Nov 30, 2010

Movie Review - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

Ooooh, I almost forgot to tell you about the latest HP release. Yes, I made it to a show last Saturday and liked it a lot. In preparation, I had once again gone through my copy of the book - yes, I have all 7 of them. As expected, the book has been compressed a lot - or they would probably have had to make the movie in 7 parts instead of 2. But the compression is in no way detrimental to the plot line. All throughout the movie, I kept wondering where they would find an apt ending for the first part and was very satisfied. Dobby's death and the finding of the Elder Wand really did make a fitting climax.

One of the things I was pleased about was the way Hedwig passes. I always thought that the book had not done justice to her in the manner of her death and I am happy that the movie does one better. It also lets Harry off the hook for declaring himself with his signature Expelliarmus spell. The endless and futile searching for the Horcruxes has been neatly edited so that it doesn't drag. I wonder if the writers are going to have a tough time finding a possible method for Snape to have sent the doe Patronus when the means of his finding the kids' location by way of the Black portrait has not been shown in this movie. Well, I hope they are creative enough, because rabid Potter fans might be up in arms if they forget it. The transformation of Kreacher takes the backseat in an effort to give Dobby one more scene to show his devotion. I loved that particular episode in the book in which Hermione is finally justified for starting SPEW and would've loved to see it on screen. Harry's conflict over Horcruxes vs. Hallows also is not mentioned in the movie.

So once again, the celluloid version proves itself incapable of encompassing a whole book, but I wonder if someone would think of making a TV show with the whole series unedited. Now, that would be a dream!!!

NaNoWriMo score and updates

It's the day of reckoning and how many words do I have to show for my NaNoWriMo challenge? A mere 5124 against the target of 50,000. But hey, that's a beginning! I found out several things during the process - I like typing on the keyboard better than writing - well, that's an eyeopener, to say the least. May be some pro-environmental brainwashing is finally taking hold, because when I tried to write on paper, the thought of several rewrites and additions came to mind and I could not do it. So tap, tap it is for creative writing! I also found that although one part of me wanted to stay on and keep describing scenes, another part wanted to speed up and finish the plot while the flourishes could wait for later. It really was effective, because when I look back at the - ahem - MS, if find that I can clearly conjure up the entire scene as I visualised it in the first place when I read the sketchy scenes and can easily add up the atmosphere and the works.

So was the exercise futile? Not at all, because in my book, something is ALWAYS better than nothing. After all these years of nonstarting, at least I have started something! Yay, go Me!

Last Sunday morning was given up to weeding activities. All four of us were busy with something, I don't have pictures of what I was up to, but I will certainly show what our younger one was up to - pictures by my husband....

Have you ever seen a more disreputable little ragamuffin? And this was before he reached his full glory. One of our elderly neighbours who happened to catch a glimpse almost fell over in concern - "Oh, what happened to the poor baby, did he fall?" We hastened to reassure her that no baby was harmed in the process of creating the mud baby. And what was I doing Sunday afternoon? Mopping up the mudprints this selfsame mud baby had tracked into our living room while none of us were looking.

Grossed out by all the brown stuff? Here's something I caught while waiting at a railway station...

I didn't know that banyan leaves came out in this transluscent red! They were shining like jewels in the morning sun! And here is one fit to be made into a valentine

I wonder if the colouring is seasonal?? Can you tell me?

Nov 26, 2010

Something crafty!

Ahaa! Here is my latest craft accomplishment:

Yes, it is my new earring organiser, the new and improved version. If you want to see the previous one, click here . I have been clever and have added three small pockets for a few stray items. I thought of making it a proper wall-pocket organiser, but that would make it too big and too heavy. As such the wool is stretching a bit. I've also stuck a huge safety pin behind the panel near the bottom right corner so that I can corral my ever-wandering safety pins in one place. Pretty handy, I tell you! I can't seem to get the temperamental picture uploading tool to work right now, otherwise I would have put up a picture of that too. Each time I pass by it in the bedroom, I feel as pleased as punch! Now I have no trouble finding a suitable pair of earrings at all!

Meanwhile, my clotheslines are full of damp clothes of two-day vintage. It seems Kerala is borrowing England's climate for a while and that too a bit heavily! Flash floods are occurring in even hilly areas where one never would expect them to happen. Anyway, it's excellent planting season, one can just put things in the soil and never worry about having to water it! That's the way to go!

