Tuesday, 7 October 2014

It's Time For a Change/Goodbye

I have to admit it, I don't really have the incentive to keep till ol' Isla ticking over any more - it's been fun, but now I feel like I'm ready for something different. My interests and blogging abilities have changed a lot since I first started out several years ago - it's just part of the natural process of the girl becoming the woman and learning to love different things. At the moment, my personal plan is to leave school at the end of the year and hopefully attend University in 2015, where I'm hoping to pursue what I really enjoy in life - history, art and English. At the risk of being cheesy, it's going to be a whole new world, and one that I'm really looking forward to walking into!

So, that's why I'd like to introduce you all to something new and exciting

Little Black Jelly Bean

Doesn't it just sound delicious? It's going to be my new attempt at the blogging world - I dearly love Isla, but it will always be the blog that I set up so long ago to sell handmade jewellery, and I've never really felt like I've been able to change it much from that.
Don't worry, I'm not going to delete it! It'll be on blogger for a very long time still, and maybe one day I'll even blog here again, but for now Little Black Jelly Bean is going to be my priority.
My post ideas for L.B.J.B. are going to be book and movie reviews, hair style tutorials (I've had to teach myself quite a lot about tutorials for long hair, and I'm really hoping to share it all with you), outfit posts, art posts, writing simply for the joy of it, challenges, and monthly favourites. We'll see how it goes, but I'm really excited!
I can't promise to post regularly - I've made that mistake before on Isla, but there are so many options at the moment that I'm sure I'll have ideas about what to write for a long time!  And if there has been a post type/theme that you've really enjoyed reading and would love to read more of, please leave me a comment below.
Thank you so much to my loyal followers and the many friends that I've made on Isla, you are amazing people and I really hope to continue to be part of blogger - just on a different blog.

Thanks for reading this, God bless and toddle pip for now!

Head over to Little Black Jelly Bean to continue to keep in touch with what I'm up to.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Sunday Style - Let It Rain

What I'm Wearing:

Skirt: Susan
T-shirt: Emerson, hand-me-down
Cardigan: Target
Jacket: CKM, Op-shopped
Oxford heels: Django & Juliette, gift from a friend
Scarf: Target
Beret: Woolworths, part of a promotional display. ; )
Hair: Low plaited bun at nape of neck.

  Hello all! The weather down here has been absolutely freezing! The mountains around us have been covered with snow, the rain has been bucketing down, and the nights are below zero degrees. For a summer baby like myself it's not been that much fun!
  Consequently all my outfits have been extremely practical and rather boring, but I love to make Sunday my excuse to dress up a bit, and use the nicer clothes that would get passed over during the week as 'too impractical'. I really do enjoy putting together outfits and digging around in op shops for bargains, but jeans and lots of warm jumpers aren't really that exciting.

  As you can tell, I LOVE vintage inspired fashion, and I kind of went for a 1930's-1940's look here. I don't actually own any vintage items, but it's not too hard to create something with a bit old fashioned flair. A darker scarf and a hint of red lipstick would have made it even better! And aren't my shoes delicious? Their main purpose is to serve as my Lighthorse shoe, but they are so old fashioned and different to today's styles that I end up using them far more often.

What fashion styles do you all enjoy?

Sunday, 11 May 2014

I'm on the cover of Vogue

Well, not really.
This was the outcome of some candid photography and creative family and friends. I happened to make a comment about looking like I wanted to get on the cover of a 1915 edition of Vogue after seeing a photograph of myself in my Light Horse Nurse's uniform on a friend's feed... and this happened.
I though it was too good not to share!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Adventures in a Book Shop

At the moment, I'm kind of lost in the deliciousness of life.
You see, right now I'm leaning on a long bench surrounded by indoor plants and chess sets, waiting for a pot of Earl Grey tea and a white chocolate and berry muffin in a crowded book shop. All around me are shelves lined with glowingly new paperbacks, just waiting to be picked up and read. The smell is heavenly. I've lost myself like Alice wandering the rows of tales and worlds, wishing I was a millionaire with a lot of room and time. :)

I'm writing this in a beautiful blue and gold journal that I gave into temptation and brought -it's filled with Victorian images and vintage quotes about Fred Astaire being the ideal man, boater hats and wearing fake pearls. Just my kind of book. My only fear is that I'll ruin it's pages with my ink-puking pens and terrible spelling.

