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Saturday, 30 November 2013

Let Them Eat Cake!

Dear friends,

**WARNING!!! This post contains a review of the Sofia Coppola 2006 movie on Marie Antoinette and also some trivia regarding it and Marie's life. It will be quite an extensive post and it will have loads of pictures and text so please grab yourself a cup of tea and some macaroons (to get in the mood) and Enjoy!**
Now to be very honest this post will contain spoilers for those who know nothing about the life of Marie Antoinette so be off! Ride like the wind and do not look back - but come back morrow for a spoiler free post! ;) if you know the story and you did not see the movie yet (surprisingly, as it is quite an old one!) you can sit tight and enjoy!
Marie Antoinette is "the retelling of France's iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen and ultimately the fall of Versailles" and was released in 2006. Having as Director & Writer Sofia Coppola
The movie starts with a very young and austrian Marie - at the fresh age of 14 - being informed that she must be on her way to her very young (as well) husband, The Dauphin Of France, Louis XVI. She is preseneted as a very down to earth delicate yound lady, without any fancy clothes or jewelry and without the full trail of people following her (as most Royal Courts demanded at that time!). Austrians may be called cold people but they were in touch with life and in touch with the people and having a trail of people at court was no longer "their thing". They did not see the use of it and the privacy given to each person was much more important. Why have dozens of people from the court watching the Queen give birth?! Why should she not be allowed privacy and have only the ones she desire by her side? Why take her air and leave her breathless when she most needs to draw air in her lungs?! Why have dozens of lady in waiting in order to put a dress on yourself? And why on earth use the huge dresses in which you could barely move without knocking someone sideways? Beats me! Well, anyway! Austria was way ahead of France when it came to some liberties.
I loved the young Marie in her blue dress and coat, with her hair down flowing and having fun with girls her age and with her pet pug. Just so you know history notes that Marie was quite a blunder when it came to learning - especially languages - but she did know French language well enough to write letters and talk on a normal basis but she was much more interested in the arts - she love the theater and the opera and she was Gluck's student ;) From him she learned to play the harpsichord, spinet and clavichord, as well as the harp,and she was also quite fond of singing to the family (during the family's musical evenings) french songs and italian arias. I am proud to say that I have seen the palace in which she grew up and had (I believe!) the best time of her life (hey! childhood is ALWAYS ones best time!): Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria.
The scene in the movie when she is being brought at the border between France and Austria is quite a sad one. As per French tradition, the future wife of The Dauphin Of France cannot retain anything of her previous identity so Marie is forced into stripping naked in front of the multiple eyes of the women in the French Court and "apply" herself into her new role. She is made to bid farewell to her close friends (who came such a long way, in her carriage, with her) and leave her pet pug as well... Of course, she is immediately told that she can have as many dogs as she wishes in France! (small historical fact: after her wedding with Louis and high letter exchanges, Marie was allowed to have her pet pug back with her in France). Being stripped in front of dozen of people you have just met is not something someone would do gladly, especially when one is 14 and that is the age you become more and more aware of your body! But she is forced to do that and be civil and graceful about it, while she slips into her blue dress (much wider on the sides, of course, as per French fashion) and matching blue cap on her much taller hairdo :)
Being a youngster in a foreign land, being surrounded by forreign people, is not something one is able to cope with yet Marie does her very best to keep up the pace with all the novelty of the Paris and French court. Waking up in a room with dozen of ladies who "fight" over the roled of helper in order to put your dress on (while being naked in front of them all, in a cold room) is not something you can keep decorum yet Marie manages to to it with a smile on her face (also due to the fact that all is new and very absurd to her, considering that until now she was able to dress herself and drink water on her own, not have servants all around her!). The relationship with Louis is quite of a pain to her - especially in the first years of marriage - and as her brother puts it (historical and also in the movie) in his letter to their mother, both of them are 2 blunders.
Well... tell you the truth, for that age I do not think anyone had taught them even of the sexual act and what precisely they need/need not do in the bedroom... True, it is said that Louis could not perform properly due to a "technical issue" to his "apparatus" and that he eventually had a operation in order to perform properly - and a few months later Marie became pregnant. But the scenes in the movie showing people "picking" on poor Marie and showing her brothers and sisters good relationships make us feel more deep for her. I do feel though that the bed scenes between Marie & Louis were much too extensive and explicit and took too much or the 2 hour movie... But, thankfully Marie became pregnant (in the meanwhile Louis XVI father dies and his mistress is forced into leaving the palace, releaving Marie of her - as Marie's mother always saw her as a threat, thinking her more fertile than her own daughter!).
Marie Thérèse was born at the Palace of Versailles on 19 December 1778 as the first child and eldest daughter of King Louis XVI of France and Queen Marie Antoinette. A child was anxiously expected after seven years of her parents' marriage. Marie Antoinette almost died of suffocation during this birth due to a crowded and unventilated room, but the windows were quickly opened to let fresh air in the room in an attempt to revive her. As a result of the horrible experience, Louis XVI banned public viewing, allowing only close family members and a handful of trusted courtiers to witness the birth of the next royal children.
