Sunday, August 29, 2010

Studio Ghibli can do no wrong

Watched "Whisper of the Heart" last night. A film which perfectly captures the struggle a young emerging artist feels upon realising how much more work is still ahead of her. In my perfect Film School, all first year students would watch this on their first day and all teachers would simply say "Let me accompany you, to find the lapis lazuli vein" whenever one of their students would be overcome with fear, exhaustion and helplessness in the ensuing years.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I've been collecting a range of different experiences, mentally bookmarking them to share with you in posts.

For example, I have a Jamaican neighbour (at the other end of my street) who has a karaoke machine, and last night as I walked past his house I heard him singing this. Now, he can hardly hold a tune (sh...don't tell him), and I could hardly make out what he was singing other than the lyrics. So I googled the words and of COURSE, Bob Marley, and then I actually realised that I preferred my neighbour's out-of-tune version. I think he lives alone and just sings to himself. Love that.

So now I have decided to challenge myself, and a certain other German blogger. Next time I see my Jamaican singer in the neighbourhood I'm going to ask him if I can come over one day and sing with him. Update to come. And let this be a challenge to Eurolush, who has returned home and is still hiding out in a blogfree zone, to take on the challenge of finally asking her neighbour Hawkman if she can hold his hawk (it's been over two years Lushy, shame). Let the challenge begin I say.

And now to a different topic. One of my favourite writers has actually dedicated an entire post to me. I've been Margie's fan ever since I met her, truth be told...even before I read a word she had written. Around the time she started to write for Sassy I was looking after my newborn Miss Commentbox and I would greedily devour Margie's eloquent say-it-like-it-is articles, dreaming that one day my daughter would read exactly that type of magazine. Turns out Miss CB now reads Frankie, which I also love, and I still claim that some of the Sassiness I consumed during her first year of life came through to her in my breast milk.

Moving right along, I'd now like to discuss my recent interest in makeup. Having worn nothing but sunscreen for years I am on the hunt for some fun items with which to decorate my face. But before any purchases are made I realise that it's really all about the people involved, and I'm referring to the "makeup girls" who smile sweetly, and not so sweetly, from behind their soft lit counters. I have fallen in love with each and every one of them; from the fabulously Goth pixie who helps me find the right eyeliner at the Mac counter, to the bejewelled Russian matriarch in her white Clinique lab coat who insists that brown lipsticks are ageing.

Oh, and by the way, a chic French lady standing next to me at the cash register was buying this. She caught me looking at her and she said in a sing-song voice "You should buy some. I see you are tempted."

Sunday, August 22, 2010


OK...not sure how it happened that I stopped my "happiness list" at number 2. Honestly, I haven't really been that unhappy, case in point:

Jasper and me at Kim's place which is always filled with allconsuming love and really really good food.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Happy day 2

Last time I wrote about Japanese animation my friend Yuki mentioned that her favourite Studio Ghibli film is "My Neighbour Totoro." I have to agree with you Yuki, it makes me SO HAPPY. It's the story of two sisters whose mother is sick in hospital, so they spend the summer in the country with their father who teaches Archaeology at the local university. The scene which makes me the happiest is the one in which the two girls are waiting to meet him at the bus-stop with an umbrella, but he's late, and Totoro joins them and waits with them. Oh no, wait, my favourite scene is actually when they catch the bus that's shaped like a cat and it takes them to visit their mother and they sit on the top branch of a tree and look into the hospital window and see her talking with their father. No, no, I've changed my mind...I think my favourite scene is when the lovely old lady who is looking after the little sister brings her to the school where the big sister studies because she won't stop crying, so the little sister joins the class for the rest of the day.

I'll stop now and let you watch the trailer in peace and quiet.

This then doubles my happiness, Totoro making an appearance in Toy Story 3 as an homage to Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki and Lasseter are friends, that makes me so so happy:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Happy tag

The beautiful Duyvken tagged me, so I'm going to come up with 10 things that make me happy. Thanks Duvvy xxxx

I hope it's still within the rules if I post one thing every day. For ten days in a row I'll post what made me happy on each of the days, all right?

So, here goes....

Today, I was very happy to discover this piece of music:

This music is actually one precious link in an entire necklace of musical happinesses. I first heard this tune on the television programme "In Treatment," which makes me very happy whenever I watch it. This is the story behind the music:

Mia was Paul's patient when she was in her late teens, she returns to him as a patient twenty years later and blames him for a decision she made in her youth. She also claims that he didn't truly care for her when he originally treated her. Paul gets up from his chair, walks towards the stereo and presses the play button - this music comes on. It's a tape which Mia had given him many years ago of her own piano playing, and which he has saved all these years. That scene makes me happy.

Each of Paul's patients has a musical theme, and each one makes me happy. For example, this is Sophie's theme:

April's theme:

Paul's own theme when he visits his own therapist Gina:

Sometimes happiness is soft and thoughtful, with an undertone of a good type of sadness. Today my happiness is like a salted caramel - it's sweeter and better because of the salt.