Saturday, 26 March 2016

Motherhood... and Post Natal Depression

A positive pregnancy test is regarded by some as a Godsend, yet by others as a nightmare they never expected to face. The reactions are usually based on one's plans and whether children are on the short-term plan list. However, regardless of that initial reaction and the months following this revelation and up to the birth, what happens after the birth is a totally different story. The majority of mothers appear to be on cloud nine, despite the lack of sleep and the extra loads of laundry, for a new child often brings joy even to those that were not expecting it. However, a very cruel trick that hormones sometime play on the mother's mind happens regardless of whether the baby was actually planned or even desired. I am talking about Post Natal Depression, that ugly state of being that rears its head when least expected and is unfortunately the catalyst of horrible consequences, including marriage breakups and even in extreme cases, suicide.

It is a condition we try to avoid talking about, and mothers who have been through it oftentimes refuse to acknowledge it to the rest of the world. It is time we spread some awareness about this topic if we are to save lives and families from the devastation it can bring about. Here is an article of mine which was published this week that relates to the subject. Feel free to share it but always by linking back to the original article and never reproduced in any other form.

Friday, 18 March 2016

The 'I love' Series - Bread Bin

My post of today is the first in a new series I am planning about possessions. Wow, a Minimalist wasting valuable writing time on possessions, you might say? But this will be more than just a list. In each entry I will focus on one item that I treasure and say why I love it so much. Believe me, there aren't many of those, which makes them even more special!

My first, a definite favourite functional item which resides in our kitchen, is a bread bin. I love its vintage style and that it's made of tin just like they used to be and it also brings back memories of our family trip to London in November 2013, which is when and where I bought it. However, as this is first and foremost an item meant to do work rather than just sit pretty, I have to mention that it is so very good at keeping our bread and biscuits fresh unlike some modern varieties. We used to have a silver and transparent plastic kind when we first had our kitchen done and apart from matching all the appliances it did not fulfil its job properly, so much so that when it broke I opted to stay without. Till I realized I do want a bread container of sorts that is not a cupboard, keeps food fresh and is not the fridge, which was a common suggestion here where I live (probably because of the hot summers). So I decided to combine form and function by getting a pretty-looking reproduction piece. I first saw one on the Next online catalogue but when I went to the shop they had only one left with a drawer that was already askew, which didn't suggest a hardy item to me. So I left it on the shop shelf and was rewarded for my sacrifice when my husband stumbled upon this one that's in the photo while we were at Morrisons, which we took home:

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Eddie Redmayne Films and Series

All bets were on Leonardo DiCaprio rather than Eddie Redmayne in the run-up to this year's Oscars and it was no surprise that Leo won. Still, The Danish Girl will forever be considered another masterpiece for the Londoner, who played both Einar Wegener and Lili Elbe in the film. Redmayne made his Lili as pretty and plausible as his Einar is handsome and confused, no mean feat for an actor to carry out. This is probably the main reason why I still am a little disappointed that he lost this year's Oscar and the chance of back-to-back wins after last year's achievement. He won the golden statue Oscar last year for his interpretation of Professor Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

However my post of today will veer off the Oscars and Redmayne's latest film in order to recap some of his filmography, which goes further back than his fame. This list is by no means exhaustive but gives one a list of films and series to watch for yet another glimpse of the green-eyed British heart-throb.

Les Misérables - cast as the lead love interest in Tom Hooper's musical film, he showed us that not only can he act, but he can also sing well. His melodious voice was such a treat it made even the purposely drab and sad 'Empty Chairs at Empty Tables' scene worth watching and re-watching.

My Week with Marilyn - from what I can gather, this is the first film part to have gained him the attention of the media. In it he plays the smitten Colin Clark, who gets to 'work' (and also play) with his idol Marilyn Monroe.

The Other Boleyn Girl - It doesn't get much better than working with beautiful girls Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman. Eddie manages to convey his feelings for Johansson's character Mary from the first even in the subtlest of ways as demanded of his character in the particular situation and whilst his is a small part, it is also important to the resolution of the story.

Savage Grace - It might be this film that earned him friends status with Julianne Moore. In it he plays her son Antony, who is more tormented due to her outrages outbursts, their illicit companionship and the way her character lives her life than truly because he was queer to start with. I felt more pity than anything else at the ending to this tragedy, which is based on a real murder case.

The Pillars of the Earth - with the beautiful Hayley Atwell as his love interest Aliena, Eddie's character Jack has us always wondering what will come next and rooting for him over Alfred, his step-brother. This is a series based on the book by Ken Follett and figures many more characters and bloody battles rather than just focusing on the love story. However Jack is one of the keys to the story.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles - In this TV mini-series, his is the first onscreen interpretation that ever helped me understand the humanity of a character when I'd already read the book of the same story. Truly a case where the actor was better than the original author at showing who Angel Clare really was and why Tess could actually have been and remained in love with him throughout.

Jupiter Ascending - for which he won his first Razzie for Worst Supporting Actor! Even a seasoned actor such as Eddie found it tough to play a nefarious villain when he is such a sweet boy in real life. However, kudos for trying and I must say, I did come across one wild but convincing review that seemed think that Eddie was his best as super villain Balem Abrasax and here it is:

Birdsong - in this two-part mini-series, whilst not as his best character ever, Eddie manages to convey the differences between a pre-war young toff and a war-scarred survivor. Many fans love Birdsong for the passion between the two main characters Stephen and Isabelle but I personally find their love quite superficial and implausible in the circumstances. Then again, the author always knows best what his characters are capable of.