Saturday, June 30, 2012

Double Puzzle Degrees of Separation Game

The actors and actresses of period dramas bring to life our favorite characters from literature. If you watch many period dramas you'll notice that many of the same actors and actresses show up in popular period films and costume drama miniseries.

This week I've put together two separate Degrees of Separation Puzzles for you to work on. Each puzzles features some fairly well-known actors and period dramas. One puzzle starts and ends with talented Imelda Staunton while the other puzzle ends and starts with brilliant actor Alun Armstrong. These are two actors who no period drama would be quite the same without! :)

How to play: Follow the degrees of separation and name the actors whose names are left blank below. Try to guess their names without looking up the info but if you get stuck you might want to use to help. Leave a comment with your guesses. I'll respond with your score. Feel free to guess as many times as you'd like.

For Extra Points: Fill in all of the (as ?) spaces by naming the characters the actors play in each period drama (two characters for each actor).

Scoring: Two points for each actor's full name that you guess correctly (20 points). 1 extra point for each of their character names you guess correctly (22 points). A high score of 42 points is possible.

Imelda Staunton

Degrees of Separation Puzzle #1:
Actress Imelda Staunton was in Sense & Sensibility 1995 (as ?)
with ____ ________ (as ?) who was in Much Ado About Nothing 1994 (as ?)
with ____ __________ (as ?) who was in Emma 1997 (as ?)
with ________ ______ (as ?) who was in Jane Eyre 1996 (as ?)
with _____ _____ (as ?) who was in Sense & Sensibility 1995 (as ?)
with Imelda Staunton!

Alun Armstong

Degrees of Separation Puzzle #2:
Actor Alun Armstrong was in Bleak House 2005 (as ?)
with _____ ________ (as ?) who was in Northanger Abbey 2007 (as ?)
with _________ __ ______ (as ?) who was in Amazing Grace (as ?)
with ______ _____ (as ?) who was in Daniel Deronda (as ?)
with ____ __________ (as ?) who was in Downton Abbey (as ?)
with _______ _____ (as ?) who was in North and South 2004 (as ?)
with ____ _______ ______ (as ?) who was in Bleak House 2005 (as ?)
with Alun Armstrong!

Answers will be posted next Saturday. Have fun! :)

Another Period Musical Lyrics Quiz - Answers!

Photo - Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, The Barn Dance Scene
These are the answers to Another Period Musical Lyrics Quiz that I posted last week. Thanks to everyone who played! I was quite impressed by the knowledge of musicals you all seem to possess!
Your scores are below the answers so don't forget to check those out.

Here are the answers with the song titles linked to YouTube videos for you to watch and hear the songs in their entirety. 


Put On Your Sunday Clothes when you feel down and out
Strut down the street and have your picture took
Dressed like a dream your spirits seem to turn about
That Sunday shine is a certain sign
That you feel as fine as you look!
Beneath your parasol, the world is all a smile
That makes you feel brand new down to your toes
Get out your feathers
Your patent leathers
Your beads and buckles and bows
For there's no blue Monday in your Sunday clothes!

Song: Put On Your Sunday Clothes
Musical: Hello, Dolly!


Waitin' For My Dearie, an' happy am I
to hold my heart till he comes strollin' by.
When he comes, my dearie, one look an' I'll know
That he's the dearie I've been wantin' so.
Though I'll live forty lives till the day he arrives,
I'll not ever, ever grieve.
For my hopes will be high that he'll come strollin' by;
For ye see, I believe
That there's a laddie weary, and wanderin' free,
Who's  waitin' for his dearie :

Song: Waitin' For My Dearie
Musical: Brigadoon


A gentle breeze from Hushaby Mountain
Softly blows o'er lullaby bay.
It fills the sails of boats that are waiting--
Waiting to sail your worries away.
It isn't far to Hushaby Mountain
And your boat waits down by the key.
The winds of night so softly are sighing--
Soon they will fly your troubles to sea.
So close your eyes on  Hushaby Mountain .
Wave good-bye to cares of the day.
And watch your boat from Hushaby Mountain
Sail far away from lullaby bay.

Song: Hushaby Mountain
Musical: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


I love you, A Bushel And A Peck!
A Bushel And A Peck, and a hug around the neck!
A hug around the neck, and a barrel and a heap
A barrel and a heap, and I'm talkin' in my sleep.
About you.
About you!
About you!
My heart is leapin'!
I'm having trouble sleepin'!
'Cause I love you, A Bushel And A Peck
You bet your pretty neck I do!
Doodle, oodle, oodle.
Doodle, oodle, oodle.
Doodle oodle oodle oo.

