Friday, July 31, 2015

Let's talk about: Miss Potter and Yew Tree Farm

I mentioned Yew Tree Farm in Monday's post and said I would be talking more about it today. 
Yew Tree Farm is in Coniston in the Lake District. It is about 20 minutes away from Hill Top Farm. 
Yew Tree Farm was also owned by Beatrix Potter and is still home to some of her furniture and decorations.
I want to talk about it today because Yew Tree Farm was used as Hill Top Farm in the movie Miss Potter which I talked about in April in this post

Martin Childs, the designer for Miss Potter, explained why Yew Tree Farm was used as Hill Top:
"...On our third trip to the Lakes together, Miss Potter's director, Chris Noonan, and I were trying to work out how to use Beatrix's own Hill Top Farm as the location for the movie's Hill Top Farm. Why wasn't it perfect? It had to be: our core audience would know it so well, its little slate porch has become familiar to millions, and it is still full of Beatrix's own possessions. 
Beatrix own choices shaped it. Yet when we visited it, we were frustrated; it may be great for stills photography, but for movie making it was impossibly restrictive. Such are the surroundings (barns built later by Beatrix and therefore outside our period, a wonderful but precious heritage garden) that staging any scene (and we had many to stage) forced us too close to the front door and left us with nowhere to put the camera. The National Trust, its owner, were keen for us to use it- it seemed pretty ungrateful of us not to jump at it. 
Driving to the station to catch our train back to London, we were shown one more farm to add to Beatrix's portfolio of real estate. It wouldn't have a name, it would just be part of a montage sequence. It was Yew Tree Farm and it took little time to realize that it should be our Hill Top. We were confident enough for it to be the only Hill Top candidate we'd show to our cinematographer, Andrew Dunn. 
Its disadvantages were few, and to us insignificant; we're calling it Hill Top and it's at the bottom of a hill; all Potterphiles know the real thing, and we mustn't alienate them. At risk of oversimplifying my job, both of these would be relatively easy to overcome with carefully chosen camera angles, a more historically photogenic paint finish, and the addition of glazing bars and familiar Hill Top greenery. Once these were achieved the task would be for our greensmen to take it back a hundred years to become a working garden again.
I photographed it from its most 'Hill Top' angle and took the photo home to form the basis of a concept drawing I would use to convince anyone who needed convincing, and the National Trust needed convincing. Aware that they would be disappointed that in our view Hill Top couldn't play Hill Top, I went to great lengths to show via a sheet of paper that Yew Tree could not only play Hill Top, it was the only farm that could play it at all....
The movie's art director, Mark Raggett, listed all the points we would have to negotiate with the National Trust, chiefly color (Yew Tree was too white for Hill Top), our wish to dig up the lawn, and replacing an existing wooden fence, a dry-stone wall across the entire width of the site. After many conversations, and with the enthusiastic blessing of the tenant farmers, a real wall would be built, with no showbiz plaster fakery."

The offer was accepted and it was decided that Yew Tree Farm would indeed play the part of Hill Top Farm for the movie. 

He went on to talk about how they transformed it: 

" About three weeks after the dry-stone waller started we were ready to shoot. The greensmen, all real gardeners but with a filmmaker's knowledge of how much should be living, how much should be fake, made a working farm out of Yew Tree's tea garden and, using photographs of Hill Top, fixed matching wisteria to the wall. We built a shelter for the pigs which would be taken down when we were finished, assuming the pigs didn't take it down first. A bonus was that the outbuildings at Yew Tree, unlike those at Hill Top, predated Beatrix's arrival in some cases by centuries."

Yew Tree farm can not be toured the way Hill Top can. It is rented out as holiday cottage now. (Unfortunately not one we will be staying at as they require longer stays now) 
I found a really fun clip on YouTube that gives you an insider look at Yew Tree Farm in case you would like to see more!

I think it amazing how much they were able to make Yew Tree look like Hill Top and I love that, even though it is not the actual Hill Top, it still is connected to Beatrix!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Let's talk about: Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter was born on July 28, 1866 in Bolton Gardens, Kensington, in London, England. 
Her family lived in a large house, had servants, and Beatrix was taken care of by a nanny. She spent most of her time in the top of the house in their large nursery. She would, on most days, only see her parents at bedtime. 
When she was old enough to begin schooling the nursery was converted to a school room and she was taught by her governess. At this time it was not common for girls in her social class to attend regular school. Beatrix loved learning and was especially interested in languages and literature. 
She loved classic folk and fairy tales, rhymes, and riddles. 

