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Thursday, November 22, 2007


A film review

THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB is a feel-good film based on the popular book of the same name by Karen Jay Fowler. It’s a rom-com at heart, detailing the lives and loves of a disparate group of women (and one man) who meet up every month to discuss one of Austen’s novels. Fans of the 19th century author will enjoy the way the various plot and characters from all six of Austen’s novels are discussed and the way in which the various fates of the modern-day characters resemble those found in the literature.

With decent direction, assured performances and a witty script, there was no real chance of this film going wrong. It does a grand job on what it sets out to do, which is to provide a fly-on-the-wall look at relationships in both the 19th and the 21st centuries. Topics such as infidelity, the break-up of marriages, younger men with older women [Sue says, "that'd be me then ;-)" ], adultery, teacher-student relationships as well as overbearing parents are the order of the day, and there’s a liberal sprinkling of comedy along the way too.

The cast is decent with a good mixture of familiar, experienced faces (Jimmy Smits, Lynn Redgrave and Nancy Travis, for instance) with fresher talent. Emily Blunt bags the meatiest role of the young French teacher tempted to sleep with a high school student, and she has some really poignant moments throughout the film. Yet other actors, such as Maria Bello, Kathy Baker and Amy Brenneman are also equally good in their parts and Hugh Dancy is delightful.

There are some heartbreaking moments and a truly touching ending, and as a whole the film is thoroughly engaging with hardly any false steps. We’re looking forward to the DVD when it comes out...

Why I'm not really here...

For the time being we've lost our wifi connection. It's made me (and the rest of the household) appreciate how blessed we all are to have it. It's not a great time for it to go kaput, not that there ever is a 'good' time, but I'm fighting another of my health blips where I have difficulty getting to the main computer.

That said, even once the wifi is replaced/repaired, I'm spending an awful lot of time sleeping right now, so I'm unlikely to be around much anyway! Since I have now made it to the office I'm going to use the opportunity to share with you one of the many reasons why I feel so blessed to have Gray in my life:

An appointment I attended yesterday was particularly hideous for me from an emotional perspective, and if truth be known, I couldn't wait to get the day over with. After dinner the long, dark evening stretched out before us. I couldn't get into writing, reading, or watching tv .

At 7.20pm Gray's face lit up and he said "Hey, do you fancy going to the cinema to see The Jane Austen Book Club?"

Now, the showing at out local cinema is at 8pm. There was no way we'd make it in time - I wasn't even dressed to go out! But, then I looked at him. I'm usually the one to make sudden and spontaneous decisions, and yet here he was not only looking inspired but confident that we could make it if we hurried. Couple this with the fact that I'd forgotten I'd even mentioned that I wanted to see this film and that I was feeling SHOCKED that not only had he listened to me but he'd REMEMBERED too. WOW!

I've never been one to look a gift horse in the mouth so I zipped up my fleece cardigan, not caring about my attire (shock, horror!), stood up and said, "You're on. Let's go!" With a few rushed instructions to the Teenagers, who for their part stood mouths agape, we flew out the door and made our getaway to the car.

We'd done it - we'd escaped! The short journey took us minutes - which is a miracle in itself, not a single traffic light turned red! - and I bounded up the two flights of stairs to the cinema. Okay, I might be exaggerating a little there, but you get the picture. We turned into an EMPTY foyer and I assumed everybody else must have gone in. That is until the guy at the till cheekily said to Gray, "There's only the two of you - make sure you behave!"

Dazed at our good fortune, we discovered that despite leaving things to the last minute, we really were the only couple there! Alas, it didn't last but we didn't care because we'd already cosied up in our favourite seats.

I've been having one of my 'duvet' days this morning but while Gray was watching a film with his Dad, I thought I'd sneak into the office and check my email. There in my Inbox was an email from Gray - with a review of the film we'd seen last night, with instructions for me to post on here if I want to. Don't ask me where he found the time to type up and send this to me because I have no idea. I usually have to beg him to contribute to this Blog...

So, that's led me to this post (that I genuinely didn't know I was going to do). I just wanted to let you all know that there'll be a review to follow soon...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What's Going On...

I won't pretend that things haven't been too great for a while now - particularly last week when a young man lost his life in a tragic accident. It will be a while yet before those close to him will get over this loss and it's breaking my heart to see/hear what this young man's family and friends are going through. Heartfelt hugs and prayers going to everybody.

On the health-front I've also had the results back from my MRI scan. Until I have an appointment with my neurologist I won't understand exactly what they've discovered. What I do know is there's been a fair bit of myelin damage, but I guess I already knew that. It's a relief that they can now see exactly why I'm experiencing the symptoms that I have felt progressing - primarily with my vision, balance and dizziness.

It's no surprise that with everything that's been happening I'm very behind with my writing and studies. I'm trying to get back on track but progress is s-l-o-w. It's also eating into my time to visit blogs etc., for which I apologise.

Now I'm going to do something very selfish. It's likely to be a while before I can post again so I'm posting the video (that's now allowed to be embedded) of the wonderful LEE MEAD's debut single. It means I'll know where to come when I need a few minutes 'me' time.

I hope there are others who also enjoy Lee's performance as much as I do (I won't feel quite so selfish then ;-) )

Until next time, keep safe and happy reading and writing (and watching potential hero material ;-) )

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thoughts and Prayers...

It's been a difficult couple of days - my heartfelt prayers and hugs go out to somebody very close to me and her friends who are in shock and trying to come to terms with the sudden death of their friend who should have had a long life ahead of him.

This morning I also discovered a loss that is reverberating throughout the romance community - the recent death of Anne Weale. Please go here and here to read tributes to the life of this amazing woman.

Thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all who are grieving, and may those who have departed this world rest in peace.