"Pongáio" was the name my Aunt Mona gave to a long, green, cool room where we gathered at her home —
replete with comfy chairs, a rocker, sewing machine, sewing goods, beautiful beads, shelves, books, bibelots, photographs, odds'n'ends, mementos of a life, treasures —
a gathering of all the useful & 'useless' things that so make life a pleasure.

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Papai, papai, deixa eu filmar!"

My eldest son got out the remains of the VHS tapes that we had filmed the children when very small and had them passed, whatever could be saved, to dvd's.

While watching a few of these with the aforementioned children, now in adulthood (fingers crossed!), we all started to laugh, as the soundtrack with its endless refrain, came through:
"Papai, papai, deixa eu filmar?! Papai, deixa eu filmar?! Papai, por favor, deixa eu filmar?!
Pai, eu sei filmar! Papai, deixa eu filmar?!"
>> (Daddy, Daddy, let me film? Daddy, let me film? Daddy, let me film?
Daddy, I know how to film! Daddy, please let me film?!")

Rather like this... though the pro-active part was only thought of, to be sure!

Just love Pierre Coffin's work...

And for more of the Lady in the Shoe theme: (see also That time coming around ... and Rose Hill Cottage)

© Passion Pictures / MacGuff Line / P. Coffin

☼ The reason for which you wake up in the morning ☼

生き甲斐    Ikigai
In the Okinawa "blue zone":
"the reason for which you wake up in the morning"

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Evolution of Man

Mock The Week - Outtakes
as Man: Frankie Boyle, Hugh Dennis, Greg Davies
egged on by Russell Howard

Friday, November 26, 2010


Just saw this yesterday at my aunt's Facebook page.
Loved it!

The Duetto buffo di due gatti ("humorous duet for two cats")
by the Les Petits Chanteurs a la Croix de Bois,
Concert in Seoul, Korea, Nov 30, 1996

From the Wikipedia:

While the piece is typically attributed to Gioachino Rossini, it was not actually written by him, but is instead a compilation written in 1825 that draws principally on his 1816 opera, Otello. The compiler was likely the English composer Robert Lucas de Pearsall, who for this purpose used the pseudonym "G. Berthold".[1]

Music and lyrics

The music consists, in order of appearance, of:
  • the "Katte-Cavatine" by the Danish composer C.E.F. Weyse[2]
  • part of the duet for Otello and Iago in Act 2 of Otello
  • part of the cabaletta to the aria "Ah, come mai non senti", sung by Rodrigo in the same act
The lyrics are uncharacteristic, consisting entirely of the repeated word "miau" ("meow").

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Majestic Plastic Bag & Jabberwocky

The Majestic Plastic Bag - narrated by Jeremy Irons
Found the above great mockumentary via Content in a Cottage, a favorite blog—a varied feast of imagery, quotes, and vintage fonts.

This got me thinking:

The Trash Bags That Wish They Could
These poor defenseless critters also suffer a great deal here, very often impeded from getting to the little known Unchartered Southern Atlantic Patch by dastardly dumps, risky rivers, treacherous trees and other perfidious plastic predators.

I do not know if they are homing in on that one or would rather head over to the Great North Atlantic Garbage Patch.

For more information on Plastic Paradise Patches, go to the 5Gyres site and blog.

Reading of gyres, these words of Jabberwocky comes to mind.
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
 Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
I can imagine the Plastic Bag gyring and gimbling in the wabes, chortling amongst its beamish polymerous companions.

Whatever it may mean of my mental, er, faculties, this was the only poem I ever memorized from beginning to end.
So here, from Lewis Carrol to you... down memory lane...

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
 Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
 All mimsy were the borogoves,
 And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
 The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
 Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
 The frumious Bandersnatch!”

 He took his vorpal sword in hand:
 Long time the manxome foe he sought—
 So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
 And stood awhile in thought.

 And as in uffish thought he stood,
 The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
 Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
 And burbled as it came!

 One, two! One, two! and through and through
 The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
 He left it dead, and with its head
 He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
 Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
 O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
 He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
 Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
 All mimsy were the borogoves,
 And the mome raths outgrabe.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Another Bright Blue Snuggie

Oh, this is funny!