 “Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.”

It was discovered that she had a talent for drawing and painting.  Beatrix's parents encouraged her art and hired special tutors to teach her art and take her to art galleries. She spent many hours drawing her pictures of animals and plants. She would draw realistic pictures of them as well as imaginative pictures with the animals wearing clothes and doing human chores. 
She even drew her own versions of some of the fairy tales and stories that she was learning about like Cinderella and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
 She also wrote about and drew her pets.
The family always had a pet dog. In addition to that the children kept rabbits, a hedgehog, some mice, frogs, snakes, snails, lizards, and a bat in their school room to observe. They also had a collection of insects that they identified, mounted, and drew. 
Bertram, her younger brother, was born when Beatrix was six. They grew to be good friends and shared a love of painting, drawing, and animals. 

(Bertram and Beatrix)

Her favorite time of year was summer. 
Every year her father rented a large house in Scotland and they would take the dog, the servants, and even the carriage horses north by train. Sometimes Beatrix would also bring her little rabbits or mice along in boxes. The house they visited the most was Dalguise in Perthshire. 
She and Bertram were able to explore the countryside to their hearts content and she used these times to observe and draw plants, insects, and animals. 

(pages from Beatrix's sketchbook in 1876 when she was nine)

When she was fifteen Beatrix began to keep a journal but she wrote in a secret code that she invented (which was not deciphered until 1958). She said that when she read them back when she was older she sometimes found it difficult to understand! In her journals she would record her activities as well as her opinions about current events, society, art, and politics. 
In her sketchbook she would practice drawing and in her journal she practiced writing. 
Both of these skills would come in very handy as she grew older.

"There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you.”

When Beatrix was sixteen Dalguise House was not available for their summer holiday and so her family rented a house in the Lake District in England. This was her first visit to the Lake District and she fell in love with the countryside right away.

In the early 1890's, Beatrix first published some of her drawings. 
Hildesheimer & Faulkner published her illustrations and greetings card designs for a booklet entitled "A Happy Pair".

("A Happy New Year To You", Greeting card published by Hildesheimer & Faulkner)

Most of her time she spent studying natural history. She loved learning about archaeology, geology, entomology, and mycology. She was very interested in fungi. Charles McIntosh, a Scottish naturalist, encouraged her to make her drawings of fungi more accurate. By 1896 Beatrix wrote a paper with her own theory on how fungi spores reproduced called 'On the Germination of the Spores of Agaricineae'. It was presented to the Linnean Society by one of their mycologists from the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1897. Beatrix, unfortunately could not present it herself as women could not attend Society meetings. The paper has since been lost.

Beatrix soon began to write picture letters to a child of her former governess that was recovering from scarlet fever and confined to bed. In 1901 she turned one of these letters into her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She printed her own private edition of it. 

The idea was then turned down by several publishers before Frederick Warne published it in 1902 when Beatrix agreed to redo her black and white illustrations into color. 
Norman Warne, the youngest of the three brothers who ran the publishing firm of Frederick Warne & Co., was assigned to be Beatrix's editor for The Tale of Peter Rabbit. He and Beatrix got along well from the very first meeting. Beatrix would often take the carriage to the Warne offices in Bedford Square to discuss the book with Norman. It was not considered appropriate at the time time for a lady to visit alone so she always had to take a long a female friend as a chaperone.

(Norman Warne)

The following year, under Norman's editorial supervision, Beatrix produced The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and The Tailor of Gloucester. All three of her books were becoming huge commercial successes. Twenty more "little books", as she called them, followed these usually at a rate of two to three per year. In 1903 Beatrix registered a Peter Rabbit doll. 