When she was revived, the Queen greeted her daughter (whom she later nicknamed Mousseline) with delight:
Poor little one, you are not desired, but you will be none the less dear to me! A son would have belonged to the state—you will belong to me.
Marie begins in the movie - with the birth of her first child, her first daugher - a period of stillness and calm. Louis begins also warming up to her (historically speaking, during the child birth she almost died due to lack of air and The King jumped off and broke free all the hinges on the windows in order to get her fresh air. And since then, he has demanded a significantly lower number of observers in the bed chamber during the delivering of the next babies Marie had).
Marie began to institute changes in the customs practised at court, with the approval of the king. Some changes, such as the abolition of segregated dining spaces, had already been instituted for some time and had been met with disapproval from the older generation. More importantly was the abandonment of heavy make-up and the popular wide-hooped panniers (you know... the dresses with wide sides... not round but rather flat!) for a more simple feminine look, typified first by the rustic robe à la polonaise and later by the 'gaulle,' a simple muslin dress that she wore in a 1783 Vigée-Le Brun portrait. She also began to participate in amateur plays and musicals, starting in 1780, in a theatre built for her and other courtiers who wished to indulge in the delights of acting and singing. In the movie we are able to see Marie in one scene at the Paris Opera - which was erected, as far as I know of, only after her death! (ups... SPOILERS! but hey! I told you so at the beginning!). She receives the act with applauses and the whole crowd inside the Opera smiles back at her and starts clapping their hands as well. I also love the scenes at the Petit Trianon - her gift from Louis at the birth of their first daughter. There she spends most of her time being in touch with nature and helping her daughter get a feel of what her childhood used to be. She dresses up in lighter clothes (which, according to the people of the time, were not considered fitting for a queen) and stays in contact with the peasants, transforming the place in a small village with its own mill.
The movie also tells us about her affair with Hans Axel von Fersen, a Swedish count, that Marie met when she first entered the French court. I must admit that this is Sofia's directing and hand but I think she could have been less explicit in portraiting the relationship the 2 had - relationship that was never confirmed but rather inflicted more pain upon her, and more hatred from the French people. Sofia has a way of presenting Marie as a rock star - helped also by the wonderful and colorful soundtrack so if you wish for something 100% historical accurate with the right music and such, stay away as this is not your pick! But hands down to Sofia for making this movie so visually rich. It is true, she had the chance to actually film at the original locations. She had a chance to film inside the Versailles palace and even in The Room Of Mirrors even though it was under reconstruction at that time... and managed to present us at that location the opening first dance of the young Marie & Louis couple. I also enjoyes how Sofia introduced some of the quotes from Marie and his brothers letters into the movie and I appreciate for pointing out that Marie DID NOT! say the infamous words "Let them eat cake!"
Although the tone of the movie is quite light and almost magical like for one hour and a half of the 2 hour movie, we all know where we are heading! We can see Marie's transformation and the fact that she has no contact with the outside whatsoever - she is trapped in her own world inside the Versailles borders, where nothing can go wrong. When she is asked what to do about the growing mobs she eventually turns to her young Madame Royale and asks her is she needs diamonds (of course the question is not to the child but rather to herself) and she tells her confidante to stop bringing diamonds and leaving more money for the people - who were starving due to the high taxes to sustain a war without any gain! (historicaly speaking this act was true, and Marie told her girl during the last Christmas at Versailles that she did not have any presents for her now as she gave away all the money to the poor, as they were much more needy than her having new toys).
Also I very much like the roundness of the movie - at the beginning we have the scene at the Opera where Marie applaudes and people smile and start clapping their hands as well, not for the performance but also for the young Dauphine of France and toward the end of the movie we have again a scene at the Opera where Marie starts clapping her hands but all she hears is her hands echo and people looking to her with hatered and repulsion. The movie starts with her, coming in the carriage hopeful and yet fearful of what this marriage will bring and how her future family will be, and end with her and Louis (+the young ones) leaving forever their home in a carriage (leaving Versailles for Paris). The last hour of the movie is rather dark and sad and tumbles down into the finale of the play... Marie's gesture to calm down the crowds coming for them, breaching Versailles, is memorable and it is one of the finest pieces of acting in this movie from Kirsten Dunst's side and I must admit that she puts on quite a show portraiting Marie Antoinette - from her being young and inocent to her being seductive and back into being self aware to the problems of the world and the problems of her life. She is brilliant as a mother and she makes you truly believe in her connection with the smaller ones. Her death is not presented in the movie but I rather like it like that - Sofia leaves the movie to be circular and prefers to show us the joys and wonders and colors in Marie's life than the negative.

