To Diana

Car. Crash. Eyes. Closed.
We haven’t saved the rose.
Don’t cry. Do love.
Twenty years is not enough:
Still. Hurts. Still. Aches.
Our pain lies awake.
She was there. For us. No more.
We are there. We live. For her.

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Diana, Princess of Wales (July 1, 1961 – August 31, 1997)

Cathy

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To My Dream Outfit (Don’t Be Jealous – I Just Love It!)

Glasses, lips and shoes –
Red is all I choose.
You are of no use
Anymore.
Yellow coat embrace.
Laugh into your face.
My heart lacks your space.
Close the door.

Forgive me, I am getting savage,
This passion’s more than I can manage,
My heart belongs to this new outfit.
Don’t be jealous – I just love it!

There is no green light
Switching on tonight,
You have got it right –
Go away.
I’ll wear these dear things,
So happy I can sing.
Yellow and red wings
Have grown today…

Forgive me, I am getting savage,
This passion’s more than I can manage,
My heart belongs to this new outfit.
Don’t be jealous – I just love it!

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Cathy

Image taken from Hello!

Love Always Wins

Give me your word though it means nothing more
Than eavesdroppers do for a locked iron door.
I’ll have at least something to scold you for
When you break your promise – and we start the war
Of betrayed lovers, both of whom are wrong
And whose hatred for the moment is strong,
But we will both realise before long –
Love always wins. Well, at least in this song.

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Cathy

Image taken from We Heart It

“Baby Names I Love But Won’t Be Using” Tag

There are so many trendy  tags around, and I am not even aware of them! Thanks to Jenny in Neverland for bringing this one up, I am definitely joining in, because naming preferences & traditions has been one of my favourite topics ever since my younger cousin was born. Finding a name for her was a massive mind-twister for the whole family. You will not find her name on this list – as we all not only loved but also used it – but I will put it in the end of the post to give credit to my little sis for partly inspiring me to write all this.

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Abigail – a regal, fine name which could make a lady out of any girl who bears it. But Abigail is bound to be called “Abby” by her closest friends – and this nickname has nothing in common with the full version, in my view.

Frederica – the name is so lovely that I even called the protagonist of my first short story Frederica, but… again a problem of nicknaming. Will she become a Freddy for the rest of her life?

Giulianella –  I heard this name in a wonderful Italian film Sabato, domenica e lunedì starring Sophia Loren. One of the characters’ name was Giulianella. It sounded like music to me, and it still does. But it’s probably a bit lengthy to write and pronounce. Plus, it’s hard to decide between two nicknames – Julie or Nelly?

Lauren – to me, this name sounds masculine. I would go with Laura for a girl. But in reality it’s used for both sexes, and this is what complicates matters to me.

Louisiana – sounds much better than Louise. If it was just a given name, I would go with it. But there is this primary association with a state. I want to see a girl. Not a place.

Magnus – a majestically sounding name, reminds of “magnificent”. But the ending “-us” makes it too heavy, especially for a little boy.

Maude – Empress Maude, the Lady of the English, is currently the object of fascination to me. But the name sounds almost as mode – fashion in French. Not the worst meaning, but still…

Phillip – the name is adorable, one of my favourites, actually. Only the usual derivations from it – Phil and Pip – do not reflect it’s greatness.

Stephen – I like when Stephen is pronounced with an [f] in it. But most people read it with a [v] in English.

Waine – a fine-sounding name, which unfortunately reminds of the word “vain” – not the best trait to wish to a child.

Now I’ve done it, too. I am eager to read your lists, so please let me know in the comment section when you decide to do it.

Cathy

P.S. About my little cousin – we’ve called her Veronica. It was a compromise between the two sides of our family – the fans of “Virginia” and “Nicole” 🙂

Image taken from Jenny in Neverland

Love Stop

Stop to love me,
But don’t stop loving,
See the difference,
See the pain.
Stop to love me,
But don’t stop loving,
Don’t let me stiffen,
Break the chain.

Stop to love me,
But don’t stop loving.
I know you’ve never
Learnt grammar rules.
Stop to love me,
But don’t stop loving.
Be forever
No more than you.

Cathy

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Image taken from Planet Sign Shop

Reflections on Diana Documentary: Can a Historical Figure Have Personal Space?

