Showing posts with label literature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label literature. Show all posts

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Five Favourite ... Literary Characters

Today I should like to ramble at length about my favourite literary characters and so without further ado ...

At number five ... Persuasion's Captain Wentworth.

Captain Wentworth is the one Jane Austen character that makes my heart flutter. I prefer him to Colonel Brandon and certainly to Mr Darcy. I am not unconvinced this is because of who portrayed him in the BBC adaptation - Rupert Penry-Jones, who I absolutely only like in period dramas. Put him in modern clothing and I am utterly and completely disinterested.

Captain Frederick Wentworth is a fictional character in the novel Persuasion written by Jane Austen. He is the prototype of the new gentleman in the 19th century: a self-made man who makes his fortune by hard work rather than inheritance.


At number four ... Christine.
Yes, the car Christine.

Little is known about beautiful, misunderstood Christine's past, except that she was the property of retired war-veteran Roland D. LeBay. I fell in love with her on sight and despite red being my favourite colour, I would never entertain a red car other than a 1958 Plymouth Fury.

Nobody knows exactly where Christine came from; in the movie, it is suggested that Christine was bad from the start, because she crushes a man's hand with her hood and kills another after he drops a cigar ash on her seat, all while she was being built.

In the book, it is suggested that she may be possessed by the ghosts of Roland LeBay's family; his daughter choked in the backseat- later information reveals that LeBay deliberately left his daughter in the back seat of the car, speculated by Dennis to be him attempting to sacrifice his daughter to Christine-, and his wife committed suicide inside her front seat.

Either one suggests that she could have been bad to the bone even before those, and that she killed LeBay's daughter, rather than LeBay's family possessing the car.

In the book, it is heavily implied that LeBay himself has possessed the car, though this is rather unclear. It's also hinted that she absorbs the souls of her victims, such as LeBay's family or Repperton's gang.

What is known, however, is that she becomes extremely attached to her owners, and kills those who she sees as a threat to her relationship. She also makes her owners become obsessed with her, and kills anybody who may be hurting them. She also possesses the power of regeneration, allowing her to repair any damage sustained in her independent rampages. However, it is unclear if this ability was limited at first; Arnie did some repair work on Christine when he originally purchased her, but she was shown repairing some damage on her own, making it unclear if she genuinely needed Arnie to work on her at first or if she was merely trying to 'blend in'.


At number three ... Jane Eyre's Mr Rochester.

Edward Fairfax Rochester: The master of Thornfield Hall. A Byronic hero, he is tricked into making an unfortunate first marriage to Bertha Mason many years before he meets Jane, with whom he falls madly in love.

In the world of period dramas, Mr Darcy seems to set most womens hearts racing but I have always far preferred Mr Rochester to Mr Darcy. For a start, I couldn't put up with a moody, brooding individual such as Darcy in real life. I can appreciate him on paper and on screen, yes, but in real life, no. He would drive me spare. I need humour and that comes with Rochester, he amuses me.


At number two ... Harry Flashman.

I know many, especially women, will loathe and detest Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC, KCB, KCIE. I take him as he is, warts and all. He is tremendous fun.

Created by George MacDonald Fraser, Flashman  is based on the character "Flashman" in Tom Brown's School Days, a semi-autobiographical work by Thomas Hughes. In Hughes' 1857 book, Flashman, a relatively minor character, is portrayed as a notorious bully at Rugby School who persecutes Tom Brown, and who is finally expelled for drunkenness.

Harry Flashman appears in a series of 12 of Fraser's books, collectively known as The Flashman Papers. Fraser decided to write Flashman's memoirs, in which the school bully would be identified with an "illustrious Victorian soldier" experiencing many 19th-century wars and adventures and rising to high rank in the British Army, acclaimed as a great soldier, while remaining "a scoundrel, a liar, a cheat, a thief, a coward—and, oh yes, a toady."

Fraser's Flashman is an antihero who often runs from danger in the novels. Nevertheless, through a combination of luck and cunning, he usually ends each volume acclaimed as a hero.


At number one ... Dorian Gray.

I first read The Picture of Dorian Gray (my favourite book) in the nineties and developed a huge crush on Dorian.
Honestly, I thought he was the absolute bees knees.
The cats pyjamas.
The cats meow.
I simply adored him. Adore him.
We even had a reading at our wedding from the book.

