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.
I was tagged by Mimi over at Mimi writes… to take part in this meme, she tagged a whole lot of people and I noticed I was included over at Kim’s. Mimi was originally tagged by Travis, who created this – just as well, as a Mimi meme is too much of a mouthful :-)
Here are the instructions for Trav’s Staying Out Of The Dungeon Trivia Meme:
He said: A meme needs ‘structions.OK…here’s your ‘structions:
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to:
1. Choose a category from one of these: Television, Stage & Screen, Nightly News, Publishing, Lives & Times, Music
2. Find 8 bits of trivia about your selected category
3. Be sure to let me know when…ok, if…you decide to play along so I can see what you come up with.
4. You may tag, or simply offer the meme for borrowing or stealing as you like.
So here we go. My chosen topic is Stage and Screen.
1 Tom Selleck was the original choice to play Indiana Jones. He turned the part down as he was too busy with ‘Magnum PI’ and it went to the lovely Harrison Ford.
2 Daniel Craig is the first actor to play James Bond, who is younger than the series itself.
3 Johnny Depp only had 169 words to learn in ‘Edward Scissorhands’.
4 Daniel Day Lewis and Russell Crowe were considered for the part of Aragorn in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. Even though he had never read any of the books, Viggo Mortensen took the part, after being persuaded by his son who loved them.
5 ‘The Last Samurai’ was not only Ken Watanabe’s first American Film, it was also the first time he had spoken English in a film. Tom Cruise took no ‘up front’ salary for making this film and trained for two years before film making began, learning sword fighting and taking Japanese language lessons.
6 Bette Davis was the original choice for the lead role in ‘Mary Poppins’. Danny Kaye and Fred Astaire were considered for the role of Bert, which was played by Dick van Dyke (and his atrocious Cockney accent….)
6 In the Coen Brothers film, ‘Intolerable Cruelty’, George Clooney plays a talkative character who is vain about his teeth. In his previous Coen Brothers film, ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’, he plays a talkative character who is vain about his hair.
7 Only days before the role of Batman was cast in ‘Batman Begins’, eight actors were asked to audition for the part. The actors were Christian Bale, Joshua Jackson, Eion Bailey, Hugh Dancy, Billy Crudup, Cillian Murphy, Henry Cavill and Jake Gyllenhaal. While Bale won the part, Christopher Nolan liked Cillian Murphy’s audition so much, he cast him as Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow.
8 Due to his part in ‘The Machinist’, Christian Bale was vastly underweight (about 120 pounds on his 6 foot+ frame) when he was under consideration for the part of Batman in ‘Batman Begins’. After being cast, he was told to become as “big as you could be” by Christopher Nolan, the director. Bale underwent a dietary and exercise regimen and ending up weighing about 220 pounds (about 40 pounds above his normal weight). It was decided that Bale had became too large (friends of his on the film’s crew dubbed him “Fatman”) and he quickly shed about 20 pounds to have leaner, more muscular frame.
So there you have it, 8 perfectly random facts (largely culled from the Internet Movie Database) and a wonderful excuse to have a look at some of my favourite movie actors. Yum!
I’m not going to tag anyone as it’s quite task compiling this list but if you’d like to have a go, please feel free!
While I’m at it catching up on tags and things, Dunn over at Simply Dunn, passed on this lovely award, which she received from Crissy, called the ‘Arte Y Pico’ award. Thank you so much, Dunn!
Arte Y Pico Award rules :
1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award through creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter of language.
2. Each award should have the name of the author with a link to their blog.
3. Award winners have to post the award with the name and link to the blog of the person who gave them the award.
4. Please include a link to the “Arte Y Pico” blog so that everyone will know where the award came from.
I’ve tried to find out what ‘Arte y Pico’ means but the nearest I can get from my translator widget is ‘art and tip’ (which makes no sense) I think it means like a tip of a mountain (the peak) so maybe it means ‘the peak of art’. I’d be glad for a good translation….
The weather here has been glorious, we had a wonderful weekend and I went to my first barbecue of the year on Sunday. It was a gorgeous afternoon and we played croquet which was great fun. Not quite like this game though.
I played tennis yesterday and today and have even been doing some gardening (not my forte, I must confess) but it is so wonderful to be outside in the warm sunshine. Needless to say, it is going to get cooler after today so I have been making the most of it – hence the lack of both bookbinding and blogging. I’m sure normal service will be resumed very soon.
The unthinkable happened yesterday. I ran out of paper. Not the decorative paper I use for the covers – I think I have enough of that to last me a year or so – but the plain paper I use for the pages of the books. I couldn’t leave the house as I was expecting a parcel to be delivered so I used a book block I bought ages ago from Falkiners instead. It’s large – A4 size – and for once meant I could make a book with lined pages. The Japanese chiyogami paper is also from Falkiners.
I’m really disappointed. My other source of paper is Paper Source in the US. I buy most of the contemporary papers I use from them as they have such a great range. I was lucky enough to visit their store in Beverley Hills when I was in Los Angeles last year, it was amazing. The shipping costs are quite high but are usually reasonable and worth it for the variety and quality of papers they offer. But a week or so ago, I placed an order with them and the shipping costs had doubled! In fact, they cost more than the cost of the paper. Apparently, they have changed couriers and the new couriers have different charges (something about including customs charges) so I’m afraid I can no longer ship paper from them. My only hope is that I can get Paper Source to deliver to one of my friends in LA and then they can send the paper to me – I need to check if this will be cheaper because I am devastated!
