Posts Tagged ‘Anne of Green Gables’

Last weekend, I finally sat down to watch Netflix’s new series Anne With an E, heading off to bed after two episodes (which isn’t a comment on the series, but was down to the lateness of the hour). I’ve loved the Anne of Green Gables books since forever, as discussed many times on this blog, and approached this latest adaptation with some hesitation – I’ve avoided reading any spoilers, but haven’t been able to avoid completely the criticisms levelled at this version – that it’s too bleak and grim, which seems completely at odds with the nature of Anne as a person, and with her life in Avonlea. I’ve never seen an episode of Breaking Bad, but the Anne show creator Moira Walley-Beckett was one of its’ writers, and that fact has come up again and again as informing her work. In an interview with the New York Times, Walley-Beckett mentions  that “I am drawn to the psychology of wounded people.” L. M. Montgomery’s original book does make subtle mention of Anne’s difficult life before coming to Green Gables, so the characterisation of Anne as wounded is being true to the source material. But how far would such an interpretation be taken? I was both intrigued and concerned. (more…)


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The theme for Blogtoberfest 2012 Day 5 is writing stories in six words. Because I’ve never been able to stick to any word limit in my life, I knew that this would be tricky. So …. below you’ll find a series of possible blog posts, each one sentence long. Some of you may remember my promise yesterday to write a more creative blogpost today, given the creative focus of Blogtoberfest. The following sentences could be used to inspire acts of creative writing, and each sentence is intended to spark somebody’s imagination. Feel free to tell me if you have a favourite sentence/mini-blog post, and I will make a note to use the most popular as the basis for a future, fuller blogpost.

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When I booked my hotel in Ottawa, it was agreed that because I was arriving after 9pm, an envelope would be left in the “mailbox” (get me and my seamless use of local parlance; I can now also describe locations as, for example, “near the corner of Jarvis and Sherborne”) with my key. Alas, there was no such envelope. I searched the house’s entire porch with such thoroughness that I feared the neighbours would call the police, so made a few final attempts to ring the bell, beat down the door, and so forth, before deciding what to do next. All to no avail. (more…)

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Stew has always been comfort food, something to eat when it’s cold outside and when you’re at home, relaxed and replete. But I found tonight that it also does wonders at making you feel a bit more at home, after a very long flight to an entirely new country. Dear readers, I am – finally – in Toronto.

My journey started at 9am this morning, and was considerably more relaxed than it could have been thanks to my sister-in-law turning up as if by magic and giving me a lift to Terminal 5. I’ve never gone through Heathrow before, and it is pretty impressive. I just can’t say how it compares to Terminals 1-4; perhaps it comes down to which terminal sells the best fluffy/cartoon-themed neck pillows. I particularly liked having to take a train (or a ‘transit’ in Terminal Five-ese) to reach my gate.

A bit of a delay in the flight actually leaving, but by 1pm we were airborne. I remember the days when you got one film, maybe two. Today there were actual channels – film and television. Fortunately for the indecisive, the flight is seven hours or so, so you can get at least two films watched. All in all, it was fine, and the leg room was better than I’d been expecting. I also finally found a purpose for my habitual fidgeting – my anti-DVT exercise DVD will be out in time for Christmas.

We arrived to temperatures of 24 C; a bit unexpected but it did mean that the city was shining when I saw it for the first time from the bus. Speaking of the bus journey, I loved the bus driver’s accent; I have diagnosed myself with a case of Gilbert Blythe Syndrome (from the range of diseases associated with much-loved characters from books read in one’s youth). My hotel, Banting House, is lovely, in the brilliantly-named ‘Discovery District’ in the west of the city. The hotel is small and decorated very much like a home – so yes, I did spend about 15 minutes routing through the bookshelves. The street is filled with all manner of restaurants, from vegan to a Thai fish menu. It’s very close to the university, so there are students sitting out on the porches of most houses in the area, enjoying an unexpected October summer.

I found the way to the Textiles Museum as I walked to the hotel, and went past the Art Gallery of Ontario, where the exhibition Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde starts on October 18. Unfortunately, I fly out of Toronto two days before; it is most infuriating. I had previously thought that it started on Saturday 15 October, but it turns out this is the date of the Chagall Ball – an event which almost defies the imagination. The colours of the clothes alone would be worth seeing. Should I try gatecrashing the party Cinderella-style? It is pumpkin season after all.

I ate the stew which inspired this post at the fantastically-named Sin and Redemption Bistro. It is of course pure coincidence that it looks across the street at St Patrick’s Catholic Church. It was only as I ordered my meal that I realised that the next table was filled with Scots. My fellow countrymen are everywhere, as, it would seem, are my fellow fencers. It would appear that I can spot a fencing kit bag across a busy airport.

In any case, I have reached Toronto safely and happily. Tomorrow I will be venturing out round the city to visit some museums, gardens, and – I hope – a nearby island. I will almost certainly be looking to find some more seasonally-appropriate footwear as well.

And so to bed …

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