Monday, 15 October 2018

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society...Movie Review



If you have been a long time reader of my country diary, you will know that I love time period drama... Thus, you can imagine my delight when I came upon the trailer for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society...

~
Several weeks ago my sister and I had the delight of going to see this beautiful film in theater...

Set on the isle of Guernsey in 1946, the story surrounds the people who found refuge in books and friendship during the German Occupation of World War 2.

"Always, yes. It's a perfect job. Sitting indoors, and always near a teapot."

~ Juliet Ashton in response to the question of whether she always wanted to be a writer. 
 

The lovely Lily James plays the role of London-based author, Juliet Ashton, who receives a letter from one of the book club's founding members, Dawsey Adams, a pig farmer on the Island of Guernsey who discovers her name and a address in a book he has in his collection...  
Juliet responds with questions about the book club and an unlikely friendship blossoms...

 "I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers."

~ Juliet Ashton to Dawsey Adams


Juliet is intrigued and drawn to the people of Guernsey who found solace and hope in the books they read during the Occupation, and after exchanging several letters with Dawsey and hearing more about their unique book club, Juliet decides to pay them a visit on the Island for a taste of their bookish delights and not to mention, their famous Potato Peel Pie...

 

"Our Friday night book club became a refuge to us. A private freedom to feel the world growing darker all around you, but you only need a candle to see new worlds unfold. That is what we found in our society"

~ Dawsey Adams to Juliet Ashton


"You've yet to have the full experience..."  

~ Eben Ramsay to Juliet Ashton


My thoughts...

I was transported to Guernsey and felt quite at home among the Islanders through this magical film about books and the way they can bring people together in sometimes the most peculiar ways.

Guernsey sees a number of excellent British actors and actresses come together...
Penelope Wilton as Amelia Morgury...
Jessica Brown Findlay as Elizabeth McKenna...
Matthew Goode as Sidney Stark, Juliet's editor and dear friend...
to name but a few...

This story is beautifully woven and entirely captivating...
And happily, unlike many movies of similar genre, this one is delightfully clean!
I would however, recommend it for 12+ due to some disturbing content relating to the war.

"The Guernsey literary and potato-peel pie society. Crikey, that's quite a mouthful."

~ Sidney Stark to Juliet Ashton   

I am completely and utterly in love with Guernsey...
And I must tell you that the book which the movie is based on is equally charming...look for a review coming soon...

  "If I could have anything I wanted, I would choose story without end, and it seems I have lots of company in that."

~ The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Blessings to you, sweet readers!

Sunday, 30 September 2018

A Story of Grace & New Beginnings

Dear friends...
I have a beautiful story to share with you today; a testimony of God's unfailing love and grace.

I am sure most of you know by now that my dad has been working in China for the past year.
 We saw him in February when he came home for a month long visit and I recently spent a month with him in China.
He came home in July for a seven week holiday - how delightful it was to be together as a family again!
When the time came for him to fly back to China, his long journey wasn't made alone...{{smiles}}

Many of you also know how difficult the time of separation was for our family and how we had been praying for the Lord to make a way for our family to be reunited.
We had explored so many different options over the past months but kept reaching dead end upon dead end.
Eventually we again surrendered this area of our lives to the Lord and decided to wait upon Him for further direction.
Sometime during my month with my dad, the Lord answered the cry of our heart's and made a way for our family in a truly special way...

I will skip through the many details and share with you the wonderful news that the end of August saw my mom and five younger siblings joining my dad in China
Nancy and I have had to remain in South Africa for the time being...
I could write about how this all came about, but that would take much too long.  {{smiles}}

Of course it is true that our family is still be separated - but we know without a shadow of a doubt that this is indeed the Lord leading us and that His will is that Nancy and I remain here for however long He sees fit.

He opened doors for the two of us to rent a small but adequate sized flat in a very nice area - this flat is actually on the property of friends, so we have the added comfort of knowing we are right next door to people we know and trust.
My dad also has that peace of mind knowing we are not completely alone.  
Housing for the rest of the family in China was miraculously taken care of too...

Once my dad was back in the country, he and my mom could take the five younger children to apply for their passports...
Once their passports arrived a few weeks later, we drove to Cape Town to do the visa applications for those going over.  Six days after that the visas were approved and we could earnestly begin selling off household items, moving into our new little flat and packing the suitcases the family would be taking over with them.  
By the grace of God, all this was achieved in approximately three weeks.
It was a stressful, exhausting few weeks to say the least!

Many have asked how our family feel about Nancy and I having to stay here in South Africa.  
We did look into Nancy and I going over too, but at this stage it isn't possible due to the two of us being over eighteen...
We hope to spend a month or two with the family in the new year, though...

