Things that make you go 'hmm'…
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There is a new show on the BBC on Saturday nights called ‘Outnumbered’. I remember watching the first season and thinking how amazing the child actors are – I think they improvise the script. It is so well observed and really does depict family life (at least as I know it!) The little girl, Karen, is especially hilarious and says the cutest things. Here is a trailer of the show.
There are a load of clips on YouTube, this is one of my favourites…
I don’t know if you have seen this, it’s has been around a while but it makes me smile whenever I read these letters – childrens’ letters to God.
Children really do have a knack for getting to the heart of the matter. A friend of mine was taking his 5 year old daughter to school. They were talking about what she had been learning at school. The following conversation ensued.
Daughter : ‘Daddy, my teacher told us God made everything.’
Daddy : ‘Er, yes, he did.’
Daughter : ‘So he made all the people then?’
Daddy : ‘Well, yes.’
Daughter : ‘What did he use for the bones?’
And to end, the shape of things to come?
Kids. Don’t you just love ’em?
I went to see the new James Bond movie ‘The Quantum of Solace’ on Friday. I loved it. Having read lots of mixed reviews, I was unsure whether I would enjoy it as much as ‘Casino Royale’ but I needn’t have worried – was action packed, full of exciting, jaw dropping stunts (all performed by Daniel Craig himself) and finished off the story started in ‘Casino Royale’ very well. Daniel Craig is impossibly gorgeous and the two girls, Gemma Arterton and (especially) Olga Kurylenko, are stunning and wear the most fabulous clothes. The locations are amazing – the scenes shot at the Palio in Siena and at a performance of ‘Tosca’ in Austria stand out. I highly recommend it (but make sure you watch ‘Casino Royale’ first.)
On Sunday, my friend Claire from Los Angeles came to stay. She was on her way back from filming her cameo in the movie ‘Plus One’ in Cannes. She had a wonderful time but the weather was very un-South of France like – it poured down (unlike when I was there a couple of weeks ago). If nothing else it has convinced her that she would not want to leave the wonderful Californian sunshine for the freezing rain of Europe! You can read about her efforts to get her book made into a movie (which forms the basis of the movie!) over at her blog Claire Fordham, Diary of a Hollywood Somebody) there is also a link to Amazon where you can buy a copy of the book or you can click here. Claire and I have been friends for about 15 years now. She was the first friend I made when came to Dorset. Here’s a photograph of us both taken at a party – it’s what we do best…
We watched the Brazilian Grand Prix yesterday. I’m not a huge motor racing fan, I vaguely follow it but find the races themselves a little tedious. The battle for the Formula 1 World Championship was to be decided at this, the last race of the season.
Britain’s Lewis Hamilton was leading the table but was only 7 points ahead of Brazilian Felipe Massa, and Massa had the advantage of being at his home circuit . It was astonishingly exciting and was only decided during the last lap – Massa won the race and we thought Lewis had lost but as Lewis Hamilton managed to manouvre himself into 5th place right at the end, he secured victory. Claire and I were screaming at the TV in excitement – it was truly heart stopping. Claire’s husband Colin (who is a motoring journalist and avid motor racing fan) was back in LA and as he was watching a recording, he was about 5 laps behind us – Claire was able to phone him up and share the astonishment of the last lap with him.
I was very tempted to re-name Milo ‘Lewis’ in honour of the occasion but decided the poor dog was confused enough by all the screeching.
Today, my #2 son arrived home for a few days. It’s my birthday tomorrow (4th) so he has come to spend the day with me. He arrived home with a birthday cake.
What a wedding! I am just about recovered from a very hectic weekend indeed. It all began on Friday when I was still dithering about which outfit to wear to the Indian wedding celebration on Saturday. I kept trying the two choices on, asking opinions of anyone who happened by my house, I worried about which shoes to wear with both outfits. I tell you chaps, you have no idea how lucky you are. Suit, shirt, shoes – your only potential problem is the choice of tie. You have no idea of the minefield of fashion dilemmas we ladies face. Anyway here are the choices – two shalwar kameez – tunic, trousers and shawl suits. Click on all images to enlarge.
Both outfits were beautifully made and I suppose my dilemma was that I wanted to wear them both! Here are some details of the embroidery on each shalwar kameez.
I eventually decided on the red suit as I thought that the pink one was a bit too bright, a bit too ‘bling’ and maybe the more classy, subtle colours of the red and cream was more appropriate for a wedding. How wrong I was! I have never seen a more stunningly colourful wedding. It was uplifting and wonderful to see the vibrant rainbow of colourful clothing, both saris and shalwar kameez, worn by all the female guests, Indian and European alike. I have a small slide show at the end to give you a flavour of the proceedings but to be honest, I didn’t take too many photographs as I was too busy enjoying myself and kept forgetting to take them!
