The Princess's Diaries

Monday, January 16, 2006


Whenever my mind wanders towards a vague impression of my future existence, to a time when i am a spiritually mature woman of God (but still young in age), that vague impression tends to come in the form of green foliage and wrought ironwork, as if there were a hanging basket positioned just above and in front of my head, to my right.

Yay for Beautiful Friends and also for Bargains!

Spent the most gorgeous Sunday yesterday with delightful Phoebe...sat around for a few coffees and a long chat in town, then didn't want to stop hanging out with each other so we went and had dinner at her house and did some very girly jewellery modification (including hilarious moment when we dropped all the beads on the floor...). Phoebe is just so beautiful inside and out: she's so honest and generous and has the biggest heart and the biggest smile and the most twinkling eyes anyone could have. Anyone who can make you feel utterly convicted and realise what that difficult thing is that you have to do to love Jesus better (and that you absolutely have to do it), and simultaneously make you feel incredibly loved and valued and secure is a winner in my book! Am feeling very blessed!

As for today, i headed north on an exciting walk (the road was very noisy and treacherous cos huge lorries kept whizzing through the lake-sized puddles threatening to soak me) until i reached a the factory shop of textile manufacturer. It was fab! Not the most diverse selection ever but oh, the cheap, cheap prices! How can it be that i have never been there before? I use textiles loads in my art installations. I didn't actually find what i needed for my latest art work but i picked up several pretty designs for decorating my room with. Love William Morris!

Saturday, January 14, 2006


What does it mean to be a sister?

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

Sorry Si, I'm putting my own stories on hold for a moment to write about other people's stories...been having a few in-depth conversations lately and I want to get things off my chest!

To begin with, the first of Andrew Adamson's Chronicles of Narnia films...

I’m afraid this is going to be quite a negative review so if this is going to upset you don’t read it! Lol.

My summary of my experience of this film is that, as the credits rolled, I sat there feeling underwhelmed and confused. How could one of the most imaginative and most heart-wrenching stories have come out so bland?

The visuals just weren’t what I was expecting. I think I’ve been spoiled by Lord of the Rings, really, which was almost as perfect as you could possibly get, and LWW seems to place itself in the same genre so it really needs to be as good. They even had the same props/models team (Weta Workshop, for whom I aspire to work someday) so there’s no excuse.

So what was actually wrong with the visuals? The problem is somewhat elusive; I can’t quite put my finger on it. I think it’s partly to do with the fact that I didn’t completely believe it. Perhaps something was whispering in my head, “they’re walking through a set.” LOTR just felt so real. I suppose the scale of it helped. In LOTR you’re experiencing an entire continent, so you can join the close-ups of towns etc up with sweeping panoramic views of the plains. The land-mass gives the smaller areas a context. I feel that the director of LWW didn’t make enough of the fact that Narnia is a whole country and the children cross literally from one side to the other; it has just as much scope for context and sweeping panoramas but somehow everything seems so small and closed-off. My aunt argues that this creates a quieter, more intimate film – well, perhaps, but I don’t want quiet. LWW is in part an allegory of Christ’s death and resurrection and that’s the biggest, most spectacular story I can think of. This film just isn’t breath-taking.

Perfect voice casting. I felt that the voice was the most essential thing to get right, and they did. But I’m afraid that they let Aslan down in other ways. Importantly, he didn’t look real. He was the right size, but not the right weight. And where was his majesty? His fearsomeness? His loveliness? When I read the books, I feel just like the children do, breathless and scared and in love, because I know Aslan and I know what it is to meet him. I felt the Aslan on screen could have been the real Aslan – I wanted him to be – but he’s been devitalised, not given enough screen time. We never get to explore him and get to know him. In the book, the children’s relationship with him comes completely from their direct experience of him. As the audience, our relationship with him comes indirectly, through the other characters’ feelings towards him. We don’t get to meet him for ourselves. Not good enough.
I guess my disappointment with the film resides largely with my disappointment with Aslan – to me, he is the whole point of the Chronicles of Narnia, and without him the rest is meaningless.

Best bits:
Aslan’s voice. Growly, silky, authoritative, gentle, fierce. You could imagine him singing Narnia into being.
Edmund. In the film, my favourite of the children. Great face – check out those angry, hurt eyes.
The children generally. Despite three of them having the wrong coloured hair, they are very much as I imagined them.
Mr and Mrs Beaver. Sooo perfect!

Negative bits:
The sacrifice scene. Too tame: lacking in drama and emotion. My heart should have broken but it didn’t, and neither did I believe that the girls were sad. When and how exactly had they gotten to love him so much? I didn’t notice.

Maybe my impression of it will improve with further viewings.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Back in Lancaster...

*does not sing song about being back in Lancaster…my hair is too cold for singing at the mo*

The nature of the Christmas period is that it’s all about experiencing with not much time to sit down, but now that I have a chair and a computer again I think it might be quite nice to look back over the holiday and tell some stories. Do you know what, I’d really love to do a story-telling course. I don’t consider myself very good at telling stories and I’d like to improve. Maybe Gav Shuker could teach me, he’s very good. His fireside version of that story about gold rats and tumours, or whatever, had it all: drama, humour, whispered asides to friends to check he’d got that bit right…

…are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…