November 25, 2013

Far from the Madding Crowd..... Filming

 Thomas Hardy's greatest accomplishment, to date, when published in 1874, was considered an early piece of feminist literature featuring a strong woman with the courage to defy convention and live an independent life. In this tome he transports the reader to British rural life in Dorset England. Madding actually meant 'frenzied' in Hardy's era.
"Hardy Country" is in the area where I stayed with my treasured friend Sylvia and husband Joe, in the town of Sherborne. Think thatched cottages, undulating green valleys, gardens, sheep.........all oozing with charm. 

The ancient town of Sherborne was transformed to late 17th c England, not terribly difficult as the setting is intact with a variety of buildings dating from 1260 onwards. 
All the action centered around the magnificent Sherborne Abbey
The current heroine, Bathsheba, is Oscar recipient Carey Mulligan, do you remember the original Julie Christy version?
 This is a period drama as we follow Bathsheba's  relentless misfortunes regarding men, culminating in a surprise reunion at a street fair, with shepard, Oak. The street fair portion was filmed in Sherborne.
Below is Troy, her dashing albeit disastrous husband, followed by the only man whom stood by her, always, Oak.


The only element that belies modern times is the 'official parking only' sign to the right.
Gravel was heavily scattered over the Abbey close asphalt roads and paths, very little else
 needed transforming. Britain has, over time, buried all electrical lines underground to not impede it's magnificent views. BRAVO!

One exception was the exterior transformation of the surrounding shops. In the far left of this image is a series of cardboard newsprint boards, see it? Those boards conceal a red British telephone box

 Once shooting wrapped for the day, the scenes were open to the public to wander

Ahhhh yes, all five senses were engaged to transport you to life in the 1870's

These guys.......were everywhere, constantly chiding myself and others with the refrain "NO PHOTO'S ALLOWED!" (during filming that was)
I cannot wait for the release in Spring 2014.

While away I had the pleasure of seeing two other films I can highly recommend..........

Have you seen 'Blue Jasmine' by Woody Allen? A comedy-drama about a wealthy NY socialite, Cate Blanchette, that finds herself penniless and homeless. Cate should be nominated for an oscar in this performance. Watching it again on the flight home added another dimension with the knowledge of the shocking twists and turns to come. 

 The 'Intouchables', a French, English subtitled, movie for belly laughs and a solid soul warming. Based on the true story of a wealthy gentleman who is paralyzed after a paragliding accident and his hiring of an unlikely, ill-equipped caretaker. The hilarity, leading to a deep friendship that ensues today, is LOVELY!

 Illinois' winter season is a perfect time to hunker down and watch a movie. Any recommendations?

Remember that and enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Please consider supporting your local small businesses this Saturday, well always really. 
At Scentimental Gardens, we are hosting a one day sale;

If it is on our is 20% off.

Thank you for visiting!


November 10, 2013

BUCKET LIST........ Scotland

A new country, all alone, and with time on my hands
Yes.......this kind of JOY!

Scotland, I love you!
It's aabout seizing the moment and giving pleasure the often can one do that? Without guilt?
I found this country to be everything I imagined and so much more, it fed my soul. The architecture.......
The music..........
The tartan, everywhere, even here, in a taxi
The daily rainbows matched my mood, the sheer joy of making a dream come true

Have to love a monogramed rain gutter, well perhaps if you are a King, one has that privilege. King George V, to be specific

The dark rugged stone matches the moody weather

See what I mean.......rainbows..........
A day of sheer freedom, to me that is, was taking the time to rent a car for the day and heading to the countryside, to get lost, and being ok with that, well with a sophisticated GPS, one can easily take the back roads
Trees draped in "velvet", a magical place indeed
Given the chance, would you be comfortable with "getting lost?"
Leaving yourself open to new sights, smells, sounds, the whole bit, fosters creativity and calms the mind enough to allow inspiration in. No phone calls, demands, or deadlines

I loved the fence AND the stone wall, the colors.........


LOCAL NEWS............

We were saddened to not have a house this year on the Christmas Walk. The upside is that we are available to decorate your home! Accepting limited clients. Interested? Contact me at;


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