However, no film version of Dorian ever hit the mark for me. For a start they were all dark and Dorian is always portrayed as having fair hair and oh, this annoyed me!
But a Dorian with the wrong hair colour who looks the part in a good version is far superior to a correct hair coloured Dorian in a bad portrayal and adaptation.

Along came Penny Dreadful and oh my, Dorian may have dark hair but be still my heart, he is Dorian. He is perfection.

Dorian Gray is the subject of a full-length portrait in oil by Basil Hallward, an artist who is impressed and infatuated by Dorian's beauty; he believes that Dorian's beauty is responsible for the new mode in his art as a painter. Through Basil, Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, and he soon is enthralled by the aristocrat's hedonistic worldview: that beauty and sensual fulfilment are the only things worth pursuing in life.

Newly understanding that his beauty will fade, Dorian expresses the desire to sell his soul, to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade. The wish is granted, and Dorian pursues a libertine life of varied and amoral experiences, while staying young and beautiful; all the while his portrait ages and records every sin.


Before I go, I do apologise for not commenting on your blogs, I have been rather poorly these past weeks and am only just getting back on my feet now.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Folly Come Lately

It's been a little while since I have looked in here, long enough so that the blogger dashboard has changed.
Tis Confusion!

So, what's been going on in Folly Bird land?

Well I finally watched Home Fires. Twice. Once when I was recovering from the flu and then again when Andy expressed an interest. I really enjoyed it.
My favourite characters were Alison ...

.. and Marek. Andy guessed he would be my favourite male character based on his accent and his boots! I asked him why he thought I wasn't taken with any of the RAF types, he assured me they weren't my thing! It seems I am nothing if not predictable!

In other telly news, I completely went off Poldark, though Caroline's red riding outfit, oh my! Andy called me in from the kitchen just to see it! Now THAT is how you go horse riding! I have long wanted to go horse riding and would love to turn up at a riding centre dressed like this! Can you imagine this glorious riding outfit alongside the jeans, practical footwear and terribly boring jackets I so often see on the horse riders we slow for on the lanes around this way?

I also enjoyed The Victorian Slum, chicken plucking aside, and finally saw all of Ripper Street. To say I was left traumatised would be an understatement. I am still sad. The previous series they took Fred Best away and now, now they take Drake away????? What is going on with the world!

Just a couple of note of late, last years cinema release of Krampus. I stress cinema release as there were others at the same time, which apparently are rubbish and went straight to DVD. This was the Toni Collette version. Funny, horrifying, cosy, it managed all three magnificently.

Also I stumbled across a Christmas film called Wishin' & Hopin' At Christmas. It stars Molly Ringwald and Chevy Chase narrates. It is set in the early sixties and has a real feel of the film adaptation of Jean Shepherd's book In God We Trust, A Christmas Story, which I love. I loved Wishin' & Hopin' so much that I looked for it on DVD but have had absolutely no luck.

There have been pies: one cherry, one apple and for Halloween, pumpkin. Yum.
Also cherry crumble and mini cherry pies.

And things have been on the move. My glass cabinet which resided in the bedroom has been moved into the living room, so I can see all my beautiful glass on a day to day basis and not just at bedtime.

I have collected coloured glass since I was in my teens and purchased every single tea set I saw for no more than £4. Annoyingly I haven't seen a coloured glass tea set for years. In fact I rarely see coloured glass at all and when I do, it's usually completely over priced.

Some soft focus pictures of things after the move.

The dish the cup is sat in is carnival glass and was my nan's.

This beauty of a carnival glass bowl was a charity shop find, isn't it a beauty!
Although it is actually more vibrant in real life.

More like this ...

The green glass is Arcoroc, the blue is by another French company, name beginning with V I believe ... the sweet cut glass smoked set, has no makers name.

This 1950's sundae dish set was found in an antique shop for about £7.

 I shall have to photograph things properly.

Unfortunately the lovely carnival glass bowl Mim was sending me arrived broken. Not simply cracked or chipped, it was absolutely shattered into tiny pieces, which made me sad. Sad enough that Andy whisked the box away and hid it from me as I was getting wibbly about the whole thing. But, lovely Mim also sent me a beautiful silk Laura Ashley scarf which I have worn every time I have gone out.

