Monday, March 28, 2011

Donations to Japan

Just a bit of update on what is our country's approach in helping Japan. So far I've seen some organisation collecting donations. Here are some pictures that I've taken:

 Bangsar Village collecting donations for Japan

I find the above activity useless as what Japan needs now are food and resources to rebuild Sendai. I doubt that these 1000 origami cranes will contribute in rebuilding the country. If only everyone just donate RM 1 and I'm sure that is much more useful to them. These cranes will just end up in the dumpster and it's also a waste of paper. Don't tell you'll ship these cranes there, it's a waste of  money on logistics too. If you don't have the ability to donate, pray for them everyday.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ransom my heart

In the timeline of 1291(13th century) where the monarch was powerful in England and the holy war at Jerusalem was on going, little lady Finnula is aiming at a hawk that terrorizes the henhouse. That hawk belongs to the Sheriff and his visits means she is in trouble again. Secretly Finnula is hunting animals that belong to the earl's cousin where he is taking care on behalf of the new earl. Her sister Christina came up to her room and startled her which cause her to let go of the drawstring and missed the bird. Christina was warning Finnula that the sheriff came to check on Finn about poaching. Finn doesn't seem to care about her actions as she hates the bailiff in charge where they mistreat the serfs. Luckily Robert (Finn's brother) is distracted as he will scold her for her actions as she may be arrested easily, he and his lover have an announcement.

Finn went downstairs from her room to receive the good news where Robert will be marrying Rosamund (mayor's daughter) after many years of dating. It was very good news as most of Finn's sisters were already married except for herself and Mellana. While everyone is rejoicing, Mellana is crying alone in the kitchen and Finn noticed and questions her sister. It seems her sister is with child and the guy is a troubadour that has no money. Mellana herself is also withouth gold as she used those made from selling beer in buying trinkets and new dresses for other sisters' weddings. Finnula felt sad for her sister and was angry at her mistake at the same time for simply spending gold. Mellana begged for help and Finn felt pity for the sister and agreed to help her to earn gold. The sister had a plan which is to kidnap men and ask for ransom from the family. It was dangerous but Finn have already agreed to help so she had no choice.

As a female, Finnula is unique or some would say un-ladylike wearing leather braies and a white lawn shirt instead of dresses like most maids in the land. She doesn't know how to cook, wash or do any other female chores and she is only good with a bow where she never misses a shot. 

Hugo Fitzstephen is the earl of Stephensgate and was on his way home from London. He wasn't really a man who is "holy" even though he spent a decade fighting in the Holy Land. Hugo fled to the Crusades as his father wanted him to join the monastery. He however enjoyed seeking oneness with women and found many of them in Jerusalem. He was back from the war where he was held captive in Acre by the Muslim army and the ransom was paid by the crown. He left London as he "dallied" with someone's wife and was demanded gold for compensation of his broken heart. 

After travelling for sometime, his squire where he hired from London was complaining of being tired and so they stopped by an inn for food and drink. Not long after he was there he saw a female walked in which was dressed not what common ladies do as it was immodest to wear a pair of leather chausses. Her hair was tied in a messy braid but she had a nice figure which caught his attention for a long time. Hugo ask who she was and the innkeeper mentioned it was the miller's daughter. It was time to leave and as they were leaving the inn his squire was taken by some hooligans and they demanded a price and they started a fight where the lady butt in and beat the guys where they ran out of the inn. 

Finnula slowly trailed Hugo as she went to the inn to scout for prey. She enjoyed stalking the prey and capturing it the most but if necessary she would have to kill but it wasn't to her liking . She noticed the gentleman knew the countryside well which made him a difficult prey but it excited Finn as it was a challenge and it made her heart thumped happily.  Hugo stopped at a place where it reminded his childhood where he and his brother used to swim in this spring. while he was filling his flask with the water from the waterfall at the spring, he noticed the girl he met at the inn. She was naked and went into the spring for a dip, Hugo felt ashamed for spying and so he turned his head away and suddenly he was attacked by her and with a dagger at his throat they walked back to where his squire was. 

The story continues with the squire escaping from his binds and he jumped on Finn and knocked her unconscious. Hugo was attracted to the lady and was angry at how the squire attacked her. So he asked the squire to go back to the manor to wait for him while he played being captive and enjoyed her company at the same time. When she woke up, Hugo looked at her wound which was on her ribs which was bruised, he offered her ale to make it hurt less and wrapped her ribs with cloth. So they went on a journey back to Stephensgate where Finn thinks she would make a lot of gold and Hugo was just fascinated in her and had thought on other things. He also tricked her that he was a knight with the name Hugh Fitzwilliam returning to Caterbury

Hugo constantly irritates her and Finn nearly gives up on having him captive. He kisses her where they were camping for the night and it made her body felt burning hot. It was a new feeling for Finnula and at the same time she wanted more but it was important to get her job done instead for Mellana's sake. It took a few days to travel and the relationship and tension between them heightens through out. 