My deep feeling is that I should be clad in a knit jumper and vintage heels to be sitting here. Being dressed in my superman tee with my coral and blue nails caressing the book spines feels like a horrible sacrilege, but for me there is no other place I'd rather be now.
If you don't count horse riding.

There was a perfectly wonderful Poirot set of seven novels, terribly tempting to my crime hungry eyes, but eighty dollars is a lot for a student to shell out even for a week of entertainment. In the end I settled for this journal which I hope to take with me wherever I go (for in the words of Oscar Wilde, "one should always have something sensational to read in the train"), a smart copy of 'The Book Thief' (being number 73 in line for the library copies just wasn't good enough), and a good old Agatha Christie to tide me over - her famous 'Murder on the Orient Express'. Apparently this is second only to 'And Then There Were None'. I read that last mentioned in one short frenzied day, so needless to say I'm looking forward to giving this one a whirl.

And people wonder why I prefer print over a Kindle?
It's not a book, I say, it's a life, a world that you can enter. 

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Dear Mr Knightley - a book review

 Description: (from the book backing)

Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.
But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself  Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University"s prestigious Medill School of  Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.
As Sam's dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it's straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.
Reminding us all that our own true character is not meant to be hidden, Reay's debut novel follows one young woman's journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

This is not really a book about learning to love yourself. It's not even the the inspiring story of a young woman shaking off her past to find true love. (yuk) Instead it goes much deeper. It's more like the comforting smell of crumpets on a cold day when you are curled up with an old classic on the couch. Something fresh and new, yet familiar and old enough to be instantly embraced.

Ever since I started to read reviews for this book online, I was pretty sure that I was going to like, maybe even love it. I'm a sucker for stories that are not about girls/women with the kind, over-protective parents, nice boyfriend, bubbly personality and yearning to travel the world. They're just so cookie-cuttter! Thankfully Sam is nothing like that! She's tall (like 5'10 tall - so not like me!), likes to run (like me), for like 10 miles, 'to clear her head' (freak!), loves to watch period dramas that include Sherlock and Jane Austen, (like me), has no real clothing taste (hopefully unlike me!), is very socially awkward on the dating scene (like me), corrects people's Shakespeare (unlike me - I've hardly read the fellow!), has bushy eyebrows (like me), and (what really annoyed me), has no real grasp of wit other than literary borrowing (unlike me - mine gets me into trouble). Congrats to Katherine Reay for creating such a great character, who is a person in her own right, despite being a touch dull every now and then. :)

The supporting characters are all pretty good too - Professor and Mrs Muir are absolute dears! Kyle was a welcome addition to getting Sam's attention off herself, Father John was another dear, and I am rather annoyed that there is no mention of Josh on the back cover! Alex just annoyed me at first, but I did grow to like him later in the book.

For those of you who have read Daddy Long Legs, (like me) the ending for this book will be no surprise (I saw it coming halfway through the book), and I'm pretty sure the rest of you will guess easily what happens. Still, I rather wish that there was some way that the ending could have been told through  letters like the rest of the book, because when the author switched to the third person most of her writing charm disappeared. : ( Her writing style is very down-to-earth and true to character, with smidgens of literary allusions hidden within the letters, that completely flies out the window when the story is narrated by another person.

Talking of the writing charm, read these delicious quotes!

'I stammered and resorted to my fallback friends: a quick amalgam of Lizzy Bennet and Edmond Dantes gave me my voice back'
p. 96
'Then Mrs Walker turned to me. I quickly yanked out a slightly dusty but diplomatic Jane Bennet and fielded her questions'
p. 60
'Through it all, I found a new character. Me. She's bold and fairly feisty, with serious timidity issues at times. Every step she takes forward, she glance back and even retreats. But she's got courage. I think she'll make it. I don't know when she'll be free to run - figuratively, that is. Physically she runs plenty, and that's where she gets her courage. I hope to like this new character.'
p. 151

I would rate this book 8/10. It's one of my favourites so far, and I'm looking forward to this author's next release.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The pain of breaking silence

I listened to this as I wrote this post, play it to understand.

