Monday, November 25, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Goodness! They say time goes by quickly when you're having fun, however my weekends seem to go extremely quickly these days. :)

I had a really fun day today with my family members.  My sister and brother visited with their partners and my two nieces.  It was fun to spend some time catching up together as we all lead such busy lifestyles. We all live away, therefore it's not always easy to meet up together. It was great to see how much my nieces have grown since the last time I saw them. Steady on! They'll soon be taller than me! |;)

I later visited the Showcase cinema to watch the sequel to The Hunger Games.  The film was entitled The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and I must say, what a fabulous film it was too. :)

The film starred the lovely actress Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. :)

"Let The Games Begin" ;)

A Little Spoiler

The plot so far: It's the second installment of the Hunger Games Trilogy. Katniss and Peeta have just completed winning the 74th Hunger Games however they have to pretend that their Victory was due to an act of love because she defied the capitol by breaking the rules. She is told that if she did not keep up the presence of being in love with Peeta, that her entire family would be killed.

Contestants for the 75th Hunger games were being chosen, however participants were being chosen from past victors.  Katniss is soon to realize that she will take part in the games, along side Peeta.

Saltwater lake, where the games are to take place, was arranged like a clock. Every hour an attack would take place. They are attacked by poisonous fog and mandrills. At 12 noon and at midnight lightening strikes and if that's not enough, they have their rivals to contend with too. Eventually Katniss destroys the force field and she destroys the arena, however she passes out only to wake up later in a spacecraft. She learns that her family home is destoyed (District 12) she is on her way to District 13. :)

The film is fabulous! I can't wait until the next installment.  :)

 SmileyRoseFrances x

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Butler

I managed to get out for a bit of fresh air this evening. It was well needed, particularly as I have been cooped up for almost a week. I have been feeling unwell, so you can imagine how welcomed it was to get out for a while today. :)  I began the evening by giving my car 'Kooky' a good clean.  He's now sparkling again.  :)

I later visited the Showcase Cinema. I went to watch the film 'The Butler' which starred the brilliant actors Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. The film also hosted a number of other well known actors which included Robin Williams, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Elijah Kelley and David Oyelowo.

I found the film rather emotional in places, so yes you will need tissues.

A Spoiler - Close Your Eyes 

The film tells the story of Cecil Gaines. The film is based on a true story inspired by Eugene Allen. He served eight presidents in a total of 34 years working as a butler for the White House. Cecil was raised on a cotton plantation. He witnessed his father being shot by a farm owner after he confronted the man for raping his wife (Cecil's Mother). Cecil becomes a house servant, however he eventually leaves behind his mother who is scarred for life after her attack. He is found breaking into a hotel pastry shop, but instead of being punished he becomes lucky when Maynard the head servant takes him under his wing and teaches him a few skills. Maynard later recommends him for a post at a top Washington hotel. Cecil marries and he becomes a family man. He is approached by The White House to work as a Butler. He accepts the position and he later becomes Head Butler for the White House. There is much family drama.  President Kennedy is troubled by events between blacks and whites. He delivers his speech re the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Martin Luther King is assassinated in the late 1960s, after civil rights activist. Son Louis tells his family that he and a few others had founded a chapter of the radical organization called the the Black Panthers.

There was a lot of family drama. Young son is sent to war but he is killed in action.

The film is excellent, so go and see it!!!

