Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ode to Christmas

The fairy queen assumes her throne
And bids her minions fetch her snow
And as she shivers – cold, alone
The fireflies to snowland row
Upon arrival, bags are stuffed
And soon presented to the queen
And so the snowflakes tip-toe down
And reach the earth, unforeseen

Standing tall, a fine tree sparkles
Makes our wintry houses gleam
We hold a beaker full of chocolate
With a dollop of whipped cream
Our parted lips embrace the sweetness
That this pleasure with it brings
And we’re greeted on the doorstep
By a boy who gaily sings

Next is the exchange of presents
Gift-wrapped sweet with poems too
Succeeded by a smile delighted
That affection wins anew
Socks are annually purchased
And accepted gracefully
But the Jackpot sweater given
Is the gift we long to see

Wondrous, too, our Christmas dinner
Pears prepared with a glühwein taste
Accompanied by a juicy turkey
Our cook need not yet be replaced
And so we eat and drink and laugh
And Christmas passes merrily
Let me say on your behalf
There’s nowhere else I’d rather be

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fashion: Vanity Fair

Yes, I know this is an old shoot. But that doesn't diminish its genius.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seasons: Winter Wonderland

Winter has officially arrived in the North of Holland and a thick layer of snow covers every tree, flower and field. Naturally, a snow-sprinkled landscape is charming and worth seeing, so my aunt took some photographs in our backyard. Behold winter's embrace and count your blessings if you are not troubled by the consequences as I was this mornings. All trains and busses were either delayed or cancelled completely and it seemed impossible to reach any destination swiftly while winter reigned surpreme in the neighbouring towns.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Architecture: London

This is the final post of my London report and I decided to save the best till last, namely the architecture of the city. It has many gothic influences while The City is home to many modern landmarks. On the whole, it is a city of extremes and different tastes as you will see below.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Museum Tip: Hermitage, Amsterdam

Yes, there is a Hermitage in Amsterdam too since recently and it's certainly worth a visit. Its Russian counterpart transported some of its regal treasures to the Netherlands for a lovely exposition entitled: At Russian Court.

It features some of the most beautiful costumes, paintings and accessories life with the Romanovs had to offer and is not to be missed. It is a very extensive exposition and the museum has been remodelled after the winter palace for this special occasion ie. a ball room with moving platforms that spins the gowns around and a throne room where Paul I's actual throne can be found facing a row of subjects.

Naturally, we were not allowed to take photographs, but I ''borrowed'' the following from newspapers, etc.

The dress above was one of my favourites. It dates from around 1820 and is truly princess-worthy! That being said, I wouldn't mind owning any of the displayed dresses. Or any of the shoes. Or the handbags. Or the umbrellas. get the picture. The exposition runs until the 31th of January so hurry up if you want to see it!

For further info:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Movie Spotlight: Bright Star

Bright Star

Bright Star is unlike most period films. For one, anyone familiar with John Keats his life can reveal the film will have no happy ending. If the lovers do not live happily ever after, then what is the strength of the film? It has first-class acting, beautiful poetry, colourful costumes and lovely scenery. The film starts as Keats moves next door to Fanny Brawne and is far from successful as an author. Reviews for his poem ''Endymion'' are bad - humiliatingly so. But his fashionista neighbour, who makes a living designing clothes, sees his potential when she hears the first passage:
A THING of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.       
To say that their relationship soon blossoms into a passionate romance would sell the affair short for they did not immediately get on well. However, once they ceased to dispute, it allowed them to form a friendship which transitioned into a life-altering love affair. As lovers, they corresponded and never consumated their love as circumstances prevented them getting married. After a long night out in the cold, Keats grew weak and sickly and soon began to exhibit the symtoms of consumption. Despite her best efforts, Fanny is unable to cure him and he is sent away to Italy to test the warmer climate. Unfortunately, it is too late and Keats quickly dies, leaving Fanny heartbroken and reciting the poem he dedicated to her in between sobs:

Bright Star

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--
No--yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever--or else swoon to death.

Excerpts from the film:  


Interviews with the Cast and Crew: