Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mrs Gummidge

She is first introduced as the woman in a white apron, knitting by the fireplace. She appears, at first, to be quite tiresome, for she always cries, complains and insists that she feels more acutely any unfavourable circumstances or occurrences. David observes:

Mrs. Gummidge's was rather a fretful disposition, and she whimpered more sometimes than was comfortable for other parties in so small an establishment.

She wallows constantly, dwells in her gloom and misery, and utters frequently what had long become a sort of favourite of mine:

"I am a lone lorn creetur' and everythink goes contrairy with me."

However, when comes the time real misfortune strikes - when Mr Peggotty's pain and anguish have pushed him to irrationality, when he is in danger of acting rashly and recklessly, when no one else knows what to do or how to react - she sensibly holds him back:

"No, no!" cried Mrs. Gummidge, coming between them, in a fit of crying. "No, no, Dan'l, not as you are now. Seek her in a little while, my lone lorn Dan'l, and that'll be but right! but not as you are now. Sit ye down, and give me your forgiveness for having ever been a worrit to you, Dan'l - what have my contrairies ever been to this! - and let us speak a word about them times when she was first an orphan, and when Ham was too, and when I was a poor widder woman, and you took me in. It'll soften your poor heart, Dan'l,"

She calms him, comforts him, and affords him the time it takes to clear his head and form more reasonable plans. David, once again, observes:

What a change in Mrs. Gummidge in a little time! She was another woman. She was so devoted, she had such a quick perception of what it would be well to say, and what it would be well to leave unsaid; she was so forgetful of herself, and so regardful of the sorrow about her, that I held her in a sort of veneration. The work she did that day!


As to deploring her misfortunes, she appeared to have entirely lost the recollection of ever having had any. She preserved an equable cheerfulness in the midst of her sympathy, which was not the least astonishing part of the change that had come over her.

Would you not adore such a woman? I would. In principle, I would, in good health and humour, gladly indulge you in your tendency to be sad and make it obviously so, your desire to be miserable and express it with bitterness, and your need to grumble and shed tears, if you would, when I am down, be my pillar of strength and source of comfort. In reality, though, would I? Could I? Could you?

I adore Mrs Gummidge, still, the lone lorn creetur' that she is.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yet Another!

It's in the house! You'd think I'd tire of them after having shot this and this, but no, definitely not. I like pretty, dainty, winged creatures which don't sting =P

Friday, April 15, 2011

On A Solitary Friday Evening

What better way to spend the quiet moments than to fill the stillness with lush, romantic music? And what better than this, which recently came into my possession:

When I first read news of the sequel, I wasn't the slightest excited. For one, quite obviously, Sarah's not going to be in it. For another, I generally don't like sequels. I could not, however, dislike Andrew (Lord) Lloyd Webber's music - that is the reason I bought the recording. It is a decision I do not regret, for the music is indeed splendid.

The composition and arrangement of a few of the songs are exceptionally arresting, and very soon I find myself unwittingly drawn and captivated. I have to emphasize that it's the music that I'm infatuated with, because I am definitely not crazy about the lyrics. While most are bearable (though lacking depth), some are downright unworthy of the music they're sung to. I cannot stress enough how I am not musically-trained, yet, this much I know - singing about what one did the night one spent with the one one couldn't openly love simply takes the magic and thrill out of the song.

That is how I feel listening to Beneath A Moonless Sky. Despite the wondrous melody, the lavishness of the orchestration and the very passionate singing, I couldn't help cringing each time the song reaches -

And the world around us fell away.
We said things in the dark
we never dared to say.

And I caught you –

And I kissed you –

And I took you –

And caressed you –

With a need to urgent to deny
And nothing mattered then,
Except for you and I,
Again and then again,
Beneath a moonless sky.

And when it was done,
Before the sun could rise,
Ashamed of what I was,
Afraid to see your eyes,
I stood while you slept,
And whispered a goodbye.
And slipped into the dark
Beneath the moonless sky.

Couldn't ALW have found a lyricist who is able to express all that with a little more elegance? These poorer-than-average lyrics are not the only aspects of this new sequel that I find objectionable.

The musical takes place ten years after the end of the original POTO, where Christine left with Raoul, and the Phantom disappeared. Raoul has gambled away his fortune, and turned into an alcoholic (argh!!!) and the Phantom owns a park, Phantasma. Oh, you can find the full synopsis here, Reader, if you are interested. The unfair destruction of Raoul aside, I find it very disconcerting that the writers made Christine sleep with the Phantom the night before her wedding. It is even more incredible that, assuming she slept with Raoul on her wedding night and every night thereafter, that she could be so sure the son she conceived is the Phantom's. Is it actually possible? Like, without a DNA test? (Not to mention, it's been only 10 years and her son is already 10 years old...)

While I can understand that the lure of the dark, dangerous charm of the horribly disfigured genius (and a musical one too) who is also an obsessive, maniacal murderer, is very irresistible to certain people, it doesn't seem to me that Christine in the original POTO was that profoundly in love with him. In this sequel she implies she was (still is, too!). It doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps I should just tell my brain to give it a rest - do not harp on the (lack of) logic, or the lyrics or anything at all, besides the grandeur, brilliance and sublime of the music.

Love Never Dies, the title track, I first heard as the song The Heart Is Slow To Learn, performed by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. It is extremely difficult for me to appreciate anyone else's performance of it after having heard the grand Dame, but it is the highlight of the musical nonetheless. I like it fairly well.

I like most of the songs fairly well. Now, I wonder if I should spend the rest of the night with the Angel of Music...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Misery Upon My Knee

A more woeful little thing I'd never seen, truly! Its eyes were the saddest I'd beheld - miserably forlorn, reflecting despair, and probably pain. I sat it on my knee and there it continued moping.

"I am so sad..."

"No one understands me. No know knows the sorrow in my heart."

"Would you care to listen to me? Would you care to save me from my gloom?"

"Love me, darling, just be mine completely..."

"Ahhh, no? Then, let me go on wallowing in my misfortune..."

Dear, dear! I can't be yours, but you can be mine.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Men At Gym

There are, understandably, more men than women at the gym. There are of course the very fit girls who go just to run on treadmills, girls who fill up the yoga, pilates and whatnot classes, and that Aunty who looks more masculine than some men I know (come to think of it, I haven't seen her for quite a while). Nevertheless, the ladies are definitely outnumbered by the (gentle)men, especially at the weight-lifting / pushing / pulling machines. That is my very misfortune, for I really dislike the men.

I dislike that some of them are loud and obnoxious. Do they imagine their grunts and groans manifest manliness or machoness? Deluded! In reality, noise accompanying workout is simply irritating. I dislike that some, while lifting weight, would steal glances at individuals around them, as if to see if anyone's admiring their strength. I dislike that they hog the machines that I want to use, and dislike the way they look at me when I'm occupying one they want to hog. I dislike that they are awfully smelly, and dislike it when they go swaggering all around me, gulping down their protein drinks, their insipid conversations ringing annoyingly near my ears. I totally dislike them! All of them - except for the good-looking fitness instructor. *ahem*

Now, I wonder if the gym-hitting men blog. If they do, Reader, you'd probably be able to find, somewhere out there, a post about this unpleasant puny girl hogging the huge machines to pull her puny 25kg-weights, constantly scowling and incessantly exuding sourness. You'd probably read about how her eyes are always roaming, looking at who's doing what, who's checking others out, and then narrowing and rolling them in turns. You'd probably read about how much she's disliked.

Suppose the men dislike me as much as I dislike them. Suppose they couldn't stand the sight of me any more than I could stand them being there. Oh, well. Even so, we could, I think, very well co-exist in the gym, in our mutual disliking, as long as we don't act upon it. Or I could stop disliking every little thing...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hello, Pretty One

I was looking at some really lovely macro photographs of a very cute ladybug. The colours were so vibrant and vivid, I couldn't help admiring and wondering aloud why I never chanced upon such beautiful things in nature to photograph. The someone this remark was directed to observed that it is because there isn't nice 'nature' where we are, unless we go into the jungle.

However, I recalled the time I saw a stunning blue one in front of my mother's house, where she keeps several potted plants. It was a wee thing, no more than an inch in length, but was nonetheless alluring.

Perhaps if I stalked the garden early in the morning I would catch such winged little creatures once more. I did, and I did!

This pretty little one's less than an inch in length too. The shot isn't as good as I'd like it to be, though. Ah, time I improved my photography skills!