Song: A Bushel And A Peck
Musical: Guys and Dolls (Jr. Version)
Note: A Bushel And A Peck was not performed in the 1955 film version but was replaced with a more risque song number. The Jr. Version of Guys and Dolls is usually used for High School productions. I linked the song title above to a sweet version of A Bushel And A Peck from the old Lawrence Welk TV show.


A robin feathering his nest
Has very little time to rest
While gathering his bits of twine and twig
Though quite intent in his pursuit
He has a merry tune to toot
He knows a song will move the job along - for

A Spoon Full of Sugar helps the medicine go down
The medicine go down-wown
The medicine go down
Just  A Spoon Full of Sugar  helps the medicine go down
In a most delightful way

Song: A Spoon Full of Sugar
Musical: Mary Poppins


I like to be in America
Okay by me in America
Everything free in America
For a small fee in America
Buying on credit is so nice
One look at us and they charge twice
I have my own washing machine
What will you have though to keep clean?
Skyscrapers bloom in America
Cadillacs zoom in America
Industry boom in America
Twelve in a room in America

Song: America
Musical: West Side Story


Good Mornin',
Good Mornin'!
We've talked the whole night through,
Good Mornin'
Good Mornin' to you.
Good Mornin',   Good Mornin' !
It's great to stay up late,
Good Mornin',   Good Mornin'  to you.

When the band began to play
The sun was shinin' bright.
Now the milkman's on his way,
It's too late to say goodnight.
So,   Good Mornin' ,   Good Mornin' !
Sunbeams will soon smile through,
Good Mornin',   Good Mornin' , to you,
And you, and you, and you!

Song: Good Mornin'
Musical: Singin' In The Rain


Consider Yourself at home
Consider Yourself one of the family
We've taken to you so strong
It's clear we're going to get along
Consider Yourself well in
Consider Yourself  part of the furniture
There isn't a lot to spare
Who cares?..What ever we've goin we share!

If it should chance to be
We should see
Some harder days
Empty larder days
Why grouse?
Always a chance we'll meet
Somebody to foot the bill
Then the drinks are on the house!
Consider Yourself our mate
We do't want to have no fuss,
For after some consideration, we can state
Consider Yourself
One of us!

Song: Consider Yourself (sorry about the funny audio)
Musical: Oliver!


"Clang, clang, clang" went the Trolley
"Ding, ding, ding" went the bell
"Zing, zing, zing" went my heartstrings
For the moment I saw him I fell

"Chug, chug, chug" went the motor
"Bump, bump, bump" went the brake
"Thump, thump, thump" went my heartstrings
When he smiled, I could feel the car shake

Song: The Trolley Song
Musical: Meet Me In St. Louis


The girls today in society
Go for classical poetry,
So to win their hearts one must quote with ease
Aeschylus and Euripides.
But the poet of them all
Who will start 'em simply ravin'
Is the poet people call
The bard of Stratford-on-Avon.

Brush Up Your Shakespeare,
Start quoting him now.
Brush Up Your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow.
Just declaim a few lines from "Othella"
And they think you're a heckuva fella.
If your blonde won't respond when you flatter 'er
Tell her what Tony told Cleopaterer,
And if still, to be shocked, she pretends well,
Just remind her that "All's Well That Ends Well."
Brush Up Your Shakespeare
And they'll all kowtow.

Song: Brush Up Your Shakespeare
Musical: Kiss Me Kate


The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That Tomorrow
There'll be sun!

Just thinkin' about
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!

When I'm stuck a day
That's gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,

The sun'll come out
So ya gotta hang on
'Til Tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow !
I love ya Tomorrow !
You're always
A day
A way!