It's been so long...so long since I dared touch the keys and let their rhythmic clicks empty my thoughts upon a silver screen. Days have come and gone in a whirl of of early morning and late nights, filled with sore backs and blessed sunlight, they were leaving my pockets full and my emotions empty and grasping. Each little red cherry would roll toward me in a deep monotony still asking for my full attention. I would count the hours in segments by a clock five hours behind that was strung high upon the wall as though it dared anyone to correct it and I have heard the chatter of foreign tongues, and never ending clash of machines, smelt the heavy stench of chlorine water and felt the freezing artificial cold and another's livelihood in own your hands.

Any pain was slight and physical - dealt with by an hours rest in a darkened room or a little facebook sympathy. I enjoyed it - the challenge to do your best, the game, and of course the money. But, in those last days it was many completely different things that my senses remembered - I heard the deep throaty nicker of an old grey giant, felt warm, grass scented muscles moving under my tender hands, and smelt warm summer nights, Darrell Lea's Batch 37 licorice and the rich scent of a horse combining into a fragrance that I wish I could but smell again once. The grave that I stood alone by just a few days ago I was unable to see through my tears. I cried so deep that there was no more to be cried. As the whole world seemed to weep that misty evening, I sprinkled rose petals and placed bouquets on a fresh grave that I never expected to see so soon.

The physical embodiment of my greatest dreams is now buried in the ground, the result of a long, well-lived life and a sudden chronic lameness, but the dreams themselves are not there. They will live on, in the back of my mind, giving me both pain and pleasure as I remember the one glorious year in which I might have for-filled them.

I know that when a few months -weeks, even - have passed, I will dig them out and dust them off and say that there is so much life left to be lived and let the pain die. But that doesn't stop my soul from often just wanting to fly - fly far away, fly back to the last time I found earthly flight on him, so that I could have realised and cherished for all that it was worth.

Nothing works like that. We have joy and we have pain and we have deep unhappiness and they shape and mold us like we could never be in just joy alone. No matter how much we think we had more then our fair share, there are always others who had so much more.

"The pain now is part of the happiness then. That's the deal."

So I thankful that it was twelve months, not six, that it was short and quick, not long and painful and that he loved me by the end. : ) It doesn't stop the longing for a soft whiskery muzzle in your hand, but it comforts the fears and soothes the grief. The pain is always the same but the knowledge that this was meant to be makes all the difference. Because, you see, He makes all the difference.

I know this will make little sense to most of you, but to write out your feelings when you don't know how to express them is a great blessing. Some of you may know that my precious lease horse Min was put down a few days ago - he was one of my best friends, and I loved him very much. I just felt like writing this out. To those of you understand and identify, thank you for reading.


P.S. If you're wondering why my private blog 'Behind the Wall' has disappeared to, I decided to delete it after getting a facebook account. I just don't need so many different accounts online, and that seemed the smartest thing to so.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

Blessings to you all this Christmas, I hope you all have a wonderful time with your families and remember the amazing gift of God that we are celebrating today!
I have really enjoyed getting to know you, and hope 2014 will be a great year for us all, with plenty of learning. : )
May Jesus bless you and draw you closer to Him this Christmas.   

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Today I am...

a couple of Christmas cards. No more, no less. Oh, and lots of lists. LOTS of lists. All about what presents to get, which ones need to be posted, and what gifts are the best budget wise. Yes, lots of lists.

I'm currently enjoying lots of Agatha Christie, and while dear old Sherlock will forever hold his place as my favourite embodiment of the crime genre I have to say that she's pretty good. I was lent 'The Secret Adversary' by a superb friend (she knows me well!) and cannot stop devouring the Tommy + Tuppence novels! They have simply got to be the most delicious literary crime couple. I have also attempted a couple of Poirots, but thought that the actual answers to the crime tended to be much for far-fetched and all over the place. 'T+T's results seemed to make much more sense. : ) Oh, and I read 'And Then There Were None', her 'best' novel, and couldn't put it down. You know those kinds of stories that give you lovely morbid goosebumps but still don't scare you and make you want them to never end. It was that kind. (And I loved the fact that the-person-I-thought-did-it was in fact the-person-that-did-it. Yep, it was.)


