Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: George Clooney

Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun?

Well, I have just returned from another trip – this time to Switzerland.  Zurich to be precise. Schindellegi to be even more precise. It’s a small town sitting above Lake Zurich. Very pretty but unfortunately shrouded in fog most of the time I was there. I knew the lake was there but didn’t see it from the town until the last evening when the sun came out and the lake appeared miraculously from the mist. My friend and I visited Rapperswill which was a very beautiful old medieval town on the lake with an avenue of wonderfully weird pollarded chestnut trees along the water’s edge. We also went to see the astonishingly beautiful Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln which is ornately decorated with frescoes and stucco work inside.

We went to Crans Montana for the weekend. On a map it looks as if it is about an hour away until you realise that there is a huge mountain range in the way and the journey actually takes 3 1/2 hours but as always it is well worth the trip. The sun came out and the views from up the mountain across the Rhone Valley are quite breath taking. Here is a slide show of my favourite Swiss images from my Flickr photographs. You are spared the image of me head first in a bank of snow after parting company with my toboggan, as fortunately, no-one had a camera to hand….

Happy blog birthday to me!

While I was away, my blog celebrated its 3rd birthday. Although it is a shadow of its former self (when I started, I blogged every day and continued to do so for about 18 months or so) it soldiers on and I suppose as long as there are enough of you good people prepared to read it (for which I thank you very much indeed), I will continue. It does provide a wonderful excuse to down tools and think back over my week and decide what is worth remembering, noting down and even cherishing. Looking back over this blog I am reminded of music, films, videos, news, cartoons and illustrations that I would have long forgotten about (what with my memory being as shot away as it seems to be) so it functions as a superior ‘aide-memoir’ if nothing else! I do appreciate those of you who take time out to visit and comment on my posts.

On this note, here are a couple of things that have pleased me this week, one is a great track from Blur that perfectly describes how my life seems to be – whizzing past at a rate of knots, (March already?!) with the great danger that I don’t take time to stop and ‘smell the roses’. (Thanks to ‘Papersurfer’ for reminding me of it)

I watched the movie ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ again this weekend and fell in love with Javier Bardem all over again. The man is a god. (He is also the second most popular search term that people use to find my blog so no harm in mentioning him again, is there?) And the answer is – yes. I would be off to Oviedo like a shot….

While I’m at it, I might as well mention THE most popular search term is……*drum roll* …..Sylvie Guillem. She is quite simply stunning. Enough said, see for yourself. Russel Maliphant is pretty amazing too…

Maybe I should just turn this into a ‘celebrity news’ blog and be done with it. Or shall I just talk about George Clooney over and over again? (Cue gratuitous photograph of the man himself…)


Back in the real world, my gorgeous god-daughter visited this weekend to discuss the wedding album I am going to make for her and her husband. We looked through nearly 900 wedding photographs trying to decide which should go into the album – not an easy task. Then we had to choose materials to match her wedding stationery. I am now on a mission to get the website I am working on finished so I can begin her album. So having had my ‘timeout’ for today, I am going to get back to work after a thoroughly self indulgent post…



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Now you see me, now you don’t…

I am back from Mallorca, rested and with Vitamin D stores replenished. I seriously think I was suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I’m normally a fairly cheerful soul – everything is fine (until it isn’t!) but I had started to feel that things most definitely were not fine any more – hence my visit to Mallorca.

I’ve not really had chance to catch up since I got back so I apologise if I have missed anything vital! I think I may have missed a few tags – if I have – sorry, I’ll try and get to them when I can. I must confess that part of the problem has been my obsession with the Olympics – I have been glued to the TV watching all sorts of weird and wonderful sports  and rooting for any one who took my fancy if there were no Team GB athletes involved. I am quite bereft now it is all over. It was a wonderful Games, the spectacular facilities, a wonderful backdrop to some truly stunning sporting performances. Now it’s up to London to produce a good Games in 2012. Fingers crossed.

This weekend, the weather has brightened up back home as well and I am feeling much better. Luckily, I am also off to sunny Los Angeles for two weeks on Friday so another blast of hot sunshine should complete the recovery. I will be taking my laptop with me this time so I hope to send you regular bulletins from California. In preparation, I have been indulging in a little retail therapy which has probably contributed to my improved state of mind…

Clothes shopping makes me happy so to continue this cheery vibe, watch this video it combines two of my favourite things – paper and babies!