A few weeks ago on Nov 12, Son² came back from a week's business trip to the States bringing a gift for his dear old ma: a Snuggie.
At first, I thought it was just another blanket, a ve-e-ery bright blue, a blue that used to be called eletric for its visual shock potential; a blanket for warm tv watching.
But, eyes aglow, he insisted, , "Open it, open it!"

And, lo and behold:

A blanket with sleeves!!!

The Sleeve!

Ok, ok, this may not be world shaking news for all the blasé I-already-know-what-a-Snuggie-is folks, but is was a surprise to me!

I have since then, on the recent unseasonably cool evenings, been watching tv shnuggled in my son's sweetly thoughtful, very bright, electric-blue gift.

Taking a peek at The Pioneer Woman today, I suddenly see that there is another bright blue snuggie in the world!
Here you can read the funny&wow "A Gravel Road, Two Photographers, and a Bright Blue Snuggie", which was posted on the ... 12th Nov!
The very same day that my very own bright blue snuggie brightened and warmed my life!


Living where I live, I do miss those defined seasons of my childhood in the Northeast & New England.
Here, we are now in spring, in which begins The Rainy Season and hot weather.
Or used to.
As worldwide, the weather here is now also rather freaky: some years almost no rain, some years much and floods. This year, the rains have actually come "on time" in October as in the olden days, but accompanied by unusual bursts of, for us, a very winterish cold. Brrrrr...

But I do miss the lovely light and colors of the Fall...
The photos below capture these well.
And get me thinking even more of Thanksgiving.
We don't have this holiday here, but everyday can be dedicated to giving thanks for all our blessings, our harvest of joys.

(click to enlarge)

 Photographs by Elizaberh Maxson
To see more beautiful photos,and thoughtful post, go to her
The Adventures of Elizabeth

Monday, November 08, 2010

Venus Rising

"Now it is time for Venus to emerge from the light of the Sun, any day now, as the heliacal rising planet. Keep your eye on the pre-dawn sky, as many star priests and priestesses have done through millennia. This is just about the strongest position any planet or star can take, announcing the day."
— M. Kelley Hunter

Venus [rising], Orion and Sirius by Tristan Gooley @ The Natural Navigator

            "The Lady of the Morning is radiant on the horizon.

             Honored Counselor, Ornament of Heaven…
             When sweet sleep has ended in the bedchamber,
             You appear like bright daylight.

             You render a cruel judgment against the evildoer;
             You destroy the wicked.
             You look with kindly eyes on the straightforward;
             You give that one your blessing."

— from a hymn to Inanna, as given in Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth 
   by Wolkstein and Kramer, via Cosmic News by  M. Kelley Hunter

The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli
(look at all those wonderful, beautiful pudges!
forget the Twiggies, Bunchens, et al... Botticelli is the word!)

APOD - Astronomy Picture of the Day
Venus and the Moon at dawn, Nov 5, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010


    Today's Halloween. Here Halloween is Witchs' Day, Dia das Bruxas.
    And election day.
    Nuff said of that!

    On a lighter note, the following are Halloween images I have gathered
    from the web over the years.
    I don't have the credits for them. If anyone knows, I'll be most happy
    to give the authors their due.

    Warning: CUTE ALERT!!!

It's The Great Pumpkin!



Saturday, October 30, 2010


A few weeks ago while going through the garden, I realized that the scruffy, drooping plants in one of the fountain borders was lavender. Lavender!!!
With the start of the rains and few good soakings, the plants had recuperated from being transplanted and had started to bloom.

I love lavender!
Up until a few years ago it was very difficult to find lavender plants here.
Suddenly, surprise, surprise! Lavender in my own building's garden, planted unbeknownst to me.

These pictures are from a few days later...
Spring's joy.

 A new hydrangea

Thursday, October 21, 2010

That time comin' round... and Rosehill Cottage

Warning!: Looooonng post! (with lotsa images!)

Already at the beginning of October the shops' Christmas decorations have been going up... a bit freaky, as just the other day was the beginning of the year!!!

Another sign of that time comin' round is the Christmas movies starting to be shown on tv.

One that I saw again a few weeks ago was The Holiday. I fell in love all over again with Iris's cottage! The next day, stopping quickly by a store on the way to wherever and looking through the sale table, I found the dvd of the film! Very inexpensive, which makes the joy even better!