^ Dad and I made so many special memories during my recent visit with him in China...

The month I spent in China opened my eyes to just how small the world really is and how possible it is to travel.  Flying across the world alone also gave me the tremendous boost of confidence I really needed!

~
We are excited about this incredible opportunity for our family.  
Nancy and I feel we are ready for this next step and are truly humbled that the Lord would see fit to reunite my mom and siblings with my dad!
We do not feel scared, but rather at perfect peace with what the Lord is doing in our lives...
And if you read my previous posts on my recent trip to China, you will know how I long to go back.
Having the whole family there will mean another visit in the near future!
Nancy and I will also have enough to keep us busy what with our work and hobbies so I know we won't be bored!  {{smiles}}

^ How I love these girls!

The Lord is working everything together for our good - we look back over the course of the last year and stand all amazed to see His hand in every little detail.  
We know now that that even the fire was in His will for us...

I pray that I might encourage you today - whatever season you may be in...whatever you may be facing...stand firm in your faith. 
The Lord is faithful and He will give you the grace and strength you need for each moment.  
This time last year our world was in total confusion after losing our home in the terrible fires of 2017 and trying to rebuild our lives while facing my dad going to China for work.

Many days we thought we just couldn't take another step...but by God's grace we made it through another year smiling.  
How good the Lord is to us...all the glory to His wonderful name!

We would truly appreciate your prayers as we enter this season of change...♥

With love and joy in Christ,
Kelly-Anne

P.S.  I actually wrote this shortly before our family left...they have been gone for almost six weeks now...  They arrived safely after a long, grueling journey (most of the children and my mom were sick with flu on the flight) and are settling into the rhythm and routine of their new life in a faraway land...
I hope to write another more detailed update soon...♥
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Hello

 Just popping in to say hello...
Sweet friends...I have not forgotten about you.
Life these past two months has been a whirlwind and I do anticipate being able to share our news with you as soon as I am able to sit down and write over a cup of coffee...

Blessings and love in Christ,
Kelly-Anne

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Thursday Pearls


"God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty"

~ Peter Marshall

 ~ Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 ~

Sweet Thursday blessings to you, dear readers...
My family and I are going away for a few days which means I will be on a little blogging break...
We would truly appreciate your prayers for our safety while we travel.
Oh...and I have much to share with you upon my return!  {{Smiles}}

Love in Christ,
Kelly-Anne 

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Tuesday, 24 July 2018

A Month in China ~ Part Two


Hello sweet friends...
As promised, here is part two...
 I am delighted to be writing about the day we spent in Nanjing.
This was probably my favourite part of the month I spent in China...

Nanjing, formerly known as Nanking and once the capital of China, is 143 km from Hefei which is where my dad lives and works.
 It is the capital of the Jiangsu province and is recognized as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China...

The delightful thing about Nanjing is that there are many beautiful ancient heritage sites to visit...
We were able to visit Nanjing's City Wall and gardens (One of China's other 'great walls') as well as the Confucius Temple.

Nanjing is a beautiful city and I would definitely go back to continue exploring should I have the opportunity of traveling to China again!

We left our apartment in Hefei early Sunday morning and arrived at the train station half an hour before our train was scheduled to depart...
After queuing for our tickets, going through security and finding the correct gate, we made it to our train with about three minutes to spare.
High speed trains wait for no man...we made a mental note to give ourselves more time in the future!

I loved the train ride to Nanjing; I found it so smooth and comfortable and being able to watch the gorgeous countryside go by was an absolute treat!
It was also thrilling to go over the Yangtze River bridge - I learnt about the Yangtze River years ago and never thought I'd have the opportunity to see it with my own eyes!


^Nanjing South Railway Station

After about an hour we arrived at Nanjing South Railway Station.
We were overwhelmed at the size and grandeur of this railway station...


^Riding the underground was fantastic!

After coffee at Starbucks we made our way to the underground subway and caught the metro to Fuzimao Station which is quite near the Confucius Temple.
I must just add that I loved riding the metro and the fact that it is such a cheap means of travel made the experience all the more enjoyable!



It took us awhile to make our way out of the subway and to find the correct route to the temple, but on the way we did some shopping.
I found some beautiful scarves for my sisters and a silk scarf for myself.
I also bought a set of porcelain chopsticks and various other treasures such as postcards...

^There are so many beautiful old trees in Nanjing!

We enjoyed visiting the temple even though it didn't hold any special meaning for us considering we are Christians.
I briefly studied Confucius several years ago, so it was quite exciting to visit this temple for that reason.



We enjoyed exploring the area around the temple for an hour or so, then we took the subway again to find a place to eat....