‘Booo!’ to Paper Source!
OK rant over. I gather it is a big day in the US as far as the Democratic nomination battle between White House hopefuls, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Well, maybe this will help you make your mind up. Click on the image!
Nice moves….you may have spotted it is based on a clip out of the movie, Ace Ventura and those knees really belong to Jim Carrey…
To continue the movie theme (you know how I like a nice theme) here is a great cartoon I stumbled the other night. “We have ways of making you talk, Mr.Bond….”
Took me a second to see what was happening but it is SO clever. And silly. Now please excuse my self indulgence. You know how much I love Eddie Izzard and I couldn’t resist sharing his take on James Bond. (Usual strong language alert)
And I’m going to resist having a gratuitous photograph of luscious Daniel Craig at this point. I will admit I did look for one and have just spent a very pleasant time gazing at Google images of my hero, until I came across an eye-watering nude shot of him in the bath and as I have now come over all unnecessary, I am going for a cold shower….
Well here I am, back in soggy Dorset and it is raining. Thank you all so much for your kind wishes, I did have a wonderful time. Ate and drank far too much but did quite a bit of walking so don’t feel too guilty about it. Having said that, the diet started as soon as I got back….
I traveled to Switzerland with my friend and her son and we were joined a day later by most of the rest of her family and some other friends so there was a chalet full. When we arrived in Geneva there was hardly any snow to be seen. We picked up the car and drove towards Crans Montana which is 2 hours away in the Valais region. It’s a lovely drive and skirts Lake Geneva (otherwise known as Lac Leman) for a good part of the journey, passing through Lausanne and Montreux.
The road follows the River Rhone along the valley to Sierre and then we climb the mountain to Crans Montana which is set on a plateau about 1500m up the mountain. When we arrived at the apartment, the snow was very thin on the ground and we had a couple of days of clear blue skies and sunshine. The day after the rest of the party arrived, we woke up to a blizzard and it snowed relentlessly all day. What a difference a day makes! As you can see from these before and after shots of the view from the chalet balcony.
We ventured into town for a little retail therapy and a very long, delicious lunch but the highlight of the day (as far as everyone else was concerned) was a huge dollop of snow falling off a roof top and landing on my head. Hilarious, I’m sure :-)
Here are a few more shots, taken over the week to give you a flavour of the holiday.
The other notable event happened when my friend and I went to the supermarket to shop before everyone else arrived and we couldn’t find a parking space. Eventually we spotted a man walking towards his car. Excitedly we cheered him and then realised it was Roger Moore, getting into a Volkswagen Golf. Apparently, he now lives in Crans Montana. I think he thought we were grinning and cheering at him because he was Roger Moore but we only wanted his parking space – sorry, Rog, we would have recognised you earlier had you been in a groovier car :-)
We actually watched ‘Live and Let Die’ (my favourite Bond movie) one night when we had eaten too much at lunchtime and didn’t want to go out and eat again. It’s such a long time since I had watched it, I had forgotten what a great theme tune it has and what a fun film it is. But Daniel Craig is still my favourite James Bond. Sorry, Roger….
I’ve had this paper for ages but I could never find it’s complement for the inside – until yesterday. I have had the grey/cream inside paper for ages too but just didn’t connect the two. They actually work very well together. The paper on the outside is a Japanese ‘Katazome-shi’ paper which literally means ‘stencil-dyed paper’. It is also referred to a ‘Wazome’. It’s more expensive than the Japanese ‘Chiyogami’ paper I often use, as it is very time consuming to make apparently. According to Falkiners :
“Based on traditional kimono-printing techniques, these elegant bold patterned papers were developed in Kyoto during the 20th century by an inspired soul. Using persimmon-dyed kozo as the stencils, and aided by paste and “Kojiro” (soy bean juice), the pigments absorb deeply into the paper to produce long-lasting colour and the unmistakable look of a print truly made by hand“.
I think this is a very ‘grown up’ book and the paper almost has the texture of fabric – beautiful.
It has been pointed out by various people that I have forgotten to mention several famous Polar Bears in my earlier post on the subject, so to remedy this here are a few more.
Firstly for Ed over at The Pisstakers, and to say thank you for TWO funny reviews this week, here is the Fox’s Glacier Mints Polar Bear. I hope your dad’s teeth have recovered.
Then for Alex, here is Knut, the cutest Polar Bear cub ever, who was abandoned by his mother at birth in Berlin Zoo. The zoo staff decided that the best thing to do was to not intervene and to leave him to die naturally. Cue public outcry and Knut was reprieved.
And I have just remembered this one, the Polar Bear in the Chilly Willy cartoons Did I mention I like penguins as well? (But that is a whole other post!)
Then there is this Polar Bear
and finally, the one I want to see. I am re-reading this book for the third or fourth time and can’t wait to see the film. This is Iorek Byrnison, the armoured Polar Bear from the wonderful children’s book ‘Northern Lights’ by Philip Pullman, now filmed as ‘The Golden Compass’ starring Daniel Craig (woo hoo!) and Nicole Kidman.
Not such a cuddly bear….
And finally, as they used to say on the news, my team, Manchester United, won their match against Newcastle United by 6 – 0 on Saturday, which took them to the top of the Premier League. Marvellous.