I’m Home!

HOME!!!!!!!!

 

And I did keep a journal sort of thing, although it’s only half finished, as sometimes I had no internet and at other times I just wrote the bones and still need to flesh the day out. I think I will go ahead and put it up; I’ll queue it so each day is posted on the day, when I’m done with it all (if any of you were vaguely interested in reading what are most likely going to be pessimistic whinges).

Now it’s back to school, and work, and worrying about the future, and exams. And karate, which I haven’t done for a month (I am so out of shape …)

- Let’s call me Lily

A Case Of Mistaken Identity

Oh, you thought I’d be going through my list of ‘things to blog about’ while on holiday? You thought I might write a bit about my trip to Ireland??

 

Meh. I think you have the wrong gal.

(Basically, this post is to say that I’m going to be a non-existent presence here for about a month or so. So please don’t expect anything. Sorry.)

 

But, if there’s anything you’d like to ask or request something, just comment or ask, and I’ll do my best!!!!!

-Let’s call me Lily

 

By the way, Ireland is great. You should visit. (Quite similar to New Zealand though.)

Fil-im Course

I woke up at 3AM. Bleargh. The bed is going to kill me. It’s large; a double at least, and I’m sure that it’s very extravagant and I’m very lucky to have a room to myself, but it’s also very soft, and my back has been killing me. I lay there in bed contemplating this fact until it was a decent hour to be awake, whereupon I went forth and got ready for the day. I went for a walk along the pier, which was lovely with a gorgeous band rotunda,  and then I wanted to go for a swim because the water looked so inviting, but there isn’t a real beach – it’s all slimy rocks that are covered in seaweed, and I couldn’t get past them without slipping. Had the first day of the ‘make-a-movie’ course…I hate improvs, I’ve realised; I find it incredibly hard to think of things on the spot.I’m okay at adding onto someone’s idea, but even then, sometimes not. My first day at the fil-im (that’s what it sounds like in an Irish accent; they extend it into two syllables) making course sucked, to be perfectly honest. Half of it was stuff that I already knew, like the 3 course structure (beginning, middle, end) and the other half was stuff that I could have very easily picked up along the way, for example how to use a camera (I learnt what the shots were and different angles in English and Media Studies at school, really). We watched some previous short films, and then did a couple of snippet-improvisations of our own to get the feel of following actors with a camera and how to get the different perspectives.
Then we had to decide on story ideas and pitch them to each other as 3 groups, and of course I couldn’t think of a single one, and so my group presented a half-baked idea on a a kidnapping. It was terrible. The other two groups didn’t have amazing ideas either, and now we’re stuck for the next of the week filming the “Invisibully”.
At least the view is nice.
After that, we went to see The Fault in our Stars, which made me cry (duh. I’m a sap), but we missed the first ten minutes (just like with Chef, I’ll have to find a way to clear that up) unfortunately, so Grace had already met Augustus, and they had just arrived at his house. I really loved how they incorporated the dialogue from the book without making it seem contrived. And of course, the characters were developed and yes, Augustus was Augustus.

Resolutely Not Sleeping

I left Auckland at 9:30AM NZ time, on Saturday. I flew to Brisbane, during which time the crew forgot to feed me for some reason. I heard a child say to their mother “next time, can we go by boat?”. In Brisbane, I waited for approximately 3 hours as my connection was slightly delayed. Then I flew to Singapore, after which I flew to Abu Dhabi, after which I finally reached my destination; Dublin. Three transits, each for only about 2 hours or so – I couldn’t travel around the airport, and I just got more and more icky and tired.

I slept an amazing 3 hours during this time. I also watched 10 movies, seeing as I couldn’t sleep, as well as finished a book. Now, I am in Ireland, having spent a day doing things, and trying not to sleep before a vaguely decent hour. It feels like it’s been at least 2 days, but in reality, due to time-shifts, it’s probably much less.

Anyway, here’s a quick rundown of the movies I saw:

1) Veronica Mars (like the film of a bad Nancy Drew comic; I think I needed to have watched the show, as it didn’t really stand alone well, and what the hell happened to the boyfriend who she was so devoted to?? Hmmph. Nancy Drew is better)

2) Most of Gravity – the flight stopped with 31 minutes to go, and it wasn’t on any of the other flight, go figure. It was okay. It wasn’t anything spectacular yet.

3) Her; a movie with Scarlett Johansson playing an artificial intelligence who is in a relationship with a mortal man, and then develops and decides to leave the physical realm. I wasn’t too sure of the ending, it was a bit…meh.

