Archive for December, 2010

This Poem is just up your Street!

Posted in Inspiring poetry with tags , , , , on December 27, 2010 by echostains

Over here (England) our favorite soap Coronation Street recently celebrated its 50 year anniversary with a tram crash!  Why? well, because we’re like that up north:-D   Wrecked buildings, homelessness, death, injury, theft and resilience were the order of the day.  The residents rallied round – and the Christmas spirit reigned (well, in some households) regardless.

The oldest resident of the street is Ken Barlow, played by William Roach.  He read a special poem, penned especially by our own Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy at the memorial service.  It’s a poem which everyone can identify with – regardless of which street you happen to live on!  Happy New Year!

If you don’t have time to watch the episode – here’s the poem:-

If someone could direct me to a street where I could stand
Cobbles beneath my feet tearful with rain;
The shadows of my hopes behind the stained- glass windows of a pub, ghosts –
I would turn up the collar of my coat, walk, number each small, terraced house by heart:
Birthplace; neighbours – hardman, hussy, haridan, hustler, hero, heroine –
Threshold, bride and groom as clueless of next year as Christmas Eve;
Or exit-place, a hearse, a raw and local grief…
Then I’d retrace my steps, perhaps a baby’s cry sharp as a sudden star nailed to the sky,
To stand now in this backstreet bar, nursing a beer
All my griefs, my gifts, and glad I live here.

poem from here Thanks!

Read the review about the Poet Laureate and Coronation Street here

Book Review ‘Wedlock, How Georgian Britain’s worse husband met his match’ by Wendy Moore

Posted in Dear Reader I read it! Book reviews with tags , , on December 20, 2010 by echostains

Just finished reading ‘Wedlock by Wendy Moore.  The rest of the title says it all really: ‘How Georgian Britain’s worse husband met his match’.  The lady in question was Mary Eleanor Bowes,  daughter of a very wealthy coal magnate who died when she was only 11.  Intelligent, confident, wealthy and quite nice looking, the young Mary Eleanor soon fell into a unhappy marriage with her first husband  Lord Strathmore which lasted 8 years until he died.  Exceedingly wealthy in her own right, she was once more beseiged by fortune hunting suiters.  But it was Irish soldier Andrew Robinson Stoney that charmed her whilst fighting a duel with her regular suiter Grey.  On Stoney’s deathbed, she promises to marry him.  However he wasn’t in fact on his ‘last legs’ as she thought and soon  made a miraculous recovery!  Too late, she had married him.  No sooner was the wedding over when her new husband showed his true colours.

Mary Eleanor when married to Lord Strathmore


Then the payback!  But you will have to read the book to find out how Mary Eleanor escaped this monster.  Her character is flawed of course, her weaknesses if they be weaknesses was  to be too trusting and too impetuous.  Her main weakness though, I feel, is that she is a very poor judge of character, where men are concerned.  But she turns out to be a heroinne in the end, and also the Great great ancestor of Elizabeth Bowes Lyons (The Queen Mother).  A true story with extensive research, which pays off!  Yes, I enjoyed this, though it was only when I got to the middle before the pace really started to hot up.  The pace then turned into a exhillarating gallop – very exciting!



Note:  This post  has been transferred from my art blog Echostains.  I shall be transferring my book, DVD and film reviews to this space.

Happy Birthday Dear Jane Austen!

Posted in Authors I've read, period drama, Poll with tags , , , , , on December 16, 2010 by echostains

Today is the 235th birthday of British writer Jane Austen b. 1775 -1817.  In her short lifetime Austen completed 6 books.  I have read all of them, and have to say that Pride and Prejudice is my very favorite (followed closely by Emma).  To celebrate her birthday see my Echostains which explores her portraits. Meanwhile over here at Bookstains,  here are two of my favorite clips, (though I have many)  of the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. 

Having turned down Darcy’s marriage proposal, Lizzie and her relatives spend some time in Derbyshire and  in the vicinity of Darcy’s home Pemberley.  Hearing that the Master is away, Lizzie is exploring the home and grounds which she could have been hers, when she encounters – who else but Mr Darcy who has returned home unexpectedly!

Here’s the poll