PS My garden table is due to arrive today…it is almost 2pm, I am not holding my breath…

PPS – Just found out about this film, ‘Burn after Reading’. I HAVE to see this, it is the new Coen brothers film (love the Coen brothers’ films) and it stars George Clooney (and you all know how I feel about HIM), Brad Pitt (take him or leave him – am I the only person who thinks he is the WORST comedy actor? Think of his guest appearance in ‘Friends’ – useless) and John Malkovich (weirdly gorgeous) and two great female leads, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton. Here is a trailer. Maybe it will be on in Los Angeles….

La Bella Italia

I was watching TV yesterday evening. There was a news summary at 8pm with breaking news – earthquake in Los Angeles. Now you may not know this but #2 son is in LA at the moment, staying with his dad – cue moment of panic. Yes, I know that they said there were no casualties but HOW DO THEY KNOW?!!!! I spent a few anxious moments trying to get through on the phone and finally spoke to precious son, who was mightily cross that he hadn’t even noticed the earthquake….panic over.

I was watching another of my favourite films “Tea with Mussolini’ a fabulous film starring those wonderful ‘grande dames’ of cinema, Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench and not to mention the fabulous Cher. It is set in Florence and one of my favouritest bits of Tuscany, gorgeous San Gimigniano.

Before I start off on (yet) another rhapsody about Italy, I’m going to do a bit of a left turn at the lights (so to speak) and tell you about another of my all time favourite films, which stars Cher – and Nicholas Cage (in probably the least irritating film role he has ever played) ‘Moonstruck’ which although set in New York is about a wonderful Italian family.

As we seem to have (yet another) nice Italian theme going, let me mention a few more films I love which show Italy off beautifully

  • Room with a View with gorgeous Helena Bonham Carter
  • Roman Holiday with my all time favourites Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck
  • The Talented Mr Ripley starring Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow. (incidentally, the music in this clip is by Chris Botti who is an immensely talented trumpet player and gorgeous hunk, who I met once in Los Angeles, having tea at my friends Claire and Julia’s house. I have just been adding a link to his web site and guess what his new album is called……Italia! Just too spooky.)
  • La Dolce Vita a masterpiece by Federico Fellini starring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg.
  • Don’t Look Now – a very spooky movie set in Venice, starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland
  • Death in Venice Visconti’s wonderful film starring Dirk Bogarde set on the Lido in Venice
  • Il Postino – a film set in Sicily about the Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda and his postman – gorgeous poetry, as this clip shows. A very sweet romantic movie.

I know there are lots more but these are my favourites. I found this gorgeous clip of the aria “O mio babbino caro’ by Puccini, (which was used as the theme tune for the movie “Room with a View’) accompanied by wonderful images of Pisa. How gorgeous is this…

and a little Italian flavoured joke for you geeky folk!

Of course, it has not escaped my notice that Italy is also one of the homes of a certain Mr George Clooney – he has a villa overlooking Lake Como. I told you, we are meant to be together. I can see myself living here…

Well, I think I have just about done with my appreciation of Italy. Surprisingly, I’m not going there on holiday this year unfortunately. I can’t complain though as I am going to Los Angeles for a couple of weeks at the end of August (earthquakes permitting). Maybe I’ll bump into George….

Meme time…

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 would like to pass this on to

Astrid

Rhonda

Teresa

Pete

Paul

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.

I’m off….

This is just a very short post to let you know that I am off to Crans Montana in Switzerland for a holiday and as I am not taking my laptop, I shan’t be posting for a while. I haven’t had time to make a book today as I have spent much of today packing. Nightmare. I am rubbish at it. I get out a mountain of clothes – everything I think I might conceivably need and then spend hours discarding half of it, packing and repacking until I am thoroughly sick of it. I need a holiday by the time I have finished. I just know I will still have forgotten to pack something vital too, but at least I’m not as bad as this guy!

Anyway, here are a couple of shots of Crans Montana, so you can picture where I am going. The third photograph is a lunch I had last time I was there. It’s called something like ‘croute au trois ètages’. It’s bread with ham and an egg, covered in a yummy cheesy wine sauce. Disgustingly delicious and fattening and completely irresistible.

crans2.jpgcrans3.jpgcrans5.jpg

I’m going to leave you ladies with two of my very favourite things which I happened to come across on Youtube.

I give you – Gotan Project and George Clooney. Together. For 7 minutes.