4)The Monuments Men – that one was fairly good – about a group of arts men; sculptors and curators etc, who become a team of soldiers tasked with protecting and saving artworks. Based on a true story. And – there were some funny parts too!

5) The Grand Budapest Hotel – that one was slightly wacko. And had Ralph Fiennes in it, and Jude Law – double bonus! I think it by far the best from my selection.

6) Philomena – this is an Irish drama about a woman who had an illegitimate baby and they were separated and there are evil nuns and yeah, it’s based on a book that was based on a true story, and not really my type of thing. Judi Dench though, so I gave it a try.

7) The Dallas Buyers Club – When I start hitting based on true stories, you can tell that I’m getting desperate for options. Nonetheless, I think it did quite a good job at portraying the characters as not to be sympathised with completely, nor romanticised their actions.

8) Divergent – I was pretty damn tired by this time. Yeah, it’s an okay movie. Shallow plot that was utterly predictable. Reminded me quite a bitt of the Cold Awakening Trilogy by Robin Wasserman for some reason, but that had been a much series of books than Divergent was a movie. Maybe that’s what I needed at this stage of the flight.

9) Vaterfreuden (that was a German comedy, it was quite good, I had it in subtitles. There were funny parts. Although the plot was, yeah, rather predictable again.)

10) Captain America 2 (yep, well, I was running out of options there, and I didn’t feel like Rio 2), making it the second time I’d seen the movie. There is a huge plothole that I don’t get. Why the hell does Hill have to shoot the heli-carriers down?? They were no longer controlled by HYDRA – they could have been gently landed and taken a apart for pieces, or helped with the clean-up, or even destroyed at a later date, after Steve was off of it. Why the urgency?

There were no Agents of SHIELD episodes!!!! And no Sherlock!! Or Doctor Who!!! I was disappointed :( Hopefully, there’ll be a selection of movies to my liking – that I haven’t already seen – on the way back.

The Arrival

I was amazingly lucky to win a month’s trip. To IRELAND. This will be a day-to-day record of what I got up to, just a general/detailed outline of my day (photos included).

I landed, found Nuala and Eileen and Uyen, Eileen’s adopted daughter from Vietnam who is gorgeous, if tiny (seriously, she is petite. I would have taken her for an 8 year-old, not 12!). We drove from Dublin, past the two ports – Dublin and Dun Laoghaire, to Glasthule: home,which is a beachfront house next to a delightfully long pier – two-story, large, filled to the brim with artworks and books, as well as two small poodle-like dogs and a few exotic-looking fish. They have a sloping backyard with lots of fragrant flowers; lavender and two types of jasmine, as well as small potted ferns and roses and petunias, among others. There’s also a nanny-flat at the top of the garden for relaxation and ‘quiet time’. They have two barbecues – one a small little cooker, the other a huge silver beast called RedFyre. Along the way, Eileen pointed out the Martello Towers, which are all across the coast of Ireland, in case of Napolean’s invasion (which never happened).

The scenery, which I later saw more of as we went to walk the dogs in Killiney Hill Park that had some gorgeous views of Sandycove and Dalkey Island, is very similar to that of New Zealand. Same sort of climate, similar flora and fauna; it almost felt like I wasn’t on the other side of the world! We went to a cafe for hot chocolate and a muffin, and then straight to Yoga class, which was all about sticking the bum up (the instructor literally said those words almost 10 times a minute… that, and ‘glut’ muscles), and your heart up. It was rather different from the lasses I’ve experienced before. Then – a blissful shower after two days without. The only thing was, it was a bath/shower, and there was nowhere to clip the shower-head on, leaving me to either sit or risk splashing the entire bathroom… Later, we went grocery shopping, and after that it was back to the house, where I tried really really hard not to fall asleep too early.

The back yard.

The back yard.

Dramatic Monologue is Dramatic Indeed

For English every year, a dramatic monologue or seminar is part of the curriculum, and this was mine! It’s lush with exclamations, borrowed quotes and inversed sentences; I hope you enjoy a look into Paulina’s mind (she’s a character from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale).

Paulina after the announcement of Mamillius’ death in Act 3, scene 2. A freeze-frame monologue that fits in between the aforementioned moment, and her announcement of the Queen’s death, which concludes the speech and links back to The Winter’s Tale.

 

What befalls us now? A fallen heir, my lady swooned; nothing left but a court confused and a wrathful king to rule them.

