It just seemed silly to have separate pages for books, movies, TV and needlework, so I’m trashing those pages and will just post things under the individual categories.

First up, “What’s on TV?”

  • Princess Caraboo arrived on Wednesday and I hope to watch it tonight.  I’ll report back later.
  • The good news is that the Region 1 DVD of Emma is intact — the scenes cut by PBS are back where they belong.  I am looking forward to my Emma film festival (which will, of course, include Clueless).  But I swore to do this properly, so it has to come after the film festivals for S&S, P&P and Mansfield Park (which will most decidedly NOT include the travesty that is MP99).
  • I picked up a copy of S&S71 (a.k.a. The Poldark S&S) now that it’s available in Region 1 format.  I have a Region 2 copy, but it’s in storage along with my multi-region DVD players.  I happen to like this adaptation very much.  It stars Joanna David as Elinor, Ross Poldark, er Robin Ellis as Edward Ferrars, Francis Poldark, er Clive Francis as Willoughby and the always-wonderful Patricia Routledge as Mrs. Jennings.   It suffers from many of the same poor production values as do the other adaptations from the 70s and 80s, but it is rather faithful to the book and the performances are quite good (OK, Ciaran Madden as Marianne is a bit over-the-top, but isn’t Marianne supposed to be over-the-top?).
  • And, speaking of Poldark, the series is FINALLY being released in Region 1 as of March 2.  DeepDiscount has series 1 for $47.22, and Amazon has it for $45.99.  Series 2 does not appear to have a release date yet.  For those who are unfamiliar with the saga concerning Poldark, the gist is that Region 4 (Australia/New Zealand) had a more complete release than did Region 2 (UK/most of Continental Europe), and Region 1 (US/Canada) had no DVD release at all.  As a result, anyone with access to a multi-region player and the cash was buying their DVDs from Australia or New Zealand.  North America did have a VHS release that was incomplete, so this DVD release is the first time most of us in Region 1 will be able to see the series as it was intended to be seen since it first aired here in the 1970s.  Unless, of course, the series we saw was “edited” the way recent Masterpiece Theater programs have been.

Next, “What’s in the Workbag?”

With some of my Christmas money, I went onto ebay and bought this:

Sudden Showers (Elsa Williams)

It’s not my usual kind of piece, but something about it struck a chord.  I don’t normally like working with Aida but, upon closer inspection, it just might work out for this piece (especially since there are no quarter stitches required).

And, to continue with the rainy-day theme, I also bought this on ebay:

Ninth and Hudson

This arrived yesterday and it’s smaller than I’d thought (10″ x 10″), which is not a bad thing.  It’s also an Aida project, but the instructions talk about fractional stitches.  I am not a big fan of doing fractional stitches on Aida — it’s sometimes very difficult to get the needle through the fabric and the result isn’t always very pretty.  The good thing is that most of the fabric is covered with stitches so the fact that it’s on Aida isn’t quite as obvious.  Call me superficial, but I just don’t like the appearance of Aida.  Some of it looks very cheap.  I prefer evenweave or, if necessary, linen.  Evenweave is easier on my not-so-great eyesight than linen is.

My current project is this:

12 Days of Christmas, from Hinzeit

Yeah, it’s a little dorky, but it’s going pretty quickly.  It would go more quickly if I got around to buying new glasses.  It’s getting harder and harder to see up close.  I end up having to take off my glasses to see what I’m doing.   I’ll get around to it once I finish paying off all of the doctors.

And last, “What I’m reading.”

As I’ve mentioned, I’m in school these days and don’t often get a chance to read books for fun.  Unfortunately, I am also in the habit of having more than one book going at a time.  To wit:

  • Intimations of Austen, by Jane Greensmith.  This was a gift from a friend, who assured me that I would love it.  I do.   The second story, “Three Sisters,” is particularly thought-provoking.
  • Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen.  It’s never been my favorite of Austen’s novels, but Austen on a bad day is better than pretty much anyone else on a good day, so of course it’s excellent.
  • Beyond Heaving Bosoms, by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan.  This is a discussion of romance novels, from “Old Skool” through to “New Skool” by the women who run the “Smart Bitches, Trashy Books” blog.  It’s more than a tad crass, but the vulgarity does not keep me from finding something hysterically funny on almost every page.

The TBR pile includes:

  • Colonel Brandon’s Diary, by Amanda Grange
  • The rest of Austen’s “Big 6.”
  • The Importance of Being Emma, by Juliet Archer.  A thoroughly enjoyable, albeit a sometimes too-literal, retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma (I moved this to TBR because I really should finish it AFTER my re-read of Emma).
  • Robyn Carr’s “Grace Valley” series.
  • The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, Civil Warfare, and the Triumph of Anglo-America, by Kevin P. Phillips.

There are more.  No surprise.