By 1904 Beatrix was preparing The Tale of Two Bad Mice for publication. Norman was fully involved in the creative process going as far as buying her doll's house furniture to use as props and inviting her to his brother's house in Surbiton to sketch a real doll's house he had made. 
Her mother refused to let her go. She viewed the Warne family as unsuitable friends because they were "in trade". 
Despite her mother's feelings on the matter, a romance was beginning between Norman and Beatrix. 
They were never able to spend any time alone together but they were still able to become very close. Norman sent Beatrix a letter on July 25, 1905 proposing marriage. 
Beatrix's parents forbade the marriage but eventually they agreed to Beatrix's compromise that she was allowed to wear her engagement ring but the engagement would not yet be made public. 
They would give it a few months time before they announced it. 
Sadly, Norman suddenly became ill with a fast moving form of leukaemia and he died only a month after his proposal. This was devastating to Beatrix and she threw herself into her work as a way to cope with her grief. 

 "I cannot rest, I must draw, however poor the result, and when I have a bad time come over me it is a stronger desire than ever."

She proceeded with her plans to buy Hill Top Farm, a small working farm in Near Sawrey in the Lake District. The farm became her sanctuary. It was a place she could go to paint and write and learn about farm management, although she never lived there full time. 
Hill Top and the surrounding areas began to pop up in her books. 

Beatrix spent as much time as she could in the Lake District and began to use her income from her books to buy farmland. 
Four years after buying Hill Top Farm, she purchased Castle Farm just across the road from Hill Top. 
The solicitor who helped her with her property dealings was a local man, William Heelis. 
Over the years, as they worked together and shared in their interests of the countryside and conservation, a relationship began to grow gradually. 
When their friendship grew to love, her parents again objected. 
This time she ignored their wishes and married William in October 1913. 
They remained happily married living in the Lake District in Castle Cottage until Beatrix's death in 1943.  

“I hold an old-fashioned notion that a happy marriage is the crown of a woman’s life.

Beatrix bought fifteen farms. She took an active part in caring for all of them. She would dress in clogs, a shawl, and an old tweed skirt and help with the hay-making. She searched the fells for lost sheep. She bred Herdwick sheep and won prizes with them at local shows. In 1943 she became the first woman elected President of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders' Association. 

She said she was at her happiest when she was with her farm animals and in the outdoors. 

“Thank God I have the seeing eye,’ that is to say as I lie in bed I can walk step by step on the fells and rough lands seeing every stone and flower and patch of bog and cotton grass where my old legs will never take me again.”

In 1929, she wrote her longest story, The Fairy Caravan, which featured her own Herdwick Sheep. It was dedicated to an American boy, Henry Coolidge and was only published in America. 

Beatrix is not only remembered for her wonderful "little books" but also for her conservation efforts. When she was sixteen and visiting the Lake District for the first time, a local vicar named Hardwicke Rawnsley made a strong impression on Beatrix with his views on the need to care for the environment. Hardwicke Rawnsley became one of the three founders of the National Trust and Beatrix supported the National Trust all of her life. 
When she died she left her fifteen farms and over 4,000 acres of land to the National Trust. 
She stated that they must keep Hill Top Farm exactly as it had been and today it receives thousands of visitors per year. 
 In 1925, when asked by the editor of The Horn magazine in Boston to write something about herself for her admirers in America, she wrote, "Beatrix Potter is Mrs. William Heelis. She lives in the north of England, her home is amongst the mountains and lakes she has drawn in her picture books. .. She leads a very busy contented life, living always in the country and managing a large sheep farm on her own land."

She indeed left behind quite the legacy. 

“Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest.” 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Let's talk about: At Home with Beatrix Potter by Susan Deyer

 At Home with Beatrix Potter by Susan Denyer is a wonderfully detailed book exploring Beatrix Potter's life, family, the furnishings that she used in Hill Top farm, Hill Top's gardens, the farming life that Beatrix came to love, and the area in the lake districts that she called home. 
Susan Denyer is World Heritage Adviser for the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), Paris, and Secretary of ICOMOS-UK. On the back of the book is says, "During the years she worked for the National Trust she was closely involved with the restoration of the Hill Top interior, and helped to set up the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead."
It also says that the book was published in association with the National Trust. 
It is very apparent when reading the book that she knows what she is talking about and has a huge depth of knowledge of Beatrix, Hill Top, and all of the furnishings inside of it. 

The book is full of beautiful photography.