My younger son and my house guests, Garry and Beryl, arrived on Friday, but my older son who was travelling from Bath, said he would arrive on Saturday morning. He finally pitched up at 1pm (the wedding started at 3pm) and I was relieved that he had made it in time. My joy at seeing him was soon shattered. His first question was ‘My suit and smart shoes are here, aren’t they?’ He hadn’t been able to find his suit at his house in Bath (needless to say he doesn’t wear it much) so he assumed they must be at my house. Wrong! What followed was an hour of panic while he tried on several old suits we had in the wardrobe. As you will see from the photograph, he is very much taller than his brother and all the old suits we had were much too short, so he changed into the shirt and tie he had brought with him, borrowed some shoes off his brother (a size or two too small) and still in his jeans they both shot off into Dorchester to try and buy him a suit. I went off to the wedding very apprehensive that either they would be late or #1 son would be unable to find a suit to fit. I needn’t have worried. They turned up with 30 minutes to spare and as you can see, he found a lovely suit which fitted perfectly.
The afternoon was gloriously sunny and began with afternoon tea where the most delicious canapés were served. We were then asked to cover our heads in preparation for the ceremony. The men were given scarves to tie around their heads and despite making them look a little like pirates, they all looked very dashing. Then, having removed our shoes, we went into the Gurdwara – another marquee which was decorated in shades of fuschia pink and orange – auspicious colours. The wedding ceremony is called the Anand Karaj (Ceremony of Bliss). On entering the Gurdwara, we had to bow to the Guru Granth Sahib, a box containing sacred texts, which was positioned in the centre of a dais where the ceremony takes place. All guests sit cross legged on the floor, females on the left, males on the right.
The bride wore a stunning red sari, heavily embroidered with gold thread and the groom wore a long cream brocade tunic, with a long red scarf, over slim cream trousers and a red turban. During the ceremony, Kirtan (hymns) are sung by the Raagis (musicians) Ardas (prayers) are recited. The bride’s father places the end of the groom’s scarf in the bride’s hands, this is called Pallae di Rasam – tying the wedding knot. A series of four verses called the Lavaan are recited and for each one , the groom leads the bride around the Guru Granth Sahib, she is assisted by her brothers or close male relatives.
As you can tell, this photograph was taken by my friend Garry, who was sitting on the men’s side of the Gurdwara. The bride and groom are circling the Guru Granth Sahib during the Lavaan.
The First Lavaan is a promise to love each other for ever.
The Second Lavaan is a promise to merge together completely.
The Third Lavaan is a promise to be faithful to each other.
The Fourth Lavaan is the promise to be together in both happiness and adversity.
After the completion of the Lavaan, other hymns and prayers are sung and then a sweet cake called Koraah Parshad is passed to all members of the congregation.
Then we collected our shoes and left the Gurdwara. The ceremony was then followed by a champagne reception, dinner and dancing. I don’t know where to begin telling you about the marquee where we had dinner, it was vast, magnificent, awesome, splendid, gorgeously decorated – I’m running out of superlatives here – outside, the lake had been illuminated with floating lanterns and there were lanterns in the grass around the lake, leading to the surrounding trees which were all lit up – it was quite magical.
After a sumptuous dinner, there was much dancing to a wonderful Indian group playing Bhangra music (I think that is what it was called). My knees are still feeling the effects – it was so, well, danceable! Later on, we all chilled out in the stunning relaxation area until it was time to go home.
It was a truly magnificent occasion. My friend Edwina, is now very nervous as her two daughters (the girls in the photographs with my sons) have now got very firm ideas about their perfect wedding – the bar has been set very high indeed. Nick, their father, is keeping a very nervous eye on his wallet! As for me? Well, I’m planning a Bollywood party sometime soon so I get to wear my pink outfit….
I am exhausted, a wreck, wrung out, I am drained. I have just finished watching the Wimbledon Men’s Final complete with rain breaks, several complete turnaround of fortunes, complaints from Texas about the organisation and weather (you know who you are) and finally a stunning victory by Rafael Nadal after an awesome and tightly contested match. A classic, classic match. I was torn as to who I wanted to win, I like them both so much but there was a wonderful winner in Rafael Nadal. Spain is on a roll this year…
And very gracious in defeat, he so nearly won – and he will be back, my hero, Roger Federer.
I must also mention, a young lady who won the Wimbledon Girls’ Singles title, Laura Robson – A BRIT!! Who would have thought. 14 years old and already carrying the hopes of an entire nation….poor thing!
So Wimbledon is over – what shall I do? Make some books maybe? I am dying to get back to doing something creative – at least until the Olympics start…. However, my #2 son graduates from university this week so we are off to Leeds for a few days. Before I go, I thought that I would post a few bits and pieces I have come across while roaming around the internet. This first, is a cool music video. Those of you who are Mac users will recognise the OS X desktop and marvel at how they did this…
I am desperate to see the movie WALL.E which doesn’t come out in the UK until 18th July but here is the trailer I found on Youtube.
and this is a preview of the Pixar short which precedes the film
and finally for the mathematically inclined, some pie charts…
This one is a depiction of things Rick Astley wouldn’t do…
Bye for now. I am off to be the proudest mum in the country. Expect much boasting and fab photos when I get back…