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Posts Tagged ‘Anne of Green Gables’

Indignant is the word to describe how I felt back in 2005 upon hearing that another version of Jane’s Austen’s beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice, was to be released in the cinema, this time starring English actress Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet. The very existence of this new intruder version felt like an insult to those who had played in the 1995 BBC adaptation of the book. Like utter disloyalty to Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, who, in my mind, actually were Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Why make another when perfection had already been reached?

But of course when the time came for the film to appear in our one local cinema in Inverness, Scotland, where we were living at the time, I went along to see it. And slowly, as I sat with my sweet popcorn and mini tub of ice cream, I felt my arched brow of skepticism slowly fade into a soft smile. For even with the simplified script, the overacting, and that awful brown dress Kiera Knightly dons for the majority of the film, it cannot be denied that with all the talented cinematography that captures the breathtaking Darbyshire scenery and the gorgeous film score by Dario Marianelli, the film is a veritable feast for the eyes and ears. And I decided that perhaps seeing what other artists had to offer was, after all, a good thing. 

I like to put it on in the background sometimes, if I’m, say, folding laundry or working on my scrapbook. But Keira Knightley will never, ever be Elizabeth Bennet, just as the 2005 version will never be to me the haven of coziness, inspiration, and nostalgia that the 1995 version is. 

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And so it will be with this newest adaptation of the novel Anne of Green Gables by Canadian Author Lucy Maude Montgomery, which will air in February 2016. This version was created by Breakthrough Entertainment , and stars young actress Ella Ballentine as the red-headed orphan Anne Shirley, and Martin Sheen as Matthew Cuthbert, the Bachelor who, along with his spinster sister Marilla, ends up adopting the feisty, talented, kindhearted Anne.

Canada’s CBC-TV also has plans to run a series, simply titled “Anne,” which is set to air in 2017, and which CBC says will follow Montgomery’s story line, but will also “chart new territory.” Writer Moira Walley-Beckett say she had adapted Anne’s story and that Anne’s issues are really contemporary ones like feminism, prejudice, and bullying.  

I will watch both versions. And if the trailer for the made-for-TV film is any indication, that adaptation will be charming and entertaining, if nothing else.

But I’m a little concerned that the series will modernize Anne too much, throw Anne’s catch phrases about in a way that becomes obnoxious, make the story into something Montgomery never intended it to be.

 So yes, I’ll watch them, but at the possible risk of having to go back on my word, I’m quite sure that these will not be the versions I go back to–again, and again, and again. Because Megan Follows who starred as Anne in the Sullivan Entertainment   version simply is Anne Shirley, just as Colleen Dewhurst is Marilla, and Jonathan Crombie is Gilbert Blythe.

I was practically introduced to Anne’s world from birth when my mother named me Avonlea, and it was to Sullivan’s 1985 version that I was first introduced. It was these actors whose faces I had in mind as I read the books, these faces I felt uplifted and encouraged by on those days when I, too, felt “in the depths of despair,” or had “a Jonah Day,” or could say of God’s working in my life, “He knew.” They are as much like friends to me as any fictional characters could ever be.

Another chance to view what is probably my favourite story on earth? Yes, please. Perhaps Breakthrough will even go on to make other Anne films based on Montgomery’s books,and stay a little closer to the stories than Sullivan did with their second Anne film. But just as I’m quite sure that a rose called a thistle or a skunk cabbage wouldn’t smell the same, an Anne by any other name could just never be as sweet. 

 

 

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So I’m a little late with the news.

Four days is an eternity in our World Wide Web World.

And yet my own little world

spins at quite a different pace.

A constant splattering of primary-colored Duplo Blocks and breadmaker toast crumbs

have been crying out a little louder for my attention

than even this.

But I’ve got to mention it.

Put it down for posterity’s sake.

After all, how often does the Duchess of Cambridge pose for a photograph with Lady Mary Crawley?

How often does she go down to the kitchen for some cake from Mrs. Patmore?

It’s all just a bit dizzying.

Like someone got their fairy tales crossed.

Like it’s Cinderella meets Sleeping Beauty . . .

(or maybe Toads and Diamonds, however it is you see those Grantham girls).

But it’s that real life Cinderella Girl

most of us can’t help but admire,

and she’s gone to pay a call to

that period drama

most of us can’t help but watch.

And the moment’s just a bit magic

and most of us can’t help but smile

when we watch.