One of my favorite things about the book is how they will show drawings that Beatrix painted next to the pictures of the real thing, whether that is a view of the scenery or a part of her house that was used in a book. 

 I also loved reading about how she picked different pieces of furniture to finish Hill Top and finding out where they came from and what they meant to her. 
I feel like after reading this book my visit to Hill Top will be even more rich and interesting.

The book takes you on a tour through the house looking at each room and talking about almost everything in it. It is so interesting. 
And we are also treated to a tour through her garden. 

If you are interested in Beatrix or Hill Top (or both!) you will not regret reading this book! 
It is fantastic. 

Let's talk about: The Animated Worlds of Peter Rabbit

We have two DVD's that feature Peter Rabbit. 
The cartoons are both cute but very different from each other. 
We have pulled them out this week to watch them as we celebrate Beatrix Potter!
Let's have a look at these two different versions of Peter and his friends.

Maddy asked for Nickelodeon's Peter Rabbit cartoons a couple of years ago. 
They enjoy the Peter Rabbit story and she thought the DVD cover was really cute. 
We thought we would try it out. There are lots of DVD's of this including many different episodes. 
We only own the Spring Into Adventure DVD but we have seen many more of the episodes.
The intro gives you a really good idea of what the cartoon is like:

"Join Peter and his two bosom buddies; Benjamin and Lily, on their whimsical adventures through timeless Lake District. Peter encounters real dangers, and he and his loyal friends and family must use their wits to outsmart incompetent villains whose barks are way worse than their bites. Peter is a 6-year-old rabbit who lives with his mother underneath a huge fir tree in a hidden burrow. He misses his late father and desperately wants to grow up to be just like him. Armed with his father's journal, which is basically a guide to everything one needs to become a truly wild rabbit, and aided and abetted by his two best friends, Benjamin and Lily, Peter sets off to make his own mark in life."

The animation is really cute. It has likable characters with fun stories. Our girls really like the show. 
However, it is not the book. It has taken the characters and has created their own stories. 
It is still a worthwhile show and something I think most kids would enjoy. 

The other DVD is one that we have owned for quite a few years. 
The World of Peter Rabbit and friends is a much calmer, quiet, and simple cartoon. 
There are a few different intro's to the episodes where the actress playing Beatrix Potter sets up different stories. 
Here is one of the intro's: 

"Each episode opens up with a live-action Beatrix Potter, portrayed by the actress Niamh Cusack, coming to her farmhouse out of the rain, either from after finishing a watercolour painting and running home with her pet dog, Kep, or doing shopping and hitching a ride home on a horse drawn vehicle, sitting down to some tea with her pet rabbit, Peter, and then setting up the featured story. Once the story is finished, Potter either posts the picture letter herself or asks a boy to do it. An exception to this is The Tailor of Gloucester episode, which is set at Christmas time. The Tailor of Gloucester begins with Potter's maid, Daisy, serving out mince pies to some carol singers who sing the Sussex Carol while Potter and her pet cat, Simpkin, listen to them. Some of the episodes include story lines from two separate books, either told one after the other or intermingled."

I love that they use Beatrix, film at Hill Top farm, and include all the cute animals. I also find the song really soothing and whenever the girls want to watch something but we want to still have a quiet and calm atmosphere in the house, we insist upon this DVD. 

The other thing that I really like about this DVD is that they have made animations of the actual story books and they use animation that is just like the real pictures. They are adorable. They even include the fact that she started out writing the stories to children she knew that were ill. 

While we enjoy both of these DVD's, I thik there is a clear winner when it comes to our favorite. 
I just love the second one. 
I enjoy the glimpses that the children get into the life of the actual author by seeing an actress portray her and speak to her animals as well as the presence of the collie dog representing her beloved Kep. 
They really did it right. 

*Have you watched either of these cartoons? Or both?
*Is there another version that you have seen that I haven't mentioned?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Let's talk about: The Lake District and Beatrix Potter

 The Lake District. 
Today I want to look at a few of the places in the Lake District that have ties to Beatrix Potter. 
While Beatrix was growing up, her family spent many holidays in the Lake District and she grew to love it. Her favorite places was a village called Sawrey near Lake Windermere. 
When she grew up and was making an income from her books, she decided to buy a farm in Sawrey called Hill Top. 

