Fangirling & family time

So, I am on a family holiday in the middle of England now with my husband and two teenage kids and already feeling very cheeful about it all! Every day brings new fangirl & family moments.

Leaving The Netherlands wasn’t too fangirly but it was family-time. We waited at the ferry that was to take us from The Netherlands to England, but we didn’t have to wait very long to board.

We had our own cabin for the 7 hour ferry trip and the kids reminisced about Titanic on board (although they refused to re-enact any Titanic scenes for me).

Once in England we had to drive on the wrong side of the road (yep, driving on the left feels wrong…)

IMG_5240
We camped just outside Colchester for our first night in England and did a little sightseeing there the next morning (yep, that’s me in the bottom picture)…

In Colchester I had my first real fangirl moment: we passed by a sweet shop called Darcy (of Pride and Prejudice fame)! Of course, this probably has nothing to do with P&P, but it made me smile!

IMG_5300
We also had our first scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam in Colchester… yumm!

IMG_5325
We then drove on to our current campsite, not far from Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire) and set up our camp for the one and a half weeks we’re staying here for. My 16 year old son gets his own little tent to sleep in.

20170721_203857[1]
When I went to the bathroom here at the campsite, I unexpectedly had my second fangirl moment. See for yourself what brand the washbasins are…

20170723_110603
How lovely to have the thought of Richard Armitage with me every day when I visit the bathroom!

We went to dinner at a pub in a village called Perry, which made me think of our fellow RA blogger Perry over on Armitage Agonistes

IMG_5329
… and when we got back, in the tree right next to our camping spot, there was an owl hooting away! We never see owls in the wild where we live, it was quite an experience for us.

IMG_5401
After a day of lazing away, we passed through the town of Stamford, which gave me my next fangirling moment. Stamford was used as the town of Merryton in 2005’s Pride and Prejudice (the one with Keira Knightley… yeah, not my fave P&P adaptation, but I have seen it often enough nonetheless!)…

After a little walk through Stamford, which is quite pretty with all it’s old sandstone buildings, we went on to visit Burghley House, which was used as Rosings in that same P&P adaptation (the one picture here below is mine, the other is from the movie)!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We visited inside the huge ‘house’ and the moment I walked into the kitchen, I was reminded of my favourite childhood film The Slipper and the Rose; there was a very similar kitchen in that movie with shiny brass pot and pans!

We saw some of the interior rooms…

…and when we exited we came across a lovely tree with a wooden seat surrounding the trunk and lots of lavender around it; it’s something I would love to have in my own garden, if only my own garden were large enough!

IMG_5483
There were some very pretty flowers/plants in the gardens there…

There was also an ‘adventure garden’ with fountains and a mirror maze.

IMG_5507

After we had all passed to and fro through a gate with a very fine spray of water that hardly got anyone wet…

IMG_5511

… I challenged my kids to jump through the ‘Exit curtain’ fountain (my husband and I walked around it) and the little sods actually did!

It took them a little while to get dry, they took their time in the sun for that…

IMG_5537
The current last picture on my camera is one my son took while playing around with said camera in the car. I quite like it…

IMG_5622
Our holiday has only just started, but already it’s goooood!

Irreverence

Some weeks ago I was recommended a trilogy of books by Paula Aidan that re-tells the story of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s point of view. I finished the first book, An Assembly Such as This, about a week ago and on the train on my way home from work this afternoon, I started the second book called Duty and Desire. It is set after Darcy and Bingley quit Netherfield and starts out with a scene of Darcy in church. He is listening to the reverend’s reading when Colonel Fitzwilliam arrives, late. And oh my goodness, that bit of writing made me laugh out loud! The train wasn’t full, but the burst of giggle did earn me some questioning looks. Here is that passage that made me laugh…

Duty & Desire excerpt

This kind of irreverence I love!

There’s humourous irreverence but there is also serious irreverence. The blatant, serious irreverence shown by that bumbling excuse of a US president can not make me laugh at all. I cringe and fear for the future. First the man makes an ass of himself in the Middle East and Europe, alienating European allies, looking like the stereotype of the garish American tourist (I truly cringe for my American friends when I see this, I know how mortified they are)…

… and then he decides to pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change in such an act of selfishness that I just can not comprehend it! We’re 4 months into his presidency, how will the world survive 4 years of this shortsighted, selfish ignorance? I truly see him as a menace to the world. I do take comfort in the fact that there is loud opposition to this man, and I add my opposition here! I have this German magnet here in my house that I have had for years and which nicely sums up how I feel about every single Trump policy so far! It’s my little sign of protest…

dagegen magnet

“Dagegen” is German for “opposed”.

In the meantime I try not to freak out and try to keep hope alive by consuming protest and more irreverence, like in the following video: Graham Norton, Salma Hayek and David Walliams commenting on part of Trump’s foreign trip last week…

… and new French president Emmanuel Macron poking at Trump yesterday in his reaction to the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, calling to “make the PLANET great again!”…

When I see things like this, I just know there must be hope for the future!

