Category Archives: Notes

Nosferatu: Symphony of Horror

nosferatu

I’ve recently had the weirdly, wonderful experience of seeing the silent horror film Nosferatu in a live theatre. Three musos provided the atmosphere with background music. The best part was when the guy played on the theremin!

For those of you who don’t know what that is: a theremin is an electronic music instrument by Russian inventor Leon Theremin . It looks a little bit like an aerial. When it is played you do not touch the aerial but wave your hands around it; you’re essentially playing different notes on sound waves.

I have to say: compared to modern horror films Nosferatu is so much better and ahead of its time. I enjoyed the cinematography and the fact that it’s in black and white works in it’s favour. Even though it might seem quite silly to the modern viewer, some scenes still has that creepy element. Behold the eyes and nails. My favourite scenes is when Count Orlok comes up the stairs and reaches out.

I loved the nature scenes: with the flesh-eating flytraps, spider and rats. The film also used stop motion photography. 

The plot of the story is based on Dracula. There was quite a scandal when it first came out. Bram Stoker’s wife sued the studio for plagiarism and have all the copies destroyed. Luckily, some copies survived.

In Nosferatu the vampire is called Count Orlok. ‘Nosferatu’ is the name given to a vampire in the movie.

There are some humerous moments in the film. *Spoilers: When Hutter wakes up he finds two bitemarks on his neck. Later, in a letter to his wife, he refers to the bitemarks as a cause of mosquitoes. Hutter’s employer is secretly in cahoots with Count Orlok and is called Knock. As in Knock, knock who’s there? Also, they used a hyena to portray the werewolf!

 

 

 

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King Henry VIII and Cinderella

I’ve recently finished reading “The Boleyn Inheritance” by Philippa Gregory.

boleyn inheritance

The story is told through the eyes of three women: two of King Henry VIII’s wives namely Anne of Cleves (fourth wife) and Katherine Howard (first Anne of Cleves’ maid in waiting and later the king’s mistress – fifth wive); and kinswoman Jane Boleyn, who betrayed her husband and his sister (Anne Boleyn – wife number three) and played a part in every wife of King Henry’s undoing except for the last one.

Reading this book made me think of the story of Cinderella. But this is no Cinderella fairy tale. King Henry VIII was a horrible human being. He was old, sickly (he had an open leg wound that stank up the whole palace), he was obese. His Achilles’ heel was beautiful women, but he was very paranoid and insecure believing there was a constant plot to kill him.

He had his first marriage annulled and was excommunicated by the Pope. This caused the church and state to separate.

Why any woman would agree to marry him is beyond me. Although, apparently Anne of Cleves’s childhood home and life was so horrendous she would have done anything to get away from her brother and mother.

Cinderella:

There are a few things that bother me about the story of Cinderella. After she runs away when the clock strikes midnight and the prince is only left with her shoe – why doesn’t he just find out what shoe size it is? Judging from many adaptations of the story, Cinderella has freakishly small feet (like me) and by knowing that, he could have saved himself so much trouble.

Also, how do you not recognize the woman you have danced with and fallen in love with? If it were a masked ball or if the people were wearing wigs, I could understand why he didn’t immediately recognize her, but seriously? How thick is he?

And I do not for one second believe that when Cinderella marries the prince she is free. She remains a servant by becoming the prince’s wife – who says he won’t treat her as such?

My “Roar” model

Some people like to talk about who their role models are, but I think everyone needs a “Roar” model!

Mine is Piotr Lisek. He is a Polish pole vaulter and he has a ritual: every time before he jumps he gives a mighty roar and charges.

lisek

I think that’s what life should be like: whenever we face a challenge instead of cowering in the corner or running away, we should give a mighty roar.

Almost like the character Teddy in the 1944 film “Arsenic and Old Lace”:

Arsenic And Old Lace GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Toorbos – Dalene Matthee

toorbos

Ek het nie gedink dis moontlik nie, maar ek het ‘n nuwe gunsteling boek van Dalene Matthee en dit is Toorbos!

