Thursday, September 24, 2009

Emma, Elton, Christmas and St..Nicholas

I have been reading Emma, yes not finished yet I have had parties to help plan at work and am still nursing a cold; all that considered I have just left the Knightlys, Woodhouses and Mr. Elton in the carriage on their way to Christmas Eve dinner at the Watsons. Emma thinks it is quite odd that Elton is not staying home from the party as her only reason for inviting him was to push him and Harriet closer together and try to cajole him into proposing to Miss Smith. Miss Smith has a terrible cold/flu and has had to beg pardon of the Watsons and even "poor" Miss Woodhouse as she is very unwell and must stay home. After blogging I will again return to Emma.

I have been working on putting the final preparations on my trip, including arranging to see the church connected to the long gone rectory that Jane Austen called home for 25 years; I am quite excited as I have just heard back from its vicar, and I will be able to attend services at St. Nicholas Steventon on my holiday. I am very happy about this. I have, as my countdown clock will attest less than 2 weeks until I leave on holiday [technically my flight leaves in the afternoon, so the clock is simply a countdown until the day].

I also have noted that I have not yet really talked at all of music, and my blog is entitled Travel, Tomes & Tunes. My musical tastes vary; my collection is well stocked in Opera, Jazz, Adult Contemporary and Showtunes; however, this is not to say that I do not sway from this. In addition to the artists you would suppose to find on my mp3 player are: Alice Cooper, Green Day, Elvis Presley, and Band from TV, Elvis Costello, Madonna and Adam Sandler. Additionally, I enjoy as some of my hobbies putting all those years, 6 years, of piano and flute lessons to use as well as 10+ years of choir by both singing and playing for enjoyment. In terms of my holiday I hope to be able to take in a West End show while I am in London or perhaps a concert at Canterbury Cathedral if there is one while I am there.

Well with my tunes acknowledged I am now going to return to my reading to see how the merry group get on at their dinner engagement and to see if Miss Woodhouse will set aside attestations to never marry and succumb to love.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Emma Woodhouse and Harriet

I had hoped to be further along in Emma by now but I have been nursing a little bit of a headache this week and could not really focus on it as much as I had wanted to, I hope with a 3 day weekend that I might be able to be further along, if not finished the novel by next Saturday.
Miss Emma Woodhouse fancies herself the best matchmaker in the British Empire, after hazarding to assume responsibility for the marriage of Mr. Watson to her former governess and lifelong family friend Miss Taylor; basing this on her introducing the two parties after he brought umbrellas to their need in the rain. Soon after Emma has made the acquaintance of Miss Harriet Smith and is quite determined to make a match for her with Mr. Elton who she feels in more in keeping with the presumed station from which Miss Smith comes from. She meets the farmer Mr. Martin with whom Harriet was mildly smitten; because of his profession and lack of a public school education (Emma stresses he is illiterate and can't read, yet Harriet has already mentioned that he knows how to read and has read at least The Vicar of Wakefield); for Emma this mere farmer is somebody who, even if his fortunes were to increase modestly, he would always be below her worth to associate. This bias has so far been pressed to Harriet to such an extent that she too is beginning to be manipulated towards Emma's outlook on things. It was there that I was forced to leave the novel as a headache came upon me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Darcys and the Binglys.,,, Enter Miss Woodhouse

Errands delayed my completion of reading Pride and Prejudice before the end of the weekend; however, I have completed it tonight. I became giddy, as I always do, when I reached those poignant parts of the novel: Bingly & Jane becoming engaged, Elizabeth's dressing down of Lady Catherine De Bourgh, Darcy's second proposal and the double wedding. I was happy to see that my affection for the novel has not changed but grows with each time I read it. Having read the novel as many times as I have one would assume that I would not wonder that the two couples find and pledge themselves to one another in the end but I do; I am always happy in the end that everything turns out as it should.
Having thus completed another thing off of my list for the Everything Austen Challenge I have already delved into Emma; off I go to read of the young matchmaker and see if she succeeds in obtaining her own match...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Visions of Pemberley & Mr. Darcy