Song: Tomorrow
Musical: Annie


Be Our Guest!   Be Our Guest !
Put our service to the test
Tie your napkin 'round your neck, cherie
And we'll provide the rest
Soup du jour
Hot hors d'oeuvres
Why, we only live to serve
Try the grey stuff
It's delicious
Don't believe me? Ask the dishes
They can sing, they can dance
After all, Miss, this is France
And a dinner here is never second best
Go on, unfold your menu
Take a glance and then you'll
Be Our Guest
Oui, our guest

Song: Be Our Guest (also the animated film)
Musical: Beauty and the Beast


Bonus Points Songs
These two songs come from musicals of well known Jane Austen books

Fine eyes
She has fine eyes
Full of mystical charms
The kind of fine eyes
That illumine her face
And a figure
Light and pleasing
Full of feminine grace
That begs me to embrace
And keep her safe in my arms

I long to tell her my feelings
I yearn to give her my heart
And share the dream I'm concealing
But how can I tell her when we are apart?

And those fine eyes
Clever brown eyes
Have a will of their own
Why do they hypnotize?
They never leave me alone.

Song: Fine Eyes
Musical: Pride and Prejudice: The New Musical
Sung by: Mr. Darcy (about Elizabeth Bennet's "fine eyes")


Why do I stand
Mute as a post
Trembling hand
Pale as a ghost
So many things I should tell her
Before she goes away
Stomach and head
All in a bind
Leaving unsaid
All of the things I should say
Only a few more hours
Till you are gone for good
I'd lay my heart before you
If I could

If I could I would tell you
How the last three weeks
Have made me understand
What it means to have a friend
If I could I would tell you
How I wish our time together
Would go on and on
And never end
If I could I would take your precious hand
And I'd bring it to my lips
And I'd let my feelings show
If I could I would get down on my knees
And I'd beg you not to go.
Don't go!

Music video above made my me with complete 'If I Could' song and screencaps from S&S 2008.

Song: If I Could
Musical: Sense and Sensibility: The Musical
Above lyrics sung by: Edward Ferrars (rest of song sung as duet between Edward & Elinor)


Players Scores
Sarah Grace - 26 points
An Old-Fashioned Girl (Izzy) - 22 points
Anne-girl - 21 points
Miss Dashwood - 18 points
Kiri Liz - 17 points
Emily - 16 points
Kayla - 16 points
Kim - 10 points
Rachel Olivia - 10 points
Melody - 9 points
Ella - 8 points
Jemimah - 8 points

Thank for playing everyone! :)

Which of these musicals are your favorites?
Which of the Jane Austen musical songs do you like best?

Very Truly Your's,

Friday, June 29, 2012

"It's not so bad..."

Alrighty m'dears, the period drama I am currently watching is a bit older but I am finding that I am greatly enjoying it!
See if you can guess what I'm watching by reading this hilarious quote below. I had to repeat this scene several times because it was so funny! :)

Character #1: And now tell Treadle what's wrong with this coat.
Character #2: (eyeing coat closely) Hmm...the back is admirable. The front is fair. The collar is passable. But the sleeves Treadle! The cuffs my poor benighted friend!
Character #3: That ___ _____ is the last word in cuffs!
Character #2: Oh lord I should hope so! For there should never be another like it!
Character #1: Oh come now, it's not so bad.
Character #3: You see ___ _____, his royal highness approves!
Character #2: My poor Treadle, his royal highness does nothing of the kind! He says it's "not so bad", and nothing in the world is so bad as something which is "not so bad"!
Character #3: (starts to protest) But ___ _____!
Character #2: No it's a crime Treadle, worse a blunder! And quite fatal to my reputation!

Any guesses as to what I'm watching? 

Thoughts on Love Comes Softly Prequels

Not too long before leaving Maine my sister Bea and I watched the two newest installments in the Love Comes Softly series: Love Begins and Love's Everlasting Courage. These two Hallmark films are prequels with the story line taking place before Love Comes Softly, the first film they made. Having enjoyed most of the other films in the series we looked forward to watching these as well.

Note: As a young teen I read and greatly enjoyed all of Janette Oke's books in the Love Comes Softly series and would highly recommend reading them first because none of the films can hold a candle to them. But the films are sweet and do have endearing characters and some moments of spiritual encouragement (but not a lot). Both of these films are not adaptations of Janette Oke's wrote but are based on her characters.

Love Begins 
This film is supposed to start the series off by telling how Clark Davis (a main character in Love Comes Softly) met and married his first wife Ellen.