  • What were Antoinette's last words?    Marie Antoinette - the Tragic Queen
  • I'm sorry; I did not mean to do it.. When climbing the stairs of the scaffold to the guillotine, Antoinette stepped on the foot of the executioner. She immediately apologized, saying 'I'm sorry. I did not mean to do it.'

    A particularly foul accusation was made against Antoinette during her trial by the Revolutionary Tribunal, and it was brought against her by her son. What was it?    Marie Antoinette - the Tragic Queen
  • Incest. Louis, Antoinette's son, aged 10, was taken from her after Louis XVI's death and spent all of his time with Antoinette's captors. They grilled the boy to say that his mother had had sexual intimacy with him, along with other unspeakable charges. Since many of her captors had grown to respect, like and admire Antoinette during her captivity, the more vehement of the revolutionaries wanted to seal Antoinette's fate....death....with as many untrue accusations as possible.

    In her final days, Antoinette was imprisoned with her two children, the Dauphin and her daughter, Therese, and Madame Elizabeth. What was Madame Elizabeth's relationship to Antoinette?    Marie Antoinette - the Tragic Queen
  • Sister-in-law. Madame Elizabeth was Louis XVI's sister. Of the four left alive after the King was beheaded, only Therese, Antoinette's daughter, survived. She was returned to Austria, her mother's homeland.

    Marie Antoinette, when learning of a Parisian mob headed for Versailles to protest the lack of bread, said 'Let them eat cake'. True or false?    Marie Antoinette - the Tragic Queen
  • f. Antoinette never said this. There are two possible explanations as to the origin of this phrase. Many believe it was actually said much earlier, by an aunt of Louis XIV, during the Fronde, a small uprising when the royal family was housed in the Louvre. Others feel that the current French word for cake, 'gateau', was very close in pronunciation to another word, meaning a type of plain bread. In any event, Antoinette never said it.

    After Versailles had been stormed and the revolution was fermenting, Louis and Antoinette, along with their two children, managed to escape from captivity, but were caught in which town?    Marie Antoinette - the Tragic Queen
  • Varennes. The Princess de Lamballe was disguised as a noble woman, Antoinette as a governess and Louis as a valet when intercepted at Varennes. The escape was foiled when Louis was recognized by a former servant at Versailles. This sealed their fate.

    It is widely assumed that Marie Antoinette had an affair with a foreign diplomat and soldier before and after she became queen. What country was he from?    Marie Antoinette - the Tragic Queen
  • Sweden. Axel von Fersen (the Younger, 1755-1810) led an adventurous life. It is widely believed that Louis was aware of and silently condoned this liason. He had developed a deep love for his wife, and realized that he was unable to satisfy her and was uncomfortable with many of the things that Antoinette liked such as dancing, gaming, the theatre, etc.

    This mistress of Louis XV made Antoinette's life miserable upon her arrival at Versailles, resorting to such cruelty as sending Antoinette an empty cradle to drive home the point that no heir had been produced and referring to her as 'the Austrian bitch'. What was the mistress' name?    Marie Antoinette - the Tragic Queen
  • Madame du Barry. Madame du Barry was both jealous and afraid of Antoinette's potential power when she would become queen, and did everything she could to diminish Antoinette's reputation and to hopefully have her banished to Austria due to alleged infertility.