I tried to read all of Stephen King's IT during October. I failed miserably, partly due to flu and then migraines and then various other things. I think it'll take me the rest of the year to get through the thing, have you seen how big that book is? Actually, it's December now ... I don't fancy my chances. I tried to read some in the car the other day when we were visiting Meirionwen and Andy came up to ask me something, approaching from behind the car and scared the living daylights out of me and I haven't even got to the scary stuff yet!

Not only am I lapping up repeats of Friends, I have also recently got back in touch with someone I haven't seen for twenty years. It was nerve-wracking meeting up again, as it had been so long and things had ended on a sour note (not at my hand I hasten to add). But, once I met her off the train, the years melted away and we picked up where we left off. It's nice to have her back in my life again after so long. We still have much in common, including in an ever changing world, the same views which is wonderfully refreshing, as I often find myself floundering along in life, feeling I just plopped down from some alien place with people barking, "You believe what? What do you mean you don't like such and such??? You're letting the side down Melanie! How dare you!"
We're going to go to the zoo together this month, so that'll be fun.

And speaking of the telly version of Friends, I am only now noticing the 90's fashions. I have seen countless repeats but am only just seeing the very distinct styles of the era. I suppose Friends and Clueless best sum up the nineties.

Crochet has been the name of the game in this area of my life.
My granny squares, well some of them.

Random Sightings
Traction Engine just pootling along the dual carriageway near here.

Of Blogging
My health has taken a right old battering these past couple of years, so as I don't ever know how things are going to be for me on the health front and as I don't want to abandon my blog, I will be approaching things a little differently than before.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

And It All Went A Bit Stephen King

I have mentioned before that Meirionwen shares her sleeping quarters with a Buick Eight among other classics. 
Collecting her is an absolute breeze, taking her back is a bit spooky when you have an overactive imagination, as I do. It's my job to unlock the doors of the building and close them. Often times I am stood outside while Andy faffs around with our other car as the main door needs holding open.

There I stand, alone outside in the darkening night, unfamiliar noises surrounding me. I look back inside the building and see a host of dead headlights looking back at me. Somewhere very near I hear a creaking as though someone has their full weight on a creaking metal gate. There they wait, leaning and rocking back and forth in the gloaming, just waiting, waiting, waiting, while the quiet cars stare back at me, their dead lights a picture of resentment: when is it their turn to leave?

But then that's me and my imagination for you, though the dark is real, and the cars are real and yes, the creaking is all too real. I have absolutely been delving into the world of Stephen King, so it's part and parcel I suppose!

Anyway, I thought you might like to see some more pictures of our little Welsh lady.
We took her for a spin to The Fountain in Ashurst recently. 
She's still turning heads wherever she goes!

Don't you just love her interior!
Note, no sun visors.

I also love her map light, so cute, and her dinky little windscreen wipers.

I absolutely love these lights!

Some James Bond action here for you.

Looking good for a fifty three year old wouldn't you say.

Monday, 8 June 2015


I grew up with my grandparents, so truthfully I was a lonely sort of child and I think this is why I took to reading from an early age. 

I clearly recall sitting at the kitchen table aged about six with a Holly Hobby cup of sweet milky tea and a book. My granddad spoke to me as he walked into the kitchen and my nan shushed him, because I was busy reading my 'Teddy Robinson' book. I got this book from the school book club, run by a brunette teacher named Miss Williams who wore glasses and her hair in plaits pinned atop her head like a German Fräulein.

At Christmas, my favourite gifts were board games (though I always had to nag a family member into playing with me), Sindy and Barbie paraphernalia and annuals, you know the ones – Beano, Dandy, Whizzer and Chips, the usual suspects. 


Then there were libraries. 
Oh how I loved going to the library after school to choose four books, any four books from the children's section. I loved it. It was a combination of being out when it was dark and going to the library. Why I have no summer library memories, I don't know.

I would read just about anywhere and was a big reader in bed. I even had on my octagonal bedside table a blue Tupperware container with a white lid, filled with chocolate digestive biscuits. Yes, I was fully trusted to police my own consumption of biscuits. Mmmmm. Chocolate digestives always remind me of reading annuals in bed and that Tupperware container.

I was also one for comics, again Beano and Dandy and all those sorts of things and inherited a lot of annuals from my uncles childhood.
Come the Summer and out came the Summer Specials, a bumper edition of the popular comics. I loved these.
I also have a small collection of dinky book style comics, which were longer length Beano and Dandy comic strips.

