production of Pride and Prejudice

… he reminded me of an image of Mr Rochester in my old Jane Eyre book. Of course, I didn’t have the book handy at the time to compare but now that I see this image, I can completely see again why I made that association. The comparison really wasn’t so far-fetched…

I saw this 1973 BBC series some 10 or 15 years ago for the first time and Michael Jayston (who plays Edward Rochester in it) didn’t remind me of Colin at all. He seemed lighter, a little more fair haired then I remembered from the book. I took screenshots of images that I thought might correspond with the images I still had in my head of my book, but they never seemed right. Now I understand why. The image in the book is in black and white, making Edward Rochester seem darker, and is also from a slightly different angle which makes me think this is a stills photograph and not so much a screenshot from the actual series.

I think this evening I may read through bits of that simplified text again, see what I think of it now. I also think that I may start the search for that other simplified Jane Eyre book that I remember, although I do have less details to go on as I don’t have film images or anything that can roughly date that book for me. So far the search terms “Jane Eyre” and “simplified” and “pink cover” have done nothing for me. No matter, I have at least got this one ‘back’ – my Jane Eyre has come home to me.


Five days ago was my 7th blogiversary. I always forget when exactly but then at some point in September I think, “Oh right, isn’t my blogiversary sometime around now?” Just looked it up: the 6th of september 2014 is when I truly started this blogging journey and so far I have never regretted it. On to more!

Yesterday was another anniversary: Colin Firth’s 61st birthday. He’s turning into a silver fox. Many happy returns to him!

The most notable anniversay is the one today, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the twin towers in New York City. Of course, I too remember where I was when they happened, visiting my parents for an afternoon during my maternity leave. My son was two months old…

… and I remember looking on in horror and being grateful that my baby was too young to understand the terror we were witnessing live on CNN. The fact that he needed care and attention and love helped to keep us somewhat grounded on what I remember as a very frightening and surreal day, even if we were a continent away. The effects of these attacks are still very much felt today, my children don’t know a world before 9/11.

May we one day all be wise enough in this world to find peace.

Marry Me – 7 fantasy husbands

Nell participated in a challenge on her blog to name 7 fictional characters that she would marry on the spot (this is originally a challenge from another German blogger). I’m always one to fantasize, so I figured I’d just jump in and join the challenge as well.

The rule is that it’s all about the character and not about the actor who portrays him (all men, in my case). I know actors of course do influence my choice because favourite characters lead to favourite actors for me and vice versa. So, actors can not be completely ignored and characters played by my favourite actors are naturally on this list. 🙂

OK, on to the challenge: which 7 fictional characters am I so in love with that I could marry them?

1. I just had to pick a character portrayed by Richard Armitage and I considered Harry Kennedy from The Vicar of Dibley because he just feels so familiar, like I could know him in real life, or John Porter from Strike Back, a tough guy who can think for himself, but in the end I would just go for John Thornton. Ah, the way he and I could change the world together! And he sure can kiss…

2. Nell mentioned Joe Bradley, the reporter in Roman Holiday (as portrayed by Gregory Peck) and I thought I’d pick him too but then I thought of a few other characters Peck played who I wouldn’t mind marrying either. James McKay in The Big Country springs to mind, the quiet Easterner in the Wild West who has such moral fibre and is made of sterner stuff than most people think, and of course Atticus Finch who, in a way, reminds me a bit of my own father. I’ll just go with the Oedipus complex choice and pick Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. He’d be a good daddy to my children too.

3. Prince Edward (Richard Chamberlain) in the Cinderella movie The Slipper and the Rose because he was the first character that touched my romantic childhood heart.

4. Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) from The Mentalist because life would never be boring with him around and you know how deeply he can love once he lets you in.

5. Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) from Lucifer because who wouldn’t want a fierce looking but soft hearted angel at your side to fight for you?

6. Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones’s Diary. Yes, he’s uptight, but underneath all of that… woof! And he’s smart too, changing the world one high profile human rights law case at a time.

7. Captain Frederick Wentworth (embodied most perfectly by Ciaran Hinds) from Persuasion, a self-made man with a faithful heart and I would get to travel the world with him aboard his ship.

Compiling this list, I chose the characters that popped up in my mind quickest and another one of them was John Keating (so brilliantly portrayed by Robin Williams) from Dead Poets Society, so he gets an honourable mention.

I know that makes it technically eight men I would marry and if I think a little longer I could probably think of 10 more (ooh, maybe hotshot lawyer Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) from Suits or honourable FBI agent Jack Hudson (Yannick Bisson) from Sue Thomas F.B.Eye or even Charles Ingalls (Michael Landon) from Little House on the Prairie) but I’ll just leave it at this.


This has nothing to do with the hologram that one of the Kardashians received (saw a blip of that on my news feeds but Kardashians don’t interest me, so I skipped past it). This post features a little video of Colin Firth who, for an awards thingy of his ex-wife Livia Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge, was to be a hologram. He is trying to figure out what holograms actually are and it just made me laugh; this really cheers me up on a dreary Saturday morning.

This is how it turned out during the Green Carpet Awards when he presented a socially distanced award…

Ah, his presence and his voice make me so happy. As did this picture that I came across earlier this week from Colin’s new Supernova film with Stanley Tucci. It is almost unbearably touching.

Anyway, the word ‘hologram’ now has me singing Tanita Tikaram’s awesome song “Twist in my Sobriety” in my mind. In that song she sings the line “Look my eyes are just holograms” a few times. I loved that song when it came out in 1988 and I still love it today.

I think this Saturday should now turn into a Colin Firth day for me. I think it’s time to finally watch Colin’s The Secret Garden that I’ve been meaning to watch for weeks now. I could just about fit it in before the weekly grocery shop and other evening plans that may or may not come to fruition.

Have a good Saturday, everyone! Oh and…

Happy Halloween to those who celebrate it.