SmileyRoseFrances x

Friday, November 15, 2013

My Holiday Enroute to Bude in Cornwall :)

My journey down to Bude in Cornwall is one I shall never forget. It was a photography holiday, therefore I travelled alone. During my stay I managed to meet up with friends... and their friends too.  :)

Firstly, my car had a flat tyre on the motorway on my way to Cornwall. It was a little scary to say the least as it happened on a busy motorway, however I managed to stay calm and I didn't go into girly panic mode.  I called for the RAC. They sent a nice man to my rescue. My car was a little sluggish during the rest of the journey, however Corry, my little car, is becoming quite old despite him taking me all the way to my destination and back again. :)

En-route to Cornwall I decided to stop off at a small guest house in Gloucestershire. It was very pleasant. It was in the middle of nowhere and it was very quiet and peaceful.:)






















My room had a lovely room with a view. It over looked the back garden. :)























I had a very comfortable night.  On the following day i was a little disappointed that the chef was on holiday, therefore I was unable to have breakfast at the guest house.  Instead I stopped off at a cafe service station for breakfast. :)  I later drove on to meet up with friends at a National Trust House at Hestercombe House, Nr Taunton.












I finally arrive at my destination in Bude, Cornwall. It was a long old journey but I'm glad I broke my journey up by staying in Gloucester on the way down and then in Chepstow, Wales on my way home. :)

The next few photographs were taken during my stay in Bude. :)














More photos to follow :)


SmileyRoseFrances x

Official Royal Visit To India

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, are currently busy touring India. This will be their third official trip together. They will both be spending a total of 9 days in India.

The Prince of Wales spent his 65th Birthday in India. :)

Click Here for full story :) 


SmileyRoseFrances x

Monday, November 11, 2013

Christmas

I don't know about the rest of you however I refuse to start thinking about Christmas until at least 1st December.  Having said that, the other evening, on November the 5th, a friend and I stopped off for a pub dinner at the Gordon Arms, Peterborough. It looked very festive in there. :)




























SmileyRoseFrances x

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" :)

This evening I watched  "An Audience With Diana Ross"....She's a fabulous singer!  I went to watch her in concert a number of years ago with school friends at the NEC Birminham. :)

This evening she sang some of her greatest hits, which included some of her Motown songs.

My favourites were:

"The Theme From Mahogany"

"Endless Love"

 "I'm Still Waiting"

"Baby Love"

"One Shining Moment"

.....and the song which always reminds me of my daughters, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"

Well the girls are now 21yrs and 18yrs old. How time flies by very quickly. :)

CLICK HERE!!!!


SmileyRoseFrances x

Back Down To Earth With A Bump!!! "Gravity" :)

Today I spent a lovely day with my daughter Lauren. We went for a lovely walk around the park at Huntingdon. It was a beautiful sunny day and there were a lot of boats out on the river. I really enjoyed my stroll and catching up with Lauren today. Her excited news: She now has her own car! :)




















 












































On the way to Huntingdon we went by a Remembrance Day Procession. Everyone looked very smart indeed.

I had not seen Lauren for a few weeks. We'd both had separate holidays this year, she's growing up fast.:)

























This year I went to Ireland with my eldest daughter Catherine and then I spent another week holidaying in Cornwall. When I returned Lauren was getting ready to go on holiday with some of her friends, therefore it was really great for us to catch up in person, although we do try to keep in touch fairly regularly by phone/text etc. :)

We later had dinner at Chiquito's. I ate a lovely Jambalaya meal, which I must say was very tasty in deed. We drank cocktails, both opting for the Margarita. :)


























After dinner we walked over to the Cinema to see "Gravity" a 3D film starring the lovely Sandra Bullock as Dr Ryan Stone, a medical engineer on her first mission and George Clooney as Matt the astronaut in command of his last flight before retirement.  The film had me gripping onto the edge of my seat from start to finish.

Not a total spoiler

Unfortunately there is a disaster and their shuttle is destroyed. The pair are left floating in space together. I won't be a complete spoiler here, but Sandra Bullock does come back down to earth with a big bump!  I really loved the film. It's one of those films I'm really glad I watched on the huge screen at the Cinema.  :)

My own interpretation of the film reminded me loosely about my own family life, in a witty manner of course.  There are two occasions when what looked like an umbilical cord being cut. Then there was a tense part in the middle which included lots of struggles. Then there was the part when all was failing and she felt like giving up hope but her inner strength gets the better of her and it makes her more determined than ever...and finally the baby shuttles leave the Starship (two of them!) before the film climaxes and she comes back down to earth with a great big bump!