    The marriage of Louis and Antoinette was not consummated for several years because Louis suffered from what unusual problem?    Marie Antoinette - the Tragic Queen
  • Phimosis. Phimosis is a deformity of the male genetalia that prevents completion of the sexual act. Correctable by surgery, Louis was too frightened to undergo the procedure (understandable since there were no anesthetics). Both the French and the Austrians were concerned that no heirs to the throne were produced. It was after a visit by Antoinette's brother, Joseph, that Louis agreed to the procedure. Shortly thereafter, a daughter (Therese, Madame Royale)was born.

    What was the Dauphin of France's given name?    Marie Antoinette - the Tragic Queen
    Louis Auguste. An overweight, clumsy and awkward youth, Louis Auguste did not want the marriage, nor did he want to be considered for the throne. His objection to marriage was due to his insecurity and shyness, and another important reason.

    Marie Antoinette was married to the Dauphin of France when she was how old?    Marie Antoinette - the Tragic Queen
  • 14. As was the custom, Marie Antoinette's marriage was based on political considerations. Longtime enemies, France and Austria counted on improved relations with this union.

    Marie-Antoinette wore mules the day she was executed. What colour were they?    Marie Antoinette
  • Purple.

    On October 16th 1793, the day of her death, Marie Antoinette wrote these words in a letter: 'I seek forgiveness from all whom I know for every harm I may have unwittingly caused them'. To whom was this letter addressed?    Marie Antoinette
  • Her sister-in-law, Madame Elizabeth.

    Who was Marie Antoinette's executionner?    Marie Antoinette
  • Sanson. All the others were serial killers...

    Of what was Marie Antoinette accused at her trial?    Marie Antoinette
  • All of these charges were held against her (Treason, Incest, Unnatural sexual proclivities and practices).

    Where was Marie Antoinette held during her trial?    Marie Antoinette
  • Conciergerie prison.

    Which favorite of Marie Antoinette was tortured, raped and finally beheaded by the Parisian mob?    Marie Antoinette
  • Princesse de Lamballe. Madame du Barry was a mistress of Louis XV and Marie Antoinette hated her. Madame de Polignac was a friend of the Queen but she had fled Paris just in time. Madame Elizabeth was the Queen's sister-in-law, she was decapitated in 1794.

    When did Marie Antoinette become a widow?    Marie Antoinette
  • January 21st 1793.

    In June 1791, the Royal Family tried to escape from Paris only to be arrested in Varennes when the King was recognized by Drouet. Who had arranged this failed escape?    Marie Antoinette
  • Axel Fersen.

    In October 1789, the Royal Family was moved from Versailles to Paris. What was their new residence called?    Marie Antoinette
  • Tuileries Palace.

    What was the name of the peasants village Marie Antoinette had built on the ground of Versailles?    Marie Antoinette
  • Le Hameau. Le Petit Trianon was a castle near Le Hameau. Le Petit Versailles is my invention and Belleville is a suburb of Paris.

    Who was Marie Antoinette's modiste?    Marie Antoinette
  • Rose Bertin. Marie Antoinette was a fashion addict. One year, she ordered more than 90 dresses from Rose Bertin. No wonder she was nicknamed Madame Deficit!

    Marie Antoinette disliked La Fayette at first but, when he returned from America, her attitude towards him changed and she had him appointed to an important function. What was it?    Marie Antoinette
  • Commander-in chief of the King's Dragoons.

    How many diamonds were encased in this famous necklace?    Marie Antoinette
  • 647.

    Who was the instigator of the Diamond Necklace affair?    Marie Antoinette
  • Madame de La Motte. The Cardinal de Rohan and Marie Antoinette were both victims in this affair. Axel Fersen was one of the queen's best friends and had nothing to do with this.

    How many children were born to Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI?    Marie Antoinette
  • 4.

    Marie Antoinette became pregnant 7 years after her marriage to Louis XVI. What was the name of her first child?    Marie Antoinette
  • Marie Therese Charlotte.

    Marie Antoinette had two governesses during her childhood in Vienna. Who were they?    Marie Antoinette
  • Countess Brandeiss and Countess Lerchenfeld.

    What names was Marie Antoinette baptised under?    Marie Antoinette
  • Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna.

    How many brothers and sisters did Marie Antoinette have?    Marie Antoinette
  • 15. She was the 15th child of 16.

    Marie Antoinette was born on November 2nd 1755 in Vienna, Austria. What other important event happened at the same time?    Marie Antoinette
  • An earthquake in Lisbon (Portugal). At the time this catastrophe was viewed as a bad omen, and all things considered maybe it really was ...

