Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How we made it through "Nemo"

Yes, snowstorm "Nemo" came and went here and we spent most of the weekend snuggled up on the couch, eating macarons, drinking Earl grey tea, and streaming episodes of "House of Cards" on Netflix.  Have any of you had a chance to see that show? I'm not usually one to be into politics, but this show is completely addictive, suspenseful, and Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are both absolutely mesmerizing...

Macarons + earl grey tea
I snapped a picture of my favorite snack, macarons, and my favorite tea (earl grey) over the snowy weekend. All the way on the left is an antique floral teacup and saucer I picked up in an antique shop in Saugerties, NY on the way back from a skii trip with my husband. If any of you ever find yourselves nearby Saugerties, please visit! It is such a charming, small town. Check out their antique shops (they are known for their abundance of these) and the infamous Krause's Chocolate shop. Antiques and chocolate? That's paradise to me....

Bucky in the snow
Anyway, we got plenty of snow, but not as much as some parts of New England I'm sure. After the snow settled, we took a walk outside with our dog and he just loved it  - as you can see above from his snow-covered snout. I am not a professional photographer by any means, but I do appreciate lovely photos and I think I have a decent eye for them. That is why Instagram has become my latest obsession... If you have one, please feel free to follow me at: victorian_violet. And if you're also on the east coast, do let me know how you fared during the storm. With love...


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Remembrance, Remembered

Today is a typical dark and cloudy winter day...it begs for some Bronte sisters. As I mentioned before, I am an avid reader of all 3 sisters, but Emily has to be my favorite. I am sure many, like me, have sighed deeply, even shed a few tears, while reading and re-reading the passionate lines of "Wuthering Heights," but I also happen to find many things in common with Emily in particular.  For one thing, she had a boxer dog! My husband and I own a boxer fawn, named Bucky.  She preferred/trusted animals over people...I sometimes feel the same way, hehe. She loved the darkness and moodiness of the Moors, and used it as her backdrop for the book. And as you already may know, I gravitate towards dark and moody. She was a fire sign like I in the zodiac, if that really means much, but it could explain the fierce and fiery intensity present in her only novel. She loved to write, read, and draw, and so do I. Also, she was a teacher and I am now studying to become one. We both tried our hand at piano and we both feel a strong connection to nature.  I'd like to share one of my favorite poems by Emily. Besides her book, this is the second most powerful piece of writing I have come across by her. It is about a lost love - very dark, emotional, sad, and moody. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have...


Cold in the earth -- and the deep snow piled above thee,
Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
Severed at last by Time's all-severing wave?

Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
Over the mountains, on that northern shore,
Resting their wings where heath and fern leaves cover
Thy noble heart forever, ever more?

Cold in the earth -- and fifteen wild Decembers,
From those brown hills, have melted into spring;
Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
After such years of change and suffering!

Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
While the world's tide is bearing me along;
Other desires and other hopes beset me,
Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong!

No later light has lightened up my heaven,
No second morn has ever shone for me;
All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given,
All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee.

But, when the days of golden dreams had perished,
And even Despair was powerless to destroy,
Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy.

Then did I check the tears of useless passion --
Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine;
Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
Down to that tomb already more than mine.

And, even yet, I dare not let it languish,
Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain;
Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
How could I seek the empty world again?

-- Emily Bronte

 I could see a few striking similarities to 'Wuthering Heights' with this poem, can you?  For one thing, it is about the death of a beloved person and much like Heathcliff strongly grieved over the death of his soulmate Catherine, the protagonist in this poem, grieves over his/her beloved. It is fiercely passionate and dark - yet the character in it knows the dangers of unchecked passion, which sadly Heathcliff and Catherine knew not. Yet, the poem is very versatile in that it can apply to and even be used as a source of strength for a mother who lost her child, a person who lost their best friend, and other relationships. It does not fail to lose its power or its message each time I read it. 

Do you have any favorite writers or poems in particular? I'd love to know anyone else's thoughts on Emily's or other writers' work. 


Friday, February 1, 2013

Hello, World

I have decided to take the plunge and start my own blog.  In between work and school, family and friends, and other responsibilities, sometimes I just need to seek respite in writing... I haven't written in a while and this would be a good way to record any important or interesting things going on in my life, or just to share my own interests with others who have similar ones.

So, for this post, I'd just like to share a bit about myself.  I am an avid reader, once a prolific writer as well, but not as much anymore.  I have a BA in English Lit, and am currently in grad school.   I love anything having to do with New England, England, Victorian literature or that era in particular, the Bronte sisters and their work (I wrote my Senior thesis on Emily Bronte); I am obsessed with antiques, old colonial homes, vintage clothing -- old, dusty books, black and white photographs you find in your grandmother's drawer, and shabby chic home decor.  I have been called an 'old soul' by my husband several times. Hopefully, in the best possible way :) Since I was a little girl, I have always felt that I should have been born in a different time, that I didn't quite belong in today's world. 

Even at my young age, I am not a huge fan of technology (except for blogs, obviously), and have always wished to live either in 50's era Rome (when all the U.S. movie stars and big directors were making movies there) or in Victorian England, specifically in the Moors. Another important thing to add about my personality, is that I while I appreciate the light and sweet, I am very much inclined towards the dark and moody.  I also have a bit of an obsession with folklore, spooky stories, ghosts, and I can be very superstitious. I love to explore historic sites such as old graveyards where famous writers have been buried or old homes where someone I truly admire lived. My favorite holidays are Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Christmas comes in very close, though :)  In my spare time, I love to read, cook (love to try out new recipes), decorate, and spend time with my husband, our families and friends, and our sweet dog.

Recently, my most favorite trip thus far has been to Newport, Rhode Island, where my husband I stopped for a few days after having spent another nice, long week at an old-favorite Block Island (has anyone ever been? I love that place! It's so magical).  We still both love Block Island, but we also fell head over heels for Newport. We went on a tour of the historic mansions of the Vanderbilts and other prominent New England families. We explored their grand homes and grounds, built before income tax was in existence and they were certainly opulent.  The sea by Newport was remarkable, there were many quaint little shops and excellent restaurants, and charming streets. My husband and I both love the sea and sailboats, and if you're not already familiar, Newport is very big on sailboating. On our way back, I felt sheer sadness to be leaving such a place!  I told my husband that I wish we could live there one day -- maybe retire there in 30 or 40 something years. 

My love of New England may seem strange for someone who was born in a very different and very far away land. But I think my passion for all things East coast stemmed from my parents taking us to such places as children, quite often. So far in terms of the New England coast, I've only been to  Vermont (loved it), Boston, Block Island and Newport, RI. I have yet to go to some places I've wanted to explore for a while, such as Salem, New Hampshire, Maine, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Litchfield and Greenwich, CT and more. So I'd appreciate anyone's advice on where to go, what to do, and where to stay in these towns. In terms of the world, I am very happy and grateful to have had the opportunity to have traveled to so many different countries in Europe, but the bucket list in terms of the world and the rest of the U.S. is  a very, very long one! 

Looking forward to posting on here more often and to hopefully hearing from fellow bloggers with similar interests...