During my winter break I’ve been catching up on my reading and my list of movies of 2013 I wanted to see. I had a pile of books I wanted to peruse and also use for my Christmas and New Year’s gatherings. So let’s start with the books!
Kingly and Greatly by Carolyn Robb (Königlich und Köstlich)
A great recipe book published by Callwey in German. Carolyn Robb, former cook of Prince Charles and Princess Diana spills the beans. She shares her experiences and memories with the family, 80 recipes for every season, and a peek behind the curtains of the British royals’ castle. Also in the book are fabulous floral arrangements by Sarah Champier. The book is in German. ISBN 978-3-7667-2044-3
Parties and Guests (Feste und Gäste)
A true resource for your inner party planner. The book has over 130 recipes for every season, and the best decoration ideas to draw inspiration from. There are even tips and lists to help you get organized. The hardcover book is published by Callwey, and is in German. ISBN 978-3-7667-2045-0
Living ideas from real life, ed by Petra Harms (Wohnideen aus dem wahren leben)
This is my favourite book because it is a compilation of homes, but also photography and stories of and by interior bloggers! And even more fun, I know most of them personally or they are my friends! The book displays how interior bloggers decorate and live. They also reveal their tips about e.g. lighting, or compilation. The book is mostly visual, but the texts are in German. Published by Callwey ISBN 978-3-7667-20696
I love to watch movies. It’s one of those simple luxuries of life because it gives you new perspectives, just makes you laugh, or triggers emotions and memories. While I’m listing my favourite movies of 2013 I notice that four of them are about racism and segregation. I have always been interested in the era of slavery and the civil right movements because it is part of my history and roots as well. I feel that the past few years movies are giving a less romanticized and more accurate account of what really happened, and that is good.
The Price of Sugar: a movie about my ancestors
My favourite movie of 2013 is a Dutch movie called Hoe Duur was de Suiker: The price of Sugar. It is a film production of a novel by Cynthia McLeod. The novel is partly based on true stories and partly fictional. The characters for instance are fictional, but the family names, way of living, and some plot lines are real. The main characters are Missy Sarith, the daughter of sugar plantation holder Robles de Medina, and her house slave Minimini . And since my great great great great grandfather is Mr Robles de Medina, the story is partly based on the life of my ancestors. It depicts colonial Surinam in the 18th century, the system of slavery, and the relationship between the two women and how it evolves.
My top six of American movies I would recommend watching if you haven’t seen them yet are:
1. 12 Years a Slave
This is the most profound and realistic movies about American slavery I have ever seen. There were moments I couldn’t watch it and had to turn my face because I couldn’t handle the cruelty. The movie is based on a true story. It is the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, who is abducted and sold into slavery.
2. The Butler
I loved the movie and actually feels it was too short. There are so many profound messages in it, and so many layers. The movie is also based on a true story and tells the story of Cecil Gaines who served eight presidents as a butler at the White House. We see how he and his family cope during the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events in history, and how he affected history.
3. Saving Mr Banks
We all know the musical movie Marry Poppins, but how did that come about? The movie Saving Mr Banks shows us how the author of the book P.L. Travers met with Mr Walt Disney and how it came into production. During the production we get to see flashbacks of her difficult childhood and how she was inspired to write her novel. A lovely film to watch with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.
Another movie that is based on a true story and depicts American history is 42. I can’t help it, I just love true stories. We get to see the life story of Baseball legend Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The story is during a time of segregation and therefore also has other layers and historical elements. We get to see how he fought the system and had to endure in a time of racism and many injustices.
5. Blue Jasmine
This drama narrates the story of a New York socialite who loses everything, her husband, her money, and flees to her sister’s home to get to grips with her new life. Instead she stays in denial, and ignores her dark realities. This movie is interesting as to the psychology, the dialogues and splendid acting of Cate Blanchett.
6. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
This movie doesn’t need an introduction really. I was so saddened by the death of Mandela, but also grateful that I lived in the same era as he did. Nelson Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa is remembered in this beautiful movie.