To Michael Buble's latest CD. It's good, but not amazing. I'd listen to all of the songs again (probably), but I still haven't found that one that you're always turning back to.
I'm also loving the recently released CD by 'The Idea of North' (award-winning Australian a cappella band), called 'Smile'. Their version of Big Yellow Taxi is so much fun that I keep on playing it.  : ) And make sure that you look up their version of 'Isn't She Lovely' on youtube, it's a great version.


Um...the cricket? And we're thrashing the Poms. How lovely. : )


What an embarrassing question. How does one answer without appearing like a puffed-up bigot or an insecure fragile wimp?
I am looking at this screen. Duh. 
Actually listening+joining in the laughter of my parents and grandparents as they chat about christmas cake and a silly chinese fad for removing toxins through your feet, seeing a comfortable lived-in home around me, and my almost empty cold cup of Rooibos tea in front of me. EDIT: Now I have a fresh warm cup. I felt so bad about my tea habits after writing that that I just had to make a fresh cup. 


My ability to continually stuff up. No, it's not an acquired gift, it comes far too darn naturally. And then of course the fact that I mentally make a massive mistake (they're called the four M's of danger) by beating myself up about it afterwards doesn't help either. I think for all of us, these are the only times when we truly understand why we need Jesus so much, and I find personally that although I often feel rotten, it's because He's exposing my silly wishes for what they are and teaching me that I'm only at rest when I depend on Him.

Sore as after a rather intense riding lesson on the sun today - it was fantastic, all about flatwork, and I accomplished quite a few things - but very hard work. You just gotta love sitting trot.
And also very EXCITED about probably going sailing for the very first time tomorrow night! I've been on boats and ships before, but never sailed, so this will be a lot of fun. *fingers crossed*
And did I mention that I'm REALLY EXCITED about Christmas!?!? And about the carols service on Christmas Eve, and the English Country Dance which is coming up soon, and the two Christmas parties we're attending on Saturday, and the fact that I'm heading into town tomorrow to finish off some important shopping...yes, there's a lot to be thankful for!


Crumbs, I think that I picked the wrong header for my rant just before. Let's think of something new... I know! I'm really looking forward to my new horse riding breeches arriving in the mail! How's that for record smashing and unique?


That my Min boy would get better soon. He's just old (and currently lame), and has all the complications of a performance horse on top of that.
That I wouldn't over-eat on sugar this Christmas? That's easily classified as wishful-thinking.


This video.
This blog post.
This horse
and my Jesus most of all.

Monday, 2 December 2013

What ho!

Maybe it's the newly awakening summer, maybe it's the fact that it's prime horse riding weather, but I haven't been able to find the time to keep this little corner of the Internet buzzing. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not apologising
No, it's more of a general observation, and though I could of course say that  'oh I've been the worst blogger in the world, you guys are the best {I'm sure you are} I am so going to start blogging more often and I've got heaps of great posts coming up' infact I'm rather chilled. So, I'm slack. So what. : )
Maybe it's the fact that words don't come easily when you know that they are public, that your heart is open and ready for hurt when you empty it out. That you are happy making thoughts precious unto yourself rather than soil them in the open air. There is something in every single one of us that yearns for just a little bit of quiet and not until we lose it do we realise how much we needed it.
I've been learning so much these last few weeks, about who I am, and how full of short-comings that unhelpful person that is called Sarah happens to be. Like the fact that that big fat question about What To Do About Christmas Presents is actually annoying me and making me waste oh so much of my oh so valuable time. : ) But in case you're one of those wonderful peoples who is wondering what a high school student with seven siblings and a part time job and a lease horse can possibly be doing in her spare time, here are a few things I've learnt this last month. Don't worry, I wanted to share them with you anyway. : ) I personally rather enjoyed learning them.

Read my first Agatha Christie - and loved it!● Sung harmony - first time too : ) ● White chocolate makes everything so much better ● Josh Groban is still the best male singer ● Blimey cow are fantastic ● Dandelion leaves are good for you and your skin, but they taste horrible ● five day holiday away with family in less that a week - wonderful! ● I'm an ISTJ/INTJ ● saw Hello, Dolly! It did nothing for my opinion of Barbra Streisand ● ate far too many pretzels ● put up the Christmas tree ● decided Loki is my favourite Avengers character - Cap. America is next :) ●  FINALLY got sun burnt ● jumped my highest (on horse back of course!) ● Bertie Wooster is very worth quoting ● and I am sick of shovelling horse manure.