    Marie Antoinette was brought to the guillotine on?    Marie Antoinette: Wife of Louis XVI
  • October 16, 1793. On the scaffold she accidentally stepped on the executioner's foot, and her last words were, "Monsieur, I ask your pardon. I did not do it on purpose."
My own caption of the Converse shoes added in the movie ;))) I bet you did not spot them!
A bit of IMDB Trivia I found, regarding this lovely movie:
  • When Marie-Antoinette is going through her shoes while preparing for a big party you see a pair of blue Converse All Star 1923 Chuck Taylor basketball shoes for about one and a half seconds. While these shoes were definitely not in existence at the time of Marie-Antoinette, their inclusion in the film was intentional, to portray Marie-Antoinette as a typical teenage girl despite the time she lived in.
  • The part of Louis XV was first offered to Alain Delon. Allegedly, he met Sofia Coppola for dinner and brought the American director a huge bouquet of flowers and explained he did not think this was the type of role his fans would appreciate him in. Privately it has been speculated the French icon did not have confidence in the young American director to do justice to a film on this period of French history.
  • The French government granted special permission for the crew to film in the Palace of Versailles.
  • Even though the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles was in restoration - until spring 2007 - Sofia Coppola was allowed to film there a ball scene for the wedding of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI.
  • Sofia Coppola refused to read the famous biography of Marie-Antoinette written by Stefan Zweig, which she judged too strict. She turned instead to the book by Antonia Fraser, which makes the queen a more human character, a young girl with no connection to reality who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Sofia Coppola discovered in 2000 the Marie-Antoinette biography by French historian Evelyne Lever, acquired the book rights and asked its author to accompany her on a first tour of Versailles in 2001. Coppola later turned to the queen biography written by Antonia Fraser, more popular in the United States. Lever was later asked to work as an historical consultant for the movie, writing a dossier on the queen in order to avoid mistakes and approximations.
  • Sofia Coppola had Spanish footwear designer Manolo Blahnik create hundreds of specially made shoes for the film.
  • A few quotes from the film are directly taken from Marie Antoinette's actual life and from the biography by Lady Antonia Fraser that the film is loosely based upon. Louis XV's comment about Marie Antoinette's bosom upon her arrival in France, Marie Antoinette's comment on having enough diamonds when presented with the opportunity of receiving some as a gift from Madame du Barry, Marie's comment to Madame du Barry about there being a lot of people at Versailles on the day of their infamous first exchange of words, and Marie's comment to her husband, Louis XVI, during a gambling party, explaining that Louis told her she could throw the party but never specified for how long are all actual exchanges of words and conversations from different events in the queen's life.
  • One ancient harp built in Paris in 1783 was borrowed from the Italian "Museo dell'Arpa Victor Salvi", in order to have a realistic environment.
  • Although the film title is unhyphenated, the real life Marie-Antoinette was written with a hyphen.
  • Sofia Coppola had originally wanted Angelina Jolie for the role of Madame Du Barry, but turned it down to star in The Good Shepherd, then Catherine Zeta-Jones was considered. The role eventually went to Asia Argento.
  • Was ranked #3 on US Weekly's "Top Ten Films of 2006".
  • As is shown in the movie, Marie Antoinette was not allowed to keep her pug, Mops, when she entered France. However, later on Count Mercy arranged for the pug to be sent to her after her marriage.
  • Sofia Coppola based the look of Count Axel von Fersen (Jamie Dornan) on 1980s pop singer Adam Ant.
  • Director Sofia Coppola, the daughter of The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola, included in her cast many performers who are also children of famous film professionals: her cousin, Jason Schwartzman, is the son of actress Talia Shire and producer Jack Schwartzman; Asia Argento is the daughter of Italian horror director Dario Argento; Mary Nighy is the daughter of British actor Bill Nighy; Katrine Boorman is the daughter of British director John Boorman; Danny Huston is the son of American director John Huston and the grandson of character actor Walter Huston; and Io Bottoms, who played a lady-in-waiting, is the daughter of actor Sam Bottoms (brother of Ben Bottoms, Timothy Bottoms, and Joseph Bottoms) and Susan Arnold.
  • According to some history accounts, when Marie Antoinette met the rioters on the balcony of the palace, she had her eldest daughter with her. This was supposedly in order to augment a sense of sympathy for the doomed queen.
  • The red gown with three jeweled buttons Asia Argento (Comtesse du Barry) wears, the red satin bejeweled gauntlets Kirsten Dunst wears, and the black and pink cloak Dunst wears in the coach returning from Paris, were all worn by Hilary Swank (Jeanne St. Remy de Valois) in The Affair of the Necklace. The birdcage hat Rose Byrne (Duchesse de Polignac) wears is the same one Joely Richardson (Marie-Antoinette) wears in that film.
  • Marianne Faithfull's mother, Eva von Sacher-Masoch, Baroness Erisso, was originally from Vienna, Austria, with aristocratic roots in the Hapsburg Dynasty. In the movie, Marianne Faithfull plays Empress Maria Theresa, a member of the Hapsburg Dynasty and Empress of Austria.
  • The blue and gold robe a la Francaise Shirley Henderson wears as Aunt Sophie was previously worn by Geraldine Somerville as Lady Emily in Aristocrats (during the scene of Lord Kildare having dinner at Richmond House). The same gown also appeared previously in Doctor Who on Sophia Myles in the final ballroom scene of Doctor Who: The Girl in the Fireplace.
  • Joseph II is an odd choice to teach Louis XVI about reproduction. All of Joseph's known children died in childhood, and he apparently never reproduced for the last 27 years of his life. He could, however, afford to rest on the laurels of his brother and heir-presumptive Leopold II, who had many children including Franz II (powerful rival and ally of Napoléon Bonaparte).
  • The original script of the movie briefly mentioned the Diamond Necklace Affair, a pivotal case in Marie Antoinette's life, but it ends up never being mentioned in the movie.
  • This movie was going to be produced before Lost in Translation, but while Sofia Coppola was writing the screenplay struggling with historical truth and an imposing gallery of characters, she started creating another story in order to distract herself from the difficult enterprise. This parallel project - a small Japanese story - became "Lost in Translation", whose planetary success revamped the Marie-Antoinette production.
  • Ladurée was chosen by Sofia Coppola to make all of the brightly colored pastries and cakes for the film.
  • Judy Davis, who plays the Comtesse de Noailles, was initially considered for the Maria Theresa role (played by Marianne Faithfull).