When I got a little older Girl, Jackie and Oh Boy! joined the party and eventually Smash Hits.

I had a lot of comics put by at the paper shop for me and I loved coming home to the small pile. If it were possible, my small number of friends lessened in secondary school when I was sent to a different school than the ones I did have and I spent my last four years at school utterly friendless and bullied. I quickly realised that a change of schools meant a change of friends as no one seemed to retain any contact with 'old school friends'. 
It was a horribly lonely time for me but the trend of 'comics' (as my nan called any of these things, be they teen magazines or traditional comics) continued and was a nice coming home 'gift', on I think, a Thursday. Walking into the living room and seeing my 'comics' on the coffee table was a nice distraction from what was going on away from home.

I still like to read and still have many childhood books and annuals, though I stupidly gave the teen girl annuals to charity and kept the Beano and Dandy ones. I so wish I had kept the ones I gave away but we were in a tiny little one bedroom flat with next to no room to spare. I have since started to track down and purchase said annuals, because as of late I have been feeling extraordinarily nostalgic.
Reading them now, they are remarkably innocent, dealing with things like boys and first kisses, how to throw a successful party and how to apply make up for said party. Girls ate chips and drank Coke, there was no mention of size zero or any of this low carbs nonsense.

My life hasn't changed so much, I still have few friends, none in fact at all where I live, so I still keep the habit of losing myself in books. To paraphrase Ludo from Labyrinth, "Booooooooks, friends!"


I have a few books on the go at any one time and subscribe to one magazine which I have every copy of from the first edition. 
 I'm currently reading these two books. This is only the second Stephen King novel I have tried, the first being Christine, which I loved. He has such an easy going style of writing, which I find enthralling, like he's there in the room with you.

The Labyrinth novel, is the novel adaptation of the film, which I was so happy to see was being re-printed that I  and did a rare thing and pre-ordered.

Did you read comics when you were a child? Which were your favourites? Did you then progress on to the teen girl weeklies? Which ones?
Are you a big book reader? What are your favourite genres?

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Once Upon A Time

Thank you for all your comments on my last posts, you lovely lovely people. I'm working my way through your blogs right now and am gradually getting caught up :)

In other news I have new skirts which I shall soon photograph. Although they are both circle skirts I shan't bore you too much with the black one as that's not very exciting, though it might be more interesting when it is strewn with bunny fur, much like my black jacket which was left absolutely covered with white fur from Bob after I gave him a prolonged cuddle. No outfit is complete without a plentiful smattering of moulted bunny fur. There is also other news, which I shall soon share here, so watch this space.

But today I should like to talk of faeries.

Even as a little thing I enjoyed faery tales. My favourite was Sleeping Beauty, though I did choose my wedding dress from my Ladybird book Cinderella. How I wish I still had that book now as I would love to see what my childhood dream of a dress looked like.

Although you can see my love of such tales in the wedding dress I did wear -

As well as faery tales I was also a lover of faeries, this was instilled in me by my mother. 

I wanted to be the Mountain Ash faery when I was little ... I even risked the wrath of some terrible neighbours when defending a mountain ash tree once.

I would while away many a Sunday afternoon playing with the two Flower Fairy dolls I got for Christmas. I have no idea what happened to those two dolls, but I am almost certain they were binned in the great cull of my things when I wasn't there. 

My taste in faery folk wasn't always planted in the world of Cicely Mary Barker mind you. The 1980's film Labyrinth introduced me by means of a companion book, to the stunning art of Brian Froud. Labyrinth wasn't teaming with faeries, it was more goblin based, but still it appealed. My first of his books was Goblins of Labyrinth.

Now I have most of his books bar two I think and I cannot express just how happy his art makes me. To open two books of which I was given as gifts last year made my heart sing.

The fae Brian Froud brings to paper is a far stretch from that of Cicely Mary Barker ... I just cannot express my absolute and complete adoration of his art.

His faeries are also cheeky and far from twee... 

And then there are those faeries that Lady Cottington encountered ... the ones that got squashed. Never fear though, as it's heard say that this has become a faery Olympic sport.

What do you think of the art of Brian Froud? Do you like it?

What is/was your favourite faery tale?