Just a reminder that my private blog is still here, but I may be cancelling it in the next few months - I just don't post often enough on it, and most stuff I want to share goes right onto Google+. Which reminds me, you can also keep in touch with me there too. Click here.

That's all for now, toodle pip my friends! (and all that jazzzzzzz...)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

I love a sun-burned country

I have a confession to make - it's only really in later years I've started to enjoy writing, even though I have a blog. : ) But one form of writing (and art, I guess) that I've always enjoyed - and dabbled in - has been poetry. I wrote my first poem when I was eleven for a school project, if I remember correctly it was about the first snow (which as an Aussie I'd never experienced!) and didn't rhyme in any way, but I was hooked.  My early poems were always nature inspired, the main subjects ranging everything from blue jays to rainbows to fern trees to the rising sun, and Banjo Patterson was (and still is!) one of my favourite writers. 
Of course, when I hit mid teens and discovered other hobbies, my poor poetry was completely abandoned. : ) But after discovering an absolute gem of book filled with Patterson's poems at the local op shop, I was inspired to start again and wrote some short simple ones, before starting the poem below a few months ago. It started out terrible - the first verse was so bad that I scrapped it completely, but it did improve over time - I got to the stage that I had the whole poem except the very first line! (It took me an hour to find that dratted first line - far more then it took to write two whole verses!) Here it is, warts and all, Americans and city girls, I hope you understand that I'm a real country girl. : ) 

And the title of this post? It's taken from my most favourite poem ever, 'My Country', by the brilliant Dorothea Mackellar. I still can't understand why they didn't make it our national anthem instead of the insipid 'Advance Australia Fair'.

The Country Dweller's Code
There's a sunny southern land that's turned me from the flow
I've tried to keep it hidden but it cannot help but show
So if you're of the smartphone race I'll need to change my side
To change an overlander's blood is to try to change the tide.

For I'll go into the city and hear the thud of feet,
Of people damp and dismal, walking to the beat
And I'll look into their faces and heave a lonely sigh -
These people do not love the bush and I know the reason why.

It's a strain of English blood that lingers in them still
They like to stay at home, feet warm and tummies filled
Though their hands may tire of typing, country life means strain
For them it does not matter if there's not gain without the pain.

But for me, I love the sound of the horses' prancing feet
I cannot stand the whine of cars and taxis in the street
And I'll trade in my suit for a pair of stockman's boots
For I love the wide open spaces - the bush is in my roots.

I need to feel alive, see wind play with my horse's mane
Smell the scent of wet oilskin lying heavy in the rain
For in the heat of cities, the seasons do not change
Till you pursue your wildest dreams onto the westward range.

I'll ride my horse into the sun across this rugged land
Although it may not strike folk as an aspiration grand
Because I'm a country rustic, and that is what I'll stay
I'll take the bush and wilderness over cities any day.
Sarah D., October 2013

Please let me know what you think, it been so long since I wrote anything like this. : )

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Because we all need a bit of sunshine

Just some sunbeams I've found floating around the web and loved. And because I'm feeling too lazy to do a proper post and just because I thought you should see them.

So let's learn English.


No, I totally don't enjoy Jeeves and Wooster. Not at all. ; )


And you just need to watch this. I know it's already been around the web, but it is so funny + smart + just plain good singing.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: The Cast of the Concerts (part two)

Yet Another Period Drama Blog
(I know that this week is nearly over, but it is possible that I might still continue for a few days -depends on what posts I've got left!)

It's really (or not so) important to start a new post properly, so I'm beginning this one with one of my favourite Les Miserables characters, a student revolutionary who is passionate about the cause of the lower classes, and the charismatic leader of some of Les Mis' most well-known songs. Yes, big words are great too. ; ) Oh, and before I forget, he wears the Red Vest of Power and Awesomeness, so what's not to like?

Michael Maguire, 10th
Ramin Karimloo, 25th
Meet Enjolras
You already know that Ramin Karimloo is my favourite Phantom, but the first role that I ever saw him perform was Enjolras in the 25th concert, so he kind of 'owns' that role for me. He just has that fire in his eyes as he sings that really gives Enjolras' personality so much power. When you watch him sing, then you know how he was able to inspire so many men and women to follow him to their deaths. And he's a great actor too!

