Saturday, 16 August 2014

Sunflowers and other things

This years Sunflower in memory of my good friend and colleague Fran

Every year since we lost Fran to Ovarian cancer her friends and colleagues have grown Sunflowers in her memory.  

This is my Sunflower for 2014

My school books revisited for August is 'The Color Purple'  by Alice Walker.
I read the book when it first came out in the 80's and the film is one of my favorites and when my daughter read it in English Lit I couldn't pass up the opportunity to read it again and therefore had to make it one of my school revisited reads and guess what I got to enjoy it all over again.  There are some subtle differences between the book and the film.

For anyone who has never read the book or seen the film the story is 
.set in the deep American south between the wars, this is the classic tale of Celie, a young poor black girl. Raped repeatedly by her father, she loses two children and then is married off to a man who treats her no better than a slave. She is separated from her sister Nettie and dreams of becoming like the glamorous Shug Avery, a singer and rebellious black. woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the support of women that enables her to leave the past behind and begin a new life. 

It is always described as one of the most haunting books people have ever read and I think this is very true but is truly a magnificent read.

My film for the month of August 'Asrenic and Old Lace' starring Cary Grant. Mortimer Brewster, who has written several books ridiculing marriage as old fashioned has finally bitten the bullet and got married to his sweetheart Elaine Harper who lives next door to his aunts who raised him. .  He is about to go on Honeymoon but before he gets a chance he discovers a secret about his two dear old aunts and his uncle Teddy when he discovers a body hidden in the window seat.  Mortimer thinks that his Uncle Teddy, who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt, has something to do with the body but on confronting his two elderly aunts he soon discovers that they have been as they put 'helping their gentleman to cross to the other side' by poisoning them with elderberry wine, arsenic, strychnine and just a pinch of cyanide.  

It is a truly funny film and if you've never watched it, it is definitely one to brighten up a wet Sunday afternoon.



  1. I've never seen or read The Colour Purple, but have seen Arsenic & Old Lace several times over the years and have always thought it a good one. Take care.

    1. Hi Susan,

      The Color Purple is a great book and film both worth reading/watching. I do love Arsenic & Old Lace nothing better on a cold Sunday afternoon.

  2. The sunflower is gorgeous, what a lovely way to remember your friend. Arsenic and Old Lace is a great film - despite all the technology and effects in films these days, some of the oldies are the best aren't they? I haven't read The Color Purple, may give it a try. Happy Sunday!
    Jane x

    1. Hi Jane,

      I have always loved Sunflowers but yes they definitely mean more now. I have always loved old films, there are so many really good ones it hard to know which ones to pick as my film of the month. I first read The Color Purple when it was published in the 80's and can remember the first time I watched the film I cried buckets.

  3. A lovely gesture growing sunflowers each year to remember your friend, and it's a beauty. I've never read or seen The Colour Purple or seen Arsenic and Old Lace either, glad you enjoyed them again.

    1. Hi Jo

      I have always loved Sunflowers and this one was quite late opening this year. I've got some of the seeds you won in my giveaway for next year I thought they looked lovely. I found Seedaholic to be a very good supplier and very reasonably priced for the amount of seeds in each packet. I think The Color Purple will always be one of my favorites. There are so many old black & white movies its hard to know which ones to pick.

  4. The sunflower is beautiful and such a lovely memorial. You've made me want to watch 'Arsenic and Lace'! and The Colour Purple has been on my to read list for a long time.... I think I'll make it the next book I look at :)

  5. I have always loved Sunflowers but yes they do mean a little more now. I have always loved old films and Arsenic and Old Lace is one of my favorites. I think I will be like Mortimers aunts when I get older but I won't be hiding any bodies in a window seat and we don't have a cellar. The Color Purple is well worth reading and it is one I could read again.

  6. We had The Color Purple for our book group, I loved it. It was a really wonderfully crafted book.
    I like CG an awful lot, never seen that movie but it sounds good.
    Lisa x