She arranged for an extension to be built onto the farmhouse so that the farm manager, John Cannon, could continue to live there and manage the farm. 
At this time Beatrix was mostly still living in London with her parents and she spent as much time as she could visiting her new home. She renovated, created a beautiful garden, and decorated every inch of the house in a way that was delightful and special to her. 
She used Hill Top as a background for many of the illustrations in her books. 
In her will, Hill Top was left to the National Trust as well as the furnishings so that it would still look the same today. 
It is open to the public to explore and I can't wait to go there!

Next door and behind Hill Top Farm is the Tower Bank Arms. 

It is also a National Trust property and was featured in Beatrix' book The tale of Jemima Puddle Duck.
It is now a pub where you can go in to enjoy a meal, a drink, and it's rich history. 

Another spot that was special to Beatrix would, of course, be her home with her husband William Heelis. They lived in Castle Cottage for thirty happy years. 

From what I understand, you cannot go into Castle Cottage. But you can admire it from across the way. 

Another home that Beatrix owned but did not live in was Yew Tree Farm. 

This is the home that was used to represent Hill Top in the film Miss Potter and I will talk more about this home on Friday!

The Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead nearby is a 17th century building that was the former office of William, a solicitor. 

Here you can step inside and see an exhibition of Beatrix Potter's original drawings and water color pictures.

In Bowness on Windermere there is an attraction called The World of Beatrix Potter.

As far as I know, it doesn't have any particular historical value as a building and is just something that they have built to be a fun attraction. 
It looks like it would be fun if you took kids to it as you can explore the stories and characters. 

But I'm not sure I would take the time to see it as an adult without kids. It might be kind of fun but I'm not sure if it is a tourist trap kind of place or not. 

Near Lake Windermere there is Wray Castle. 

Wray Castle sits on the western side of Windermere. It was built in the 1840's for just two people to live in and was the first Lake District holiday home for Beatrix Potter and her family.
You can explore the castle and its grounds in all weather. 

Beatrix' favorite lake in the area was Esthwaite Water. 

It's very beautiful!

One of the things I look forward to the most when visiting the Lake District is just going on walks in these areas. I have a book, Walking with Beatrix Potter by Norman and June Buckley,  that outlines a bunch of different walks that you can go on to see different things. It details the difficulty of the hike and the length and time it would take to do it. 

And just for fun I am going to add one more location that is not in the Lake District. 
Beatrix based her illustrations in The Tailor of Gloucester on the tailor's house situated close to Gloucester Cathedral in Gloucester. She used a local story about a tailor who tried to finish a waistcoat for the Mayor's wedding one Christmas Day as the basis for the story. 
She later acknowledged this story as her personal favorite so it is kind of cool that you can visit the house of the tailor of Gloucester. 

*If you were visiting the Lake District would you visit these sites? 
*What is your favorite Beatrix Potter book?
*Have you ever been to the Lake District? (or Gloucester since I added that!)

Beatrix Potter Week

This week we are going to be celebrating Beatrix Potter here on Scones and Crackers. 
Her birthday is tomorrow so I have named this week Beatrix Potter Week!
Over the next few days I will be discussing places, books, and shows that are connected with her. 
We will cap off the week with a Beatrix Potter party!

I hope you will come along and enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Let's talk about: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Of course, the second we finished the book my daughter, Abigail, wanted to start watching the movie. 
We had a good time watching it. I think they did a really good job with this one for the most part and I love the casting for the new characters we meet in this installment. 
Abigail once again mentioned how much better the book was than the movie and how many things were left out, but of course, with this one especially, they had to leave a lot out because that book is massive. 
The only thing that we really wished they had done was to not leave out so much of Neville's storyline. They did have him tell Harry about his parents in the Room of Requirement, but it would have been great to have had more. Neville is such an underrated character and I would love to see more of him.
Abi was really disappointed that they didn't have the hospital scene where Harry, Ron, and Hermione ran into Gilderoy Lockhart and then Neville with his grandmother and parents. I agree that I wish that would have been in the film. 
I felt like they did a really good job with the end fight sequence. However we really wished that they had left in the other rooms and injuries that had happened in the book as well. 
It's a good lesson though. I am glad that Abi is learning that you don't get the whole story from the movie so that she will grow up wanting to read the book first. 