Hah, I never thought of it this way, but it's perfect!

Michael Magurie's a well known musical performer with a good voice, but like so many people in the 10th, too old to appear right for his role. His voice is very powerful, but he was totally devoid of charismatic fire. : )

Judy Kuhn, 10th
Katie Hall, 25th
Cosette is Fantine's daughter and Valjean's adopted daughter after he rescued her from the Thenardiers. She had a pretty horrible childhood with a lot of abuse, but by the time that Eponine comes along most of the audience has forgotten that in favour of the Marius/Eponine pairing. While I do like the idea of them together, Victor Hugo gives you no doubt in your mind that Marius and Cosette are a match made in heaven. So though Cosette is sometimes irritating, she's still loveable - because after all, if Valjean loves her so much, why wouldn't we? : )

Judy Kuhn was sort of blah. She's got a beautiful voice, but it's just that - a beautiful voice, with no depth or emotion really behind it. And she didn't seem upset or happy at all, even though she just got married, and then someone very special to her died! My dear father (from whom I believe I got my bluntness about things that don't matter!) also says that he thinks she looks like a Mennonite in her dress.
Katie Hall is a wonderful Cosette! She's sweet and innocent, and even when she's 'angry' at Valjean (brat!) she still looks so cute that you can't take her seriously. : ) With her big blue eyes and amazing voice, you do understand why Marius loves her so much, and she also packs a fair bit of emotion into a sometimes bland character. Definitely my favourite. :)

M. and Mme. Thenardier
These two are the only 'true' villains of this story. Javert might be, but at least he thinks he's doing what's right, where as the Thenardiers are pure slime and yellow teeth. (Don't ask) They're the only much-needed comic relief in this story, but they've got some pretty horrible ideas too.

Alun Amrstrong, 10th
Matt Lucas, 25th

M. Thenardier is acted by the very versatile Alun Armstrong in the 10th and is my 'ideal' Thenardier. Brains. Tick! Acting. Tick! Pure evil. Tick! Tons of slime and teeth. Tick! Ok voice. Tick! And this list goes on. : ) Basically (if you've read the book!) the Thenardiers have a funny marriage - he's the brain and she's the brawn, and I think he got that across very nicely. Though he's funny, there's also a real sinister side to him too. Perfect.
Matt Lucas is ok, but he's actually too funny. With him you get the impression that Mme. is the true master of the house and he's just here for the food and a bit of comic relief. His version of 'Dog Eats Dog' isn't nearly as creepy, and he's not much of a singer, but, hey, it's better if you're not in this role! Still not my favourite Thenardier, but he's got the teeth. Probably due to eating too many horse kidneys. *shiver*

Jenny Galloway, 10th & 25th
Jenny Galloway acted Mme. Thenardier in both the 10th and 25th concerts so I can't really say anything against her performance. She fits my mind image of Mme. to a T (large, rough, red-headed) so I've always liked her portrayal. (Before you ask - yes, she has the teeth too) I personally think she acted a little better with Alun Armstrong then with Matt Lucas, but that's an open statement. My only complaint is the near impossibility of finding a half decent picture of her on the web. Let's just say that Mme. Thenardier's not renown for 'decent dress'. : )

Adam Searles, 10th
Robert Madge, 25th
I love the character of Gavroche. He's always upbeat and happy, despite his life as a street child, he knows everything and everyone there is to know about Paris, and he has some very fun and witty lines. Oh, and he's also the son of Thenardier, but that's never mentioned in the musical. Which makes Eponine his sister, and only makes you wonder how such horrible people as the Thenardiers managed to have such fantastic kids.
I was so annoyed when they cut 'Little People' from the 25th. That's a great song.
And I am even more annoyed that Gavroche had to die. Why couldn't Javert have reformed and adopted him? They would have gotten on well together. Or Valjean have lived and taken Gavroche in when Cosette and Marius married? That would have been perfect.