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I still regret a little that I didn’t go to see Kate Middleton And Prince William when we lived in Scotland

and they visited St. Andrews, their former university.

After all, it was just a short drive away.

And that time I had the chance to work on a TV set with Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey

(more on that another time!).

But ah, it’s all a little lovely,

and the lovely things in life can point us, if we let them,

to the good and beautiful that is not of this world.

The good and beautiful of the next,

where are hearts are really longing for.

So here it is.

Enjoy.

Kate Middleton visits the Set of Downton Abbey

Kate also once visited Prince Edward Island,

home of Anne of Green Gables.

A kindred spirit here, perhaps?

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Look for HappyLittleSigh on Pinterest for more loveliness

https://www.pinterest.com/happylittlesigh/

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Another week begins.

Outside, a change has come.

A bitter wind that those bare, black trees just can’t hold back.

My hands are raw like a nurse’s, from all that hot scrubbing.

Because though it’s Thanksgiving week here in America,  

for me it will be another seven days of much the same,

if I want to look at it that way.

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Loading and unloading

dishwashers,

washing machines,

wee ones in and out of beds.

Washing and scrubbing

walls,

floors,

toilets,

faces,

feet.

It’s sacred ground, you know, my home.

Sacred, with Jesus here.

Beside me as I labor, as I stoop.

Just as He did, right before He died.

Servant-like, He washed all the black off His disciples’ feet, just like He’d wash their hearts.

Just like He washed mine.

And so it’s sacred work, too, that I do.

Washing little hands, little feet.

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Not easy. Not easy not to pipe up about what’s fair, and who’s pulling their share of it, and what I need to be happy.

No, the work’s not easy, and it goes on and on.

But what’s easy, really easy, is to go looking for something to give a bit more meaning to it all

when the sacred is disguised as tedium.

I know it’s not there, yet how often I go looking

for something to fill that deep, deep hole.

And yet I know, when it comes down to it, where to be filled.

Filled up and overflowing.

Where I can find the strength to serve and keep on serving.

And I can’t afford not to take the time each day to be filled up,

filled up and floating on all that love, all that grace.

He’s here. Beside me.

But I need to turn and look Him in the eye.

And as I scrub, I need to look them in the eye—my little souls.

They won’t sleep under this roof forever.

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And while I’m kneeling, sometimes I’ve got to remember to keep them there, pull them to my lap.

Lean with our elbows on the windowsill to see what’s what.

With our eyes, trace the shape of those big, black trees,

the colours in the sky,

catch some geese in flight,

work together on our smile lines.

Acknowledge the sacred.

Because it’s right here.

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She rises up as morning breaks
She moves among these rooms alone
Before we wake
And her heart is so full; it overflows
She waters us with love and the children grow

~ Andrew Peterson, “Planting Trees”

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“It was November–the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.”

~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables    

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You might also be inspired by “Sinking in Deep”https://happylittlesigh.com/2013/11/02/sinking-in-deep/

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Happy Little Sigh is now on Facebook and Twitter — Find me there?

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Sometimes it helps, remembering where you’ve been.

Other times it’s enough to leave you in a fit of tears.

Make you crawl into bed, yank up the covers

to hide your face,

blot your tears.

It can be regret

for what you did

or didn’t do

that leaves you feeling this way.

Regret for what you did

or what was done to you.

Other times it’s the life you had

but don’t have any more.

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And it’s a combination, I suppose, of all those things, that can get me, really get me, make me want to head for bed, cocoon myself in the covers, throw a temper tantrum of the grown-up type.

A photo can remind me. Bring to mind all that once was.

A photo, or basement, maybe. A basement full of boxes that represent my life.

Boxes. Time capsules.

And that’s just what I created, though I didn’t know it those many years ago, when I wrapped my treasured possessions in old t-shirts and lace, arranged them carefully in empty banana boxes until someday when I was older, when I’d want them again, when I’d have a daughter . . .

And I didn’t know, when with slim, tanned hands, I slid the lids off the dozens of silver boxes we received for our wedding, that I wouldn’t hear the rustle of that tissue paper or see the gleaming stainless steel and sparkling crystal again for another ten years . . .

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Now, with a house of my own back on this side of the Atlantic, they have been delivered to me—water stained banana boxes and silver gift boxes alike, and a thousand memories come back, along with a thousand questions, as I unpack it all and set on the floor around me.

It brings a smile, leaves an ache, when I remember. When I remember that we only meant to stay in Scotland for a year, though it turned out to be eight. When I recall how desperately I’ve always wanted a daughter, though God knew I needed sons.