“Liefde is ’n lang leer met baie sporte. Moeilik om te klim, want ons trap dikwels mis…”

My gunsteling dele uit die boek is waar Karoliena haarself soos ‘n boom vermom, want sy wil weet hoe voel dit om ‘n boom te wees; en later waar sy Abel Slinger se olifantvoete/skoene leen, want sy wil weet hoe voel dit om in die voete van ‘n olifant te loop. En ek sou wat wou gee om ook die boomspook te sien!

Binnebladbeskrywing:
Karoliena Kapp is ’n alleenkind. Haar pa is vroeg-vroeg deur ’n weerligstraal doodgeslaan en sy het die bos aanvaar as haar oermoeder. Sy is mooi en word gou raakgesien deur Johannes, ’n boswerkerskind wat hom uit die wurggreep van armoede losgewikkel het. Nog voordat sy twintig is, word sy met hom afgetrou en moet sy haar plek as dorpsvrou volstaan.

Maar Karoliena gebruik die eerste kans om weg te loop. Die dag na die troue weet sy: Sy het verkeerd gekies. Sy het van die bos af weggevlug en haar vryheid verruil vir ‘n kou. Nou is sy bang, en sy vat die pad terug.

Terwyl die pietjiekanarie sonder ophou roep: Wie’s-jy, wie’s-jy.

Eerste uitgawe: 2003

Sterstatus: 5/5

My Nonsense Alphabet

A – Absurdity, applesauce
B – Bilge, baloney, BS
C – Claptrap, codswollop
D – Drivel, Dada, dribble
E – Empty talk, eyewash
F – Fudge, Flim flam, farce
G – Gab, gibberish, Greek, gobbledygook
H – Hogwash, hokum, horsefeathers
I – Idiocy, idle talk, insane
J – Jabber, jargon
K – Kookiness, knick-knack
L – Ludicrous, loony
M – Marlarkey, mumbo jumbo, mummery
N – Nonsense, nuts
O – Out of one’s mind
P – Poppycock, potty
Q – Quackery, QI
R – Ridiculous, rubbish, razzmatazz, random,
S – Silly, slipslop
T – Tommyrot, twaddle
U – Unmeaningness, unreason
V – Verbiage
W – Waffle, wacko
X –
Y – Yakking, Ya-ta-ta, yap
Z – Zany

I need help with the letters Q and X. Anyone?

My Alphabet of Exclamations

I was really bored at work once. Then I got the wonderful idea of creating my very own Alphabet of Exclamations. This is a great activity to do while waiting for the time to pass.

A- Alla mapstieks! Aloha! Alas! Awesomeness! Argh! Amen! Aikona!
B – Bazinga! Bloody hell! Bravo! Bingo! Bilge! Bleh! Boo-yah!
C – Crikey! Cool!
D – D’oh! Ditsem! Dagnabbit!
E – Eina! Eureka! Egad! Encore! Eek! Easy peasy!
F – Foei tog! Fie! FUNtastic! Fiddlesticks!
G – Gee whiz! Gesondheid! Geronimo! Great Scott! Gorrelpyp Griet!
H – Hell! Hmmm… Hot diggity! Hey! Holy smokes! Huh? Hiert!
I – Indeed!
J – Jinkies!
K – Kapish?
L – Lo! Land ho! La-de-dah!
M – Mmm… Mwah!
N – Narf! Neener-neener!
O – Oi! Okay! Ow! Oops! Olé! Ooh-la-la!
P – Phew! Pfft! Pshaw! Psst!
Q – Quite!
R – Roger that! Rats!
S – So what? Shut up! Shhh! Sies!
T – Timber! Tally-ho! Totally!
U – Uh-huh! Uh-oh! Ugh!
V – Voila! Viva!
W – Whatever! Woe is me! Well! Wow!
X –
Y – Yowser! You know? Yabba-dabba-doo!
Z – Zoiks!

I can’t find one which starts with the letter X. Do you know any?

Doctors aren’t always right

Whenever someone asks me about my foot nowadays I sigh and say: “It’s a looooong story.”

It all started in February this year when I decided to attend a Zumba dancing class. I really enjoyed it. It lasted a month, until…

My right foot was suddenly swollen and painful and I couldn’t figure out why, because I couldn’t remember bumping it against something and it didn’t have a bruise.

I eventually went to my GP and he decided it was a stress fracture based on all the symptoms. The think is he was just guessing because you couldn’t see that it was a stress fracture on the X-ray. So he booked me off for two weeks.