I have been busy this week, which has delayed my reading and, consequently my update of what I have read and done. This week I purchased my Brit-Rail pass; yippee less than three and a half weeks until I will be back in England so but for packing and exchanging a little bit of money to take with me that I am ready to go. This week also had the solemn nature yesterday of the 8th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks; several of us at work were discussing where we were when we saw the planes fly into the Twin Towers, it was very reflective of how all our lives had changed since then (I saw it live on TV while I was eating my breakfast before heading off to University).
Regarding Miss Elizabeth Bennet she has seen her silly and dangerously flirtatious sister Lydia be allowed to go with Mrs. Foster to Brighton despite her pleas to her father to stop it. Elizabeth has also had the good fortune of accompanying her Aunt and Uncle as they tour Derbyshire. When I last left her she and her relations had just enjoyed a grand tour of the Pemberley mansion and were looking around the garden and grounds when Mr. Darcy himself, who was not expected until the next day, appeared and Elizabeth, still flustered with what he had gleaned about his true character from the maid, introduced him to her aunt and uncle. So now I will continue my readings and by nightfall I hope to see Darcy and Elizabeth as man and wife.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rosings Park and Lady Catherine De Bourgh

Last night I watched the making of and bonus DVD for the BBC Colin Firth version of Pride & Prejudice, alas I will have to wait until the weekend to have the 5 hours free in succession in which to watch the mini-series in its entirety ( I prefer to watch it straight from start to finish, its first airing on television was a trial for me since it only showed one episode a week over 6 weeks). Today I have spent my commute on the train continuing my read of Pride & Prejudice. Currently Miss Elizabeth Bennet has endured the introduction to, along with the pompous condescension and company of the Right, Honourable Lady Catherine De Bourgh of Rosings Park . Along with this my mind is drifting to my trip which is now as a write this (if one goes based on time as a countdown measure like myself) less than 30 days until I depart for Britain and Ireland I can hardly wait!!! Well off I go to watch the love, hidden between the banter, blossom between Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pride & Prejudice

I started rereading it this morning and, as of 2 hours ago, am now a 3rd of the way through my second novel for the Everything Austen Challenge; Pride and Prejudice, which just happens also to be my favourite novel. Mr. Collins is just as slimy as ever and George Wickham has yet to be proven to be the biggest jerk in the British Militia. Darcy is haughty as ever trying to dissuade himself from coming under the influence and falling deeper in love with Miss Elizabeth Bennet as behooves his position. Every time I read it when Wickham gives that account to Elizabeth I have to remember that she does not yet know of his true character and dealings with Darcy because I always want to contradict him and his tall tale.
I will take a little break from Pride & Prejudice to sort through and ready my travel things as I have but four and a half weeks before my holiday in Britain & Ireland begins.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Dashwoods Sisters are married, now to see the same results for the Bennets

I have finished the first of my Jane Austen novels for Everything Austen. Rev. Edward Ferrars has won Miss Elinor and Col. Christopher Brandon has succeeded in confirmation of his love and marriage to Miss Marianne. Oh could there be more felicity then two pairs of lovers finding happiness with one another; I do not think that possible. Now, as I have seen the elder two of the three Dashwood sisters safely married, I will now turn my attentions to the Bennet sisters and their inevitable trials in pursuit of love.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Holiday planning finalisation along with Marianne and Elinor Dashwood.

I have been busy finalising my hotel accommodations over this past week and a half so I have not been able to record my Austen activities. I will be staying at the Swan in Alton, a traditional coaching hotel that was around in Jane's time; when I found that out it won me over, I wonder if my trip in the steps of Jane could count as part of my Everything Austen Challange? The hotel is also a short walk or bus ride to the Jane Austen house in Chawton, and a mere 1.5 hour train ride to Winchester. I will also be spending a couple of days in Bath at a small hotel that is in a converted Georgian town house. In less than 5 weeks I will be in Bath, hurrah!!!
With my vacation plans decided and booked I have been able to return to the Dashwoods and their troubles. Oh that John Willoughby, how he hurt poor Marianne it vexes me so; however, the good Col. Brandon, the better man in my opinion, will soon, in a few pages, have her hand I can't wait.
One thing that my trip will allow me to do is to read most, if not all, of the books remaining on my Everything Austen list as I will be on a 10 hour flight from Vancouver to Amsterdam before catching my 2 hr connecter to London. I am off now to see the good Col. Brandon have his love for Marianne confirmed and consecrated.