After lunch we took the subway to a station close to the Nanjing City Wall...

We walked a fair distance once leaving the station, but this was a treat as Nanjing is a beautiful city and has a great many amazing sights to enjoy!


^View of the lake from the one part of the city wall...


^View from the other side of the city wall...



I was delighted to have the opportunity to walk on the city wall - it was the one thing I really wanted to do whilst I was in China!

^There is a small shop on the wall...I found some gorgeous washi tape (for my travel journal) and postcards there...

^The Jinming temple can be seen from the city wall.


^Look at that tall building in the distance!  It is called the Zifeng Tower and is the tallest building in Nanjing at 450 m in height.


^Oh, hello!


It was really hot that day, so we only walked on the wall for about half an hour before going down to the gardens for an ice cream.
We enjoyed sitting at the water's edge and taking in the scenery...


^Taking a well-earned rest!


Should you ever go to Nanjing, I would highly recommend taking the time to enjoy the gardens surrounding the wall!  
We would have loved to have stayed longer and walked around a bit...

We had actually hoped to stay in Nanjing overnight so as to continue exploring the following day, but our accommodation didn't work out (long story), so we ended up changing our tickets and catching the late train home...
It was just as well - we were absolutely exhausted after a whole day of sunshine and sightseeing!
{{smiles}}

And thus ended a truly wonderful, memorable day in Nanjing...
I am hoping to stop in with part three next week...until then, blessings to you, dear readers!

Oh and a warm welcome to my new followers...it is a joy to have you along for this journey!

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Thursday, 19 July 2018

July's Daybook

^Sofia, Rebekah and Gabrielle posing for a picture on an icy cold Saturday morning at the local farmer's market...

 ^Yes, Caleb probably needs a haircut...but oh, none of us can bear the idea of chopping those precious golden curls! 

Outside my window...
 Even though it is now 6:30am, it is still black as pitch outside.
There is a strong, warm wind blowing, making it unpleasantly hot and uncomfortable for a July day...
Thankfully, it is snug and cosy indoors and I am enjoying a little peace and quiet before the day begins...

I'm listening to...
Lately I have been enjoying listening to The Tenor's whilst going about my daily tasks or when I am cooking, much to the delight of one younger sister in particular.   {{smiles}}
I also love soundtracks and have been listening to those from Pearl Harbor, Braveheart and How to Train Your Dragon.  
I have not seen these films so cannot recommend them, but the music is beautiful and I enjoy having them on when I sit down to write or read blog posts...

I'm thankful for...
New opportunities and beginnings...
Sweet memories...
Having Dad home for almost two months...
Daily walks with a few of my siblings and Dad...

From my kitchen...
I confess that I haven't been all that creative in the kitchen of late...
I think there has been a bit too much going on and taking up my attention. 
I have been making homemade Chai tea which is perfect way to warm up on a chilly winter's afternoon...recipe to follow soon! ♥

I am wearing...
I have actually been up since 4:30am (story to follow) and have already had coffee with my parents.
They decided they'd go back to bed for a few more winks of sleep, but I knew that if I did that, I wouldn't be able to get up come 6:30, so I am currently in my pajamas {{gasps}} writing this!
 
Around the house...
This morning I awoke at 4:30 to the sound of activity coming from somewhere in the house...
Upon getting up to inspect, I found my mom and dad mopping up water in the bathroom - apparently a pipe had burst and little Rebekah heard the noise so she could thankfully wake someone up!

In my cup...
Just a short while ago, it was coffee.  Ah...my favourite.

 I am watching...
Life in our home has been a whirlwind of activity since I got home, so I haven't been watching very much of late...
I did, however, treat myself to a movie the other evening and sat down to watch A United Kingdom which I had been wanting to see for awhile.
What a beautiful story and certainly well worth a watch...

One of my favourite things...
 Having Dad home has been such a sweet blessing.
He is definitely one of my favourite things this month!  {{Smiles}}

I am reading...
Oh dear, nothing at all I am afraid...
 Do children's picture books count?  I have been looking after a three year old little girl twice a week and one of our favourite things to do is read stories!  
Little Caleb also loves books which is something we encourage, so whenever he asks us to read, we make a point of stopping whatever we are doing to read to him...

I am hoping...
...to keep up with more regular writing...
...to walk every day...
...to embrace every day as a gift...
...to cherish each member of my family and to keep them close...

I am creating...
Not much at present, I am afraid.  I have yet to sew anything new since my trip to China.
However I am sure I will remedy this soon as my my mom has asked if I could sew two new peasant tops for her...{{Smiles}}

For the love of words...
I read these beautiful words on a lovely blog I follow recently...
I just have to share this quote with you...I know it will inspire you as it inspired me!  