Ransom my heart by Princess of Genovia - Mia Thermopolis with help from Meg Cabot is a story about a girl who wants not to fall in love and a man who wants to posses her body and soul.The thing I love about this book is the timeline as it was at 13th century instead of this current century. I'm often fascinated by those timeline where man court women with utmost enthusiasm. The clothing that was worn during that time is so classy and grand where I enjoy imagining it.  The language spoken is so polite and proper, it was a time where men and women are definitely not equal and their responsibilities are distinct. The ranking in society plays a big part during those times when monarchy was active in England. 

I often laughed at how Finnula would react to some things that Hugo says and also his actions. It was enjoyable for a book for adults but not too explicit on the sexual details so it's still mild.It made me wish I was born during those time and have an epic romance. This story is the kind of romance that Mia Thermopolis dreamt of and she spent time researching and writing it with Meg Cabot's help. It's definitely a good book on historical romance as it has been long since Meg Cabot wrote stories on a different timeline. I would read it again in two to three years time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tragedy strucks, but people still....

We all know last friday Japan was struck by earthquake and then a terrible tsunami hit Sendai. It was horrific looking at the videos, the way the sea easily washes buildings, cars, boats and other objects away. The damage from the tsunami was worse than the earthquake. Many Japanese who witnessed and lived through the tsunami are still traumatized by what happened. It had damaged the country so badly that they now have power crisis. They will have to do rotation in blackouts because the lack of power due to damage to their nuclear plants.

As a person who lived far away I feel helpless and the only thing we can do right now is keep praying for them and donate money. But during this crisis there are still people who have many opinions and say things that are bad. It sounds as though they have no compassion for the people there. Here are some links:

These are just a few that happened but there was many more. This is how Google is helping Japan.  Please have a heart 10USD is not a lot just donate if you have more donate more. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

This Charming Man

Paddy de Courcy is getting married and 4 women found that this news was too shocking. Lola who is his girlfriend is shocked because he didn't propose to her and apparently that woman who is going to marry him is not her. Grace who is a reporter wants to find out what is happening and thinks that Lola have all the details. Marnie who is Grace sister and also Paddy's first love is hurt because she occasionally still thinks of him. Lastly, Alicia who is the woman he is going to marry was not even asked.

Lola is so devastated by the news that it has affected her work. She screwed up with the clothes she needed to bring to her client. She screwed up with a photo shooting and keep thinking about Paddy. When she couldn't take it, she took her friend's advice to take a trip to heal. So she drove to Bridie's Uncle's place in Knockavoy and stayed at his house. When she was there, she had many thoughts down memory lane. She thought of the time where she 1st met him at a graveyard. She simply stood in front of a woman's grave and imagined talking to her mother and there was Paddy visiting his mother's grave too. He asked her for a cup of hot chocolate and found out that he shares the same fate like her where their mothers passed away when they were 15, the void of not having a mother. She also thought of their first date where she was picked up by his driver and she expecting to go for dinner instead they went shopping in a sex shop where they sold kinky underwear, accessories and toys. She was shocked as he wanted to watch her try on some inner garments but she was excited at the same time because it was a first time.

While being in Knockavoy there wasn't many things to do as it was a small town. She ate at a pub, went to a DVD shop to rent movies to watch and took walks along the beach. Life was boring but she had a weird encounter where she found a pretty girl in a wedding dress at the next door place. She was beautiful and looked happy, she assumed there was going to be a wedding. But then the next day, there was a guy burning the wedding dress as if everything was over. Soon her life there became interesting and she met new friends.

Grace is the reporter who wants the inside story from Lola but still couldn't get it. She is also linked to Paddy where she 1st met him in a restaurant and she decided to work there. She was a friend to him and when he met her sister Marnie they started dating and were like soulmates. Secretly when she was young Grace had a crush on Paddy but she let her sister have him since he didn't look like he was interested in Grace. Somehow something happened which made Grace not like him. At the same time, Grace's car was stolen and then found to be burnt. Someone has a grudge on her but she don't know who.

Marnie is very unhappy and she doesn't know what is wrong. She has a wonderful husband and two wonderful girls but she still can't find happiness and have turn drinking into a way of running from the world. She drank during the day, drank after work and once found herself all hurt. Her drinking problem was really bad but she would not admit she is alcoholic.

"This Charming Man" by Marian Keyes is a story about 4 women, how they are link with Paddy de Courcy. It also tells how he affected their life in the past and the present. It slowly reveals the type person he is and the story climaxes how 3 of the women did something to change his influence on them. I like her writing where it is realistic in a way where some romance leaves a scar in people, it's hard to handle and to heal. It gives one point of view how people react to abuse and how afraid they are to confront them. No doubt there are some parts that are funny which I love and it's really something unexpected. It's different from what I read from Sophie Kinsella and Meg Cabot, something new and fresh to me. I like the ending where life is as real as it gets.
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