Then, with the pleasures of googling and actually finding things as we can do nowadays, I found many references and, joy, joy,joy: images!

First the sad: The cottage wasn't a real one, but a life-sized prop at the location in Shere, England, complete with fake snow in June. (How do they get the vapor clouds from the mouths that we read as cold, cold, cold? digital effects?). The interiors were sets built in a studio in... LA., I believe. (writing this from memory as waiting for hair-coloring-goop to work its charm)

Oh, so that's why the cottage was so much larger on the inside than the out!!!

I realized that the interiors were sets when I started perceiving the Old Lady in The Shoe effect (how can you fit those "so many children" in the shoe without it being MUCH larger inside than out? I never saw it as such a huge boot as in the drawing below! Even so...)

old woman's shoe
Drawing of There was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe by Kronheim, c.1875
                          There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
                          She had so many children, she didn't know what to do;
                          She gave them some broth without any bread;
                          Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

The earliest printed version in Joseph Ritson's Gammer Gurton's Garland in 1794 has the coarser last line:
                          She whipp'd all their bums, and sent them to bed.
from Wikipedia
(They were were so much more direct in 1794, no?)

But I did think that the cottage, by any other name, was still a Rose ... -hill cottage — that is, a real cottage.
I found that it all being a fake is sort of freeing. Now I can imagine my own little Rosehill Cottage, build it in my brain, and all will fit marvelously inside.

I also found out that the producer of the movie, Nancy Meyers, has made many of the movies that I watch over and over, many for the storyline, but all certainly for the "backgrounds": the houses! Something's Gotta Give and It's Complicated are just two of these.

"... the production team was led Jon Hutman - but Beth Rubino, so wonderful on the set of SGG, was absent for The Holiday.  And just as with Something's Gotta Give, Nancy Meyers' personal interior designer has photos of "The Holiday" houses on his web site, but he is not mentioned in the film credits." — Côte de Texas, The Holiday Houses. Meyer's "personal decorator" is James Radin, James Radin Interior Design.

The Holiday's story and acting is in my "ok" range... Cameron Diaz a bit over at times. It is an enjoyable movie, in the light&cute style. The imagery is lovely... Jude Law's blue eyes (grey? turquoise??... does it matter, as long as we can look?) are always a nice holiday touch. The LA house is also beautiful, but it doesn't warm my cockles as the cottage does.

I believe this movie is based on one I saw many years ago about house swapping. That one was between a Colonial home in perhaps New England?, and a cottage in Ireland? The two women were also trying to forget problems... I think one a love affair, and the other the death of her child in the pool (???... of the Colonial?). As I can't remember the actresses or the movie's name, I can't find any references of it. And "house swap movie" and its variations only come up with The Holiday. So far.

The best definition images I found were from the site - "Bilder zu The Holiday (2006)". I've posted them below, but they aren't as large as the ones directly on the site [my image hosting sites automatically cut down the size : (  ]
Click on the images to see the larger ones, with all the amazing detail that went into making these sets.

Iris's Rosehill Cottage
*all imagines from OutNow.Ch unless otherwise noted
 (I don't know who the original photographer is)

I want one, I want one, I waaant one! Pleeease!

"Rosehill Cottage 'The Holiday' film set; Shere, Surrey, England (via pg tips2)"
via Sinopse

Snuggly Living Room

Fireplaces all over!

I just love this little library/study that was made of
this little mudroom-type lean-to, with its "home-made" shelves.

 The Mysterious Bathroom
No skylights or windows on the exterior roof!

Rare back view by Paul Orford at Panoramio

Links to more information and sources:
 • Hooked on Houses - "The Holiday": A Tale of Two Houses
 • Movie Real Estate - Movie Real Estate: The Holiday
 • Côte de Texas - Holiday Houses
 • Silver Screen Surroundings  various posts
 • A day in the Life of a Dracofly - "The Holiday" Country Cottage

For more exterior images:
 • The Shere "The Holiday" Film Set  by pg tips2

Other Meyer films:
 • Architectural Digest - Something's Gotta Give
... and many more sites & images on the web...

The Holiday (2006)
Director: Nancy Meyers
Production designer: Jon Hutman

some Christmas candy
(don't forget to click)
 I want one, I want one, I waaant one!  wink 2