Adam Searles is ok. He's definitely cuter and younger than Robert Madge, but despite being very talented he's not quite as cocky and upbeat about everything and just not as fun to watch. He did get 'Little People', but I still think Robert's version would have been better. Despite what some theatre geeks say, Gavroche is not one of those characters that is well portrayed with the flicker of an eyebrow and a vague change of expression. No, you need to really throw all your acting skills out there.

This is pretty much my opinion about Robert Madge's Gavroche. It was great. He was great.
And if you need it, here is some proof. (Picture quality's not the best)

Earl Capenter, 25th -
I couldn't find a single picture of the 10th's bishop anywhere! 
The Bishop:
He's a wonderful man. Just sayin'. : ) He houses and feeds Valjean, and then gives him the chance to make a new honest life for himself. His kindness also enables Valjean to learn to care for others. Basically, he's the turning point of Valjean's life.

Paul Monaghan(from the 10th) was alright, but much too young and with too much hair. He would have looked far more at home up on the stage performing in 'Hair'. Earl Carpenter, on the other hand was much better - still a leetle bit young, but of a far more respectable age and appearance. They've both got beautiful voices, but only Carpenter looks and acts right for the role.

Hannah Chick, 10th
Mia Jenkins, 25th
The role of young Cosette isn't a major one, but it's still important if Cosette is to be given any pity later on. I'm always so happy when Valjean arrives and takes her away with him - poor little girl, she had such a sad life. Her 'Castle on a Cloud' is such a beautiful bitter-sweet song.

Both these Cosettes were very good with lovely voices, but my favourite would have to be Mia Jenkins. With her sweet little voice and blonde locks she's so cute that you just want to hug her. : ) Hannah Chick does a good job, but she has perhaps the most ugly stage make-up that I've ever seen on a child. She looks like they tried to give her a black eye and bruises all over her face. Ok...interesting.

Thanks for reading my opinions, I found a few videos to share with you all. Apologies that they're all 10th anniversary ones - (there are hardly any 25th videos about!) but these are some of my favourite moments.

'Stars' - Philip Quast

'On My Own' - Lea Salonga

'Empty Chairs at Empty Tables' -Michael Ball
(I defy you not to think this amazing!)

'One Day More' - Company

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: trivia game

Bonus two points: who is the actor pictured here, and who is he playing?

How much or how little do you know about Les Miserables? I myself know all the answers to these, but then as I thought of the questions that's hardly fair.
Basically there are 20 questions here (in varying degrees of difficulty), all related to various things in the musical. Simply answer the questions to the best of your ability (or for some write 'true' or 'false') and leave the answers in a comment. Each question is worth one point each, total amount of points is 22 including the bonus point above.  And do not search for the answers on google. That means you. Yes, you. 
The winner receives all the pride and glory that comes with knowing everthing about one of the world's greatest musicals, and their name (in small print and at the bottom of) a blog post. Ok, ok, maybe a blog button too, but I can't promise a grab box, sorry. : )
Enjoy guessing!

1.  What are Marius and Cosette's hearts full of?

2.  Monsieur Thenardier feeds his customers cat livers. True or False?

3. What was Jean Valjean's number as a convict?

4. According to the poor in 1832 Paris, at what time of the day do you feel another day older? : )

5. What is the name of the cafe where the revolutionaries meet? 

6. Javert sings a song to the moon. True or False?

7. What period drama blogger invented the phrase 'the Red Vest of Power and Awesomeness'?

8. What is Eponine's last name?

9. Russell Crowe (who acts Javert in the film) wanted to wear a loose bottle green coat at one point of the filming because he claimed that his dark blue uniform stopped him from singing properly. True or False?

10. Who was the original Jean Valjean?

11. Who does Marius end up marrying?

12. Complete this song line - " Look down, look down, don't look them in the eye, look down, look down, you're here _______ ______ ______"

13.  What is the name of Gavroche's solo?

14.  Is Enjorlras killed in the First Attack, the Second Attack, or the Final Battle?

15.  Eponine is all on her own, even though the streets are 'full of strangers'. True or false?

16. What one actor has played the roles of Marius, Javert, Raoul, and Grantaire? (in the last ten years)

17. The Thenardiers gatecrash who's wedding?

18. What is the name of the song that was written specially for the 2012 musical film?

19. Between them, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway lost 55 pounds for their roles in the 2012 musical film. True or False?

20.  Simply share your favourite Les Miserables song!