She's alone again, but only this time she's much, much stronger. :)
 
It's funny what we think we can see sometimes. ;)

SmileyRoseFrances x

Remembrance Sunday

The Ode

They shall grow not old,
As we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them,
Nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun,
And in the morning
We will remember them.

Lest we forget.  Tomorrow will be Remembrance Sunday. The Sunday nearest to 11 November is known as Armistice Day


Image Source
A Remembrance Sunday Poem, also a hymn. 

Grant peace, O Lord, across our strife-torn world, Where war divides and greed and dogma drive. Help us to learn the lessons from the past, That all are human and all pay the price. All life is dear and should be treated so; Joined, not divided, is the way to go.



Protect, dear Lord, all who, on our behalf,
Now take the steps that place them in harm's way.
May they find courage for each task they face
By knowing they are in our thoughts always.
Then, duty done and missions at an end,
Return them safe to family and friends.

Grant rest, O Lord, to those no longer with us;
Who died protecting us and this their land.
Bring healing, Lord, to those who, through their service,
Bear conflict’s scars on body or in mind.
With those who mourn support and comfort share.
Give strength to those who for hurt loved-ones care.

And some there be who no memorial have;
Who perished are as though they’d never been.
For our tomorrows their today they gave,
And simply asked that in our hearts they'd live.
We heed their call and pledge ourselves again,
At dusk and dawn - we will remember them!

Voice:
At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

ALL SAY
We will remember them

SmileyRoseFrances x

Thursday, November 07, 2013

HaPpY BiRtHdAy - Love You All :)

Here's hoping that my Mum has a very Happy Birthday. :)















 Image Source





A very Happy Birthday to Marion










 Image Source









......and a very Happy Birthday to Fiona :)

















 Image Source













SmileyRoseFrances x

Monday, November 04, 2013

'Philomena'

If you are looking for a good quality film to go and watch then I urge you all to go and see the film 'Philomena' ...a brilliant, brilliant British film which is very witty and heartfelt. The film will definitely go on my list of 'Best of British films'. It stars the wonderful actress Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, who incidentally wrote the script as well.

Close Your Eyes - A Bit Of A Spoiler

The film tells the story of Journalist Martin Sixsmith who helps Philomena Lee, an elderly woman, to search for her long lost son.

The woman came from Ireland and she longed to find her son Anthony, the son she was forced to give up by the nuns at a convent some 50 years ago. The film is based on a true story.

The Journalist Martin Sixsmith, is also an editor. He decides to take on a human interest story when he learns the circumstances of the woman and how she came to lose her child. The story unravels and their search takes them to Ireland to the convent and then on to America, only to learn some bad news about Anthony once they had arrived there.

Anthony's name was changed to Michael once he was adopted. He died of the AIDS virus. Michael was a closeted homosexual. He was a high-ranking official during the time Ronald Reagan was President of the USA and he feared it would ruin his career if it was found out he was gay.

Michaels dying wish was to go home to Ireland. He was buried in the grounds of the Roscrea Convent.

Philomena, forgave the nun who wrongly forced her to give up her son.  I must admit, she must have had a far more forgiving nature than I have. The nun is unrepentant, saying that losing her son was Philomena's penance for the sin of fornication. Agh!! I'm not so forgiving even though I was brought up as a Catholic.

I'm not going to be a complete spoiler, but it may be as well to close your eyes if you haven't seen the film. :)

I loved the film. I found it to be very witty, touching and well acted (take tissues).  I loved the chemistry between Philomena and the Journalist. I would love to see this film win awards, it was indeed that good!  :) 

Of course Philomena is the name of my paternal grandmother, which prompted me to want to watch the film in the first place. :)

SmileyRoseFrances x