Plot: Ellen and her sister, Cassie, live together on their family farm that they have run since the death of their father. After a storm goes through, damaging their barn, fencing, etc... it is clear they will need help to repair. Ellen asks the town sheriff if he knows anyone who can help. Clark Davis and his friend stop in town on their way to prospect for gold in California. When his friend causes a fight with some other fellows Millie's Restaurant they both land in jail and that night his friend decides to escape, while Clark chooses to remain and re-pay his debt. The sheriff decides to make Clark repay his debt by working on Ellen's farm, her younger sister Cassie soon befriends him but Ellen who witnessed the fight in town still thinks him to be untrustworthy. Clark and Ellen become friends after a time and when he pays off his debt he must decide whether to leave for California or let love begin.


Thoughts on Love Begins: I actually quite liked this film. The actor who played Clark (Wes Brown) is more of my idea of what the character looked like when I read the books at first (add a scruffy beard and it's pretty much him). It's wonderful that Clark is portrayed as a completely honorable man who pays off his debts and works hard. Ellen was right to mistrust him and first and I'm glad it took her a bit to warm to him. Ellen's sister Cassie was a lot of fun! She sort of says what's on the viewer's mind and was an unexpected lovely surprise of a character.
Overall this is a great family film and a very nice way to start the series off. It sort of made me wish that Janette Oke had written a story about Clark and Ellen before Marty comes along.

Love's Everlasting Courage
This film is designed to fill in the years between Love Begins and Janette Oke's original story Love Comes Softly.

Plot: Now married Clark and Ellen live on their farm with their spirited young daughter Missie. Times are tough without rain so Ellen takes a job as seamstress in town to help pay bills. She and Clark play matchmaker for their friends Ben and Sarah who are both recent widows. Clark's parents Lloyd and Irene Davis come for a visit and Lloyd helps his son dig a well to water his dying crops. Working too hard Ellen gets worn down and gets scarlet fever which eventually takes her life. Missie doesn't understand when she's scolded for trying to nurse her sick mother and after Ellen's death when she overhears her father planning to send her to live with her grandparents she runs away. Will Clark be able to heal the relationship with his daughter and will rain come so they won't loose the farm? Will they be able to have courage through these rough times?

Thoughts on Love's Everlasting Courage: I knew this would be a harder film to like for the mere fact that Ellen Davis has to die in order to set facts straight for Marty to come in Love Comes Softly. Because I enjoyed Love Begins I had some hopes that this might be good too and when I remembered the romance between Ben and Sarah Graham (some of my favorite characters from the book series) there was a lot to look forward to. Unfortunately this film was quite disappointing on many levels. Ben and Sarah's story goes so quickly and they seem to like each other and plan to marry soon after meeting, I would have enjoyed a bit more to their romance and more kids like they had in the book. Cassie, Ellen's sister from the first film, isn't even mentioned - did she get married or die or what happened to her? Even though Clark and Ellen don't seem any older they have a nine-year-old daughter, who although sweet, is much older than Missie is supposed to be in the book. When Ellen gets sick halfway through the book none of the adults seem to take time to explain the sickness to Missie or tell her how dangerous scarlet fever could be to her (she actually should have been sent away from the farm like Amy March is in Little Women). Ellen dies about halfway into the film and leaves a lot of time to fill up afterward which makes the plot odd.
Overall the film is fine for family viewing but a bit disappointing if you enjoyed the rest of the series.

Do you enjoy reading Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly book series?
Have you seen these two prequels? What did you think of them?

P.S. I'm slowly working my way back to writing more serious period film reviews. Hopefully I'll have something more review-like next week. :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Emma Week Tag Questions Answers


Almost two weeks ago Miss Woodhouse and Miss Abilaine hosted a delightful Jane Austen's Emma Week
With all my trekking across the country I was very sad to miss it, but it's been very nice to catch up on all of their lovely posts. Firstly I'd like to give both of them a hardy round of applause for all the hard work that they put into each of the many posts! *applauds heartily*
Secondly, I wanted to get in on the fun by answering the Emma Tag Questions they posted, so my answers are below.

Did you read the book or watch an adaption first? 
Watched an adaptation first, well sort of. My first meeting with Emma came when I found one lone cassette tape of a BBC radio drama of Emma at a thrift store. The tape was part 2 of 4 so I didn't even get the whole story, but I loved listening to it over and over again and scheming about how the story would end, the big question in my mind was "Who will Harriet marry?" All of my questions were answered when my mom bought a VHS copy of Emma (1997, Kate Beckinsale) and I watched that with my family over and over again - that's probably when the 1997 version has a special place in my heart even though it's not the most faithful version. Later I watched all of the other adaptations, read the book for myself and bought a full set of the BBC radio drama on cassette so I could enjoy the whole thing! :)


How many times have you read Emma?
Once all the way through on my own, but I've listened to my Emma audiobook version several times and also re-read my favorite chapters from time to time.