Mirthfully Firthfully

While searching for something in a drawer this morning, I unexpectedly came across something else that I had printed out from the internet on August 22nd, 1996 (!!) when I was well into my first year of Colin Firth fangirling. These were the early days of internet and fan sites and in my craze to know anything and everything about Colin Firth (he had just come to fame less than a year before, with Pride and Prejudice) I frequented a website called “Friends of Firth”. The website is long gone (I can’t remember when or the circumstances surrounding the end of it), but apparently I had printed the terminology that was invented there. It was called ‘A Firthian Lexicon’ and reading it again, 20 years on, has given me great amusement! So, I thought I’d just share some of the highlights from the lexicon here; it was clearly compiled at the height of Colin-Firth-as-Mr-Darcy-mania. 🙂

In the lexicon Friends of Firth is described as: “A group of focused, erudite, conversant individuals dedicated to the discussion and appreciation of the performances of Colin Firth.” I can subscribe to that! 🙂 Without further ado, terms from that list:

Firthland – The official Firthdom with boundaries that extend world-wide.

Colinist – An inhabitant of said province entitled to all privileges thereof.

Colinaneous – A state of being when a colinist can only see “a pair of fine eyes”

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-21h16m52s751

Mr Darcy admiring Elizabeth Bennet’s ‘fine eyes’ to the surprise of Miss Bingley.

Colinatopia – a place where colinists are transported to when viewing the object of their affection.

Firthaholics Anonymous – A 12-step program that is never completed because the participant eagerly jumps off the wagon on the 11th step.

Firth-a-surf-aholic – One who surfs the net in search of pleasure (Colin) instead of business.

Firth Control – The ability to wait patiently for articles, videos, books and list-mail concerning CF.

Firthfully – Loyalty to the Firthdom and the object of our affections.

Firthis Colinitis – High fever caused by not watching Colin for more than a day. Curable by repeated showings of Pride and Prejudice (uncut version).

P&P dvd cover

Firthless (in Seattle) – Not having had a Firth-fix in approximately 1-3 days.

Firthmount – Any steed or mount that has the privilege to be ridden by CF.

Firthology – The comprehensive study of Colin Firth, i.e. films, videos, moles, dimples, thighs, etc…   Not sure about the moles but here are dimples:

And I always loved Colin’s long legs in this P&P scene:

Darcy & Elizabeth Pemberley stroll

Firthopath – A colinist infected by CF, causing occasional mental instability.

Firthophile – A colinist, firthian or firthlander completely obsessed in thought, word and deed.

Firthstration – The mood when not able to access information, pictures or videos.

Firth-weary – Any spouse subjected to multiple screenings of Pride and Prejudice or the complete list of CF films.

Mirthfully Firthfully – Any laughter that bubbles over while reading fantasies submitted by the Firthland School of Creative Writing

Schizofirthic – Someone who can’t decide if they like Darcy or Colin Firth.

Ah, fandom can be so much fun! 🙂

Favourite Lizzie Bennet videos

I’ve been in a Lizzie Bennet Diaries mood all day after posting that Pride and Prejudice fan video earlier and this past evening I spent a very pleasant time hunting down some of my favourite fan videos made for this show. I’m just sharing a few here for fun, in no particular order.

This first one is catchy and features I think just about every character on the show, which I love…

Another catchy one with all the characters and some nice editing…

This following video was made before the series ending, when Lizzie was still in denial…

And this one was before series end as well…

Disney musicals are apparently popular for Lizzie Bennet videos: Beauty and the Beast lyrics which feel very fitting for the Dizzie (Darcy + Lizzie) relationship…

A video about the Bennet sisters. This series was just as much about sisters as it was about Lizzie and Darcy…

And last but not least this video, which also features a few clips from two bonus videos made in 2014, a year after the series ended (the clips where Lizzie wears the white polka dot top)…

I wish I could make videos like that, mine are pretty lame in comparison.

LBD cast

For its 5 year anniversary, LBD is being released again in real time just like during the original run; this will be happening soon on their Facebook page. So, if you’re interested you can take a look there as well. I may be peeking in from time to time myself. 🙂

OK, it’s just after 1 a.m. here, I need to head to bed now. Will probably be dreaming of Dizzie tonight…

Best Pride & Prejudice video ever!

I am a sucker for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; I first read it in my late teens / early twenties. When I was 25 I got hooked on the brilliant BBC adaptation that came out that year, I couldn’t wait for Sunday evening to come around and for each new episode to air. I fell in love with Colin Firth because of Pride and Prejudice. Even though I find fault with the 2005 Keira Knightley / Matthew MacFadyen version, I still do enjoy it. 5 years ago the web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries started airing on YouTube and I fell in love with that as well. I had a similar reaction to that series as to the 1995 BBC version; I was so caught up in following the series twice a week that I’d sit at my laptop at the announced airing time, ready to click on the latest video as soon as it was posted! I even made Lizzie Bennet fan videos.

I like P&P so much that I also enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, very much to my surprise as I don’t normally ‘do’ zombies. I have read P&P retellings and sequels and fan fiction. Recently fellow-blogger Perry even alerted me to a retelling of the story that, yes, I have now acquired and plan to read soon as well (called An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aidan – part of a trilogy of books, I find, that retell the story from Darcy’s point of view). Anyhow, my love for P&P may be abundantly clear by now, and my love for adaptations of it as well.

So, today, I opened my YouTube page and there was a fan video suggested to me that featured the 1995 P&P, the 2005 P&P, and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Of course I can not resist such a suggestion, clicked on it and oh my goodness, it is now my favourite Pride and Prejudice fan video ever! Iconic quotes and images of all three adaptations are put side by side and watching this fills my heart with joy. I am all for spreading the joy, so if you love P&P as well, take a look:

It has certainly brightened up my Monday morning!