Stephanie Burgis
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Shopping, Compass, Carols
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This morning Patrick and I went out thrift-shopping, which is one of my favorite ways to go clothes-shopping. (Absolutely no guilt in any possible direction! All the thrift shops in England are organized by charities, so not only are the clothes so cheap I don't have to worry about our budget, but all the money I do spend goes to a good cause. Score!) Luckily, we live right next to a little Yorkshire town whose high street is filled with charity shops. Of course, the First Law of Thrift-Shopping declares that no matter what you go out looking for, that is the one thing you shall not find. So, I went out looking for one or two pairs of jeans and some long-sleeved shirts. And...well, of course, I didn't find any of those, or any other clothing, for that matter. But I did find a new-to-me Steven Brust novel (Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grill), Nancy Mitford's biography of Madame de Pompadour, and a big box of (new, not 2nd-hand) Christmas cards from Oxfam, and Patrick found a copy of Northern Lights (a.k.a. The Golden Compass). So it definitely counted as a sucessful morning, and we even managed to find a box of luscious-looking raspberries for a ridiculously cheap price at the little fruit-'n-veg shop, which was an unexpected bonus.

It was good timing to pick up Northern Lights, because we just saw the movie The Golden Compass yesterday afternoon. It was a really uneven film - Lyra vacillated between being really clever to terribly stupid whenever the plot required it, which was maddening, and there were a bunch of logic holes in the screenplay. (Luckily for Philip Pullman, neither Patrick nor I had read the book beforehand, so we've given him the benefit of the doubt by blaming everything that made no sense on the screenplay adaptation! Poor screenwriter.)

But, but, was still an awful lot of fun. The magic was incredibly cool, the movie itself was just dazzlingly beautiful to watch, Mrs. Coulter, as played by Nicole Kidman, is one of my new favorite villainesses (NOT a 2-dimensional Evil Person, and so much more scary for it!), and there was one scene near the end that actually made me cry, it was so genuinely scary and heart-wringing. I would have given the film 3 stars out of 5; Patrick says he would have given it a bit higher. We were both glad to have seen it, despite its flaws.

Now it's dark outside, and Maya's cuddled up against me on the futon while Patrick gets dinner ready in the kitchen. Christmas carols are playing through my laptop speakers, and I'm sipping on the end of a glass of port (having already had some lovely crackers with stilton - thanks to everybody who suggested that combination to me!).

Happy Friday, everybody!

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