Your favorite adaption is?
The 2009 film version because it is more faithful to the spirit and content of Jane Austen's work and characters and it's just such fun to watch! Emma 1997 is my second favorite and has a special place in my heart because it's the first adaptation I ever saw.

Does Emma’s matchmaking ‘skills’ annoy you?
Oh yes! Haha! She definitely can get very annoying and you feel like shaking her and telling her "Robert Martin and Harriet Smith are in love you silly goose! Just leave them alone and it will be fine!" But I also can't help loving Emma too, she does have a good heart even if she can be a bit snobbish sometimes.


List three minor characters you like in the story.
Here I'm taking for granted that Mr. Knightley and Mr. Woodhouse are main characters.
Jane Fairfax - I actually love her story, feel for her and wish she and Emma could have been friends sooner in the story.
Frank Churchill - Many seem to think of him as the villain but I can't help liking him and smiling whenever he's "on screen" in a movie version or in the book.
John Knightley - His remarks are quite snarky sometimes but they make me laugh prodigiously! And he's such a good judge of character, a kind father and devoted husband, and anyone with the name Knightley can't helped but be loved!

Which character is the most annoying of the three? Mrs. Elton, Mr. Elton or Miss Bates?
Mrs. Elton! She's so frustrating because she seems to swallow up everything when she's in the room! At least Mr. Elton can keep quiet sometimes and Miss Bates is such a dear even though she rattles on quite a lot.

Have you seen any Emma spinoffs? (meaning modern adaptions like the original story)
I have seen a few clips from Clueless, the most popular modern spin-off, but didn't like the looks of it well enough to even attempt watching it.
I wrote a modern-day version once that I entitled 'The Matchmaker's Guy' and the "Emma" character was named Audrey - the Mr. Knightley character called her "Aud" heehee! :)

The perfect sum-up of Mr. Knightley is?
The best gentleman in the world!! Well, he most certainly is! As much as I love Mr. Tilney and all of the other Austen heroes there is on denying that Mr. Knightley is the most gentlemanly hero Jane Austen wrote. I just love Mr. Knightley! *sigh* :)

Described what you think of Emma herself in three words or less.
Kindhearted, meddlesome, brat. What? Well she is a bit of a brat sometimes! Ha :)

Harriet Smith receives a proposal from ____?
Robert Martin, her one true love! She actually receives two proposals from him bringing her up to the ranks of being an Austen heroine like Elizabeth Bennet or Anne Elliot who refused their hero's first proposal.

Your most enjoyed scene is?
As much I love all the scenes such as the Highbury Ball, my favorite scene has to be the proposal! Jane Austen wrote comparatively few proposal scenes and none so sweet as Mr. Knightley's words "If I loved you less I might be able to talk about it more." It's just perfect! :)

The villain is?
I don't think there is a villain in Emma. I used to think Mr. Elton was the villain because he was so frustrating and said some pretty mean things about Harriet, but even though his conduct isn't shining he doesn't do anything actually wrong. There's a better argument for Frank Churchill being a villain (or at least a scoundrel as Mr. Knightley calls him) but even his deception is not on a level will villains like George Wickham (P&P), John Willoughby (S&S), Henry Crawford (MP) or even William Elliot (Persuasion).
I think at different times throughout the novel there are characters who bumble into the villain role (even Emma herself with her tearing Harriet away from Robert Martin seems a bit like Caroline Bingley of P&P) but as much as we'd like to blame Mrs. Elton for everything that's wrong in Highbury there isn't just one villain.

Jane Fairfax is engaged to be married to ____?
Frank Churchill! Their story is actually quite Romeo & Juliet like, but it still seems like they could have trusted the people of Highbury (or at least Emma, Mr. Knightley and the Westons) with the secret of their engagement.

Miss Taylor was Emma’s ____?
Governess, friend and a bit of a mother figure too. I love dear Mrs. Weston! :)

Answering theses Tag Questions was so much fun! :)

How would you answer these questions?
Do Emma's matchmaking 'skills' annoy you?
Who do you think is the villain of Emma?

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