  • Phoenix:  The men playing guitar(s) in the scene with a woman singing for Marie are members of the group Phoenix. The lead singer Thomas Mars is the life partner of Sofia Coppola.

Director Trademark 

  • Sofia Coppola:  [sun through leaves]  The sun shines through the leaves of the tree during the picnic scene with Marie and Louis's hunting party. 
**I did this review out of love and I really hope you will get to see this movie :) I own a DVD of it since the summer of 2007 when I went to the USA :) And I am glad I have it to watch it whenever I want! :)**

Yours truly,
A Marie Antoinette Fan - The LadyBug 
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Friday, 29 November 2013

Musical Friday: How Long Will I Love You

Dear friends,

Today's song is actually a song that makes me smile wide and think of lovely things. And this song is dedicated to my adorable, smart and awesome fiance :)
 Ellie Goulding - How Long Will I Love You

How long will I love you?
As long as stars are above you,
And longer if I can
How long will I need you?
As long as the seasons need to
Follow their plan
How long will I be with you?
As long as the sea is bound to
Wash upon the sand
How long will I want you?
As long as you want me to,
And longer by far

How long will I hold you?
As long as your father told you,
As long as you can
How long will I give to you?
As long as I live through you,
However long you say
How long will I love you?
As long as stars are above you,
And longer if I may

We're all traveling through time together
Every day of our lives
All we can do is do our best
To relish this remarkable ride

Yours truly,
The LadyBug That Loves Her Fiance Very (VERY!) Much :*
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1 Year, 365 days, 8760 hours...