"The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies." 

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

 Quiet moments...
...in this house?  {{winks}}
Right now it is blissfully quiet and I am cherishing every second.
Soon a new day will be underway.
There will be dishes to wash, floors to be swept, washing to be hung...
There will be no peace till everyone is once again tucked up in bed and the lights are off.
But oh, I am thankful for this noisy household and the joy and laughter each day with this family brings.
It may not always be pleasant or all that exciting, but the Lord is present in our home, working in the hearts of all who dwell here and leading them closer to Him.

What is happening in your world, lovely readers...?

~
Happy weekend, dear readers...
Thank you for stopping in and leaving me such sweet notes.  It is a true joy to count you as friends...
Blessings and love in Christ!

P.S.  Thank you to my dear friend, Elizabeth, who allowed me to use her format for this daybook post.  
Do stop in for a cup of tea with her at Ponderings from the Inglenook...I know your heart will be blessed and encouraged by her gracious and uplifting blog.

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Wednesday, 18 July 2018

A Month in China ~ Part One

I cannot describe how wonderful China was and how thoroughly I enjoyed the month I spent with my dad...
I came home with so many precious memories...stories to share and treasures to keep, that I honestly don't know where to begin...

I loved every minute of my trip and hope to convey these feelings of awe and delight in the next few posts...
Thus...how about you pop the kettle on to boil and make yourself a steaming mug of tea before you settle down to this, the first part of my Month in China series...
{{smiles}}

~
I flew out from George on Thursday June 7.  (Thank you all for your prayers for my safety!)
How strange to embrace to my mom, sisters and Caleb in a big hug one last time before walking out of sight and onto the airplane, bound for China...

I landed in Johannesburg later that evening, picked up my suitcase and headed to the arrival area where I met the person the lodge had sent to pick me up.
For me, this was the most daunting part of my trip as it was my first time in Johannesburg, first time to book a lodge and to stay overnight in a strange place all alone.
The Lord was merciful and the lodge I had booked turned out to be the perfect place for me to catch a few hours of sleep before I headed to the airport again early the next morning.

I was pleasantly surprised at how little time it took for me to check in and go through security - I think it helped that I arrived early. 
I was able get some coffee and breakfast and enjoy some plane spotting before waiting at the allocated gate for my flight...

At this stage an overwhelming sense of excitement began to well up in me!
Once I had boarded the airplane, I was delighted to see that I had an entire row to myself which meant I could lie down during the flight. 
There were no good movies on the plane and my eyes burned terribly anyway, so I ended up listening to music for the duration of the flight...




14 hours later, we landed in Beijing and about 40 minutes after that, we were inside Beijing airport where the fun and games really began!

I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer size of the world's second largest airport!
I know that it is only by God's grace that I managed to catch my connecting domestic flight to Hefei.  Beijing airport was something of a nightmare - no one spoke English for starters and then finding where to go to collect my luggage (which involved a train ride to the correct terminal), where to check in for my domestic flight to Hefei, etc. was extremely exhausting and stressful. 
However, I don't remember feeling at all panicky, even when my phone didn't work so I couldn't contact my dad (I had signal for about five minutes shortly before boarding which meant I could at least let me dad know I had arrived safely in China)! 

Eventually I found my way to the right gate. 
I felt a huge sense of achievement when I boarded the next and final flight to Hefei!
It was pouring with rain when we arrived in Hefei which delayed our disembarking of the aircraft by about twenty minutes...

What joy to collect my bag for the last time and make my way to where my dad was waiting for me - it all felt so surreal... 
I couldn't believe that I was finally with my dad in China after such a long, grueling journey!
I actually recovered fairly well from my trip, only I had the strange sensation of being on an airplane for a few days afterwards...

The first week I spent recovering and enjoying a walk once, sometimes twice day...
We also went into the city for coffee one morning which was thrilling!
I didn't take as many pictures as I had hoped in that first week as I found myself simply wanting to take everything in without having to worry about getting a good shot...
Here are the few pictures that I did take...and perhaps I should warn you now that part two more than makes up for the lack of photographs in this post!
{{smiles}}

^Coffee at Starbucks on my first Saturday in China
^Area surrounding the lake...
I walked here quite often as it is relatively close to the school my dad teaches at.

^This track goes around the lake  





^I loved this place!  We stopped in here several times over the course of the month...

And thus concludes this first part of this little series...do stop by next week for part two on Nanjing!

Have you been to China?  Have you ever traveled overseas alone?  

It is always a joy having you stop by, sweet friends...
I truly appreciate your kind notes!

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