My favorite parts of this movie are the Dumbledore's Army scenes. Like I said when talking about the book, I love the fact that the kids rose up and took control of their education in this book. And I think they portrayed it really well in the movie. 

I was also really glad that they left in one of my favorite scenes in the book:

Overall, this is probably my favorite adaptation of the books I have talked about so far. 
*Did you like this movie?
*Were any of your favorite parts left in or left out?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Let's talk about: Colin Firth

Colin Firth was born September 10, 1960 in Grayshott, Hampshire, England. 
He was born into an academic family; his mother, Shirley, was a comparative religion lecturer at the Open University and his father, David, lectured on history at Winchester University College and worked on education for the Nigerian government.
His two siblings, Katie and Jonathan, are also actors. 
His first acting gig was in infant's school when he played Jack Frost in a Christmas play. 
Three of his four grandparents were Methodist missionaries and he lived in Nigeria from the age of two until they returned to England when he was almost five. 
He then entered a school in Winchester where he says he was considered an outsider and was often the target of bullies. 
As a child he says that he would stand on a soapbox at recess and tell stories to his classmates. 

He spent two years at the Drama Centre in Chalk Farm and there he was discovered while playing Hamlet during his final term. 
He then went on to work in theater and television. 
His role of Robert Lawrence in Tumbledown in 1989 won him a Royal Television Society Best Actor Award and a BAFTA nomination. 
He was also nominated for a BAFTA for his roles as Mr. Darcy in the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice. 
In 2011, he won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as King George the 6th in The King's Speech. 

He lived for a time with his then girlfriend, Meg Tilly, in a log cabin in British Columbia. They had starred in Valmont together (which I have not seen) and had one son, William, together. He was born in 1990. He also considers her other two children from her first marriage to be his own. After they broke up and he moved back to England he would call at bedtime to wish the children goodnight and tell them bedtime stories. 

(Colin and Meg in Valmont)

He also dated his co-star from Pride and Prejudice, Jennifer Ehle, for a time.

Soon after they broke up he met his wife, Livia Giuggioli, an Italian film producer and director. 
They have been married since 1997 and have had two sons, Luca born in 2001 and Matteo born in 2003.

Colin was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to drama. 

What are my favorite Colin performances?
#1: The King's Speech

Colin is so good at this role. I would imagine it would be really hard to play someone that has a very obvious stutter and get it right. He has said that while filming he would end up speaking the same way between takes, not on purpose. He felt it was muscle memory. 
In it he plays King George the 6th and it tells of his quick ascension to the throne and how he used a speech therapist to help with his stutter. 
It is inspiring and so well acted. 
Interesting fact: His younger brother, Jonathan Firth, played this King's great-grandfather Prince Albert in the 2001 production of Victoria and Albert. 

#2: Nanny McPhee

It's a fun movie and a nice change to see him in the role of a dad. He plays Mr. Brown who has been widowed and is trying to raise his seven unruly children. 

#3: Love Actually

If you knew he was in this movie, then you knew it was going to be on my list!
His storyline is my very favorite in the film. 

#4: The Importance of Being Earnest

This is another one of those movies that I just love. 
I will have to do a write up of it very soon. 
Colin is perfection in it of course, as he always is when playing an English gentleman. 

Which brings me to my final pick and my favorite...

#5: Pride and Prejudice

I have a really hard time deciding which version of Pride and Prejudice I like the most for many reasons, but Mr. Darcy will always be Colin Firth to me. 
He was Mr. Darcy. 
Colin has said that when he was first offered the role of Mr. Darcy, his brother said, "Darcy? But isn't he supposed to be sexy?"

"Every single film since Pride and Prejudice there's been a scene where someone goes, 'Well I think you've just killed Mr. Darcy.' But he is a figure that won't die. He is wandering somewhere. I can't control him. I've never resented it; if it wasn't for him I might be languishing....I dare say it will be my saving grace when the only employment available to me is opening supermarkets dressed in breeches and a wig."

*What is your favorite Colin Firth movie?
*Is he your Mr. Darcy?