When that two weeks were up, my foot looked better, so stupid me went dancing again. The next day it was swollen again so I decided to extend my waiting period to a month.

Needless to say after two months of no improvement, I went to a physio. He suggested the reason why my foot won’t heal is because I’ve been walking the wrong way my entire life because apparently my right leg is longer than the other one.

So I had to take my favourite boots to a specialist to build up my left boot so that it would make me walk at an even level. I also got an inner sole for my other shoes.

The thing is: that works well for winter, but the seasons are changing. After another 2 months or so with no improvement (the swelling in my right foot still not healing) I decided to drop the physio and go to a foot specialist.

Guess what? He was stumped. He couldn’t get any wiser from their own set of X-rays and only after I went for an MRI (which is quite an alien experience I might add) he could definitely say it was not a stress fracture and if there was one, the bone has healed by now.

Turns out there are some lymph blocked in between the little bones of my big toe and a big lump of something on the foot of my bridge. So he concluded that after my injury a lymph blockage formed.

I was completely flabbergasted by this news, because I’ve never heard of such a thing. Sounds too much like quackery to me.

This last week I’ve been to a lymph specialist to get rid of the excess lymph in my foot through lymph drainage. (The first thought that popped into my head when lymph drainage was suggested, was that they were going to take a needle and pull the liquid out. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who thought that.)

Lymph drainage is actually a set of specialised massaging along the lymphatic system in your body.

I really hope this works, because I’m at my wits end and my medical aid savings have been depleted ages ago. Which means the money I’m supposed to put away for my new car, is going towards my foot.

Now I’m walking around with a bound foot (the bandages have to stay on more than 48 hours at a time) and I’ve been given “special” exercises to help my lymphatic system come alive again. Funny thing is, many of the exercises look a lot similar to those my mom and I used to do from an exercise video while growing up. Hmmm…

To be continued.

stupid doctor

A Very Tall Order, if you please

Ek is vir eers sat gelees aan Engelse boeke en smag vir ‘n boek in my moedertaal. Maar…

Dit moet nie ‘n hartseer storie wees nie en dit moet ook nie my laat voel asof ek my polse wil afkou nie.

Dit moet ‘n lekkerleesboek wees, ‘n storie wat mens in een go verslind en sommer weer wil lees.

Ek weet dis ‘n baie groot ASK, want om een of ander rede is sulke boeke skaars in Afrikaans. Die enigste ander boeke wat ek al gelees het wat in hierdie kategorie val, is Verna Vels se “Liewe Heksie” reeks en die “Maasdorp”-reeks – boeke wat ek laas op skool gelees het.

Die enigste ander boeke wat naby dit gekom het was Riana Scheepers se “Katriena”- reeks.

Wat sou jy voorstel?

tall order

NaNoWriMo Week 4: The Last Chapter

This chapter was never finished.

I was seriously contemplating ending my story with this, because I just can’t think of an appropriate ending.

Until last night. I got a vague idea now. I just have to finish writing the trial scene to see if it plays out.

While I’m writing the trial and thinking of the ending, I started rewriting some of the other chapters.

NaNoWriMo Week 3

I did some more research on court cases just to get a general idea on how it works and I also started reading Kafka’s “The Trial”.

I’ve researched terms and/or sayings with the words “just” or “justice” in them:

  • just as well, just so, just a minute, just deserts, just for the hell of it, not just another pretty face, just for the record, just in case, just in time
  • justice day/Day of Judgement, bring them to justice, poetic justice, Lady Justice.

The symbolism of Lady Justice: a blindfolded woman with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other. The scales is a symbol of balance, the blindfold = impartiality, sword = authority.

Order of a court case:

  • crime committed.
  • person is arrested
  • charge/accusation
  • Plead guilty or not guilty
  • settlement or
  • The Trial. Evidence is presented to determine if the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
  • sentencing: determined through jury and/or judge
  • accused can appeal

Other jargon: if person lays a false claim under oath, he or she can be charged with perjury; jury’s verdict, cross examination, hostile witness, the accused, affidavit, bail, insanity plea, juvenile/minor, double jeopardy (protection of defendant; can’t be charged with same crime twice).