Great Character Names

This may become a series, since there are way too many great character names to post all at once.  And feel free to add yours!

I recently watched the series “Bleak House” on Netflix.  Do try to watch it if you can – a fantastic series based on the Dickens masterpiece.  It centers around Victorian London’s society and legal system, and features some marvelous characters:

Guppy, a lawyer’s clerk, prone to social awkwardness

Miss Flite, an eccentric who keeps birds – lots of birds

Smallweed, a greedy, disabled moneylender

Mr. Turveydrop – foppish owner of a dance academy

Now, here are photos of the characters in the series.  See how perfectly they fit!

Miss Flite
Mr. Turveydrop

What are some of your favorite literary characters?

Five Ways to Celebrate the Diamond Jubilee

So what if you’re not in London for the next few days. You can still celebrate like you’re the queen! Here are five simple ways to be royal:

1. Wear bright colors. The Queen believes she should be seen. “I can’t wear beige, because nobody would know who I am,” she has stated. She stands out among the masses, as it were, by wearing bright yellows and pinks and blues, and, of course, a fabulous hat.

2. Host a Big Jubilee Lunch. The Big Jubilee Lunch will be part of the main program of events over the central weekend of the Diamond Jubilee. A record number of people are expected to take part. A Big Lunch can be anything from a few neighbors getting together in the garden or on the street, to a full blown street party with food, music and decoration that quite literally stops the traffic. What to serve for your Big Jubilee Lunch? Consider Beetroot, Feta and Rocket Salad; Victoria Square Veggie Cottage Pie; and Chocolate Tiffin Squares.

3. Greet your subjects. While it’s not mandatory that everyone bow and curtsy to you, some will. Accept it with grace and a smile. Extend your hand to the people you meet; they are thrilled to meet you! And if someone like the First Lady grabs you up in a big hug, well, carry on.

4. Love animals. Queen Elizabeth loves horses (thoroughbreds, of course!) and her beloved Corgis. Princess Diana once likened the dogs at Buckingham Palace to a carpet. This follows a long tradition of the Royal Family’s affection for dogs. When Queen Victoria’s beloved Collie, Noble, died at Balmoral in 1887, he was buried on the grounds of the castle and given his own gravestone, which read: ‘Noble by name, by nature noble too. Faithful companion, sympathetic, true. His remains are interred here.’

5. Finally, embrace local traditions. The Queen has a keen interest in Scottish country dancing. Each year during her stay at Balmoral Castle, the Queen gives dances known as Gillies’ Balls, for neighbors, estate and Castle staff and members of the local community.

Happy Diamond Jubilee!

A is for Auden

Note: Some of my fellow bloggers started their “A” posts yesterday, which I thought was exempt, as it was Sunday.  They’re onto “B” today, so I guess I will be, again, behind.  Unless I can get two posts out today.

My theme for this A to Z Blogging Challenge will be: authors.  That includes writers, storytellers, novelists, poets, and even songwriters.

A is for Auden.  W.H. Auden, whose first name was Wystan and middle name was Hugh, is not as well-known as, say, T.S. Eliot, Thomas Hardy, or the American Robert Frost.  Unless you count “Four Weddings and a Funeral” as one of your favorite movies.  His name sounds suspiciously British, and it is.  He was born in England and later became an American citizen.  Born in 1907, died in 1973.

I remember reading one or two of his poems in college.  “September 1, 1939” was about the start of World War II, but also about oppression, and I couldn’t even grasp the complexity of his writing back then.  It wasn’t until I heard “Funeral Blues” (also known as “Stop All the Clocks”) read by the character of Matthew (John Hannah) at the funeral service of Matthew’s partner Gareth in “Four Weddings,” that I paid attention to Auden again.  Click on the link if you want to watch it again.

“Funeral Blues”


Funeral Blues (Song IX / from Two Songs for Hedli Anderson)
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.