The heated discussion about the new documentary Diana: In Her Own Words made my phone go mad with notifications, as I had subscribed to all Diana-related news. I had heard some of Princess Diana’s tapes previously on YouTube as they had been broadcast by the American television long before, and could not understand at first, why make all this fuss about them being shown in the UK. Now I am even doubting whether I was right to hear any of those recordings, even if they were posted for public. The thing is – I am thinking hard whether a person of historical importance should be deprived of privacy even after her death?

Diana was haunted by the media throughout her life. It is reasonable to suppose that the huge public interest in her gave the newspapers enormous profits. Does public interest equal people’s love? Every single detail of her personal life was hungrily read both by fans and haters. It was an obsession. Now that she is dead, I am convinced that haters and obsessed followers should step back and quietly respect her for what she was. Keep her memory alive, the best memories of her, and not make a sensation out of what she would not like it to be made of.

This is not just for her children’s sake. It is also for Diana’s sake. For her name’s sake. And you will never convince me that her life belongs to history and everybody has rights to know it. Do the tiniest details of her personal life matter to the history? Have they changed its course? No. We all know that she experienced difficulties in her marriage which ended in a divorce. Why do you want to hear more of it? I just do not see why it is so important.

If we truly love Diana, her will must guide us in everything we do about her memory. Would she appreciate excessive publications of her private affairs? Hardly. She always wanted to be remembered for the work she did. So why we do not make more films about her charity patronages, landmine campaigns, the famous auction where she sold most of her marvelous dresses?

She was a woman with a complicated personal life, yes. But she was more than that. Let us put an emphasis on that MORE. If we do, it will turn out that she has enough of her personal space. As any other historical figure should have. Let us respect it!

Cathy

Because of Rob. Chapter 6

The party itself was of the boring kind, just like the ones rich people usually have. But this time it was for the better – nothing could distract me while playing my role.

Ben and I, we danced all the slow dances as they were an excellent basis for looking like infantile lovebirds. My every step and movement was a sudden remembrance of one romantic movie or another. I put my arms around Ben’s neck and drew his face closer to mine with that oh-dear-I-love-you-so-much expression. It was Ben’s turn to kiss me. On my lips. So that Mrs. E. was persuaded to the highest extent. But, of course, he touched only the corner of my mouth. I wouldn’t agree to have the first kiss as a fake theatre decoration. And I didn’t have the slightest inclination to kiss Ben. He definitely wasn’t my romantic hero no matter how handsome he looked.

I stared him sweetly in the eye while thinking – why the hell am I going to a math school? I am such a damn talented Hollywood actress! If they don’t give me an Oscar for this performance, I will go and steal it from the next winner (only if it’s not Keira Knightley, Kate Winslet or Reese Witherspoon, my idols).

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Mrs. E. was watching us with that slightly reproachful expression adults usually do when teenagers are looking too intimate in their presence.

Mrs. Caroline was the happiest person of the party. I winked at her, putting my head on Ben’s shoulder with a smile. She could almost think I meant I really  like your boy. In a way, she would be right – it was nice and safe, being with him and even playing romance with him. It is always like this when you are not fallen head over heals, although everyone around thinks you are, and only the two of you know what all this sweetness really means – just friends. It was a mute agreement between us as it was impossible to talk in the madness of that mercilessly loud music. I could easily lose my voice if we had talked.

My knees felt like failing me after all that endless dancing on high-heeled shoes and I gladly let Ben support me. No matter he really had to put his arm around my waist to make me stable. In other circumstances, I might have objected, but not then. Moreover, it made our Oscar-winning performance deserve a double Golden Globe in addition.

The very moment I leaned against Ben’s shoulder to be more secure, Mrs. Caroline made us a sign to approach. She and Mrs. E. had been watching us all along and it seemed like they had been talking about us. I was arrogant enough to suppose that they had been discussing me in particular.

Cathy

Image taken from Us Weekly

Ask Me Anything Tag

Ask Me Anything Tag is one of my favourite challenges. I completed it almost three month ago on my other blog Love Indian Cinema thanks to the encouragement from StephJ at Scale it Simple. I have decided to do it again here, on My English Paradise, for three reasons:

  1. Writing this post gives me pleasure;
  2. Time has passed and I am just curious how different I am now;
  3. The wonderful followers of My English Paradise may not have seen this tag before.