Nov 18, 2010

Gardening surprise

I must say that life is really surprising sometimes. For example, I have already told you about our vegetable gardening misadventures and now look at this:

This bean plant grew at the side of my back door all by itself and is giving us fresh beans everyday! All I did was throw the water left after washing rice in the general direction of the plant. It is also the favorite of an ant colony that has set up house nearby. So veggies can grow in our garden!

I have also gathered some for future planting, although I am not sure where this particular bean has come from, because it doesn't look like any that we usually buy.

I am feeling much more better now that my gum is almost healed and the sun is shining. But I think we can enjoy whatever the weather is if we are healthy. Day before yesterday, I was bringing home my elder son and it was raining very heavily. My younger one was safe at home with his grandma, so I did not have to worry about him getting wet. My elder one splashed ahead of me, one arm spread out into the rain and warbling "Mera dil, mera dil" continuously (not a recognisable song, but I took it as the outpouring of a full heart!) while I trudged after him with a slightly disgruntled feeling. A few paces afterwards, I started taking stock of the situation - I was in no hurry to reach home, I was wearing shoes that would keep my feet away from the mud and there was no need for me to grudge my son his happiness. So I too joined him (not to sing, of course) happily holding my free arm out from under the umbrella and trying to see who could splash water the highest. We were breathlessly jolly by the time we got home. It was certainly worth the effort to stop and think. And while we played I really thanked God that I could recognise a truly happy and beautiful moment for what it was. May you too have many of the same!

Nov 14, 2010

About teeth and the quality of life... weak stomachs, beware!

Dear Readers,

I've really missed you a lot. Even if I don't receive comments on all my posts, it was enough for me to know that my missives are out there in cyberspace, communicating my thoughts and ideas to some fellow human beings. So I really missed writing to you in the past week!

Well, today I am departing from the norm and writing about something I really did not enjoy. Since our return from Bengaluru, I had been prey to extreme lethargy and bouts of chills and fever. I tried to brush it off blaming it on some Bengaluru bug, but the pain struck - and how - on Diwali eve. I woke up on Diwali day with a humongous toothache that threatened to incapacitate me. But since we had already made plans to spend the day at a beachside resort, I resorted to taking painkillers at 6-hourly intervals to just survive. Thanks to those pink pills, I could swim and frolic to my heart's content.  I paid for it the next day when I went to the dentist and he told me that an impacted wisdom tooth had created a massive infection and I would have to first combat the infection and then get the tooth extracted. So last Thursday after a Herculean effort by the doctor that lasted 5 hours, the culprit came out. I am left with three stitches and swelling and pain that flares each time the medication wears off. I was so relieved when the tooth finally came out that I would have prostrated before it if the doctor had allowed me. The pain and the accompanying malaise was so bad that I totally lost interest in anything and just lay down whenever I could. Thank God, my mother-in-law chose this time to visit us. She helped me take care of the home and other things while I rested whenever I could.

Here is my advise to you - please get your wisdom teeth checked by the dentist to see if they have enough space to grow. I saw the x-ray of mine - there was so little space for it to grow, that it was growing at a 45-degree angle and its roots were under the molar in front of it! Hope you are spared such a painful ordeal. And I hope you get a good-humored dentist such as mine, who helped lessen the suffering a lot with his timely jokes and teasing - an invaluable trait in a grisly job!

Nov 2, 2010

From my bookshelf - 4

This is one book you would want to come back to again and again - Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals. The last time I read it was more than ten years ago and I had completely forgotten how hilarious it was. Durrell recalls the events of a few years his family had spent on the Greek island Corfu. He was around 10 at the time and a regular enfant terrible with a penchant for all wildlife. Imagine your kid letting loose a scorpion mother on your dining table with tiny baby scorpions dripping from all over her or letting water snakes cool in your bath tub! That's what Gerry does on a regular basis. The book is a hoot from beginning to end with some extremely clever and funny character sketches of his own family members and the people they come into touch with. Now I am certainly going to look out for more of his works!

Have you read any of Durrell's works?

Spring/Summer Projects

Gosh, isn't it baking hot in God's Own Country these days! In accordance with the government's guidelines, we seldom venture o...