And I’d like to claim it doesn’t matter. That I’m above all that.

All that wishing for weekend trips to London.

London, when it was just a few hours’ drive away.

England, with all the birthplaces and resting places of those literary geniuses I so adore.

Scotland. Our home.

Our stone house in the village, with our view of the valley, and the short walk to a friend’s front door.

And the rain—how I learned to love the rain!—and the sound of the kettle when we made our tea.

And the mist, and how it never did stop putting wonder in my heart.

And I’d like to claim I haven’t cried for a little girl I could gift with my tea set, my Anne of Green Gables doll.

Yeah, I could pretend. I could pretend that it’s fine.

It’s just fine with me.

And I don’t have to wrestle. Not one little bit.

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But I know, and you know, that would all be one fat lie.

And there’s such a thing, I’ve learned, as pain that’s clean.

Clean pain, like from a surgeon’s knife.

Clean pain, when you learn to see

He knows a better way.

And though I’ve always known it, in theory, that His ways are best, that He’d take you round the world and back again to bring you closer to Him, I didn’t really know it till I’d gone.

Round the world. And back.

And I have to still my heart a little, to realize He’d do all that

just for me.

And so when I doubt, when life seems about as predictable as a Kansas plain, when I’m pretending to let go, but my thumb and finger are pinching, holding tight to something I think I need to make me happy, that I can’t live without, that’s when I’ve got, just got, to remember what He’s done.

On the cross.

In my life.

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The adventure! I’d never dared to dream.

My sin! Yet He has drawn me back.

My former life can seem quite rosy, in the scrapbook of my mind.

It’s easy to forget the shadows when we think of the past.

But when Love is waiting to catch you

it’s best to let go.

Let go and rest.

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You might also be inspired by “Sinking in Deep” https://happylittlesigh.com/2013/11/02/sinking-in-deep/

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Happy Little Sigh in now on Facebook and Twitter. Join me there?

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A Dozen Cosies to Warm Your Heart  & Your Hands and  Bless Your Week . . .

  1. Spread a blanket and have a picnic lunch inside. Or a candlelit picnic at night when the children are abed?

  2. Buy a bouquet of fresh flowers and divide them up in jars around your house. Don’t forget your bathroom and your bedside table. And don’t forget to give them a smell.  

  3. Rake some leaves and jump in the pile. Go in and warm your hands and your soul with some tea.

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4. Bake something with cinnamon. Apple pie?

5. Go for a walk and pray until your nose and cheeks are red. Then go in and warm up with some tea.

6. Watch Anne of Green Gables and laugh and sigh when Anne is “in the depths of despair.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HZfQ7EqMUs

7. Make a cup of tea and cradle it in your hands while you read the Bible. Psalm 42?

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm%2042&version=NASB

8. Make a big pot of soup. Calcannon, an Irish favourite?

2 Tbsp butter

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

4 large potatoes, thinly sliced

Chicken or vegetable stock/broth

Herbs and salt to taste

200 grams kale or cabbage, shredded

300 ml cream

1. Heat butter on low. Add onion, garlic, potatoes, cook for 5 minutes without browning.

2. Pour over enough stock/broth to cover, season to taste.

3. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Add the kale/cabbage, bring back to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.

5. Pour in the cream, ladle and serve.

9. Sprawl out on the carpet and listen to some favourite songs. Maybe this, by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins?

10. Invite some friends over without worrying about the house. Light some candles. Serve tea.

11. Stand under a tree, look up, and watch the leaves fall. Try to catch one.

12. As many times as you can remember, tell your spouse and your children how very much they’re loved. By God. By you.

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The newly wed Prince William and Kate Middleton were in Prince Edward Island, Canada, earlier this week. Prince Edward Island, as in home of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables, by Canadian author Lucy Maude Montgomery.

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Prince Edward Island, as in the setting for the Sullivan Entertainment program Road to Avonlea, also based on Lucy Maude Montgomery’s books. I can’t help but think that if Mrs. Linde and Aunt Hetty were alive . . . and, em, real people, this royal visit would have made their year!

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A royal visit to P.E. Island–now that is my sort of headline! Click on the link below to read about the visit and learn Kate’s opinion of Anne.

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Royal-Tour/2011-07-05/article-2631740/Duchess-says-she-read-Anne-of-Green-Gables-as-a-girl/1

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