Dear friends,

I know that it is really aweful of me to give you the latest news 1 week after those have happened but I did not get a chance to settle down and have a proper look at the photos from last Friday. Now you may ask yourself what had last Friday have to to with this?! Well it is as simple as that: last Friday me and my team celebrated the 1 year anniversary of our project. For over 4 years I have been part of a project entertainment related... I was supporting a company that produces movies that we all watch. And I was so proud of that! Tell you the truth, the positions I have been in had their perks (like seeing a clip of the movie before the release or even catching a glimpse of a poster that did not "make the cut" and was not approved). But after the while the downside of the project itself started to weight heavily on my health: I used to have only nightshifts. So after more than 4 years spent on the project I moved out and joined my current project, where I am only on dayshifts :) I get to see the sun and meet people... and I get to spent time outside with my future husband, while the sun is still up! And that is a true accomplishment!
My current project is a small project compared to the one I started and it is very young - hey! it just turned 1 year old since "Day Z" - the migration day :) but nonetheless it is a very nice project with a couple of very awesome people that manage to brighten up my day everytime I see them - and this post is for them! (raising the glass of wine in their behalf!)
We had around 3 weeks or so to pull out reports and do a surprise presentation for the team and I dare say they really enjoyed it. All was done in the *hush hush* manner and none of the first line agents knew about this until the last week, when they were informed that the party will be Friday and that everyone has to accept/decline the invitation so we could have a total of how many people will be there :)
The party started Friday at 8 pm @ Augusta - Augusta is a lovely boat located right next to the all pedestrian bridge over the Vistula, you know which one ;) The Lovers Bridge ;) (yes, that is the one with the locks and it is featured in the first picture of this post ;) no worries! I have it all covered!)
Augusta is a place created as a dream restaurant - at a high level, to be different than all the other restaurants. Therefore she is a restaurant on the water :) It was build from scratch on the hull of the barge close to sixty years ago, with attention to every detail and high quality of the finish. It combines warm wood color aesthetics of post-industrial aluminum construction elements. The minimalist, sophisticated form makes Augusta component architecture, which is inscribed in the landscape harmoniously. Located on the Vistula banks it gives them a hint of modern clarity.
Augusta's features:
  60 guests
> Children's Room
> Elevator and toilet for disabled
> Size Shoulder: length 40 m, width of 7.2 m
We had a lovely time and I could wonder around and take some pictures of my colleagues. There was really nice light and I am very happy on how some of the portraits turned up ;) And of course the pictures turned up right due to the light in the room not due to the camera or me :p
Om nom nom time :)
I shall no longer talk about the night but I will leave you with the rest of the pictures from Friday - Enjoy! :)
Soft kitty, warm kitty...
Me and one of the lovely ladies in the project :)
Liudka has the credit for this particular photo ;)
Hope you enjoyed the pictures :) I know I really had a nice time last Friday!

**I was not payed in any way to write this post - I did it out of love :) And I do recommend the Augusta for business meetings/dinners. It is quite nice - nice view especially in the night time!**

Yours truly,
The LadyBug :)
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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Good Friends, Good Books

Dear friends,

Friends are a blessing for everyone and the human was made to communicate not to be alone. That is why God created the man and than the woman - also for the purpose of breeding and filling the world with small Adam's and Eve's... But what I am trying to point out here is that we were made for love and companionship and friendship. We we made to have strong emotions and we were made to make mistakes, take our own path in life and find the ones that we could call "friends". There are some people who enter your life by mistake and you just bond with them instantly. And no matter how often you speak or see eachother you will continue the communication as if it never had a break.
 “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . ."” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Well, my dear friends, Roxana was like that for me :) She entered my life somewhere in 2010 I believe... We both were working for this Corporation back home, in Romania - in Iasi. She was on a different project than I was, on a different floor, but the center was small and I was (and still am) very communicative :p so the inevitable happened :) And I am oh so happy it did happen :) and we became friends. But I think the huge impact of both of us moving out of Iasi and into another country (starting to be expats) helped a lot in cementing our bond. I am living now in Krakow, in Poland, as you very well know and this lovely lady is working in Brno, in Czech Republic. And today I will show you pictures from her second visit :) Which was last weekend. She came Friday afternoon and went away Sunday morning. Hopefully I will see her very soon - She promised to come for Christmas so I am keeping my fingers crossed ;)
 “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” ― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
Friday I did not get much chance to stay with her as I came home from work around 5 pm and my awesome fiance went to pick her up and brought her about the same time that I arrived home. But at 8 pm I had a meeting with my work colleagues so I had to get prepared and get to the place so I manage to sit with her only about an hour or so... But my adorable fiance took good care of her (they do know eachother) and they played games and drank beer - I say job well done! :) So Saturday was our day! Ladies day out - we went to Wawel castle but before that we started at Bona - Ksiazka i kawa ;) where we had an awesome breakfast. We split a portion of pierogi ruskie as Roxana did not try pierogi last time... my bad! and we topped it off with some awesomely delicious tea and cheesecake for me ;) and chocolate cake for Roxana - with some whipped cream, of course! And we had a look at some books - one about the types and characters and traits of Polish people and one (that I really liked!) about the luxourious hotes in Paris <3