Leontes’ mind is riddled with disease; a jealousy so strong that it has eaten through reason. To sink so quick into the quagmire of twisted logic; incarnadine Hermione’s rosy lips with the colour of deceit, and so too the actions of Polixenes … had it not been an hour, merely threescore minutes since the three were merrily exchanging affable witticisms in the court? Dissension snuck too bold, for it reared up in Leontes’ mind as guise to friendship, as duty to lust, and ‘ere the king has thrown the queen into an iron trap.

“Speak you”, he charged her, but whilst she may speak her innocence, he doth accept them lies. Thus she speaks not at all, further putting proof into his troubled mind, further giving corroboration of her tongue-tied guilt. Certain of the cuckold’s horns exhibited from whence his hair doth stop, Leontes will not be prevailed upon to halt in his bitter polemics against the chastity of his queen. For in his mind, if women say so, that will say anything but were they false, why then naught Hermione says will cast aside his jealous fervour. Falsely determined betrayal enshrouds his thoughts with violent anger, and vile allegations has he made against the best. He will not be swayed; his reason sundered from his mind.

Claiming nothing to be something! Nothing is what swayed my lord from his preconceived conclusion – not the earnest protestations of Camillo, who wished Leontes be cur’d of his diseas’d opinion, nor those of my dearest husband, he who would hold every dram of women’s flesh as false if ‘tis true Hermione be. Not the eloquent defence of the Lords at my behest! Even the babe, that wholesome evidence for the good queen’s fruitful and unswerving loyalty, did not convince. The print was little, but held truth within it; eye, nose, lip; the whole matter and copy of the father! Nature, which hast made it so like him that got it … well! Even nature was ignored for sightless tyranny. My lord, from ‘pon his throne, casts accusations of paddling palms and pinching fingers, and making practised smiles, though none are seen by us. He believes his perception true, yet if it be so, were it not also true to say that ours would all be clouded? And that be false – ‘tis clear as day!

Yet, knowing this, did I not send forth Antigonus to do Leontes’ crazed bidding? Did I not!?! For though I raged against the deed, I did nothing to derail it. I stood, accepting, by his side as he took the infant from Hermione’s arms and set her on his shoulder; I helped pack food and drink for the long journey to abandonment; and I kissed him goodbye on the day he left. In such a way have I betrayed my queen and my reason, and thus I am struck by wretched evils that rightfully befall me for my sin. For my complicity as bystander I am punished, and ye gods punish well, for am I not now standing by my daughters’ grief and joyless tears? Am I not standing by to see their futures perish? For dear Antigonus is dead. Their future shall be as the good queen’s daughter, and only when she is regained shall our fortunes change.

An ill wind blows through this kingdom’s fields, turning fresh wheat into rotted hay and murmurings into much-bent gossip. Mamillius is listless; cumbered with the tribulations of the imprisoned queen – no smiles light his face whilst his mother languishes in grace. Ne’er the less, he is innocent! He ought not have been so struck, so quick to fasten and fix the shame on’t upon his blameless self. I weep for that dear child’s fate, for too soon did the heavens claim him; too soon did Mamillius fall for sorrow of his mother’s conjured ills. That he should die and leave the throne without successor unseats us all! ‘Tis for sure an omen of disastrous strife, as the Oracle proclaimed: “Leontes is a jealous tyrant”, and the king shall live without an heir till that which is lost be not found. This kingdom needs no more calamity – Leontes, he in madness, he has wrought enough. He must needs a catalyst, for if his path is not revised, nary a thing we’ll do may stop him.  Hasten I, and make such one that will remould his course.

My lord Leontes – the news is mortal to the queen: look down, and see what death is doing!

Harsh Judgement for the Guilty

A potentially PhD-worthy question for today – why is it that the closer it gets to a stressful deadline, the more inclined I am to guiltily, ferociously procrastinate????

 

(I think I’ll go with physics here and blame inertia)

 

Seriously, I have an English exam that’s worth 50% of my grade, and I have to write two essays about four DIFFERENT texts that cannot be repeated, and instead of actually picking the damn texts already, here I am, whining about it on the internet after having spent an entire day doing nothing and watching ice Age 3 with my little sister.

 

It’s like that. Every time I go on the internet, or open my study book, it’s like my brain gives me this image next to something other than what I should be doing, and I look at it and go, yup, sure, might as well. And then I click.

The exam is this Tuesday. It’s in 3 days. Or, to be more precise, it’s in 65 hours and 32 minutes. I am screwed. And I am not doing anything about it, which is the most annoying part.