Rules for Ask Me Anything Tag:

  • Tag the person who has nominated you
  • Invite other bloggers to complete the questions by tagging them in your post
  • Use the ask me anything image in your post
  • Answer as many of the questions as you like that I completed below

I invite everyone who reads this join the challenge, and therefore do not make any particular nominee’s list. Please leave me a comment when you make up your mind and tag me in your post so that I have fun reading your answers!

Let’s start!

 

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How did you start your blog?

My English Paradise appeared when I felt I was trapped into a very specific topic at Love Indian Cinema. I searched for an opportunity to share my prose and poetry, to express my passion for history and literature. I started with an England-related diary entry, and “stayed” there for ever. Loving everything English, I knew there is enough room for self-expression on my new blog.

Are there other types of writing you enjoy doing?

Basically, everything I write can be found here 🙂

Do you see yourself as an optimist, pessimist, or neither?

Still an optimist, as three months ago. Bollywood has had a huge impact on my attitude.

Leader or follower?

Trying to be both. Leader on my own website. A faithful follower of yours 🙂

Talker or listener?

Depends on my mood. I admit I prefer listening to speaking right now, maybe because I am surrounded by very clever people.

Broad-minded or opinionated?

This is a wide question. Depends on the topic. Sometimes I may be very stubborn and conservative about something. Screen adaptions of my favourite Victorian novels which have nothing in common with the books are taken very painfully by me. Otherwise I guess I am broad-minded.

Introvert or extrovert?

More of an introvert. Prefer writing to talking, which is quite understandable for a blogger. (same as three months ago)

Type A or Type B?

Generally type A, but I understand how important it is to turn into type B sometimes.

What’s your favourite place in the world to be?

My little library!

If you could live anywhere in the world for 3-6 months where and why?

Fictional:

  1. The Beast’s castle from the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast. (has the best library in the world!)
  2. Pemberley. (most magnificent house, garden and the legendary lake!)

Real:

  1. Canterbury – love the name, the cathedral and the tales!
  2. Oxford – it’s a pleasure to be surrounded by clever people!

Beach vacation or mountain retreat?

Neither, I guess. I prefer sightseeing (museums, art galleries and stuff).

What is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?

My top three:

  1. London
  2. Vienna
  3. Milan

How do you keep yourself mindful on a daily basis?

I have my work-rest pattern strictly scheduled, so that the quality of my job does not suffer from exhaustion and the resulting carelessness. Remember that you will not do more by working non-stop. (same as three months ago)

How do you inject happiness into those days when you’re not feeling as positive as you’d like to?

The Scarlett rule, as I call it, tomorrow is another day, is not just a pretty quote from a classic, but an optimist’s guide.

What is your favorite time of day?

From five to nine p.m. I spend it chatting with my family, reading, writing, and watching some nice films.

What do you see when you walk into a room full of strangers and then how do you proceed?

Is it a party or a business conference? Will try to produce an answer which could possibly work for both. Well, I see a bunch of people I have never seen before. Actually, I do not take too much pains to hide my embarrassment. A shy smile and an awkward hi is something that charms the public immediately. So, after having charmed them in such a manner, I find the friendliest person (according to my first impressions), go straight to him or her and introduce myself. Gradually, I get to know most of the people in the room and can be enjoying two things – either answering a bunch of questions from their side, or listening to their precious personal opinions on whatever topic they choose.

An addition to what I wrote previously: it may also happen that I close the door and walk out – just in case I’m mistaken and have to be in another room/study/conference hall.

The world ends in 48 hours and you’ve lost your bucket list. What two things would you like to do?

If I were not too panicked, I’d go to Rochester castle, climb those 200+ steps and watch the world from above. Oh, yes, and I would definitely wear a Victorian dress to feel like Jane Eyre.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Currently I’m fascinated with Empress Maude, the Lady of the English, who almost became the first Queen of England. I would be glad to find out why her plans failed, and what she was generally like, I mean, if she was beautiful, if she was really as edgy as described, and what her hobbies were.

What is your dream job?

Everything that is connected with creative writing

Do you have any pets?

Yes, I do have a red cat, a rather naughty one, but still lovely. (he hasn’t changed during the last three months.

What book(s) have made you cry?

I do not cry that often when reading a book, but The Fault in Our Stars is something impossibly heart-breaking. The last pages were soaking wet with my tears. Luckily I haven’t read anything as tear-jerking since then.

Thanks again to StephJ for this experience!

Cathy

The image taken from Scale it Simple