 “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
Mark Twain

Now I must raise a glass of wine/pint of beer to my awesome fiance who when he heard that Roxana wanted to see the castle woke up early in the morning (around 6 am...) and went to stay in line for tickets to the Crown Treasury and Armoury + The Lost Wawel (you know... I told you that in November the visiting is for free and the lines are... HUGE!). He managed to get us tickets for the Armoury at 1 pm and The Lost Wawel 50 minutes later :) - we met in the city center, he passed the tickets to us and he went home for some well deserved rest :* God bless his soul! I love him a whole bunch! :) We did enjoy ourselves and Roxana liked me as a guide again ;) Maybe I missed my proffesion :))))
 “It's the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.” ― Marlene Dietrich
After the circling of the Wawel castle and checking out the swords/guns/crossbows/canons and such and after watching how the Wawel castle developed we went downhill and crossed the city, went to some libraries - as we both enjoy books immensely! and we made a short stop at another place I really like but did not get a chance to tell you about: Coffee Heaven (and yes! I do have a client card there for more than 2 years now!). We choose the one on Florianska street - the beginning, on the corner, next to the Brama (Gate) Florianska. There are a lot of small and big venues around the town so it is really hard not to spot them! It is quite similar to Starbucks but better when it commes to the lattes and the freshly squeezed juices for frosties (love them in the summer time!).
 “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.” ― Jess C. Scott, The Intern
Coffeeheaven (stylized as coffeeheaven) is a Central European business based in Warsaw, Poland that has raised its capital in both London (AIM) and Warsaw operates specialty branded coffee/sandwich bars only in Central Europe under the coffeeheaven brand name. There are coffeeheaven stores in Poland, Slovakia, Latvia, Bulgaria and Hungary. Stores owned in Latvia trade under the brand name Coffee Nation. It was formed in 1999 in Poland. The first store was opened in Gdynia in the following year. In December 2001, coffeeheaven listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange – the first Polish-based business to be on this exchange.In September 2004, coffeeheaven opened its first store in the Czech Republic in Prague. In 2004, entry into their third country was to be in Latvia in the Baltic region of Central Europe. The accquision of Coffee Nation's 7 coffee bars gave coffeeheaven their first stores in the Latvian capital of Riga. As of January 2008, the coffeeheaven group has 81 stores trading in six countries.
In 2011 all coffeeheaven cafés in the Czech republic were sold and rebranded to Costa Coffee.
 “We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Every year and every season they have new awesome goodies and we tried the specials for this winter: Roxana had a chilli latte and I had a gingerbread latte :) We shared a delightful white chocolate chip cookie which was huge (as you can see in the picture above, I could barely see Roxana's face behind it! :o) and a small gingerbread man (which Roxana ate as I had my own on my gingery foamy latte heaven!). I must admit that my latte smelled and tasted awesomely and I do not regret my choice! Not a single bit! but Roxana was not enthusiastic about her chilly latte (even if it had 2 chilly's on the foam... that kinda looked like V from V for Vendetta... but it may be just my imagination!) - it was not spicy enough. But to the latte's defence, she does eat spicy a lot, just like my fiance, so when I tried the latte I had to drink immeditely some of mine to cool down my tongue... So... it depends on each person if you would like it or not ;)
 “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
The main point throught the whole day was the fact that we were just the 2 of us :) And we have not been together laughing and talking for a very long time. And it was kick arse! And I must mention that after Coffee Heaven and filling our batteries we went to Galeria Krakowska where we checked some more books ;))) (oh! the nerdy side of us!) and we headed home very late... and we were welcomes home by the smell of awesomely tasty good Polish food made by my kick arse husband to be! :* Dziekuje kochanie! :*
“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It's not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.” ― Muhammad Ali

**I was not payed in any way to do this post. As you have noticed, I really love Bona and I really love Coffee Heaven! and Wawel always feels like home ;)  I did it out of love for my friends, as I wanted to share this lovely day with you :) And of course I wrote this post for my adorable friend Roxana - honey we are waiting for you back soon!!!**'

Yours truly,
The LadyBug :)
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